Pre-PMA 2005: Hot on the heels of the A75's replacement, the A510 is the A85's replacement announced today, the new A520. The changes are essentially identical; its size and weight (it's 13% smaller and 20% lighter), the inclusion of a new four times optical zoom lens (the A75 had a three times), zoom linked flash, a shift from CompactFlash to SD card for storage and a drop to two AA batteries from four.

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Press Release:

Canon continues PowerShot A-series upgrade

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 1 February, 2005. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the 4.0x optical zoom PowerShot A520 – big brother to the recently released PowerShot A510. Announced today, the super compact 4.0 Megapixel PowerShot is smaller than many 3x zoom cameras and features 20 shooting modes, VGA movies, a powerful zoom flash, extended direct print functions, plus an optional waterproof case and adaptor lenses.

Compact and powerful

13% smaller and 20% lighter than the camera’s predecessor – the popular PowerShot A85 – the PowerShot A520’s 4x zoom lens uses Canon’s Glass Moulded Optics (Gmo) lens technology to deliver uncompromising, high clarity image quality at a fraction the size of conventional lenses. Extending reach at the telephoto end, the powerful 35-140mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.6-5.5 zoom lens also features a new rear-focus system for more efficient focus that limits power consumption. A redesigned flash unit, optical viewfinder, and a move from Compact Flash to SD memory card also contribute to a lighter, more elegant and compact body.

Shooting modes

For maximum versatility and ease of use, Canon has given the A520 a total of 20 shooting modes. These include eight 'Special Scene' modes which help produce stunning results in difficult lighting conditions by optimising the camera's white balance, exposure and other settings for specific shooting situations. Scene modes include 'fireworks', 'foliage', 'beach', 'snow', 'underwater' (for use with the camera’s optional 40m depth case) ‘kids and pets’ and ‘night snapshot’. Movie clips of up to 3 minutes can be recorded, complete with sound and with the option to cut and edit in-camera. Manual mode allows more experienced or adventurous users to take control of settings such as white balance, exposure compensation and shutter speed.

Enjoyable and convenient

For enjoyment, convenience and ease of sharing images while shooting, a new ‘Hold’ function allows users to extend the display of newly shot images on the large and bright 1.8” LCD indefinitely after taking a shot, and to delete them immediately if necessary without the requirement to switch to replay mode. When the shutter button is pressed again, the camera returns to shooting. Ease of use increases with an improved, simple and more intuitive button layout.

Floating lens barrel

Another advance on the PowerShot A85 is the floating lens barrel retention mechanism, which works in conjunction with the optional Wide and Tele converter lenses. By allowing minute lateral shifts in lens position parallel to the sensor surface, the mechanism ensures that adaptor lenses are precisely aligned along the optical axis for perfectly sharp results.

Zoom flash

In a first for its digital camera line-up, Canon introduces a zoom flash. Linked to the zoom lens, the zoom mechanism narrows the flash’s angle of throw to extend flash range at the telephoto end. A new optional High Power Flash accessory, the HF-DC1, further extends the options for night and indoor shooting. With a guide number of 18 (ISO 100, metres), the slave flash automatically fires in-sync with the camera’s in-built flash, ignoring any pre-flash. It can be adjusted to three power output settings based on the aperture value of the camera. The unit attaches to the camera with a supplied bracket that maintains the ability to mount both camera and flash on a tripod.

Print/Share

The camera features Canon's Print/Share button, which lights up when a successful connection is made between the camera's USB port and any PictBridge compatible printer. Pushing the button when lit initiates a print of the currently displayed image, without the need to navigate a single menu option. The Print/Share feature also simplifies uploads to any Windows PC.

Extended print functions

When linked to printers such as Canon’s SELPHY CP400 Compact Photo Printer, the A520 allows for super fast, super convenient 85 second photo prints without the need to first upload to computer, as well as extended print functions. These include a ’Movie Print’ mode, which divides the selected movie clip into equal parts and prints up to 63 equally spaced thumbnail frames onto a single sheet of Postcard Size Paper (100 x 148 mm). This feature is ideal for analysing a golf swing or tennis serve, for example. An ‘ID Photo Print’ function prints a number of durable passport photo size images (of selected height and width) to a single sheet.

Fast auto-focus

With 9 focus points distributed across a wide area of the frame, the cameras AiAF system is capable of fast focusing, even when the subject is off-centre. Users can also switch to single centre-point AF and manual focusing. An auto-assist beam helps to focus in low light conditions and the camera has a 5cm closest focusing distance. The flash can be synchronised to a slow shutter speed and includes red-eye reduction 1.9 frames per second shooting speed can be maintained for up to a 8 shot burst at Large/Fine resolution with LCD monitor off.

Great speed, great results

The A520 features Canon’s critically acclaimed, powerful DIGIC processor for superb image quality, responsive camera performance and low battery consumption. Like an in-built photographer's assistant, Canon’s iSAPS system analyses composition factors such as zoom position and luminosity in order to predict the type of photo being taken. This results in faster auto-focusing, more accurate auto-exposure and precise auto white balance. An Intelligent Orientation sensor detects the orientation of the camera as shots are taken, optimising the image quality and automatically rotating the image for playback.

Accessories

As well as the converter lenses and close-up lens, optional accessories include a waterproof case that offers underwater protection up to 40m depth and defence against dust, sand and snow. The case incorporates a flash diffusion plate to help eliminate the ‘snow’ effect caused by foreign particles suspended in the water. A 16MB MMC card is supplied with the camera.

Software and access to CANON iMAGE GATEWAY

Software supplied includes ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac) for viewing, managing and archiving images. Other software includes PhotoStitch and PhotoRecord, plus photo manipulation software ArcSoft PhotoStudio. Drivers include TWAIN (Windows 98/2000) and WIA (Windows Me). Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) support allows the camera to connect to any Windows XP (SP1 – 2) and Mac OS X (v10.1.5 - 10.3) system without the requirement for a driver installation.

Camera ownership entitles the purchaser to register for 100MB storage space on the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, an online gallery where images and movies can be stored in albums and shared to selected friends and family. New My Camera functions (such as shutter sounds and start up images) can also be downloaded to the camera from CANON iMAGE GATEWAY.

Canon PowerShot A520 specifications


Sensor • 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 4.0 million effective pixels
Image processor Canon DIGIC
Image sizes • 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• AVI (Motion JPEG)
Quality Levels • Super fine
• Fine
• Normal
Movie clips • 640 x 480, max 30 sec
• 320 x 240, max 3 mins
• 160 x 120, max 3 mins
• With audio
Lens • 4x optical zoom
• 35 - 140 mm equiv.
• F2.6 - F5.5
Digital zoom Up to 3.2x
Auto focus • 9 point AiAF
• 1 point AF (center)
Manual focus Yes
AF assist beam Yes
Closest focus 5 cm
Shooting modes • Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Aperture priority AE
• Manual exposure
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Scene
• Fast Shutter
• Slow Shutter
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
Special Scene modes • Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Underwater
• Indoor
• Kids & Pets
• Night Snapshot
Metering • Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
Sensitivity equiv. • Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compen. • -2.0 to +2.0 EV
• 0.3 EV steps
Shutter speed • 15 - 1/2000 sec
• Noise reduction for shutter speeds slower than 1.3 sec
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 1.8" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Self-timer 2 or 10 sec
Photo effects • Vivid
• Neutral
• Low Sharpening
• Sepia
• Black & White
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, On, Off
• Slow Sync: On/Off
• Red-Eye reduction: On/Off
• Range (wide): 0.45 - 3.5 m (Auto ISO)
• Range (tele): 0.45 - 2.2 m (Auto ISO)
• Zoom linked
External flash Canon High Power Flash (slave)
Drive modes • Single
• Continuous (1.9 fps, max 8 images) *
* Large/Fine with LCD off
Self timer • 2 sec
• 10 sec
• Custom
Direct print • Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP printers only)
• PictBridge compatible printers
Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish
Other features • Sound memo (up to 60 sec)
• Histogram
• Orientation sensor
• Playback zoom 2x - 10x
Connectivity • USB 1.1 (mini-B)
• A/V out
Power • 2 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Storage • SD / MMC card
• 16 MB MMC card supplied
Dimensions 91 x 64 x 38 mm (3.6 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
Weight (no batt) 180 g (6.3 oz)

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