At CES 2011, Canon announced four A-series PowerShot point-and-shoots. Here's a closer look at these "easy and fun" cameras.
The A800 is a new low for Canon. In price, I mean. Its estimated retail price is $89.99. As expected, at that price you don't get a lot of bells and whistles, but it's not a poorly spec'd camera, either.
The controls are nice and large and easy to read. Shooting modes are geared for automatic users, and it records videos at 640x480-pixel resolution. You do, however, get a couple of Canon's creative modes: Super Vivid and Poster Effect. Also, its macro mode can focus as close as 0.4 inch from your subject, so assuming the photo quality is as good as previous entry-level A-series cameras, this should make for an inexpensive way to shoot close-ups.
It's actually very thin compared with previous A-series models. I like the large mode dial on top that's clearly labeled. By the way, that Live setting is for the new Live View Control that lets you make brightness, color, and tone adjustments to photos using easy-to-understand controls.
The feature set is pretty remarkable for a $110 camera. Outside of the OVF, this 12-megapixel camera has a 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 4x zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD, 720p HD movie capture, and it's powered by AA-size batteries. About the only thing it's missing is image stabilization.
The $139.99 A2200 is similar in specs and shooting features to the A1200. The resolution goes up to 14 megapixels and it uses a lithium ion rechargeable instead of AA batteries, but the lens, screen, and modes are the same. However, it doesn't have an optical viewfinder.