updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
Canon S100 and SX40 HS bring faster processing
Canon followed up its earlier camera intros with two more targeted at its highest-end users. The PowerShot S100 is a sequel to the by now well-known S90 and S95 and is the first camera with the Digic 5 chip. Making the upgrade improves the overall color accuracy, noise reduction, and performance but allows high-speed shooting very rare on a camera: the S100 can get up to 9.6 frames per second, albeit up to eight frames, in a new High-speed Burst HQ mode.
The S100 also addresses a common complaint of the S95 in getting a longer-ranged zoom. Although it still has the very wide f2 aperture at near zoom, it can now reach out to 5X (24-120mmm equivalent) versus the 3.8X from before. A combination of a new 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, the Digic 5, and the intelligent IS from more recent cameras also helps boost the practical light sensitivity up to ISO 6,400.
Also new are built-in GPS geotagging and 1080p video recording, albeit at a film-level 24 frames per second and not US TV's 30. It keeps the full manual control and the programmable control ring along with support for an optional high-power wireless flash, the HF-DC2.
The other model, the SX40 HS, has a similar 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor but a reduced ISO 3,200 sensitivity; in return, however, it carries an extra-long 35X (24-840mm equivalent) zoom, It too gets the Digic 5 and can burst up to 10.3 frames per second and the 1080p24 video mode. Photographers get a swiveling 2.7-inch LCD in place of the three-inch fixed screen on the S100.
Both cameras will cost $430. The SX40 HS arrives first, before the end of this month, and will be joined by the S100 in early November.