Pre-PMA 2005: Canon has today announced its smallest 5 megapixel camera yet in the shape of the PowerShot SD400 (IXUS 50). It features the DIGIC II processeor found in Canon's pro digital SLRs and sports a large 2.0-inch LCD which has a QuickBright function that temoporarily brightens the LCD so it should be easier to view in bright conditions. The PowerShot SD400 also has a 'hold' function which displays newly capture images for longer and then allows them to be deleted without switching to playback mode. Other features inlcude a 640 x 480 at 30 fps and a 3cm macro mode. It will be priced €399 (approx. $520).

US name: Canon PowerShot SD400
European name: Canon IXUS 50
Japanese name: IXY Digital 55

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Press Release:

Smallest yet 5.0 Megapixel optical zoom Digital IXUS

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 17 February 2005. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the 5.0 Megapixel Digital IXUS 50. Based on the sleek compact body shape of recently released Digital IXUS 40, the superbly finished stainless steel Digital IXUS 50 features a similar range of new features introduced with its big brother, the Digital IXUS 700.

The camera features a 3.0x zoom, a large 2.0” LCD, high quality VGA video clips at 30fps limited in length only by the capacity of the memory card , high speed USB 2.0, ‘My Colour’ in-camera colour editing and a Print/Share button for easy PictBridge direct printing and fast file uploads. Its 5.0 Megapixel sensor allows detailed enlargements up to A3 size. For fast start up times, responsive performance and superb, accurate colours and image rendering, the camera features the same high speed DIGIC II processor found in Canon’s latest professional series digital SLR cameras, “The Digital IXUS 50 combines the very latest cutting edge technologies and specifications with uncompromising design and build quality,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “Our smallest ever 5.0 Megapixel optical zoom camera continues the IXUS tradition of superbly designed and specified products that just feel great from the second you pick them up.”

Superb quality, great performance
Colour gradation and white balance accuracy are improved with Canon’s purpose built second generation DIGIC II image processor, to ensure the very finest image quality. DIGIC II speed and accuracy allows sophisticated and complex processing algorithms to be used in image rendering, without any trade-off in camera performance.

DIGIC II also helps achieve a fast start up time of just over a second and uninterrupted 2.1frame per second shooting until the memory card fills. A new USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface provides one of the fastest upload speeds in this category. An abundance of processing capacity also supports a new high-speed image playback function, image jump function (jump 10 or 100 images at a time or jump to previous shooting date), fast image rotation and an increased card writing speed.

Bigger, brighter screen
A new QuickBright LCD function on the large 2.0” screen takes the display temporarily to maximum brightness, improving visibility in glary or outdoor conditions. Composition and framing in low light conditions is made easier with a Night Display function, which improves visibility on the LCD without affecting recorded image exposure.

New stills features
A new ‘Hold’ function increases ‘shoot-and-share’ enjoyment by allowing users to extend indefinitely the display of a newly shot images, which can then be deleted without switching first to replay mode. The camera returns immediately to shooting mode when the shutter button is pressed again. A new My Colours function gives users pre-capture control over colours in both stills and movies. Nine sophisticated colour editing features include Colour Swap – the facility to replace one colour with another, Colour Accent - the ability to convert all but one colour area of an image to monochrome, Vivid Blue, Green or Red – to emphasize the selected primary colour, and Lighter or Darker Skin Tone, the facility to darken or lighten a person’s skin without affecting the colour balance of the surroundings.

Shooting modes
A total of 10 shooting modes are provided for maximum versatility and ease of use. Included are six 'Special Scene' modes which help produce great results in difficult lighting conditions by optimising camera settings such as white balance and exposure for specific shooting situations. Scene modes include 'Night Snapshot’, Kids & Pets’, ‘Portrait’ and ‘Underwater’, for use with the camera’s optional All Weather case. Manual mode allows more experienced or adventurous users to take control of settings such as white balance, metering, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, which extend from 15 sec. (in Long Shutter mode) to 1/1500 sec.

Self-timer functionality improves with the facility to select from range of delays (1 –10 sec, 15, 20 or 30 sec) and the number of shots taken at the end of the delay (from one to ten shots).

Improved movie features
The Digital IXUS 50 also incorporates a number of new advanced video features. My Colours effects can also be applied in movies, and Digital Zoom is now available while shooting video. To minimise deterioration associated with digital zooming, CCD control is optimised to capture maximum information from the CCD. Users can record up to one minute at 60fps for smooth in-camera slow motion playback. Control over slow motion improves with more sensitive, five speed level adjustment, while white balance and exposure adjusts automatically during video capture. For recording clips suitable for email attachment, a ‘Compact’ mode provides for recording up to 3 minutes of 15fps, 160 x 120 resolution files.

Inbuilt assistant
The Intelligent Orientation Sensor not only rotates automatically images taken with the camera held vertically, it also improves auto white balance, auto focus and auto exposure by helping the Camera’s iSAPS ‘in-built assistant’ processing take into account likely positions of sky and foreground.

Advanced accessories
An optional 3m depth All Weather case AW-DC30 gives plenty of protection for splashing around, expanding the possibilities of locations into which the camera can be taken. A new optional High Power Flash accessory, the HF-DC1, further extends lighting options and night shooting range. 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.

Easy printing, easy sharing
PictBridge direct printing functionality is supported, for photo prints without the need for a computer. When coupled with DIGIC II Compact Photo Printers such as Canon’s new
Compact Photo Printer SELPHY CP600, the camera/printer combination is capable of producing borderless photo prints in just 63 seconds. ID photo print, N-Up printing and movie clip series printing are also supported. A postcard date impression mode imprints the date/time on each print.

Software and access to CANON iMAGE GATEWAY
Software supplied includes ZoomBrowser EX 5.1 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.1 (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 SD400 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30/15 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 60/30/15 fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15 fps
• With monoaural sound
• Up to 1GB 640 x 480, 320 x 240 30/15 fps
• Up to 3 mins 160 x 120
• Up to 1 min 320 x 240 60 fps

File formats

• Still: JPEG
• Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 35 - 105 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes • 9-point AiAF
• 1-point AiAF (fixed center)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Macro: 3cm
Metering

• Evaluative
• Center-weighted
• Spot

ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/-2EV
• 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed

• 15 - 1/1500 secs
• Slow Shutter speeds of 1 sec. and more, available in Long Shutter Mode only
• Shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. and more operate with noise reduction

Scene modes • Auto
• Manual
• Portrait
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Underwater
• Digital Macro
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
White balance • Autogizz
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Self timer 2 or 10 secs or custom
Continuous shooting 2.1 fps until the memory card becomes full
Image parameters • Vivid
• Neutral
• Low sharpening
• Sepia
• Black & white
• My colors (9 settings)
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: On/off, auto, slow sync, red-eye reduction, flash exposure lock
• Range: 50 cm - 3.5 m (w) / 2.0 (t)
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT LCD
• 118,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• AV out
Print compliance • DPOF
• Exif
• PictBridge
Storage • SD card
• 16 MB card supplied
Power • Rechargeable lithium ion battery NB-4L
• Charger included
Weight (no batt) 130 g (4.6 oz)
Dimensions 86 x 53 x 21 mm (3.4 x 2.1 x 0.8 in)

Additional images