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August 22, 2005 – Canon today introduced the PowerShot S80, which boasts a radically new interface and advanced video capabilities. The new camera replaces the S70, adding increased resolution, a larger LCD screen, reconfigured menu navigation structure, and a radically altered body design. The S80 (spec sheet) is also the first digital camera to offer high resolution XGA video capture capabilities. The hybrid imager is expected to be available in early October at an estimated price of $549.99.
Building on the video capabilities of the S70, the S80 will record XGA quality video at 1024 x 768 resolution at 15 frames per second. The S80 will be the first digital still camera to offer XGA video, which has roughly 2.5 times more data per frame than VGA video. While the S80’s XGA recording setting only records at 15 frames per second, there are reduced resolution video settings that will capture 640 x 480 video at 30 frames per second, as well as the 60 fps capture rate, first introduced in the SD400 and SD500, available at 320 x 240 resolution.
Along with the increased hybrid functionality of the S80, Canon has reformed the exterior of the S80 into a radical new design. The S80 shifts its mode dial to the side of the camera and substitutes a unique rotary dial for navigation, instead of the traditional directional buttons.
The PowerShot S80 at 4.09 x 2.24 x 1.53 inches and 7.94 ounces is smaller and lighter than the S70 it replaces. The modified S80 utilizes a 1/1.8-inch 8 megapixel CCD sensor and contains a 3.6x optical zoom lens, with a 35mm equivalent focal range of 28-100mm. The lens opens to f/2.8 at its widest angle and f/4.5 at full telephoto, with a shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/2000 of a second. The camera offers an ISO range of 50-400, with a built-in flash for low light situations.
The PowerShot S80 contains a maximum frame rate of 1.8 frames per second in still recording modes; however, the camera will ship with software that allows users to extract single frames from captured video. With the accompanying software, the XGA movie mode can be effectively transformed into a 15 frame per second burst setting.
Several manual control options are available on the PowerShot S80. The camera offers Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority modes as well full manual exposure control.
Exposure compensation is also available in a +/- 2 EV range, as is manual white balance control.
Surprisingly, with an enlarged 2.5-inch 118,000 pixel TFT LCD screen, the S80 also includes an optical viewfinder. The camera can also print directly to Canon printers, as well as any PictBridge compatible third-party printer. A rechargeable lithium–ion battery powers the camera, and several accessories, including telephoto and wide angle converters, are scheduled to be released with the S80 as well.