February 21, 2006 – Canon introduced the latest models in its stylish Digital ELPH series today with the announcements of the SD700 IS, SD630, and SD600. All three new models have Canon’s new 6 megapixel sensor and the DIGIC II image processor that is in previous PowerShot models. The new sensor enables the cameras to control noise from ISO 80-800. This ISO range is wider than that on previous models to appease the growing segment of consumers that wants natural-looking photos in low light. The Canon PowerShot SD700 IS and SD630 models are slated for an April release, while the Canon PowerShot SD600 will hit the market in March.
"With these new Digital ELPH cameras, we once again confirm the adage that great things come in small packages, and from these great things come great pictures," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., in today’s press release. "We recognize that if we continue to make digital cameras easy to use, easy to take along and attractive enough to fit in wherever one goes, people will carry them as a matter of course and chronicle their daily lives for fun, whim, and whimsy and not simply for the momentous occasions that occur."
The Canon SD700 IS has 6 megapixels and a 4x zoom lens – a first for the Digital ELPH series. The longer zoom lens is complemented by an optical image stabilization system that reduces the effects of hand-shake. This will be especially useful in low light when used with the camera’s ISO 80-800 settings. The Canon SD700 IS has a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 173,000 pixels. The new flagship of the Digital ELPH series keeps a trim appearance that is more comfortable to hold than even the SD500’s "perpetual curve design." It will retail for $499 in April.
While the SD700’s big feature is its image stabilization system, the Canon SD630’s major feature is its 3-inch LCD screen. The manufacturer omits the optical viewfinder and commits all the space on the back of the tiny camera to the 173,000-pixel monitor. The screen has 15 adjustable levels of brightness and a wide viewing angle. The Canon SD630 also has a 3x zoom lens and a touch control dial that acts as a traditional multi-selector, then rotates; this is similar to the control on an iPod. The Canon SD630 will be available in April for $399.
The Canon SD600 replaces the SD400, which was the best-selling Digital ELPH of last year. The new entry level digital camera also has 6 megapixels and a 3x zoom lens in a slim body. It also includes a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 173,000 pixels and an optical viewfinder. The SD600 will be on store shelves in March for a retail price of $349.
Besides their 6 megapixel sensors and wider ISO 80-800 ranges, the new Digital ELPH cameras have other similar functions. All of them offer an improved My Colors mode that features color filters and can be implemented in recording or playback modes. The new models have a 16:9 formatted image size designed for better landscape shots and panoramas. They also have more in-camera editing features like a "face brightener" function for backlit photos.