Canon always seems to be playing catch-up with the rest of the camera industry lately, especially when it comes to its PowerShot lineup.
For its latest spate of announcements, the theme is Wi-Fi and lots of it. The enthusiast-targeted PowerShot G16 and S120 and the PowerShot SX510 HS, for zoom fiends on a budget, all get Canon's latest wireless features for saving and sharing photos and videos.
Though the PowerShot S110 already had Wi-Fi built in, we didn't exactly care for the implementation. Canon says the overall Wi-Fi setup process has been improved, so the initial pairing process is smoother.
The new models allow you to share straight from the camera over Wi-Fi to Facebook, Twitter, and now Flickr. However, Canon still requires you to sign up and register all the social-networking accounts you plan to share to with its Canon Image Gateway service. The improvement here is that you no longer need to install CIG on a computer and, instead, can set up everything from a smartphone or tablet.
You can also wirelessly back up your shots to a PC as well as send them directly to an iOS or Android device, so you can share on the go without the need for a hot spot.
As with the G16, the $449.99 PowerShot S120 gets a new Digic 6 processor (which showed up for the first time earlier this year in the SX280 HS) that allows continuous burst shooting at up to 12 frames per second at the camera's full 12-megapixel resolution and 1080p movie capture at 60fps.
Canon also added some new creative shot modes for HDR and starry skies, and a Background Defocus mode, which sounds like the same thing you'd find on Sony and Fujifilm cameras: it quickly takes a couple pictures and uses them to keep the subject in focus while blurring the background with software.
The rest of the S120 appears to be the same, except the 24-120mm lens is slightly brighter in telephoto (and I mean slightly, f5.7 compared with the S110's f5.9) and Canon claims significantly faster autofocus speeds. Not much of a reason to upgrade, but something to keep in mind if you're looking for a very small camera with a fast lens at the wide end.
The PowerShot SX510 HS packs the same 30x zoom lens as the SX500 IS and has the same look and feel. But, as the suffix implies, Canon updated the processor from a lower-end CCD-type sensor to one of its high-sensitivity 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensors. The sensor, along with giving it better low-light performance, enables the camera to record video at 1080p at 24fps.
Look for it in September for $249.99.
Available in September, the $179.99 PowerShot SX170 IS is the follow-up to the SX160 IS, one of my favorite cameras to recommend to those looking for a good-quality point-and-shoot with semimanual and manual controls that takes AA-size batteries.
The good news is, the camera retains almost all of the features of its predecessor. The bad news is, AA batteries didn't make the cut, and Canon has switched them out for a rechargeable lithium ion pack. This does mean the body is smaller and lighter, but you lose the convenience of being able to buy batteries almost anywhere.
Canon also updated its PowerShot N with a Facebook Direct button so that you can, you guessed it, upload shots directly to Facebook. But, again, they still have to go through Canon's Image Gateway first.
For full specs and on these cameras, hit up Canon's site.