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Canon PowerShot A650 IS & A720 IS

Aug 20, 2007 at 04:00 GMT

After months of rumors, Canon's big announcement day has finally arrived, with a raft of new PowerShot and EOS models and a handful of new accessories, We start with a couple of additions to the popular 'A' range of affordable digital compacts, the PowerShot A650 IS and PowerShot A720 IS, replacing the A640 and A710 IS respectively. The A650 IS boasts 12MP resolution, 6x optical zoom, vari-angle 2.5" screen and - in a welcome upgrade to the A640 IS - image stabilization. The A720 IS is a less dramatic upgrade, increasing resolution to 8.0MP, adding face detection and an optional underwater housing, and (like the A650 IS) upping the top sensitivity setting to ISO 1600.

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Press Release (European):

Advanced photography for all: the PowerShot A650 IS and PowerShot A720 IS

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 20 August, 2007 - Canon today strengthens its PowerShot A-Series range with two feature-packed new models. The elegant PowerShot A650 IS offers a range-leading 12.1 Megapixel CCD, 6x optical zoom lens and a 2.5” vari-angle LCD, while the compact PowerShot A720 IS combines an 8.0 Megapixel CCD with a 6x optical zoom lens. Equipped with optical Image Stabilizer technology1 and advanced high ISO capabilities, both cameras offer a comprehensive solution to image blur.

Replacing the PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A710 IS respectively, the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS also benefit from Canon’s DIGIC III processor, which powers Face Detection AF/AE/FE and Red-Eye Correction* for improved people shots.

“The PowerShot A650 IS and PowerShot A720 IS incorporate several features usually associated with high-end cameras in two affordable, compact packages,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “This makes both models an attractive proposition for novices and experienced camera users alike.”
*See Technologies Explained
**Available in playback mode

Features at a glance:

PowerShot A650 IS

PowerShot A720 IS

Go further with PowerShot

With resolutions of 8.0 and 12.1 Megapixels respectively, the PowerShot A720 IS and A650 IS give users the power to create poster-size prints or crop sections of photos without loss of detail. The 6x optical zoom lenses on both cameras benefit from Canon’s 70-year heritage in optics with a range of leading technologies. Aspherical lens elements ensure maximum sharpness and clarity throughout the zoom range, while the lens-shift type optical Image Stabilizer (IS) combats blur without affecting image quality.

Users can take zooming further with the incorporated Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom – offering all the benefits of digital zoom without the danger of interpolation. Both models can be supplemented with Canon’s range of converter lenses, including Close-up (A720 IS only), Tele Converter and Wide Converter lenses (both models). The PowerShot A650 IS also features Canon’s improved Image Inspection Tool, which allows users to quickly check key parts of an image at extra-high magnification on the integrated 2.5’’ LCD.

DIGIC III: the power behind great photos

As well as assuring fast performance, superior colour reproduction and accurate white balance in both models, Canon’s DIGIC III processor powers a range of features designed to assist photographers of all levels. Advanced Noise Reduction Technology safeguards images against graininess, even at high ISO speeds. Face Detection AF/AE/FE locates up to 9 faces in any scene before optimising focus, exposure and flash for perfect people shots. And for flash shots affected by red-eye, improved Red-Eye Correction during playback is included. This innovative system uses Face Detection Technology to identify faces and correct red-eye in captured images – while ensuring that no other part of the image is affected in the process. Red-eye correction can also be performed manually if needed.

Anti-blur features

A combination of technologies allows the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS to produce great shots with minimal risk of image blur.
Both cameras feature Canon’s optical Image Stabilizer, first developed for Canon’s professional EF lenses for the world-leading EOS SLR photography system. The optical Image Stabilizer uses lens-shift technology to counteract the effects of camera shake. As a second line of defence against camera shake, the PowerShot A650 IS also incorporates Auto ISO Shift, a manually selected feature that boosts ISO just enough to avoid blur. A range of high ISO features avoid the blur caused by subject movement, as well as camera shake when low light would normally require a longer exposure. Both cameras feature user-selected settings up to ISO 1600 and High ISO Auto, which prioritises high ISO settings for better low light snapshots. For particularly dark conditions, the PowerShot A650 IS incorporates a special ISO 3200 scene mode, which captures images at 1600x1200 resolution – perfect for postcard size prints.

Total versatility

With 19 and 21 different shooting modes respectively, the PowerShot A720 IS and A650 IS ensure that novice users can get great results with minimal effort – even in situations with tricky lighting. For more experienced photographers, full manual control offers wide scope for experimentation. Both models also incorporate Canon’s My Colors, which can be used to apply effects and enhancements during shooting. A new Image Resize function users can downsize full-resolution images to 1600x1200, 640x480 and 320x240 sizes. This is equally useful for conserving storage space or preparing images for email or the Web.

Movie moments

With both the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS, users can capture their memories in smooth 30fps VGA movies with sound – either in standard mode or a new LP (Long Play) mode, which offers movies of half the file size without compromising on resolution or frame rate.

Additional Information

Printing

Both the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS feature a dedicated Print menu for quick access to direct print options. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.

Language

The PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS user interface supports 25 languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian and Ukrainian.

Memory Card Support

In addition to SD, SDHC and MMC memory cards, the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS support the new MMCplus and HC MMCplus card formats for storage of up to 32GB. The A650 IS and A720 IS are supplied with 32MB and 16MB memory cards respectively.

Software and CANON iMAGE GATEWAY

The PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS come bundled with the following Canon Software:

The bundled software supports Windows 2000 (SP4), XP (SP2) and Vista and Macintosh OS X v10.3-v10.4. The camera supports PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Macintosh OS X, along with MTP for image and movie transfers to Windows Vista.

Purchasers of the camera are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY*, 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.
*CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is not available in all European countries. Please see www.cig.canon-europe.com for available countries. Movie upload requires users to download and install the movie upload task, available after registration from the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY site.

Optional Accessories

Optional waterproof cases (the WP-DC18 and WP-DC16) allow users to bring the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS to depths of up to 40 metres for compelling underwater shots. Specially designed Weights (WW-DC1) are available to control camera buoyancy. Accessories are:

Canon PowerShot A650 IS & A720 IS specifications

  PowerShot A650 IS PowerShot A720 IS
Sensor

• 1/1.7" Type CCD
• 12.1 million effective pixels

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 4000 x 3000
• 4000 x 2248
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 1832
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
File formats • JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• DPOF 1.1
• AVI (Motion JPEG + WAVE)
Lens • 35-210mm (35mm equiv)
• 6x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.8
Image stabilization Yes (Lens-Shift)
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes • Face Detection AiAF
• 9-point AiAF
• 1-point AF (center or FlexiZone)
• Manual focus
AF lock Yes (on/off selectable)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest focus distance 1cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (centre or linked to Face Detection AF or FlexiZone AF frame)
• AE lock
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
AE lock Yes (on/off selectable)
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shuttter speed 15-1/2000 sec
Modes • Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Custom
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
Scene modes

• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Night Scene
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater
• ISO 3200

• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Night Scene
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Underwater
• Custom
Self timer 2 or 10sec, custom
Continuous shooting Approx 1.2fps until card is full Approx 1.3fps until card is full
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Color)
Flash • Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• Flash compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Second curtain sync
• Range (Auto ISO): 50cm - 3.5m (wide) / 2m (tele)
• Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• Flash compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Second curtain sync
• Range (Auto ISO): 30cm - 3.5m (wide) / 55cm - 2.5m (tele)
Viewfinder Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
• 173,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 115,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
• SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 16 MB card supplied
Power • 4x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
• Optional AC adapter ACK600
• 2x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
• Optional AC adapter ACK800
Weight (no batt) 200g (7.0 oz)
Dimensions 97.3 x 67.0 x 49.1 mm (3.8 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)

Technologies Explained

DIGIC III

Canon’s DIGIC III (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor manages all of the camera’s primary functions to optimize operating efficiency. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. DIGIC III also powers advanced Noise Reduction Technology and Face Detection AF/AE/FE.

Face Detection AF/AE/FE

Canon’s Face Detection AF/AE/FE system automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame before adjusting the focus, exposure and flash to ensure optimal results. It is able to determine which faces are intended to be the subject, instantly reverting to the partnering 9-point AiAF system if no face is the primary subject.

iSAPS

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.

Optical Image Stabilizer

Both the PowerShot A650 IS and A720 IS use a lens shift-type Image Stabilizer (IS) system to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. Minute vibration gyros detect lens tilting caused by hand shake. These signals – 4,000 per second – are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Shake signals are sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to deflect the light rays and cancel out the effects of shake. For improved accuracy and responsiveness, the moving lens element is supported on tiny ceramic spheres. In addition to minimising friction, ceramic spheres avoid some of the problems that can affect metal systems, such as thermal expansion and magnetism. The optical IS of both models allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur due to camera shake.

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 (A720 IS: 1.6x / 2.0x, A650 IS: 1.5x/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.

Level of Safety Zoom possible at each image size setting without loss of image quality:

Large
Medium 1
Medium 2
Medium 3
Small
A650 IS
6.0x
7.4x
9.3x
15x
24x
A720 IS
6.0x
7.6x
9.6x
12x
24x