Canon unveils flagship flash, mini macro, and a compact cam

Something old, something new, and something long overdue

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Canon is announcing a grab bag of products today, including a new travel zoom camera, a top-of-the-line flash for its EOS DSLRs, and a macro lens compatible with the company's EF-M mirrorless cameras.

While the dedicated point-and-shoot market has been decimated by smartphone cameras, compacts that offer plenty of zoom continue to find fans. Canon continues to tackle this segment, leading things off with the new Canon PowerShot SX620 HS. Succeeding last year's SX610 HS, the new SX620 is designed for people who need a compact camera that is easy to travel with, easy to operate, but doesn't skimp on the optical zoom.

Equipped with a 20.2-megapixel sensor and a 25X optical zoom (25-625mm equivalent), the SX620 HS easily fits in a jacket pocket or bag. Otherwise, it's your run-of-the-mill point-and-shoot, with a 3-inch LCD, built-in WiFi, and basic picture controls.

The SX620 HS is capable of capturing video at 1080p and also comes with built-in image stabilization for the 25x zoom. Canon has included its Hybrid Auto, Creative Shot, and Smart Auto modes, which have proven very popular with novices who don't want to fuss with manual controls.

Canon Flash
Canon's new Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash. View Larger

On the complete other end of the spectrum is the new Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash. Designed for Canon's EOS DSLRs, the powerful 600EX II replaces the existing 600EX-RT, with a guide number of 197 feet at ISO 100 and improved recycle times—especially when paired with Canon's CP-E4N battery pack over standard AA batteries.

As you'd expect, the 600EX II-RT is also able to be triggered wirelessly and comes with a slew of manual and custom controls, its own display, and a built-in bounce adapter.

Rounding out the announcements today is the new Canon EF-M 28mm Macro IS STM lens. It's the first macro lens for Canon's beleaguered mirrorless system, but it's a fascinating little piece of kit with two miniature, adjustable macro lights built into the front of the lens.

Canon 28mm Macro Lens

The lens also features optical image stabilization, a quiet STM focusing motor, the ability to produce images with 1:1 magnification, and a special barrel to reduce shadows from the lens itself.

Canon’s PowerShot SX620 HS will be available in black, red and silver, later this month for just $279.99. The 600EX II-RT flash is expected to cost $579.99 when it hits stores in June, while the new lens will also be available this June for $299.99.

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