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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS: Little big zoom

Canon is going after the Panasonic TZ5 with the PowerShot SX200 IS, a 12x zoom in a very compact package

Canon has launched a tranche of new cameras today, and one that instantly caught our eye was the 12-megapixel PowerShot SX200 IS, a honking great zoom in a teeny tiny package.

It's a given that Canon is synonymous with top image quality in stylish and sturdy packages. But we've felt that in recent times Canon's compact range has been coasting on its looks and name. Today's announcements bring the brand up to date in terms of features and broader market appeal: after the new waterproof D10 challenges Olympus' tough range, the SX200 is chasing the compact superzoom segment dominated by Panasonic's TZ series.

The SX200 sports a 28mm wide angle lens. It also goes up to a whopping 12x optical zoom -- very impressive for the size of the body. We'll see how it actually handles at Canon's launch showcase later today.

Other features include 720p high-definition video, which you can view on the large 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen. If you like the sound of the PowerShot SX200 IS, it could be yours from March 2009 priced at £360.