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*September 14, 2006 – *On the eve of the Digital Elph brand’s tenth anniversary, Canon announced three new stylish compact models to the lineup. The Canon PowerShot SD900, SD800 IS, and SD40 were announced today and will be available in October.
These three digital cameras come with Canon’s new Digic III image processor, which incorporates new technologies like face detection and improved technologies like noise reduction. The face detection technology can recognize up to nine human faces when viewed from straight on; the camera finds and tracks these faces to keep them sharply focused until the picture is taken. The Digic III’s noise reduction technology makes it possible for the new Digital Elph cameras to include ISO 80-1600 settings, paving the way for better low light photography.
"The PowerShot Digital Elph line of cameras has always been characterized by the sleek contoured look, the full array of features and the extraordinary picture quality they deliver," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., in today’s press release. "These newest Digital Elph cameras continue that tradition of innovation, eye appeal, ease of use and imaging excellence, and will no doubt continue to delight our users and confound our competitors."
The 10-megapixel Canon PowerShot SD900 takes its place as the flagship of the Digital Elph series. It replaces the SD550, and has an identical body but a different "higher quality" construction. The SD900 is made of titanium compared to the SD550’s stainless steel housing. The titanium build still keeps the body at about an inch thick with the trendy "perpetual curve design" while keeping the weight virtually identical.
"It’s more of an appearance thing than anything else," said Chuck Westfall, director of media and consumer relations at Canon, in an interview with DigitalCameraInfo. "It’s a very polished and elegant looking camera."
The Canon PowerShot SD900 has a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch LCD screen with 230,000 pixels, an optical viewfinder, and a new 1.4x/2.3x digital tele-converter feature. It can also record XGA quality movies at a rate of 15 frames per second. The SD900 will retail for $499.
The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS does not replace the SD700 IS, but adds more resolution and switches up the lens while keeping the popular optical image stabilization system. The SD700 IS has 6 megapixels and the new SD800 IS has 7.1 megapixels. The older camera had a 4x optical zoom lens and the newer model has a slightly shorter 3.8x lens but with a wider 28-105 mm focal range.
The SD800 is only the second Digital Elph to include image stabilization. The system corrects up to three stops of shutter speed. The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS has a similar body style to the SD700 with the optical viewfinder and 2.5-inch LCD screen. The new camera has better resolution on the LCD screen though. The SD700 had 173,000 pixels and the SD800 has 207,000 pixels. This PowerShot, like the others announced today, has an expanded ISO range to 1600. It will retail for $399.
Finally, the ultra-compact Canon PowerShot SD40 was announced today. It has 7.1 megapixels and is made of stainless steel. It is 0.94 inches thick and keeps the same design as the camera it replaces, the SD30. The old model has 5 megapixels, but the same 2.4x optical zoom lens and 1.8-inch LCD screen as the SD40. The PowerShot SD40 comes in four new colors: Noble Blue, Twilight Sepia, Precious Rose, and Olive Grey. The tiny camera also comes with a camera dock that serves as the battery charger and the connection to computers, televisions, and printers. The SD40 will retail for $349.
Canon’s newly announced Digital Elph cameras make large improvements on the old models largely because of the new Digic III image processor but also because of newer features and better components.
"That’s the theme this year: Be a little more upscale," Westfall said.