Canon SX30IS packs a 35x zoom with auto framing for the casual paparazzo

Canon point-and-shoots usually chug along on a pretty iterative update cycle, but the new SX30IS takes a pretty major leap -- it now packs a crazy 24-840mm 35x wide angle zoom, which Canon says is a first on a point and shoot. That monster lens is backed by a 14.1 megapixel sensor with a 720p movie mode and a DIGIC 4 processor, along with a new zoom framing assist system that lets you push in to nail your subject on the 2.7-inch LCD and then back out again. Not bad for $429 when it hits later this month -- we'll have to see how well that lens does at max range, but if it's any good at all this thing is destined to become very popular indeed. PR after the break.

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London, UK, 14 September 2010 – Canon today redefines the boundaries of its compact superzoom range with the introduction of the new PowerShot SX30 IS - a high performance camera that boasts a 24mm ultra-wide, 35x optical zoom lens. Succeeding the PowerShot SX20 IS, the new model combines outstanding Canon optics with a host of advanced imaging technologies, providing the ideal tool for photo enthusiasts who want a powerful all-in-one camera for all their creative pursuits.

Perfect for use in any situation, the PowerShot SX30 IS provides full manual control, HD movie recording and a number of creative and automatic shooting modes – delivering as much or as little creative assistance as desired. Other design features, including a 6.8cm (2.7") vari-angle LCD screen and hot shoe, also allow users to extend their creativity by shooting from different angles and with a range of compatible Canon accessories.

Class-leading zoom with outstanding image quality
The camera's 14.1 Megapixel sensor allows photographers to generate A2+ size prints, offering detailed images that users can crop creatively with no compromise on quality. The enormous focal range of the 35x optical zoom lens offers users a unique realm of creative possibilities, extending from 24mm to 840mm (35mm equiv.), capturing everything from ultra wide-angle images to extreme telephoto shots.

Developed with the same materials and processes used to manufacture Canon's range of EF lenses, the PowerShot SX30 IS showcases Canon's unrivalled optical expertise. The lens construction comprises of multiple special lens elements including an Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) element as well as a Hi-UD element, compensating for light aberrations while maintaining high image quality across the entire zoom range. Hi-UD elements are commonly used in Canon's globally-trusted range of professional broadcast camera lenses – ensuring maximum image quality while reducing the total lens weight.

A lens of such zooming power would typically pose a significant challenge for photographers shooting in low light or using the telephoto range without a tripod. For this reason, Canon has equipped this model with the most effective optical Image Stabilizer (IS) ever to be used in one of its compact cameras, offering up to 4.5 stops of compensation. This lens-shift system can effectively minimise blur when shooting with long zoom and when the use of a fast shutter speed is not possible.

The PowerShot SX30 IS also features Ultrasonic (USM) and Voice Coil (VCM) motors for fast, accurate and silent zooming and focusing which, along with the optical IS, work in both stills and movies.

The new Zoom Framing Assist function helps users to keep track of distant or moving subjects when shooting with long zoom. Pressing the dedicated shortcut button, the Zoom Framing Assist quickly retracts the lens to one of three preset zoomed-out positions - allowing the user to view more of the scene on the screen and seek the subject - while a rectangle marks the area of the originally zoomed-in frame. Once the user reacquires the subject and positions it back in the rectangular frame, the button can be released and the lens quickly extends back to its zoomed position, allowing the shooting to be resumed in its original framing.

Moving beyond stills
The PowerShot SX30 IS offers 720p HD movie capture with stereo sound and full optical zoom, allowing photographers to switch from stills to movies at the touch of a button. Focus and exposure can be locked or adjusted during movie recording, while a special Dynamic IS mode reduces the camera shake created when filming and moving at the same time, producing a more realistic, steadier picture. Smart Auto in Movie mode can detect 21 different scene types, automatically evaluating and adjusting the settings to achieve optimum exposure, give priority to faces and boost bright colours. Results can be enjoyed to their fullest by connecting the camera's HDMI-mini port to an HDTV screen.

Designed without compromise for quality, flexibility and creativity
In addition to the incredible zoom capability, the PowerShot SX30 IS offers a number of design features which enable photographers to take control of their images. A 6.8cm (2.7") vari-angle PureColor II VA LCD screen with a 230k dot resolution provides maximum flexibility in all types of scenes ranging from floral close-ups to crowded concerts. These can be shot more comfortably even from awkward angles and then reviewed in brilliant colour and sharp detail. The Quick-bright function enables images to be viewed and subjects to be framed easily, even in bright sunlight.

For those who want to add more variety to their creative photography, the PowerShot SX30 IS features a hot shoe, allowing accessories such as Canon's EX Speedlite flash units to be used. Additionally, an optional lens filter adapter allows the attachment of 67mm filters such as the Canon PL-C B 67mm polarizer filter, providing photographers with nearly endless possibilities for adding a creative flair to their images.

For those who want to take great shots instantly, without worrying about manually changing settings, the PowerShot SX30 IS features Smart Auto, which uses Scene Detection Technology to identify shooting conditions and select the optimum settings from 28 variables. A series of new scenes have been added, including subjects with strong facial shadows under harsh lighting and subjects in spotlight. Smart Flash Exposure also controls the power of the camera's flash to ensure perfectly-exposed subjects both in macro shots and when backlit.

For more creative shooting options, photographers can also use Fish-eye, Miniature, Poster and Super Vivid effects to add a fresh perspective on images. Miniature Effect mode is also available in movies, shooting the scene at a reduced frame rate of 6, 3 or 1.5 fps, to create the effect of a high-speed, time-lapse film of a miniature-scale model.

Store, view and share stories
Sharing special moments with family and friends has never been easier. The PowerShot SX30 IS supports SDHC and SDXC memory cards, providing abundant capacity so photographers can keep shooting without worrying about filling their memory card too quickly. To find favourite shots among hundreds of others, users can tag each image in-camera, allowing it to be grouped with other favourites and easily located at a later date. Smart Shuffle playback also suggests similar images to be viewed based on the current image displayed, locating images in the memory card which may have been forgotten or overlooked in the larger library.

This model also supports Eye-Fi connected functions, allowing remote uploads to image sharing websites such as CANON iMAGE GATEWAY. The camera features a dedicated Eye-Fi section within the User Interface, and disables the auto power-down function when the Eye-Fi card transmits data – allowing the easy transfer of content without interruption*1.

Share stories with CANON iMAGE GATEWAY
Owners of the PowerShot SX30 IS can join the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, an online facility for sharing photos and video. Photographers can take advantage of up to 2GB of personal storage capacity, creating enough room for hundreds of high-quality images. Mobile browsing is also supported, making it easy for friends and family to view photos on the move.

PowerShot SX30 IS – key features:

35x ultra wide-angle zoom
Optical Image Stabilizer (4.5-stop), USM, VCM
14.1 MP CCD
6.8 cm (2.7") vari-angle LCD, EVF
HD movies, HDMI
Smart Auto
Manual modes, Low Light and Miniature Effect movie
Zoom Framing Assist
Servo AF/AE
Extensive accessory system
*1 This product is not guaranteed to support Eye-Fi card functions (including wireless transfer). In case of an issue with an Eye-Fi card, please check with the card manufacturer.
Also note that approval is required to use Eye-Fi cards in many countries or regions. Without approval, use of the card is not permitted. If it is unclear whether the card has been approved for use in the area, please check with the card manufacturer.