The new Canon A710 IS is the first PowerShot model to feature built-in image stabilisation. Other features include a 7 megapixel sensor, 6x zoom lens (35-210mm) and large 2.5 inch LCD screen. The Canon A710 will be available September 2006, price to be confirmed.
UPDATE: I’ve now added some images from this morning’s UK press conference to the end of this article.
Canon UK Press Release
Canon is pleased to bring Optical Image Stabilization (IS) technology to the PowerShot A Series with the launch of the Canon PowerShot A710 IS. Along with a 6x optical image stabilized zoom, the compact Canon A710 IS is packed with features that make it a worthy successor to the popular PowerShot A700 it replaces. As well as helping to reduce blurring and counteract camera shake, improvements on the Canon A710 IS include a 7.1 Megapixel sensor and new photo effects that add to the already extensive creative possibilities
The Canon PowerShot A710 IS keeps many of the features that made its predecessor so successful, including an extensive range of shooting modes, full manual control, VGA quality movie recording, ISO 800 shooting and a 2.5” LCD screen.
The PowerShot A710 IS features:
- 7.1 Mega Pixels
- 6x optical zoom with optical Image Stabilizer
- DIGIC II, iSAPS, 9-Point AiAF, FlexiZone AF/AE
- Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom1
- 2.5” LCD with wide viewing angle and real-image optical viewfinder
- 20 shooting modes
“By enhancing the popular PowerShot A700 with advanced features such as Optical Image Stabilization, Canon confirms its position at the forefront of developments that really matter to the market,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “The PowerShot A710 IS answers the call from consumers who want high image quality combined with professional capabilities at an accessible price.”
The 6x optical zoom lens achieves a focal length range of 35-210mm (35mm equivalent) while allowing the camera to maintain a small form factor. A real-image optical viewfinder enables framing without the LCD through the full focal range, significantly extending battery life.
The PowerShot A710 IS’s optical IS has been specifically engineered for this compact format using the expertise Canon has gained since introducing the technology to its professional range of EF lenses. IS counteracts camera shake to reduce blur, enabling photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower. It also allows for steadier shots at full zoom and when using the camera’s 1cm Macro mode. The digital IS control chip processes up to 4000 signals per second, driving precise shifts of the lens element to compensate for any unwanted hand movements. The PowerShot A710 IS’s ISO 800 and High ISO Auto mode complement the optical IS by enabling high standards of flash-free shooting in low light or indoor environments.
A new Safety Zoom takes advantage of the camera’s large resolution to offer extra zoom magnification without affecting image quality. Users can capture images at up to 12x zoom with enough resolution for lab-quality postcard (10 x 15cm) prints. Users can also select a new Digital Tele-Converter3 to add extra telephoto reach on every shot – similar to adding a tele-converter lens to the camera.
The 20 shooting modes include Special Scene modes for help with tricky shooting environments, while Manual modes give the more experienced user complete control over exposure settings. Artistic photo effects can be applied in-camera during and after shooting with My Colors. The PowerShot A710 IS also offers a choice of five movie mode settings including VGA quality movies at 30fps and QVGA at 60fps.
The 2.5” LCD retains a selectable Grid Line display for help with framing and levelling. Further assistance is provided by a useful 3:2 ratio guide, which displays an overlay of the print area for standard photo prints. A new overexposure warning feature indicates areas of overexposure in captured images.
Full range of accessories
A complete range of optional lenses includes Wide (0.7x) and Tele (1.75x) converter lenses as well as a Close-Up lens for macro photography. The High Power Flash extends the camera’s range on night shots and expands the possibilities for creative flash work.
Constructed with anti-fog double glass and flash light diffusion plate, the optional waterproof case allows full control at depths down to 40 metres.
Availability and reader enquiries
The PowerShot A710 will be available September 2006, £price to be confirmed.
The PowerShot A710 IS features a dedicated Print menu for quick access to direct print features. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. The camera’s ID photo and movie stills features are also available when connected to a SELPHY compact photo printer such as the SELPHY CP730. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.
Additions to the PictBridge functionality include contact-sheet type printing with 35 images on one A4 page or 20-image index prints with shooting information, allowing the user to compare images with the settings used to take them.
Memory Card Support
In addition to SD and MMC memory cards, the PowerShot A710 IS supports the new SDHC format for storage capacities of 4GB and upwards. It comes supplied with a 16MB memory card.
The camera’s menu system now features support for Ukrainian and Romanian, bringing the total number of supported languages to 25.
The PowerShot A710 IS comes bundled with the following Canon Software:
- ZoomBrowser EX 5.7 (Windows), ImageBrowser 5.7 (Mac): For organizing and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
- PhotoStitch 3.1: For creating panoramic photos from multiple images (Windows and Mac).
The bundled software supports Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Macintosh OS X v10.2-v10.4. The PowerShot A710 IS supports PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Mac OS X.
Purchasers of the cameras are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.
- Conversion Lens Adapter (LA-DC58G)
- Wide-Converter 0.7x lens (WC-DC58N)
- Tele-Converter 1.75x lens (TC-DC58N)
- Close-Up Lens 250D (58mm)
- Battery and Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
- High Power Flash (HF-DC1)
- AC Power Adapter Kit (ACK800)
- Waterproof Case WP-DC6
- Waterproof Case weights WW-DC1
- Soft Case DCC-80
Canon’s purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. DIGIC II processes signals at high speeds, resulting in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.
iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.
Canon’s 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.
FlexiZone AF/AE lets users manually select the focus point from almost any point in the frame by moving the auto focus window in the viewfinder. Exposure can be linked to the focus point to ensure that the chosen subject is both accurately focused and exposed.
Optical Image Stabilizer
The PowerShot A710 IS uses a lens shift-type Image Stabilizer (IS) system to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. Minute vibration gyros detect lens tilting caused by hand shake. These signals – up to 4,000 per second – are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Shake signals are sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to deflect the light rays and cancel out the effects of shake. For improved accuracy and responsiveness, the moving lens element is supported on tiny ceramic spheres. In addition to minimising friction, ceramic spheres avoid some of the problems that can affect metal spheres, such as thermal expansion and magnetism. The PowerShot A710 IS’s optical IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur.
Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant zoom to every shot – 1.5x or 1.9x, depending on the image size selected. While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.
Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.
Level of Safety Zoom possible with selectable image sizes:
Large Medium 1 Medium 2 Medium 3, Postcard Date Imprint Small
6.0x 7.1x 9.0x 12x 24x