Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the 8.0 Megapixel PowerShot S80--the new flagship to its S-Series PowerShot range. The camera's rich feature set includes a wide-angle 28-100 millimeter f2.8-5.3 (3.6x) optical zoom lens incorporating Canon's UA lens technology, the same DIGIC II processor found in Canon's professional series digital SLRs and an oversize 2.5-inch LCD. A striking, contemporary finish complements the compact body of the camera, which is considerably smaller than its predecessor, the PowerShot S70
For the first time in a digital compact, an EOS-style Multi Control Dial is introduced to allow quick setting of menu and shooting functions, as well as rapid scroll through images during playback. Advanced features include real-time histogram display, FlexiZone AF/AE with a freely movable focus point and manual focus override, 21 shooting modes, XGA quality video clips up to 1 GB in size, and a new and improved user interface with a newly designed and positioned mode dial.
Quality build, quality optics
The sleek-looking S80 has been redesigned to give it a solid, high quality build and a more ergonomic, compact body that is over 8% smaller than its predecessor--despite the camera's improved performance. Its 28-100mm f2.8-5.3 (3.6x) optical zoom lens features Canon's advanced UA (Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical) lens technology, which allows for true wide-angle capability without increasing camera size. The focal length range expands to approximately 22.4 to 200 millimeters with the new optional wide and tele-converter lenses.
The power of 8.0 megapixels plus DIGIC II
With a sensor that includes a massive 8.0 megapixels, the camera produces images for photo-quality 16 x 22-inch prints, and gives photographers more freedom to crop images.
Canon's advanced image processor, DIGIC II, has been incorporated to increase the camera's speed and responsiveness, while also improving image quality. Auto focus speeds are now up to 20% faster, and focusing performance in low light has improved by around 1 stop, offering better control in dim conditions. DIGIC II drives a 1.8 frames per second continuous shooting speed, and supports 9-point AiAF for fast, accurate focusing even when subjects are not centerd. FlexiZone AF/AE allows free scrolling anywhere within the frame's auto focus area to select the desired subject, for which exposure is weighted accordingly. Manual focus selection is also possible.
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compatibility offers faster communication with computers, speeding up file transfers.
High level control and easy to use
The camera's smaller size has not compromised ease of use. A new large 2.5-inch LCD is adjustable to one of 15 brightness levels and has a Quick-bright function to facilitate shooting in sunny conditions. A real-time histogram, which appears on the LCD monitor, has been incorporated to allow the user to evaluate exposure easily when composing. The selectable grid line display helps with composition and levelling horizons.
With a newly designed user interface, the S80 offers faster and more intuitive operation. The Multi Control Dial allows quick setting of menu and shooting functions, as well as rapid scroll through images during playback. Conveniently, the mode dial is now positioned so it can be better viewed when composing shots. The camera's Shortcut function increases flexibility by allowing the Print/Share button to be assigned to any one of a wide range of still image or movie shooting setting functions.
For enhanced image review, the jump to folder button now allows jumping to the first image of specified folders. Folders can be defined to be created automatically as specified by the user, for example on a weekly basis, and now has a capacity of up to 2000 images per folder.
Modes, My Colors...and movies
The S80 incorporates a total of 21 shooting modes: in addition to the full Manual mode and other creative zone modes that photographers would expect on an S-Series camera, nine new special scene modes have been incorporated. Helping the user to effectively handle a wide range of situations, these scene modes include Snow, Portrait, Underwater and Digital Macro, plus others. Custom mode allows users allocate preferred shooting settings.
My Colors--located on the mode dial--allows the expansion of creativity in digital photography. Special effects, such as Color Swap or Custom Colors, which allows users to select their preferred color balance for any given shot, can be performed in-camera and viewed on the LCD while shooting stills and movies. These effects could previously only be achieved using PC software after shooting.
Extended movie shooting functions feature in the S80, including a first for the market: a high-resolution (1024 x 768, 15 frames per second) XGA movie mode, made possible by DIGIC II's processing speed. Movies in this mode can be up to 1GB in size and are ideal for viewing full screen on a PC or TV. High quality VGA (30/15 frames per second) movies with sound or QVGA movies (30/15 frames per second) are also possible, and a compact mode allows short clip capture at 160 x 120 for easy e-mailing.
When used in combination with Canon's new Compact Photo Printer Selphy CP710 and Ink and Paper Set (KP-108IP), prints can be produced very inexpensively. Printing via a Selphy CP Series Printer also allows the user to print handy ID Photo Prints and Movie Prints.
When connected to the latest range of PictBridge compatible PIXMA printers, users can take advantage of image enhancement features such as Noise Reduction, Vivid Photo, Face Brightener and Captured Info print, which prints shooting data such as shutter speed, aperture and shooting mode within the photo border.
Printing images without having to connect to a PC is kept simple with the Print/Share button, which also acts as an easy upload button for Windows XP and Mac OS X.
The S80 comes bundled with a comprehensive software suite, including Canon's browsing and image management software ZoomBrowser EX 5.5 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.5 (Mac), easy printing software PhotoRecord 2.2, and PhotoStitch 3.1 for creating stunning panoramas. Also included is the photo manipulation software, ArcSoft PhotoStudio.
Purchasers of the cameras are eligible for membership of Canon iMAGE Gateway, which offers 100 MB of online space for uploading and sharing images.
Supported operating systems are Windows 98 (SE), Me, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Mac OS X v10.2-v10.3. The cameras support PTP for driverless transfer to supported Windows XP or Mac OS X systems.
What's in the box
PowerShot S80 body, Lithium battery pack NB-2LH, battery charger CB-2LW, 32 MB SD memory card SDC-32M, wrist strap WS-300, Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM, USB interface cable IFC-400PCU, audio-video cable AVC-DC300
PowerShot S80 perfectly embodies the compact design and superior handling that are the hallmarks of the S-series, and as the top model in the line, it's equipped to impress but, most of all, the still or movie images that it produces is extremely impressive. The 8.0 Megapixel CCD and wide-angle, high performance lens ensure spectacular images, while the extra-large LCD screen makes shooting and playback easy and fun. Built-in multimode electronic-flash 2.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD with wide viewing angle / Real-image viewfinder 22 display languages provided (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai) Shutter Speed - 15-1/2000 sec.; Slow shutter speed operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec. Exposure Control - Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual, Custom AE Lock is available Shooting Modes - Auto; Creative Zone - P, Av, Tv, M, C; Image Zone - Special Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot, Digital Macro), My Colors, Stitch Assist, Movie Storage Media - SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard Unit Size - 4.09 (W) x 2.24 (H) x 1.53 (D) in./104.0 (W) x 57.0 (H) x 38.8 (D) mm / Weight - 7.94 oz./225g (camera body only)