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Canon Powershots A700 and A540

By dpreview staff on Feb 21, 2006 at 11:05 GMT

Pre-PMA 2006: Canon has announced a significant enlargement of the 'A' series range of compacts, with five new models. Of most interest to serious photographers are the PowerShot A700 and A540. The range-topping 6 million pixel A700 offers a 6x optical zoom, real-image optical viewfinder and ISO sensitivity up to ISO 800. The A540 features 6 million pixels, a 4x optical zoom, viewfinder and up to ISO 800. Both feature full photographic control, 2.5-inch screens and the option to add conversion lenses.

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Press Release:

Canon broadens A-series range with two versatile models for creative shooting

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 21 February 2006: Canon today releases two new PowerShot cameras that combine ease of use with creative flexibility – the PowerShot A700 and PowerShot A540. The 6.0 Megapixel PowerShot A700 defines a new level of performance for the A-series range with a 6x optical zoom lens featuring a real-image optical viewfinder. The PowerShot A540 delivers 6.0 Megapixel resolution and a high performance 4x optical zoom lens. Both cameras feature an extensive range of creative shooting modes and are compatible with optional converter lenses for extended versatility.

The PowerShot A700 and PowerShot A540 pack a vast array of additional high-end features into a remarkably compact space, including:

  • Canon's DIGIC II image processor and iSAPS technology for fast, superb results
  • Accurate focusing with FlexiZone AF/AE1 (PowerShot A700) and 9-point AiAF1
  • ISO 800 shooting
  • Widescreen (16:9) stills recording
  • 30fps VGA movie recording
  • 2.5" LCD with Night Display and Grid Line Display

With its powerful optical performance and rich feature set, the PowerShot A700 is the new flagship of the A-series range. The versatile PowerShot A540 is the replacement to last year's popular PowerShot A520.

"The PowerShot A-series range stands for performance, ease of use and affordability," explains Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "By broadening the range with these fully featured cameras, Canon is putting advanced photography into the hands of the mainstream consumer."

Optics

A 6x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 35 - 210mm) on the PowerShot A700 and 4x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 35 - 140mm) on the PowerShot A540 deliver crisp, bright results that make the very most of the cameras' 6.0 Megapixel resolution. In a first for a 6x optical zoom digital compact camera, the PowerShot A700 features a real-image optical viewfinder, allowing fast framing and precise manual focusing without the LCD.

Each camera has optional Wide (0.7x) and Tele (1.75x) converter lenses to extend the focal length range, for an effective 15x optical zoom with the PowerShot A700 and 10x optical zoom with the PowerShot A540. Both are also compatible with optional close-up lenses for detailed macro photography.

Designed for creativity

With 19 shooting modes on the PowerShot A700 and 20 shooting modes on the PowerShot A540, both cameras are superbly equipped for artistic photography. Creative Zone modes on each camera include full Manual mode, Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority. Special Scene modes – such as Night Snapshot and Snow – assist with tricky lighting conditions, while Color Accent and Color Swap modes enable dramatic colour effects to be applied to both images and movies direct from the camera. Users can record smooth 30fps VGA quality movies of up to 1GB with sound or create 60fps QVGA clips for sharp slow motion playback. A handy Compact mode enables shooting of small format clips of up to 3 minutes for easy sharing via email. My Colors can also be applied to movies before shooting.

The PowerShot A700 and PowerShot A540 feature a new Widescreen mode (2816 x 1584 recording pixels) for capturing still images in 16:9 format – perfect for viewing on widescreen television or printing wide photos with a SELPHY Compact Photo Printer.

Low light shooting

The addition of ISO 800 gives photographers the flexibility to shoot without flash indoors and in other low light environments. It also enables shooting at faster shutter speeds, increasing image stability at full zoom and reducing unwanted motion blur. The PowerShot A700 features a new High ISO Auto setting that automatically sets exposure using the higher range of ISO sensitivities. The advanced DIGIC II processor in both cameras minimises noise at higher ISO levels.

Instant photo prints

Both cameras are PictBridge compliant for instant direct printing to compatible printers, including all Canon SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printers and most Canon PIXMA printers. Users can also print ID photos and stills images from movies when connected to a SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printer.
The handy Print/Share button on each camera allows one-touch printing and hassle-free uploads to Windows or Macintosh systems. A new Print menu makes it easier than ever to organise print jobs direct from the camera.
The menu system on these cameras now features support for 23 languages, including Arabic.

Accessories

PowerShot A700:

  • Tele-converter 1.75x lens (TC-DC58N)
  • Wide-converter 0.7x lens (WC-DC58N)
  • Conversion Lens Adapter (LA-DC58G)
  • Close-Up Lens 250D (58mm)
  • High Power Flash (HF-DC1)
  • Soft Case (DCC-80)
  • Compact AC Power Adapter (ACK800)
  • Battery and Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
  • NiMH Batteries (NB4-300)

PowerShot A540:

  • Tele-converter 1.75x lens (TC-DC52A)
  • Wide-converter 0.7x lens (WC-DC52)

The PowerShot A700 and the PowerShot A540 digital cameras will be available in March for an estimated selling price of $349.99 and $299.99, respectively.

PowerShot A700 / A540 specifications

  •   A700 A540
    Sensor

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

    Image sizes • 2816 x 2112
    • 2816 x 1584
    • 2272 x 1704
    • 1600 x 1200
    • 640 x 480
    Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
    • 320 x 240 @ 30 / 15fps
    • 160 x 120 @ 30 / 15fps
    • 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
    • 320 x 240 @ 30 / 15 / 60fps
    • 160 x 120
    File formats • Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
    • Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
    • WAVE audio
    Lens • 35-210mm equiv
    • F2.8-4.8
    • 6x optical zoom
    • 35-140mm equiv
    • F2.6-5.5
    • 4 x optical zoom
    Conversion lenses Yes
    Digital zoom up to 4x
    Focus • TTL
    • 9-point AiAF
    • 1-point AF (any position or fixed center)
    AF assist lamp Yes
    Focus distance Macro 1cm Macro 5cm
    Metering • Evaluative
    • Center-weighted average
    • Spot
    ISO sensitivity • Auto
    • High ISO Auto
    • ISO 80
    • ISO 100
    • ISO 200
    • ISO 400
    • ISO 800
    • Auto
    • ISO 80
    • ISO 100
    • ISO 200
    • ISO 400
    • ISO 800
    Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
    • 1/3 stop increments
    Shuttter speed 15-1/2000 sec
    Aperture F2.8-4.8 F2.6-5.5
    Modes • Auto
    • Program AE
    • Shutter Priority AE
    • Aperture Priority AE
    • Manual
    • Portrait
    • Landscape
    • Night Scene
    • Stitch Assist
    • Movie
    • Special Scene
    Scene modes • Night Snapshot
    • Kids & Pet
    • Indoor
    • Foliage
    • Snow
    • Beach
    • Fireworks
    • Color Accent
    • Color Swap
    • Night Snapshot
    • Kids & Pet
    • Indoor
    • Underwater
    • Foliage
    • Snow
    • Beach
    • Fireworks
    • Color Accent
    • Color Swap
    White balance • TTL
    • Auto
    • Daylight
    • Cloudy
    • Tungsten
    • Fluorescent
    • Fluorescent H
    • Custom
    Self timer • 2 or 10secs
    • Custom
    Continuous shooting approx. 2fps until card is full approx. 2.3fps until card is full
    Image parameters My Colors (Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Lighter skin tone, Darker skin tone, Positive film, Custom color)
    Flash • Auto
    • Manual Flash On/Off
    • Slow synch
    • Red eye reduction
    • Second Curtain Synch
    • Range: 55cm-3.5m (wide) / 2.5m (tele)
    • Auto
    • Manual Flash On/Off
    • Slow synch
    • Red eye reduction
    • Range: 30cm-3.5m (wide) / 2.2m (tele)
    Viewfinder Yes Real- image zoom
    LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
    • 115,000 pixels
    • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
    • 85,000 pixels
    Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
    • AV out
    Print compliance • PictBridge
    • Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP printers only)
    Storage • 16MB card supplied
    • SD/MMC compatible
    Power • 2xAA Alkaline batteries or Ni-MH (optional)
    • Optional AC adapter
    Weight (no batt) 200 g 180 g
    Dimensions 94.5 x 66.5 x 43.4 mm 90.4 x 64 x 43.2 mm

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