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September 14, 2006 – Canon announced today the new flagship to its entire PowerShot line, the high-end compact G7. This model replaces the G6, which was discontinued at the end of 2005. The Canon PowerShot G7 makes many improvements on the old G6, including more resolution at 10 megapixels, a stabilized 6x optical zoom lens, and a new Digic III image processor. The Canon G7 will retail for $599 when it goes on sale in October.
While the old G6 had 7.1 megapixels, the new G7 ups the ante with 10 megapixels. The G6 had a 4x optical zoom lens and the G7 extends the zoom to 6x, then adds optical image stabilization to the mix. The Canon G7 also improves the LCD screen size and resolution; the G6 had a 2-inch monitor that folded out and had 118,000 pixels. The new flagship has a 2.5-inch LCD with 207,000 pixels. Also new to the G-line is the My Colors image effects and a vast number of scene modes.
"In the PowerShot G7 we have created the ultimate prosumer compact digital camera for the discerning hobbyist, the photo enthusiast and for those who require uncompromising photo quality for business and industrial applications," 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.
Canon claims photographers can achieve the "uncompromising photo quality" with the company’s new proprietary Digic III image processor. This new chip is included on the G7 along with the three other Digital Elph models announced today. The Canon Digic processor first debuted on cameras in 2002 and is now hitting the third generation four years later. The new image processor improves the camera’s speed and efficiency while reducing noise and adding face detection technology.
Many manufacturers have released face detection technology this year, but today’s four new digital cameras mark the first batch of models to include the trendy technology for Canon. The rundown sounds familiar: the system scans the frame for straight-on human faces. It cannot recognize animal faces or profiles of humans. The technology is run on hardware instead of software, so Canon claims that it is faster than the competition. The face detection system can also be used in any of the G7’s 25 shooting modes, including the movie mode.
"There is no need to focus, lock, and recompose anymore," said Chuck Westfall, director of media and consumer relations at Canon, in an interview with DigitalCameraInfo. He said the technology can find and track up to 9 faces at once. "It’s pretty reliable," he said.
The Canon PowerShot G7 looks different than its G-series ancestors. It has a flatter body that has a black metal finish and a retro look. The camera mixes retro elements like the mode and ISO speed dials with newer features like a wheel that replaces a more traditional multi-selector. The ISO speed dial boasts the widest range on a Canon compact digital camera yet: 80-1600. The G7 has a hot shoe and is compatible with conversion lenses. Its flatter body design allows it to be encased in an underwater housing, the Canon WP-DC11, which is waterproof to 130 ft.
On the front of the G7 is Canon’s 6x optical zoom lens that measures an equivalent 35-210 mm with maximum apertures of f/2.8 in wide and f/4.8 in telephoto. "Canon’s specialized SR coating augments the all glass lens, the first time this lens coating technology has been applied in a compact digital camera," stated today’s Canon release. The coating reduces glare and ghosting. The optical image stabilization system is also a welcome addition to the G7’s lens; it corrects up to an equivalent of 3 shutter speed stops. The lens can focus as close as 1 cm in the macro mode.
The Canon PowerShot G7 has a total of 25 shooting modes, including 13 scene modes that are new to the G-series of high-end compact digital cameras. An Underwater scene mode complements the available housing, and ISO 3200 and Aquarium scene modes make their debut on PowerShot cameras with their inclusion on the G7. Manual and priority modes are available too.
The G7’s movie mode has the ability to record a variety of image sizes, including the high-resolution 1024 x 768-pixel XGA mode. VGA and QVGA options are available, along with an email-friendly 160 x 120-pixel size. The Canon PowerShot G7 is compatible with SD and SDHC cards, and its movie mode can record XGA quality video for up to 31 minutes at a time.
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