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January 18, 2007 – Shortly after the conclusion of CES, Canon appears to be gearing up for another season of introductions, announcing two new entry-level point-and-shoots today, the PowerShot A550 and A460. Geared towards beginner users, the new cameras promise to be easier to use, with the A550 featuring a modified mode dial. The 7.1-megapixel A550 will retail for $199.99, and the 5-megapixel A460 will retail for $149.99 when they debut in mid-February.
"They are the perfect upgrade for owners of existing entry-level cameras," stated a Canon press release today, "and they provide a smooth transition for first-time digital camera users."
The Canon A550 is the replacement for the A530, introduced last year. The PowerShot A550 totes a higher megapixel count of 7.1 megapixels over the 5-megapixel resolution on last year’s model and a bigger 2-inch LCD over 1.8-inch monitor on the A530. The new A550 shares Canon’s Digic II image processor, "Smart" AiAF for auto focus, iSAPS technology for auto exposure, and 4x optical zoom lens. The A550, however, improves upon its older counterpart with an enhanced movie mode that records at a faster 640 x 480 at 30fps rate.
The PowerShot A550 also comes equip with a newly redesigned mode dial that includes a Special Scene function for quicker referral to the 11 preset shooting modes.
The new Canon A460 improves upon last year’s A430 with a higher 5-megapixel count and a slightly larger 2-inch LCD screen over the 4 megapixel A430 with a 1.8-inch LCD. The A460 borrows the Digic II image processor and iSAPS technology, in addition to the 4x optical zooms lens. The A460 carries 10 scene modes.
Both the A550 and A460 boast portability with compatibility of two AA batteries for convenient replacement.
The two PowerShots also promise easier printing. "All new PowerShot digital cameras, including the A550 and A460 models, are equip with a variety of features to making viewing and printing your images easier than ever," stated the release. The A550 and A460 are PictBridge-enabled and come with included audio/video cables, a 16MB MMC card, batteries, and Canon software for quick start-up out of the box. Both the Canon PowerShot A550 and A460 accept MMC, SD, and SDHC media.