Two more sleek PowerShot digital cameras debuted today; the Canon SD980 IS and SD940 IS come with 12.1 megapixels in slim bodies. The SD980 is the first SD-series model to come with a touch screen and will retail for $329. The SD940 is the cheaper alternative at $299.
The Canon PowerShot SD980 IS takes its place below the 15-megapixel SD990 IS in the Digital Elph lineup. Despite its inferior status, the new SD980 IS shines with its 3-inch touch screen and 5x optical zoom lens. For reference, the SD990 has a 2.5-inch LCD and a 4x optical zoom lens.
The Canon PowerShot SD980 IS’s hippest feature is its touch screen that allows users to navigate with a few gestures of the finger; navigation through the playback mode can also be done by tipping and tilting the camera. The touch screen also facilitates the touch auto focus function; users can simply push on the desired subject on the screen and the camera will track and focus on it. The shutter can also be released with a touch on the LCD.
The Canon SD980 IS carries a 24-120mm, 5x optical zoom lens with an optical image stabilization system. Not only is this an increase in zooming power from the 4x lenses on the SD990 and SD970, but the angle is significantly wider. The SD990’s lens measures 36-133mm while the SD970’s lens reaches 37-185mm.
The two new PowerShots offer HD video that records at 1280 x 720 pixels at a full 30 fps. They also offer 22 scene modes and a “smart auto” mode that can detect subjects and automatically select a mode accordingly. Both offer intelligent contrast control meant to be used in extreme lighting conditions along with face detection and a new “hints and tips” feature in the user interface that explains certain functions in the cameras’ menus.
The Canon PowerShot SD940 IS has the same 12.1-megapixel image sensor, but puts it behind a 4x optical zoom lens. The SD940’s lens is still wider than most others in the Digital Elph lineup at 28-112mm. It also has optical image stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD screen that is still respectable, but not a touch screen.
The two digital cameras mirror the typical style of the Canon SD-series models: easy to use and even easier to fit in a pocket. “Most noted for sleek, polished and stylish looks, the Elph brand has evolved into a product that supremely reflects and expresses one’s personal style,” states the Aug. 19 company press release. Indeed, both cameras are offered in several colors. The Canon SD980 IS comes in silver, blue, purple, and gold; sales begin in October. The SD940 IS, available in September, comes in blue, black, silver, and brown metallic hues.