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Canon opened a bag of point-and-shoot cameras – all 5 of them can record 1080p video with stereo sound but they have other tricks up their sleeves too, things like manual controls, touchscreen, HDMI, GPS, slow-mo videos and so on.

I’d like you to meet the Canon IXUS 310 HS, SX230 HS/SX220 HS, IXUS 220 HS and IXUS 115HS. Sure they are a mouthful in on sentence, but believe me they are worth the attention...

Canon IXUS 310 HS (PowerShot ELPH 500 HS in US)
The top dog of the pack is the Canon IXUS 310 HS. It features an f/2.0 24mm ultra-wide angle lens with 4.4x zoom and a 12MP sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor. This enables the camera to take photos with high shutter speed and improves low-light performance.

Optical stabilization and Handheld Night Scene mode (which takes multiple shots and merges them together) will increase still shot quality even more. There are manual controls for the more skillful photographers.

The Canon IXUS 310 HS can record FullHD@24fps video with stereo sound in the iFrame video format (H.264/AAC). Slow-mo modes are available too – VGA@120fps and QVGA@240fps.

The iFrame format can be directly imported into iMovie ’09 (or later) without the need for transcoding. The IXUS 310 HS also has an HDMI port for direct connection to HDTVs.

The camera also boasts a 3.2” 460K dot touchscreen, which offers a customizable UI and gestures. Smile and face detection is available along with touch AF and tracking AF. One more interesting trick is the Movie Digest function – it automatically records up to 4 seconds of video before a still shot is taken and later joins them in a single VGA movie.

The Canon IXUS 310 HS will go on sale this March.

Canon SX230 HS/SX220 HS
Next up is the SX230 HS/SX220 HS duo – the only difference between the two is that the SX230 packs a GPS receiver for geo-tagging photos and videos (a first for a Canon point-and-shoot). There’s a GPS Logger functionality, which records your journey for viewing in Google Maps or Earth.

The SX230 HS/SX220 HS pack a 12MP sensor with DIGIC 4 processor and 28mm wide-angle lens with 14x optical zoom. Optical stabilization and manual controls are available too.

Just like the previous shooter, the duo can record FullHD@24fps video with stereo sound in the iFrame format and slow-mo videos as well (VGA@120fps, QVGA@240fps). There’s an HDMI port for connection with HDTVs. The Movie Digest feature is here too.

The Canon SX230 HS/SX220 HS feature a 3” 460K dot display with 16:9 aspect ratio. An optional water-proof case – the WP-DC42 – can take the two cameras up to 40 meters underwater.

The Canon SX230 HS/SX220 HS will go on sale March 2011.

Canon IXUS 220 HS (PowerShot ELPH 300 HS)
The Canon IXUS 220 HS continues with the 12MP sensor with DIGIC 4 processor combo, but packs a 24mm ultra-wide angle lens with 5x zoom, all tucked into a thin stainless steel frame – 19.5mm.

The 2.7” 230K dot screen of the 220 HS is covered with tempered glass to improve durability. The camera is also compatible with two water-proof cases – the slim WP-DC320L can dive up to 3 meters and the WP-DC41 can go down up to 40 meters.

The IXUS 220 HS records FullHD@24fps videos with stereo sound and VGA@120fps/QVGA@240fps. An HDMI port is also onboard.

Optical stabilization along with face detection and tracking AF should help with the image quality. Movie Digest mode is available too.

The Canon IXUS 220 HS will be available some time this month.

Canon IXUS 115 HS (PowerShot ELPH 100 HS in US)
At the bottom of the bag is the Canon IXUS 115 HS – but despite its modest model number it actually carries a good deal of features from its bigger siblings – 12MP sensor with 28mm wide-angle lens, 4x zoom and optical stabilization.

The IXUS 115 boasts a compact (20mm thin) metal body and a 3” 230K dot display. It can record FullHD@24fps video and the slow-mo modes are available (VGA@120fps, QVGA@240fps again). Even the mini HDMI port is present.

Face and smile detection are available as is Movie Digest. You can also get one of the two optional water-proof cases – the slim one for up to 3m and the more rugged one for up to 40m.


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