Canon has released a camera designed for photographers who are looking for a little more from their next digital still camera.
The new Powershot Pro90 IS, which will hit the shelves early February, packs a 10x optical zoom lens and image stabilizer, according to a company statement.
Although some digital cameras offer maximum zoom functions of 10 times or more, these are generally achieved through digital zoom techniques similar to blowing up a picture into a bigger print, which results in poorer image quality. An optical zoom retains more image quality, although as the zoom ratio increases, the camera becomes more susceptible to image blur caused by camera shake. The image stabilizer included in Canon's camera helps combat this problem.
Inclusion of the optical zoom lens means the camera is not as compact as competing models, although serious photographers are likely to forgive the larger size in return for the superior zoom function. It measures 126-x-84-x-139mm.
Canon says the camera could have been even larger were it not for an oversize digital image pickup, or CCD (charge coupled device). The camera features a 3.3-megapixel CCD, although is capable of a maximum resolution equivalent to a 2.6 megapixel pickup. The larger pickup means the lens can be made half as long as it would be if the camera had a 2.6 megapixel pickup, said a Canon spokesman.
There are several other features designed to appeal to the serious amateur, including 12 picture-taking modes, wide exposure sensitivity including an ISO 50 mode, high-precision white balance, and the option to record images in raw data format so that no information is lost to compression.