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Canon creates spin-off of budget compact

Lovers of Canon's low budget point-and-shoots now have two options for 2010. One of them even comes in three colors.

The PowerShot A495 may be low budget, but I bet it takes good photos like its predecessor, the A480. Canon

At barely more than $100, the 2009 Canon PowerShot A480 actually took good photos--a rarity at that low price. I'm sure the company sold a ton of them, which would help explain why its updated the model for 2010 and popped out a sibling.

The A495 and A490 are 10-megapixel cameras with 3.3x zoom lenses, 2.5-inch LCDs, and are powered by AA-size batteries. And that's about where the good times end.

The cameras are incredibly basic, made for first-time users or those with very limited needs. However, Canon did include a couple new shooting modes on the A495. Super Vivid mode pumps up color saturation to make things, um, well, you know, super vivid. The other adds a poster effect to shots similar to what you'd find in photo-editing software, but without the post-processing.

The A490 doesn't have the latest scene modes and uses a less selective Smart Auto than the A495. It also comes only in black as opposed to the A495's red, blue, and silver options.

Look for them in late February at $129.99 for the A495 and $109.99 for the A490.