Canon launches new A-series PowerShots – with G-series performance
Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 22 August 2005. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today announces its latest high performance compact digital still cameras, the PowerShot A620 and PowerShot A610. With 7.1 and 5.0 Megapixels, respectively, the cameras incorporate a host of high-end features normally reserved for G-series PowerShots. DIGIC II processors drive a fast, responsive performance, and – in combination with the cameras’ 4x optical zoom lenses – deliver superior image quality. A wide range of manual, automatic and special scene modes offer flexibility, creative control, and simplicity when required.
The cameras also feature a 2.0” vari-angle LCD, My Colors, and a macro mode that allows photographers to get as close as 1 cm. VGA movies at 30 fps can be created with both models. A complete range of optional accessories, including wide and tele-converters and waterproof case, extends shooting flexibility. A comprehensive software suite is provided as standard. The A620 and A610 are both equipped with a Print/Share button, PictBridge printing as well as ID Photo Print and Movie Print . USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connections provide for high-speed transfer of image data.
"We regard the PowerShot A620 and PowerShot A610 as mini-G cameras – offering G-series performance, but retaining an A-series price," said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "With an impressive range of high-end features, these cameras offer photography enthusiasts advanced control and flexibility."
Improved resolution, zoom and image quality
Replacing the popular PowerShot A95, the new cameras have been given a serious performance boost. While the A610 features a 5.0 Megapixel CCD sensor, the A620 boasts 7.1 Megapixels – both delivering image quality suitable for detailed photo prints up to A3 size and allowing substantial cropping without loss of print quality.
Precision Canon zoom lenses in these new cameras follow the design and construction of G-series lenses, with eight elements in seven groups, and incorporating two aspherical elements. The upgrade to a 4x optical zoom provides a 35–140 mm focal length (35 mm equivalent). With a maximum aperture range of f/2.8 (W) to f/4.1 (T), the lenses are impressively bright at the telephoto end. In addition, focusing performance in low light has improved by up to 2-stops, resulting in greater freedom when shooting in dim conditions.
The lenses’ spectral characteristics have been optimised specifically for the configuration of the lens and sensor, providing accurate colours and significantly reducing the chromatic aberrations (such as purple fringing) often found with lower quality lenses.
Advanced processing and focussing
The addition of Canon’s advanced DIGIC II image processor results in faster and more responsive cameras that deliver improved image quality. Focusing time has been cut by around 60%, and shutter lag is negligible at no more than 0.1 seconds. Smooth continuous shooting is now available at approximately 1.9 fps (A620) and approximately 2.4 fps (A610). With DIGIC II’s superior assessment of white balance, colour rendition accuracy is increased.
The new PowerShots still feature Canon’s 9-point AiAF for fast, accurate focusing even when subjects are not centred. FlexiZone AF/AE allows free scrolling anywhere within the frame's auto focus area to select the desired subject, for which exposure is weighted accordingly. Manual focus selection is also available.
A larger 2.0” vari-angle LCD offers users great versatility in composing shots from awkward angles, such as from ground or waist level, above the head and when shooting self portraits. The selectable grid line display helps with composition and levelling horizons.
The A620 and A610 incorporate a total of 20 shooting modes, including full Manual mode, a Custom mode for allocating preferred shooting settings, and a shutter speed priority mode, with shutter speeds ranging from 15 seconds to 1/2500 second. Eight scene modes – such as Night Snapshot, Snow and Underwater – maximise results in a variety of shooting situations. The Stitch Assist mode facilitates shooting pictures for panoramas, which can be joined together easily with the supplied PhotoStitch software. My Colors – located on the mode dial – allows the expansion of creativity in digital photography. Special effects, such as Color Swap or Custom Color, which allows users to select their preferred colour balance for any given shot, can be performed in-camera and viewed on the LCD while shooting stills and movies. These effects could previously only be achieved using PC software after shooting.
High quality movies are selectable from VGA (30/15fps), QVGA (30/15fps), Fast Frame Rate (for slow motion replays in camera), and Compact mode (for clips that are ideal for emailing).
Accessories to enhance
A complete range of optional accessories is available to extend the capabilities of the cameras. The new Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC58F, has been designed to fit these models. Both the Wide Converter Lens WC-DC58N (0.7x) and Tele-converter lens TC-DC58N (1.75x) increase framing options and extend the camera’s effective focal length range.
The dedicated Waterproof Case WP-DC90 – submersible to 40 m – is constructed with anti-fog double glass and a flash light diffusion plate. Separate Waterproof Case Weights WW-DC1 are available for controlling buoyancy. Other accessories include the AC Adapter Kit ACK600, the Battery Charger Kit CBK4-200 with four NiMH batteries, and the Soft Case DCC-300.
When used in combination with Canon’s new Compact Photo Printer SELPHY CP510 and Canon’s Ink and Paper Set (KP-108IP), prints can be produced for just 30 euro cents each. Printing via SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printers also allows the user to print handy ID Photo prints and movie prints.
When connected to the latest range of PictBridge compatible PIXMA printers (also released today), image enhancement is possible with functions such as Noise Reduction and Vivid Photo, as well as the new Face Brightenerfeature. Also new is Captured Info print, which prints shooting data such as shutter speed, aperture and shooting mode within the photo border.
Printing images without having to connect to a PC is kept simple with the Print/Share button, which also acts as an easy upload button for Windows XP and Mac OS X.
The new cameras come bundled with a comprehensive software suite, including Canon’s browsing and printing software ZoomBrowser EX 5.5 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.5 (Mac), easy printing software PhotoRecord 2.2 and PhotoStitch 3.1 for creating stunning panoramas. Also included is the photo manipulation software, ArcSoft PhotoStudio.
Purchasers of the cameras are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , which offers 100MB of online space for uploading and sharing images, and supports My Camera, which allows users to further customise their camera settings.
Supported operating systems are Windows 98 (SE), Me, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Mac OS X v10.2-v10.3. The cameras support PTP for driverless transfer to supported Windows XP or Mac OS X.
 ID Photo Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printers only.
 The price of 30 euro cents per print is Canon’s recommended retail price, based on Canon’s recommended retail price of the KP-108IP 10 x 15cm Ink and Paper Set.
 Listed PictBridge functions vary by printer model.
 CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is not available in all European countries, please see www.cig.canon-europe.com for available countries. Movie upload requires users to download and install the movie upload task, available after registration from the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY site.