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Pre-Photokina 2006: Canon has also launched successors to popular A610 and A620 PowerShots. Both cameras feature 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD screens, 4x optical zooms, Digic II processors and higher megapixel sensors; 10 megapixels for the A640 and 8.0 megapixels for the A630. Both the new cameras also have a maximum ISO 800 sensitivity setting and a new 'Safety Zoom' feature.
Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 24th August 2006: Canon today launches two PowerShot A-Series compact cameras with the highest resolution in the range to date - the 10.0 Megapixel PowerShot A640 and 8.0 Megapixel PowerShot A630. Replacing the highly popular PowerShot A610 and A620, both cameras feature a rotating 2.5" vari-angle LCD, 4x optical zoom lens and a vast array of creative shooting modes.
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 pack a vast array of advanced features into a remarkably compact space:
"These two new cameras epitomize everything the A-Series stands for," said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "Combining user-friendly design with advanced functionality, they will appeal equally to novice users and serious photo enthusiasts."
The 10.0 Megapixel (PowerShot A640) and 8.0 Megapixel (PowerShot A630) sensors allow for creative cropping while providing enough detail for large, high quality prints. A new Safety Zoom takes advantage of the cameras' Megapixels to offer extra zoom magnification without affecting image quality – up to 16x zoom when shooting Small size images. Users can also activate the Digital Tele-Converter to add extra telephoto reach on all shots, similar to adding a tele-converter lens to the camera.
The 4x optical zoom lenses achieve a 35-140mm focal length (35mm equivalent) while allowing the cameras to maintain a compact size. The lens construction incorporates 8 elements in 7 groupings, including two aspherical elements to maximise sharpness across the whole image. With a maximum aperture range of f/2.8 (W) to f/4.1 (T), the lenses are remarkably bright at the telephoto end.
ISO 800 mode improves results when shooting in low light settings and enables flash-free photography indoors. The cameras' High ISO Auto setting prioritises fast shutter speeds by automatically using the higher range of ISO sensitivities, reducing the risk of unwanted image blur.
Improved LCD and playback
A larger 2.5” vari-angle LCD screen enables accurate framing from unusual angles, such as those encountered when using the 1cm Macro mode. The enhanced user interface (UI) retains a selectable Grid Line display to assist with rule-of-thirds compositions, while users can also enable a new 3:2 ratio overlay during shooting to view the printable area for standard photo prints. Playback is enhanced with an overexposure warning feature, which indicates overexposed areas in captured images.
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 offer users a range of versatile features for creative photography. A choice of 21 shooting modes includes Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and full Manual modes for complete exposure control. A Second Curtain Sync function on both cameras allows for creative flash exposures, such as light trails. Artistic photo effects can be applied in-camera during and after shooting with My Colors.
Filming is also possible at a high standard – VGA quality movies can be captured with sound at a smooth 30 fps. The AV Out connection and supplied cable allows for full screen playback on a TV.
Full range of accessories
A comprehensive range of optional lenses and accessories includes Wide (0.7x) and Tele (1.75x) converter lenses. The optional High Power Flash offers further flexibility for night time photography, while an optional waterproof case allows full control at depths of up to 40 metres.
Canon's purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. DIGIC II processes signals at high speeds, resulting in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.
iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.
Canon's 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.
FlexiZone AF/AE lets users manually select the focus point from almost any point in the frame by moving the auto focus window in the viewfinder. Exposure can be linked to the focus point to ensure that the chosen subject is accurately focused and the scene correctly exposed.
Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant digital zoom to every shot (PowerShot A640: 1.4x /2.3x, PowerShot A630: 1.6x /2.0x). While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.
Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.
|PowerShot A630||PowerShot A640|
1/1.8 " Type CCD
| 1/1.8 " Type CCD
10.0 million effective pixels
|Image sizes|| 3264 x 2448
2592 x 1944
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3264 x 1832
| 3648 x 2736
2816 x 2112
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3648 x 2048
|Movie clips|| 640 x 480 @ 15/30fps
320 x 240 @ 15/30fps
160 x 120 @ 15fps
|File formats|| JPEG (Exif v2.2)
AVI Motion JPEG
|Lens|| 35-140mm (35mm equiv)
4x optical zoom
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|AF area modes|| 9-point AiAF
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||Closest focus distance 1cm|
Spot (center or linked to focusing frame)
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
|Exposure compensation||+/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Shuttter speed||15-1/2500 sec|
Shutter Priority AE
Aperture Priority AE
|Scene modes|| Night Snapshot
Kids & Pets
|White balance|| Auto
|Self timer||2 or 10sec, custom|
|Continuous shooting||Approx 1.8fps||Approx 1.5fps|
|Image parameters||My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Positive Film, Custom Color)|
|Flash|| Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, SLow Sync, Red-eye reduction
Flash compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Range: 45cm - 4.2m (wide) / 3m (tele)
|Viewfinder||Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder|
|LCD monitor|| 2.5-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
|Storage|| SD, SDHC, MMC compatible
16 MB card supplied
| SD, SDHC, MMC compatible
32 MB card supplied
|Power|| 4x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
Optional AC adapter
|Weight (no batt)||245 g|
|Dimensions||109.4 x 66 x 49.1 mm|