Canon has given a couple of its PowerShot digital compacts a feature upgrade. Its 10 megapixel G12 receives 720p high definition video capability with stereo sound, high dynamic range and multiple aspect ratios and a front control dial. The 14.1 megapixel SX30 IS point-and-shoot gets a 35x wide-angle optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, a bigger vari-angle LCD display and zoom framing assist.

For the first time in its PowerShot G-series, Canon has brought 720p high definition movie recording with stereo audio to the PowerShot G12. There's also a new Miniature Effect added to the movie recording options and the inclusion of a HDMI-out port caters for onward video playback on big screen televisions.

The G12 benefits from Hybrid image stabilization technology, which is said to compensate for both angular and shift camera shake, the automatic scene selection capabilities offered by Smart Auto and a High Dynamic Range (HDR) scene mode. HDR snaps three shots at different exposures to produce one image containing "very dark tones and bright highlights producing greater image details." Canon has placed a digital SLR-like control dial to the front of the camera and expanded the camera's storage capacity options with the inclusion of SDXC compatibility.

Other than that, the G12 keeps much of the feature set seen on its predecessor, the PowerShot G11. The camera's 10 megapixel CCD sensor works with the company's own DIGIC 4 Image Processor to provide "clear, exceptional images in low-light settings" as part of the HS (High Sensitivity) SYSTEM. The sensitivity range remains the same at ISO80 to ISO3200, the G12 retains the 5x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization of its predecessor as well as a real-image optical viewfinder and a 2.8-inch, 461,000 dot resolution vari-angle LCD display. Even its dimensions are the same at 4.41 x 3.00 x 1.90 inch (112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3mm).

The PowerShot G12 will be available from October for an estimated selling price of US$500.

The PowerShot SX30 IS

Canon says that the new PowerShot SX30 IS is "the world's first point-and-shoot model to feature a 35x-Wide Angle Optical Zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilization." This delivers ultra-wide 24mm to 840mm telephoto capabilities and the addition of a new Zoom Framing Assist button provides a means of getting to grips with all of the available lens functionality.

Although the megapixel wars appear to have reached a quiet moment, the SX30 IS improves on its predecessor with a 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor. It benefits from Smart Auto and now sports a bigger 2.7-inch, 230,000 dot vari-angle LCD, and has ditched the AA-size batteries of the SX20 IS before it in favor of a Lithium-ion solution. There's SDXC media card support and an outer body redesign gives it different dimensions to the previous model at 4.84 x 3.64 x 4.24 inch (122.9 x 92.4 x 107.7mm).

The SX30 IS keeps the same ISO80 to ISO1600 sensitivity capabilities of the previous PowerShot SX20 IS model. The DIGIC 4 Image Processor and 720p high definition video with stereo audio still feature but the new camera gains Miniature Effect and HDMI-out.

The PowerShot SX30 IS will sell for around US$430 when it hits the shelves in late September.

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