updated 08:25 am EST, Mon February 7, 2011
Canon SX230 HS, 500 HS, 300 HS, 100 HS official
Canon preceded the CP+ camera show with a major reworking of its point-and-shoot cameras to focus on quality over sheer resolution. The PowerShot Elph HS series uses the same basic CMOS sensor technology as behind the G12 and S95 to better catch images in low light, clean up noise and widen the dynamic range. All of them actually drop in resolution to 12.1 megapixels but, Canon hopes, should produce objectively better images.
The SX230 HS is its flagship and brings the improved photography to a 14X, 28-392mm equivalent long-zoom camera. It touts GPS for on-the-spot geotagging and, new to a Canon camera, a logger to keep track of the position over the course of a long day of shoots. The body has the familiar three-inch LCD and a pop-up flash, but it now captures 1080p video with dynamic image stabilization and has a Movie Digest mode that can lump a slew of photos into one video.
The remaining models are both an upgrade of its more traditional compact cameras as well as a simplification of the company's sometimes complicated naming schemes. The 500 HS is a close cousin of the SD4500 IS and centers on a very fast and bright f2, 4.4X (24-105.6mm) zoom lens. Its interface centers almost exclusively on a 3.2-inch, touchscreen LCD, but it otherwise has the same 1080p video and other modes as the SX230 IS.
The 300 HS focuses on its profile first and is the thinnest camera of its kind with an f2.7, 5X (24-120mm) lens while measuring just 0.77 inches deep. Its input focuses on a traditional 2.7-inch LCD and hardware buttons, but the features are otherwise very similar to its higher-end counterparts.
At the base, the 100 HS still has the sensor technology of its siblings but uses a more modest f2.8, 4X (28-112mm) lens to keep the price down.
The 100 HS and 300 HS ship first, arriving in mid-March for $200 and $250 each. Both the 500 HS and SX230 HS ship at the end of the March for respective $300 and $350 prices.