updated 01:00 am EST, Wed February 18, 2009
Canon PowerShot A 2009
Wrapping up Canon's PowerShot rollout for the bulk of the year are a trio of its AA battery-powered A series cameras. Fronting the group, the A2100 IS replaces the A2000 IS with a smaller, nearly all-black body but with a sharper 12-megapixel image (up from 10) and a switch to the DIGIC 4 chip powering most of Canon's point-and-shoots this year. The swap gives it full scene recognition and face detection with support for moving people and self-timers. Like its predecessor, the A2100 IS continues to carry a 6X stabilized lens and a 3-inch preview LCD.
The A1100 IS stands as a similar upgrade to the A1000 IS with a jump once again to 12 megapixels and to the same DIGIC 4 plus matching software features as the A2100 IS. Canon's main sacrifices versus the A2000-series cameras are a shorter-ranged 4X lens and a smaller 2.5-inch LCD.
Finishing Canon's updates, the A480 replaces the A470 as the starter camera. Like the European version, a new shape makes it about 25 percent smaller than the old camera while still getting easier controls. It scales back in zoom from 4X to 3.3X but leaps from 7 megapixels to 10 while also picking up color options that were absent in the past.
PowerShot A480 and A1100 IS models roll out first and will be ready in March for $130 and $200 respectively; the A2100 IS ships in April for $250.