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Canon, Minolta tout new digital cameras

The four forthcoming cameras will have resolutions ranging from 2 to 5 megapixels, with models aimed at hobbyists and professionals.

The digital camera market continues to expand, with Canon and Minolta announcing new models Wednesday.

The Canon PowerShot S330 and S200 both have a 2-megapixel resolution and are housed in slim metallic bodies based on Canon's Elph series of point-and-shoot cameras. The S330 is set to arrive in stores at the end of this month at a price of $499. The S200, which has a shorter zoom lens, will arrive in April at $449.

Both cameras include Canon's new Intelligent Orientation sensor, which detects whether an image was shot in a horizontal or vertical position and adjusts it accordingly for viewing.

Minolta's new models include the Dimage 7i, a 5-megapixel camera aimed at professional photographers and serious hobbyists. The revamped version of the Dimage 7 offers a faster auto-focusing system and continuous shooting mode that allows photographers to shoot as fast as seven images per second. The camera is set to go on sale in late spring for $1,099.

The 4-megapixel Dimage F100 is aimed more at hobbyists and includes new sensors that automatically adjust exposure and focus settings based on the subject of the photo. The camera will go on sale for $699 at a date to be announced.

The U.S. market for digital cameras grew by 30 percent last year, and analysts expect similar growth this year as rapid price cuts put formerly high-end models within the reach of mainstream consumers.