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August 22, 2005 – Canon today announced three new A-Series PowerShot models; the 7.1 megapixel A620 and 5 megapixel A610, both offering a large selection of manual controls to point-and-shoot users, are set to replace the previous flagship A-series model, the A95. Along with the A620 (spec sheet) and A610 (spec sheet), Canon also introduced a replacement for its entry level A400, in the 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A410. The A620 and A610 are expected to ship in mid-September, with estimated pricing set at $399 for the A620 and $299 for the PowerShot A610, while the A410 will make its way to retail shelves at the end of this month, at an estimated cost of $149.
"Photo enthusiasts, the students of photography, look for manual controls and what the top A-series cameras do is give those capabilities at the most affordable price in digital," said Chuck Westfall, Director of Media and Customer relations for the Camera Marketing Group at Canon U.S.A.
Canon’s top A-series PowerShot offerings have become synonymous with manual controls among the point-and-shoot crowd. While no manual focus is available, users can adjust shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation on the A620 and A610. Aperture priority and Shutter priority modes are available on both cameras, as is a full manual exposure mode.
Among the shared features in both new A-series leaders is a 4x optical zoom lens, with a 35mm equivalent range of 35-140mm. This has been extended from the 3x zoom offered in the A95. The new lenses contain a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the widest point, dropping to f/4.1 in telephoto. Both models contain a shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/2000 of a second. ISO sensitivity is manually selectable from 50-400, along with an exposure compensation feature, ranging from +/- 2 EV in 1/3-stop increments.
The PowerShot A620 and A610 both feature a fold-out, 118,000 pixel TFT LCD screen in addition to optical viewfinders. The cameras boast 30 frames per second video capture capabilities, recording at 640 x 480 resolution, with a 60 fps video capture setting available at a reduced 320 x 240 resolution. The cameras offer direct printing to Canon printers and PictBridge compliant third-party printers.
The A620 and A610 are both backed by a 1/1.8-inch CCD sensor; however, the PowerShot A620 squeezes 7.1 megapixels onto the surface, while the A610 reduced the number of pixels to 5 million. The larger files produced by the A620’s 7.1 megapixel sensor limit its burst rate to 1.9 frames per second, while the A610 achieves a noticeably faster 2.4 frames per second rate.
In addition to the numerous manual controls, both cameras also offer several custom preset shooting modes, as well as a stitch feature for assembling panoramic images.
Both the A620 and A610 exhibit thinner bodies and larger grips than the PowerShot A95 that they replace. The new models measure 4.13 x 2.6 x 1.93 inches and weigh 8.29 ounces without the battery.
Along with redesigning the top of the A-series PowerShot line, Canon today modified its entry level offering as well. The 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A410 will offer an improved feature set from the A400 it replaces, while maintaining an affordable entry level price point of $149.
The PowerShot A410 (spec sheet) extends the A400’s 2.2x optical zoom to 3.2x, equivalent to 41-131mm (35mm format). A maximum aperture of f/2.8 is available at the widest perspective, ranging to f/5.1 in telephoto shooting. The shutter speed range is 1 second to 1/2000 of a second. While the PowerShot A400 pushed ISO to 400, the PowerShot A410 features a limited ISO range of 50-200.
Given the PowerShot A410’s entry level position, Canon has outfitted the camera with only a few manual controls: ISO, exposure compensation, and white balance.
While the camera contains limited manual controls, the A410 is equipped to shoot continuously at 2.5 frames per second. Video recording is also available, but limited to 10 frames per second at 640 x 480 resolution, with 20 fps video capture available at 320 x 240 resolution and 15 fps capture offered at 160 x 120 resolution. Movie clips are restricted to 3 minutes in all resolutions and audio cannot be recorded.
The portable A410 is fitted with a 1.5-inch TFT LCD screen; however, an optical viewfinder is also present. The PowerShot A410 measures 4.06 x 2.04 x 1.59 inches and weighs 5.29 ounces without its two AA batteries.
Direct printing to Canon printers is supported as is printing to PictBridge compliant printers.