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Canon doubles up on compact megazooms

The 10x zoom PowerShot SX120 IS gets refreshed as the 12x zoom SX130 IS with HD video capture while Canon adds the very compact 10x zoom SD4500 IS to its Digital Elph lineup.


How do you like your compact megazooms? As small as possible and loaded with features or more affordable with a basic feature set and powered by AA-size batteries? Regardless of your answer, Canon now has a model to fill both needs.

The $349.99 SD4500 IS is the very compact, full-featured one, packing a 10x zoom lens in a Digital Elph body. Running the show is the same backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and Digic 4 combo found in the SD4000 IS, which means it should produce good low-light photos and have fast shooting performance. It also does high-speed movies for slow-motion clips at 240 frames per second and records normal movies at resolutions up to 1,080p.

One of my main criticisms of the SD4000 IS was that Canon didn't do as much with the high-speed BSI sensor as other manufacturers. Well with the SD4500 IS Canon's added a Handheld Night Scene, which takes a burst of five shots and combines them into one photo with reduced blur and noise. There's also an HDR mode that combines three shots at different exposures into one photo with better highlights and shadows. (It looks like the HDR mode is only available in the S95.) Those combined with its 8.4fps burst mode and high-speed movies put the SD4500 IS closer in line with the competition. At least in shooting features.


The $249.99 SX130 IS is Canon's budget-friendly compact megazoom, replacing the 10x zoom, 10-megapixel SX120 IS. The camera body remains pretty much the same including the use of AA-size batteries for power. The resolution is now 12 megapixels and the lens is now a 28mm-equivalent wide-angle with a 12x zoom.

The other notable additions are HD movie capture (720p), stereo microphones, and a handful of creative shooting effects that are found on other 2010 PowerShots.

The SX130 IS will be available in late August while the SD4500 IS will roll out in early September.