updated 09:40 am EST, Thu January 18, 2007
Canon A450 A460 A550
Canon today launched three new additions to its PowerShot line aimed expressly at the entry level. The A450 and A460 (pictured) are 5-megapixel models designed for true beginners, with a wide grip and intuitive buttons. Each is similarly capable of five-point autofocusing and recording 640x480 video at 10 FPS. Available only in grey, the A450 is the starting point and is equipped with a 3.2X optical zoom lens; the A460 adds blue, red, and silver options as well as a 4X lens for better image framing.
The third model launched today, the A550, helps novices who are more interested in mid-range features. Sensor density increases to 7.1 megapixels while features are made even easier, the company says. Commonly used auto scene modes, including Night Snapshot, are placed directly on the mode dial instead of remaining in the menu. The more compact A550 also raises the number of autofocus points to nine while boosting the maximum frame rate on 640x480 videos to 30 FPS. A dedicated playback button also finds its way to the back for quickly replaying footage.
All three cameras use Canon's newer DIGIC II processor for better image quality, display images on a 2-inch LCD, and support higher-capacity SDHC cards. The AA battery-powered cameras have yet to receive pricing; the A460 and A550 will be available next month, while availability for the A450 has not been determined. A gallery of the cameras is available after the jump.