LAS VEGAS -- In three years at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Canon has gone from debuting the high-end enthusiast-targeted PowerShotand curiosities like the PowerShot and aimed at social-network-sharing snapshooters to a quintet of somewhat banal point-and-shoots updated with more megapixels and longer lenses.
To be fair, these are two things that still sell cameras, and the new models bring higher-end features down to average-snapshooter cameras. The two biggest announcements are updates to the 42x 24-1,008mm SX520 HS (a camera that just arrived in September of last year) and the 30x 25-750mm SX700 HS. The PowerShot SX530 HS is essentially the same as the SX520, but now it has a 50x zoom that goes from 24mm to 1,200mm -- the same lens from an older high-end megazoom, the.
There are a couple other feature tweaks including active NFC and improved Wi-Fi remote control features when using your smartphone or tablet to shoot wirelessly, but nothing major beyond the lens. If you're cursing because you just bought the SX520 HS when its price was slashed in half to $200, the good news is the SX530 will be around $430 when it arrives in February.
The $350 PowerShot SX710 HS (also coming in February) keeps the same 30x zoom lens as its predecessor, but gets a resolution bump from 16 megapixels to 20 as well as the other minor feature updates of the SX530 HS. The 18x 25-450mm SX610 HS gets the same megapixel increase and will sell for about $250. Pricing and availability for the UK and Australia was unavailable, but the converted prices are £230 and AU$435 for the SX710 and £170 and AU$310 for the SX610.
For those interested in more pocket-friendly options, Canon updated a couple ultracompact PowerShot Elphs: the Elph 170 IS and the Elph 160. Both have 20-megapixel CCD sensors (as opposed to the high-sensitivity CMOS sensors in the HS cameras) and are designed for easy automatic shots and they can capture 720p HD video.
The 170 IS has a 12x 25-300 zoom lens with optical image stabilization while the 160 relies on electronic image stabilization for its 8x 28-224mm zoom lens.
These cameras are scheduled to arrive in February with the SX-series models and are priced around $150 for the Elph 170 IS and $120 for Elph 160. Australia and UK pricing wasn't available, but the converted prices are AU$185 and £100 for the 170 IS and AU$150 and £80 for the 160.