Déjà vu: New Canon PowerShot compact cams look pretty much the same as the last bunch

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We were hoping Canon would announce some exciting new shooters (perhaps a follow-up to the EOS M), but unfortunately, for now, we’ll have to settle for three compact PowerShot models: the ELPH 330 HS, ELPH 115 IS, and A2500. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, as the new models are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS

Wi-Fi is trickling slowly down Canon’s camera lineups, but of the three new models only the ELPH 330 HS is wireless enabled. Don’t expect smartphone-like instant sharing to Facebook, however: The ELPH 330 HS still requires a “bridge” to upload photos, and that means using the free CameraWindow app for iOS or Android devices or via a computer. The ELPH 330 HS offers a 10x optical zoom (24mm wide to 240mm telephoto, f/3.0-6.9) and uses a 0.43-inch, 12.1-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor, so it should handle low light better (in theory, at least). ISO maxes out at 6400, and the camera captures video at Full HD 1080p. Canon claims the ELPH 330 HS has a fast autofocusing system and burst mode of 6.2 frames per second. The 330 HS also has something called Hybrid Auto mode: Before every shot, the camera records a four-second video; by day’s end, the short clips are merged into one larger one, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the “before” of each image. The camera comes in black, silver, and pink, and will list for $230, and will be available in March.

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS
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Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS

Canon PowerShot ELPH 115 IS

Moving down the ELPH line is the 115 IS with an 8x optical zoom (28-224mm, f/3.2-6.9) and 16-megapixel CCD sensor (0.43 inches). The camera uses Canon’s older DIGIC 4 image processor; ISO tops out at 1600. Otherwise, it’s a run-of-the-mill but very compact point-and-shoot that records HD video in 720p. It comes in blue, black, silver, and pink. Expect the ELPH 115 IS in stores in March for $170.

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 115 IS
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Canon PowerShot ELPH 115 IS

Canon PowerShot A2500

Despite everyone proclaiming the death of the entry-level digicam, companies like Canon obviously still sees a buyer in this category (whether they are making any money, that’s another story). In the budget A-series, the new A2500 is nearly identical to the ELPH 115 IS but with some stripped down features and a larger form factor with a lesser build quality. What you get in return is the low $130 list price. You have the same 0.43-inch, 16-megapixel CCD sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor (ISO 1600) as the 115 IS, but optical zoom is only 5x (28-140mm, f/2.8-6.9). Whereas the 330 HS and 115 IS offer Canon’s Intelligent Image Stabilization, the A2500 uses Digital IS. For the budget-conscious user who wants an entry-level camera with a bit of power, the models in the high-end of Canon’s low-end A-series aren’t bad options. This camera will come in red, silver, and black, and will be available in April.

All three cameras have the battery-conservation ECO Mode that, according to Canon, extends battery life by approximately 30 percent.

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Canon PowerShot A2500
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Canon PowerShot A2500
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