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Compact mega-zoom, mirrorless macro lens, and pro flash make up Canon's newest gear

A compact 25x long-zoom camera, macro lens, and professional flash are the latest gear from Canon. The company announced the PowerShot SX620 HS, a pocket point-and-shoot with a long lens, the first macro lens in the EF-M (mirrorless) lineup, and a flagship flash with faster recycling time.

SX620 HS long-zoom compact

Canon has updated its SX-series of long-zoom point-and-shoots with the new PowerShot SX620 HS, a 20.2-megapixel camera with a 25x optical zoom lens. It’s compact enough to fit into small pockets, while the long zoom gives you tremendous reach in a small form factor. Cameras like this are ideal for travel, or any casual photographer who wants a long zoom without having to buy a bulky camera.

The SX620 HS has a longer zoom range than its predecessor, the SX610 HS with 18x zoom (which itself was a minor improvement over the SX600 HS). Otherwise, the cameras are very similar. The new camera has kept the same design, but it has a more substantial grip on the front. It has also retained the 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and Digic 4+ image processor, as well as Wi-Fi and NFC, 3-inch LCD (922,000 pixels), and Full HD 1080 video capture at 30p.

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The camera will come in black, red, and silver, and will be available this month, and is priced at $280. If you don’t need the longer zoom, you can buy the SX610 HS for a reduced MSRP of $200.

The SX620 HS is the lower-end of compact mega-zooms in the SX-series. If you want a slightly stronger camera, you may want to opt for the SX720 HS ($380). The camera, which debuted earlier this year, has a newer image processor (Digic 6), 40x optical zoom, and Full HD 1080 at 60p video capture.

Macro lens for EOS M mirrorless cameras

While mirrorless cameras are experiencing sales growth, Canon’s EOS M-series hasn’t caught on as well as Canon DSLRs, at least stateside. Part of the reason may be the small lens collection. But that collection is growing, and the latest addition is the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM, the first macro (close-up) lens in the EF-M lineup.

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What is unique about this compact macro lens is the LED ring light built into it, around the lens opening. This helps illuminate what you’re shooting close-up, and also helps in freezing movement, enhancing color accuracy, and providing a better sense of depth and dimension, according to Canon. Because each light can be used separately (or all can be used together), the brightness is adjustable, while a Super Macro Mode gives you greater magnification (1.2x) with auto-focusing capability.

The lens uses Canon’s Hybrid IS stabilization technology to reduce camera shake (vertical and tilt), while the stepping motor offers quieter performance. Construction consists of one UD and two aspherical lenses that reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations.

The lens will go on sale in June for $300.

New Speedlite flash with faster recycling time

Canon is replacing its top-line Speedlite 600EX-RT flash with the new Speedlite 600EX II-RT. The company says the pro-centric flash “improves recycling time by approximately 1.1 to 1.5 times during continuous flash shooting” when using AA batteries, or up to two times with a new optional rechargeable battery. Canon adds that it will work with most EOS cameras.

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The flash covers a range between 20-200mm, and the 197-foot at ISO 100 max guide number makes it Canon’s most powerful flash. The 600EX II-RT supports wireless and multiple flash systems, and it’s also dust and water-resistant. A light-up LCD shows relevant info such as mode, usable distance ranges, and custom and personal settings. Besides the rechargeable battery, optional accessories include hard-type color filter sets and a soft case.

The flash goes on sale in June, with an MSRP of $580.