Canon sticks to the tried-and-true formula of more megapixels and more zoom for its latest compact megazoom, the PowerShot SX700 HS .
Successor to the 20x zoom SX280 HS, the SX700 HS packs a new 30x f3.2-6.9 25-750mm lens and a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, up from the SX280's 12-megapixel resolution. It's definitely a formula that works, but for how much longer it will continue to do so remains to be seen.
Like the SX280 HS, the SX700 HS has built-in Wi-Fi. Canon's added its Mobile Device Connect button, too, that, once it's set up, lets you directly connect over Wi-Fi to an iOS or Android device with a button push. To make that initial setup easier, at least for Android users, the SX700 has NFC. With it, you'll be able to tap the camera to your smartphone and it will establish a Wi-Fi connection between the two. Using Canon's mobile app, you'll be able to view, send, and share your shots as well as remotely control the camera.
Another addition is Canon's Creative Shot mode, which automatically creates five different versions of a single shot using different color and tone settings, crops, and styles in addition to saving the original photo. You get some control over the results, however, as you're able to choose a category of filters -- Retro, Monochrome, Special, or Natural -- for the camera to use, with a total of 46 filters available.
Canon also updated its Hybrid Auto mode that captures a few seconds of video before each picture you take. At the end of a day of shooting, the camera automatically gathers up all the little clips and your photos -- taken with Canon's scene-recognition Smart Auto -- and puts them into a 720p HD movie creating a highlight reel for your day.
The PowerShot SX700 HS comes to stores in March priced at $349.99. And here's hoping Canon fixed the battery issues that we encountered with the SX280.
Canon also announced the PowerShot Elph 150 IS, Elph 140 IS, and Elph 135 for Februrary. Available in blue, red, silver, and black versions, the $150 Elph 150 IS features a 20-megapixel CCD sensor and a 10x f3.0-6.9 24-240mm lens with optical image stabilization. The $129.99 Elph 140 IS and $119.99 Elph 135 both have 16-megapixel CCD sensors and 8x f3.2-6.9 28-224mm lenses, but the former has optical image stabilization while the latter has electronic image stabilization only.
This also signals the end of the Canon A-series PowerShots. There will be no more entry-level Canon compacts powered by AA-size batteries, so feel free to unload your Duracells.