The recently announced PowerShot S1 IS has been claimed by Canon as a hybrid of a compact digital still camera and a DV camcorder. As a digital compact camera it features a 3.2Mp CCD and a 10x optical zoom. As a camcorder it will shoot 30 frames per second at VGA resolution with sound. Due in March, the camera will cost around £408 plus VAT.

The recently announced PowerShot S1 IS has been claimed by Canon as a hybrid of a compact digital still camera and a DV camcorder. As a digital compact camera it features a 3.2Mp CCD and a 10x optical zoom. As a camcorder it will shoot 30 frames per second at VGA resolution with sound. Due in March, the camera will cost around £408 plus VAT.

"This camera represents a significant development for Canon," said Malcolm Hills, head of Canon Consumer Imaging in the UK and Ireland. "It has digital still capacity to rival many single purpose digital cameras and digital video quality that will delight many camcorder users."

The PowerShot S1 IS features an f/2.8 – f/3.1, 38-380 mm (35mm equivalent) USM zoom lens with optical image stabilisation. Optional wide and tele-converters will extend the lens range from 26.6mm up to 608mm. With its combined large f/2.8 aperture and image stabilisation, the camera performs well in low light conditions, Canon claims.

Unlike most digital still cameras able to record movie footage, zoom, autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance all work during movie shooting. Footage of up to 60 minutes or 1GB can be recorded in a single shooting at QVGA/15 fps mode.

The camera includes AF/AE point selection and AF lock and has a closest focusing distance of 10cm. Exposure metering modes available are evaluative, centre-weighted average, and spot (centre or linked to AF point). The built in flash features red-eye reduction mode, flash exposure lock and second curtain synchronisation.

The PowerShot S1 IS has 13 shooting modes and six photo effects. Shooting modes include auto, program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, custom, portrait, landscape, night scene and movie. Photo effects include sepia, vivid, low sharpening, black-&-white and custom. The camera also has an interval timer function. The cameras also has an optional waterproof case.

The cameras are supplied with ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac) for image browsing and printing as well as PhotoStitch, ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression. Membership of Canon iMAGE Gateway is also provided, a personal online photo gallery with 100MB of free space.