Canon's curvy new addition to its ELPH digital camera range, the 10 megapixel PowerShot SD4000 IS, is the first to use the company's new high sensitivity (HS) system - said to make the capture of low light scenes a snap. It's also the first in the range to offer P/A/S/M controls for greater photo creativity. It can even add Hollywood-style slow motion sequences to movies, thanks to a super slow motion function.

Canon's HS system consists of a 10 megapixel (MP) back-illuminated CMOS sensor combined with a DIGIC 4 image processor, which is claimed to "enhance image quality in low-light situations and helps reduce noise at high ISO speeds." According to the company, the bright f/2.0 3.8x zoom wide-angle lens permits more light to hit the sensor at high shutter speeds, thus reducing the effects of camera shake. Combining the two should allow users to capture quality flash-free images with natural tones.

The low light theme runs through to the ISO3200 full resolution sensitivity, which extends to ISO6400 for clipped 2.5 MP shots. At that resolution the SD4000 IS will also continuously capture at a burst rate of 8.4 frames per second (fps), which goes down to 3.7 fps at full resolution. The new camera is also the first ELPH to sport aperture and shutter controls, opening up even more image experimentation opportunities to the user.

Smart Shutter technology recognizes facial expression, so that capturing someone's best smile becomes less of a timing challenge.

As you might expect these days, the compact also doubles as a high definition camcorder, shooting movies at 720p resolution. Recreating slow motion movie sequences from Hollywood blockbusters never fails to impress, and now such creativity is made possible with the super slow motion mode on the SD4000 IS, which can capture the action at 240 fps to wow friends and family when played back at 30 fps (albeit at lower resolution).

The camera has a 3 inch PureColor II G widescreen LCD display to the rear, and also benefits from a touch-sensitive scroll wheel for intuitive menu navigating and browsing. As well as USB and HDMI connectivity, there's Eye-Fi memory card functionality and huge image storage possibilities thanks to SDXC card support.

The PowerShot SD4000 IS will be available at the end of May in red, black, silver and limited edition white and is being pegged at an estimated retail price of $US349.99.

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