Anyone who bought a Canon compact camera recently might want to look away now. The company's just announced five new point and shoot models for 2011 and guess what -- they're probably a heck of a lot better than the one Santa left under your sad, little tree.
The quintet of new shooters are all from Canon's Powershot A-series. They include the £149 PowerShot A3300 IS, the £129 PowerShot A3200 IS, The $139 (£TBC) PowerShot A2200, the $109 (£TBC) PowerShot A1200 and the entry-level PowerShot A800, which will sell for a mere £79.
Unlike older PowerShot A-series cameras, the new range records video. The entry-level A800 will only capture standard-def footage, but the rest of the range will record in glorious 720p. The top of the ladder A3300 IS and A3200 IS also feature Canon's Dynamic Image Stabilizer technology, which helps reduce the amount of camera shake while filming out and about.
Still picture quality should get a boost, too, particularly in the high-end A3300 IS. It features a 5x optical zoom and a 16-megapixel sensor, giving it the highest resolution Canon's ever put into a compact camera. It's also stuffed with a host of creative filters to enhance (or ruin) the look of your picture, a discrete mode to disable the clicking, bleeping noises that prevent you perving on strangers taking candid shots and a 3-inch LCD.
The A3200 gets a 14-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and the same filters and discrete mode as the A3300 IS. The A2200, meanwhile, gets a 4x optical zoom, the same creative filters and discrete mode as the A3300, and a smaller 2.7-inch LCD. All models in the range (barring the A800) feature 28mm wide-angle lenses with Blur Reduction, optical image stabilisation and a smart auto mode that eliminates the need for fiddling around with settings.
Of all the PowerShot A series, we're probably most keen to see the entry-level A800. It may only have a 10-megapixel sensor and a near-pointless 3.3x optical zoom, but at £79 it's definitely worth a closer look.
The revamped A series is due for release in late February. Keep it locked to CNET UK for a full hands-on in the near future.