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Canon Powershort S2 IS Released

From the press release:

Family vacations. Weddings. Sporting events. Baby’s first steps. Just hanging around. Canon’s new five megapixel PowerShot S2 IS digital camera allows consumers from the novice to the photo enthusiast the ability to capture high quality still images and movie clips of life’s most significant events.

“Canon leads the photo industry. Our convergent digital imaging technologies allow consumers to enjoy both high quality photos and video in one portable imaging device,” stated Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc, a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). “The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera combines exceptional ease-of-use, functionality and image quality in a lightweight package.”

“Digital cameras with movie capabilities have the highest penetration and primary usage rate compared to other types of capture devices,” said Mike Wolf, Director of Digital Photography research at InfoTrends CAP Ventures. “The top reasons consumers use these digital camera hybrids are ease-of-use, compatibility and ability to share video clips through email,” said Wolf. “The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera addresses these issues and more by fulfilling the demands for both still image photography and movie recording.”

The five megapixel PowerShot S2 IS digital camera provides users with the high quality resolution, color and low noise that consumers have come to expect from Canon. The camera’s fast f/2.7(W)-f/3.5(T) image stabilized 6.0-72.0mm 12x zoom lens (36-432mm equivalent) makes tack-sharp long telephoto shooting positively practical. When the optical zoom is augmented with the camera’s 4x digital zoom, the maximum focal length effectively becomes equivalent to a 1728mm lens on a 35mm camera. Despite its extensive optical range, the lens is ultra-compact and retracts securely into the camera when it is powered down. In addition, there are two levels of close-up shooting, Macro and Super Macro. Super Macro mode enables extreme close-up shooting to 0 cm from the end of lens barrel, for creative shooting – great for shooting flowers to use in scrapbooks, on invitations and more.

Canon used its unrivalled optical expertise to produce an ultra-compact 12x zoom lens that features 11 elements in nine groups, including one aspherical surface and one ultra-low dispersion glass (UD) element. The UD element is particularly effective at reducing chromatic aberration when the lens is zoomed out to its maximum telephoto range for enhanced sharpness and color fidelity.

You’ve taken the picture, reviewed it, like it and can not wait to print it out. What next? Direct Printing significantly expands the appeal of the PowerShot S2 IS digital camera by making it simple, quick and convenient to produce high-quality photos without the need for a personal computer. Simply connect the S2 IS directly to a Canon Compact or Canon Direct Photo Printer, as well as PictBridge compatible printer and press the blue lighted Print/Share button on the back of the S2 IS and you are printing. True one touch printing it is really that simple. Beyond its Direct Print capability with Canon’s Compact Photo Printers and acclaimed Canon Direct Photo Printers, the camera is also PictBridge compatible, an industry standard that offers the flexibility of direct printing to other brands of PictBridge compatible printers.

The camera’s compact ergonomic design includes strategically placed controls for convenient telephoto and movie shooting, plus a large rubberized grip, which makes holding the camera easy, well balanced and secure. The grip even includes a soft back and bottom to maximize comfort during long periods of shooting. The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera also features a variable-angle 1.8 inch LCD screen. By positioning the vari-angle LCD monitor appropriately, the user is free to compose shots, even self portraits, without having to move or twist into uncomfortable positions.

Are shaky hands a problem? Do pictures never come out the way they ought to look? With Canon’s optical Image Stabilization technology, users have the flexibility of actually shooting at shutter speeds two stops lower than would otherwise be possible. The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera is also the first PowerShot digital camera with multi-mode Image Stabilization – users can choose between Continuous IS, Panning IS and a new “Shoot Only” IS mode that is only active during exposure while shooting still photos.

PowerShot S2 IS digital camera users will enjoy the flexibility of a full array of exposure control settings similar to SLR models, including Program, Shutter and Aperture-priority AE modes, and Manual Mode. In addition, there are 18 Shooting Modes including six Special Scene Modes, which are Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Indoor and Night Snapshots, for optimum results in certain shooting situations . The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/3200 second and can capture still photos continuously at rates up to 2.4 fps.

Did you ever attend wedding, try to sneak a picture of the bride and groom after the ceremony started and the sound of your camera gave you away? Not anymore with Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) technology. The silence of the USM is particularly beneficial in the PowerShot S2 IS digital camera’s movie mode to preserve and enhance the quality of audio recording.

The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera keeps data compression rates low, so movies record at high quality with VGA resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). Individual movie clips can last as long as 60 minutes or produce file sizes up to 1GB on an SD media card. What’s more, powerful features such as optical and digital zooming, manual focus, Photo Effects and My Colors are available for greater freedom and flexibility while shooting movies.

That question will never be asked again with the PowerShot S2 IS digital camera’s stereo sound capabilities. The new camera is equipped with 16-bit audio recording at sampling rates adjustable up to 44 kHz. Microphone recording levels are adjustable in 5 steps, as well as built-in wind filter to minimize extraneous sound. Now Mom will not miss baby’s first words while she is at work or running an errand. Additionally, the camera can be used for recording lectures, dictation.

Have you ever missed a defining moment in your child’s life because you had to switch from video to still or vice versa? Not anymore! Now with the PowerShot S2 IS digital camera’s new MovieSnap feature it is possible to capture still images at resolutions up to five megapixels while recording movies. The MovieSnap feature provides consumers with the luxury of “preserving the memory as a movie,” while capturing high quality 5MP stills of the defining moments. For instance, a father can record his daughter’s dance recital and take quality still photos while in movie mode, or record movies of his son’s first steps while capturing a still image of his first fall. Regardless of mode dial position or whether the camera is in shooting or playback mode, the PowerShot S2 IS digital camera automatically starts or stops recording movies simply by pushing a button on the back of the camera.

In addition to the 30 fps VGA movie mode, S2 IS camera users can also shoot VGA movies at 15 fps to reduce file sizes and increase recording time. For maximum recording times, resolution can be reduced to QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) at framing rates of 15 or 30 fps. The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera features a five-mode slow motion replay function, as well as an in-camera editing that lets users chop unwanted footage from the beginning or end of a movie clip.

True to the tradition of all PowerShot digital cameras, the PowerShot S2 IS model has the latest advances in Canon technology including the proprietary DIGIC II Imaging Processor. DIGIC II enhances picture definition, crisp vibrant colors and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras’ startup, autofocus, shutter response and playback as well as the image processing speed. The pace of image transfer is accelerated with the inclusion of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port. The USB 2.0 port is backwards compatible (at no increased speed) with computers featuring standard USB 1.1 connections.

Now even the most casual picture-taker can easily opt for verdant valleys of greener greens, juicy apples of redder red, skies and seas of bluer blue and even add or reduce a little tan to the skin tone as they are shooting. Whether the desired effect is to make the color “more real” or surreal, these digital dynamos are capable of capturing and saving both the original still image and the enhanced color versions as separate files on the camera’s SD memory card.

For all of its features, versatility and capabilities, the camera is powered by four easily accessible AA batteries and accepts either Alkaline (disposable) batteries or rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries. Alkaline batteries are rated for approximately 130 shots before they need to be replaced, while Canon NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride NB4-200 AA-size batteries) provide peak performance and approximately 550 shots on a single charge.

The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera is supplied with a neck strap and interface cables for USB and stereo/video, as well as a 16MB SD memory card, powerful software, and user manuals. The PowerShot S2 IS digital camera will be available in June for an estimated street price of $499.99.