Abstract: Canon PowerShot A400, A85 and A95

Photography - Canon EOS, digital, nature, Canon EOS 20D


Canon Powershot A400, A85 and A95

Canon recently announced a number of new digicams including the A400, A85 and A95. Along with the S70 and G6 these models now span the range from a $180 3MP P&S (A400) to a $700 7MP high end model (G6). Rather than describe each camera in detail, I'll first let you read a copy of the Canon press release for the A400, A85 and A95. It highlights most of the important feature so the camera. There's a separate page here on the Powershot G6

Below the press release I've constructed a table to compare the features and specifications of all 5 cameras so you can see them side by side.

The following material is taken from the official Canon press release:

PowerShot A400 Digital Camera

Available in September for an estimated street price of $179.99*, this fun new entry-level model is made for people who enjoy simple, easy digital camera functionality. Intended to make a graceful impression while retaining a light and contemporary design, the new 3.2-megapixel PowerShot A400 digital camera comes in four exclusive, fun colors: Silver, Sky Blue, Lime Green and Sunset Gold. These lively and unique colors help create a personal style that stands out in a crowd.

The new PowerShot A400 digital camera features a 2.2x Optical/3.2x Digital/7.0x combined zoom lens. The camera's extraordinarily fast shutter release with the Quick Shot function and Special Scene Modes enhances picture taking in special situations, including Portrait; Night Scene; Foliage; Snow; Beach; Fireworks; Underwater; and Indoor. These features enable first-time digital camera users to capture, print and share high quality, clear images.

The PowerShot A400 digital camera is the first A-series model to use SD media, a miniature memory card format that helps to make the camera body smaller and lighter. In fact, the camera is 11 percent smaller than its predecessor, the single-focal length PowerShot A310 digital camera. Designed with first-time digital camera buyers in mind, the new model strategically positions all the control buttons on the top and rear of the camera so consumers can use one hand to operate it. The PowerShot A400 comes equipped with a USB cable, 16MB SD Memory Card and two AA Alkaline batteries.

The PowerShot A85 Digital Camera

Available in August for an estimated street price of $299.99*, consumers can enjoy a feature-filled 4.0-megapixel digital camera with 3.2x optical zoom lens and a large 1.8" LCD monitor for easy image previews and reviews.

As a replacement for last year's popular PowerShot A70 model — the best selling digital camera in the U.S in 2003, according to NPD Group, Inc. — the PowerShot A85 camera sports 13 shooting modes including Special Scene Modes for spectacular shots in special situations, including Kids & Pets and Underwater modes for capturing fun vacation memories or weekend family get togethers.

The PowerShot A95 Digital Camera

Also available in August for an estimated street price of $399.99*, Canon's new 5.0-megapixel PowerShot A95 digital camera replaces the popular A80 unit and merges the capabilities of Canon's prosumer-level 'G' series line with the form factor of an A-series model.

The highly advanced 5 Megapixel digital camera features a new larger 1.8" vari-angled LCD monitor for easier image preview and review as well as FlexiZone AF/AE for off-center subjects. The PowerShot A95 digital camera offers users 14 easy-to-use Shooting Modes, including Special Scene Modes that will help create exceptional images.

Appealing to a wide range of consumers the PowerShot A85 and A95 models cross over into specialized applications as well. For teachers and students that make classroom presentations and real estate professionals who often need to capture interior and exterior images of a house, the A85 and A95 cameras provide exceptional performance at affordable prices.

Advanced Features
All three of the new A-series PowerShot digital cameras are equipped with 9-point AiAF, a feature normally found in Canon's high-end models, that allows users to get crisp, clear images quickly, even with off-center subjects. The PowerShot A85 and A95 models are compatible with a wide range of optional accessories, including supplementary wide-angle, telephoto and close-up lenses as well as dedicated waterproof housings with a depth rating of 130 feet (WP-DC50 for A95 model and WP-DC30 for A85 model). Both cameras come equipped with Type I CompactFlash card media (32MB included), a USB cable and four AA Alkaline batteries. Consumers may purchase rechargeable Canon Alkaline NiMh (Nickel Metal Hydride NB4-200 AA-size batteries) separately.

Print/Share...At the Touch of a Button
The new A-Series digital cameras offer Direct Printing functionality, making it easy, quick and convenient for anyone to produce high-quality photos without the need for a computer. The Print/Share button, found on most of Canon's new PowerShot models, also speeds and simplifies printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge-enabled printers. The Print/Share feature also enables one-touch Direct Transfer to Windows XP, Me, 2000 and 98 computers, for use with image processing programs, uploading to the Internet or emailing. Once connected, the Print/Share button will light up blue, indicating that it is ready to print.

For quick and easy printing of high-quality images, Canon's CP printers offer the perfect option. In just 85 seconds***, consumers have printed photos right in their hands for sharing with friends and family. New to the line of Compact Photo Printers is the ability to print on 4" x 8" paper-ideal for family holiday photos or to announce the arrival of a new baby.

Other printing enhancements found in each new model include:
An ID Photo Print feature that allows the user to make ID photo size prints by cropping the image to the required ID size (up to 28 sizes),
Movie Print mode enables the consumer to print a series of still images from a recorded movie; and
Postcard Date Imprint mode lets users select a date stamp that can be imprinted in the corner of a picture.

The DIGIC™ Difference
Canon's new PowerShot A400, A85 and A95 digital cameras include Canon's DIGIC technology. Canon developed the proprietary DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) Image Processor specifically for use with its line of digital cameras. The technology combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. Because it was specifically designed for use in digital cameras, it is also capable of handling JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); Auto Exposure; Auto Focus; Auto White Balance control and most other functions of the camera. The result is a product that offers faster and more powerful auto focus than ever before, faster image processing, better image quality and longer battery life.

A400, A85, A95, S70 and G6 Comparison

Below is a table comparing the features and specifications of the Canon Powershot A400, Canon Powershot A85, Canon Powershot A95 along with the Canon Powershot S70 and Canon Powershot G6.

  A400 A85 A95 S70 G6
Approx Street Price (US) $180 $280 $375 $600 $700
Pixels 3.1 million 4.0 million 5.0 million 7.1 million 7.1 million
Maximum resolution 2048 x 1536 2272 x 1704 2592 x 1944 3072 x 2304 3072 x 2304
Sensor Size 5.27 x 3.96 mm 5.27 x 3.96 mm 7.18 x 5.32 mm 7.18 x 5.32 mm 7.18 x 5.32 mm
ISO settings Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
Fical Length - wide 45 mm 35 mm 35 mm 28 mm 35 mm
Focal length - tele 100 mm 105 mm 114 mm 100 mm 140 mm
Aperture F3.8 F2.8 - F4.8 F2.8 - F4.9 F2.8 - F5.3 F2.0 - F3.0
  A400 A85 A95 S70 G6
Minimum Shutter Speed 1 sec 15 sec 15 sec 15 sec 15 sec
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/1500 sec 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec 1/2000 sec
Aperture Priority No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shutter Priority No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flash GN (ISO 100) 2 m 2.5 m 2.5 m 4.2 m 5.0 m
External flash No No No No Yes - Hot Shoe
  A400 A85 A95 S70 G6
Continuous shooting (approx) 1.3 fps, 12 frames 1.5 fps,  8 frames 2.0 fps, 14 frames 1.2 fps, 2.0 fps 15 frames 1.2 fps, 2.0 fps 14 frames
Self Timer 2s or 10s 2s or 10s 2s or 10s 2s or 10s 2s or 10s
Storage (included) SD/MMC -16MB inc. CF (type I) - 32MB inc. CF (type I) - 32MB CF (type I or II) - 32MB CF (type I or II) - 32MB
RAW storage format No No No Yes Yes
LCD 1.5" 1.8" 1.8" (flip + twist) 1.8" 2" (flip + twist)
Movie 640x480 640x480 640x480 640x480 audio 640x480 audio
Filters No Yes w/adapter Yes w/adapter No Yes w/adapter
Battery 2x AA 4x AA 4x AA Li-ion ( w/charger inc.) Li-ion (w/charger inc.)
Weight 225g 300g 335g 300g 467g
Size 107 x 53 x 37 mm 101 x 64 x 32 mm 101 x 65 x 35 mm 114 x 57 x 39 mm 105 x 73 x 73 mm

As you can see, the A400 is low cost P&S with a 3MP sensor and limited manual control (no aperture or shutter priority modes for example). A step up to the A85 gives you more control, an boost to 4MP, a wider angle zoom and a larger LCD. Moving to the A95 you now get a larger sensor as well as 5MP and a fold out flip and swivel LCD.

The S70 moves up to 7MP and comes with a Li-ion battery and charger, while the G6 is also 7MP and includes a battery and charger, but unlike the S70 it has a fold out tilt and swivel 2" LCD as well as a hot shoe for an external flash, and a longer and faster lens. An adapter for mounting 58mm filters on the G6 lens is also available. The S70 has the advantage of being smaller and more "pocketable", while the G6 has more features. Both the S70 and G6 are capable of storing images in the RAW format, while the A-series cameras only store in JPEG format. For an explanation of RAW see the article here RAW, TIFF and JPEG - what they are and when to use them

Which one you pick depends on how much you want to spend, but you can't really go wrong with any of these models. Canon has been a market leader in digicams and the predecessors of these new models have all been best sellers.

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