updated 12:15 am EST, Wed February 18, 2009
Canon PowerShot SD 2009
Going on with its pre-PMA expo camera launches, Canon tonight has kicked off the launch of four compacts in its staple PowerShot SD line. The SD970 IS represents the summit with a 12-megapixel sensor and a 5X lens. It gets the full round of features for compact cameras using the DIGIC 4 engine, including 720p HD video with HDMI output, full scene recognition, blink and face detection, shake-based navigation (dubbed Active Display) in playback mode and deliberate zoom blur and creative light effects.
The SD960 IS is a close relative with the same 12-megapixel sensor depth but a 4X lens and a simpler control scheme. It gets all of the software features of the SD970 IS and will come in four colors versus the top-end model's silver.
The SD780 IS primarily represents a break in fashion and has a unique coloring scheme that tints the lens housing the same color as the body, even in red; while it has the 12-megapixel sensor of the higher-end models, it reverts to a simple 3X lens and drops Active Display from the feature set while keeping the rest, including 720p movies and HDMI out.
Considered Canon's relative entry level, the SD1200 IS, focuses on the choice of several colors for the camera body. It drops down to 10-megapixel shooting on a 3X lens though still has the contemporary scene recognition and blink/face detection of its counterparts.
Ship schedules have the SD960 IS ship first, appearing in early March for $330. The SD1200 IS and SD780 IS both arrive in mid-March for $230 and $280 respectively, while the SD970 IS surfaces last in April and with a $380 price tag.