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Canon's flagship megazoom gets SX-y

A name change for the line and leap to 20x zoom distinguish this model.

Canon USA

Though it's long been a player in the megazoom market, Canon has tended to lag behind in lens lengths. With the replacement to the PowerShot S5 IS, it looks like that, as well as the model naming, is about to change. The PowerShot SX10 IS jumps to 20x zoom from the S5's 12x and takes the market lead in zoom reach.

Here's how it stacks up to the competition:

  Canon PowerShot S5 IS Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Olympus SP-570 UZ
Resolution 8 megapixels 10 megapixels 10 megapixels 10 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.5-inch 1/2.3-inch 1/2.33-inch 1/2.33-inch
Lens (35mm equivalent) f2.7-3.5 36-432mm (12x) f2.8-5.7 28-560mm (20x) f2.8-4.4 27-486mm (18x) f2.8-4.5 26-520mm (20x)
LCD 207,000 pixels, 2.5 inches 207,000 pixels, 2.5 inches 230,000 dots, 2.7 inches 230,000 dots, 2.7 inches
Max ISO sensitivity at full resolution ISO 1600 ISO 1600 ISO 1600 ISO 1600
Movie capture VGA 30fps VGA 30fps 848x480 30fps VGA 30fps
Mfr. pricing $349.99 $449.00 $399.95 $499.99
Canon USA

With the new lens, sensor, and body redesign, it's very much a new camera. I'm glad to see that Canon opted to keep the flip-and-twist LCD. The move to a Digic 4 image processor theoretically improves Face Detection, and adds Servo AF, Face Detection Self-Timer, and Intelligent Contrast Correction. The switch to a new lens makes this model an unknown with respect to photo quality, but otherwise it looks promising and quite competitive. It's slated to ship in October.