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Canon PowerShot SX230 & SX220 HS models unveiled

Compact superzoom Canon cameras available in March

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Canon has announced two new PowerShot digital cameras: the Canon SX230 HS and the Canon HS220 HS. Both 12.1Mp cameras feature powerful 14x optical zooms. The key difference between the new cameras is that the SX230 HS features GPS, while the SX230 HS doesn’t.

The HS in the names of these new cameras stands for ‘High Sensitivity’ and Canon claims that these models take clearer photographs in low light conditions thanks to the back-illuminated CMOS sensors.

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Low-light photography

The Canon PowerShot SX220 and SX230 HS cameras replace the Canon 14Mp PowerShot SX210. While the reduction in resolution may strike some as being a step backwards, it’s likely that the reduced resolution will also reduce the amount of noise (graininess) apparent in many photographs taken compact cameras in low light.

The PowerShot SX230 HS and SX220 HS both fit under the ‘compact superzoom’ umbrella. Each camera has a focal range between 28mm and 392mm. Both cameras also feature canon’s optical image stabilisation, to reduce the blurring effect that camera shake can have on photos particularly when zoomed in. Canon’s image stabilisation on previous compact cameras has proved to be effective in Which?’s lab-testing.

Canon PowerShot SX220 HS

Canon PowerShot SX220 HS

Full HD video recording

The SX230 HS and SX220 HS are both able to film Full HD video at 1080p resolution and the optical zoom can be used when recording. To match the video clips, the 460k dot 3-inch LCD on the camera has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The HD clips are captured at 24 frames per second (fps).

The cameras are also able to capture slow motion video at reduced resolution. At 480p resolution video can be shot at 120fps, and for super slow motion recording 240fps is achievable but at a largely compromised 240p resolution.

Manual control

Both new Canon PowerShot cameras provide users with manual control over the shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity and focus. They each feature 32 scene modes.

The Canon PowerShot SX230 HS has a built in GPS receiver. This is designed to help with the labelling of photographs when on holiday and it has a number of preset landmarks available.

Both PowerShot cameras will go on sale from mid-March 2011.

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