Pre-Photokina 2002, 0600 GMT: Today sees the announcement of the PowerShot G3, S45 and IXUS v3 (S230 ELPH). All three cameras are based on Canon's internally developed all-in-one digital camera processor, the DIGIC chip. The DIGIC chip is a dedicated image processor designed to be very fast, produce improved image quality, faster AF, faster JPEG compression, better battery life and faster continuous shooting. This is the first time Canon has identified its image processor by name and identified it with newly introduced models.
Canon Digic processor
When introducing the new Digic processor Canon were keen to point out that they feel they are unique in having a specifically designed in-house developed image processing chip for their digital cameras. They point out that many other manufacturers (excluding Fujifilm and Sony) use third party LSI processors which aren't as fast or developed to perform this very specific job.
- Direct communication with:
- A/D converter (RAW data from CCD/CMOS sensor)
- DRAM (buffer)
- LCD monitor
- Memory Card
- Camera CPU
- Auto focus, Auto exposure, Auto white balance functions
- Signal processing
- Imaging control (sharpness / contrast / colour)
- JPEG compression / decompression
- Memory card control
- Display (LCD / video out)
- Designed to deliver:
- Improved image quality
- Improved processing speed
- Improved AF accuracy
- Faster continuous shooting
- Better battery life
- Low noise
- Better Auto white balance
- Better use of buffer (faster processing converts RAW data to JPEG image in buffer)
- Dedicated design built-in house by Canon for Canon digital cameras
- Chip specially designed not to introduce noise at the image processing stage
- Canon philosphy on noise reduction - "Not to erase noise, but not to generate noise"
Canon's iSAPS technology is designed to give the camera an edge on being able to predict the kind of scene you are shooting. It does so based on a database of 'Photographic Space' produced from statistical data gathered by Canon of typical photographic scenes. From a combination of subject distance, focal length and luminance the iSAPS system can assist in the selection of the correct AE mode, Auto White balance, colour processing, tone reproduction and focusing.
Orientation Sensor + Evaluative Metering
Another new feature is the integration of the cameras orientation sensor with evaluative metering. Put simply if the camera is turned to the portrait position and metering detects an area of brightness near the top of the frame it can assume the shot is backlit and adjust the exposure accordingly.
FlexiZone AF/AE Control
FlexiZone AF/AE Control is new to the PowerShot G3 and S45. It allows for the flexible selection of an AF/AE frame within a portion of the image. This frame can be moved to one of almost 300 positions.
Canon's previous 3-point AiAF has now been expanded to nine points in a 3 x 3 rectangle. The camera will highlight the active AF points on the camera screen when AF lock is achieved.