By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Canon Australia has announced a comprehensive update to its popular Ixus and PowerShot digital still camera ranges, including the successor to the successful Ixus 60 model, as well as a new lineup of camcorders.

Canon will launch the Ixus 70 (RRP $499) and the Ixus 75 (RRP $549) in March, replacing the Ixus 60 and Ixus 65 respectively.

Both new models feature 7.1 megapixel resolution, the new DiG!C III image processor with face detecting auto focus, a Canon UA lens with 3x optical zoom, in-camera red-eye correction and a 230,000 pixel Canon PureColour LCD screen in.5-inch (IXUS 70) and 3.0-inch (IXUS 75).

Canon will also pursue a new direction in the digital still camera category with a compact hybrid PowerShot model offering high definition digital video capture and 7.1 megapixel still shots, which the company claims are comparable to other models in its range.

The PowerShot TX1 (RRP $699) captures 1280×720 resolution widescreen video at 30 frames per second and boasts a 10x optical zoom with optical image stabiliser and the DiG!C III image processor with face detection.

While other companies have launched similar hybrid products with mixed results, Canon believes the combination of high specifications and a brand consumers trust will ensure it becomes a popular alternative, particularly with travellers.

The PowerShot DSC range has been updated with two additions – the A560 (RRP $379) and A570IS (RRP $449). Both models can take 7.1 megapixel resolution images, and feature a Canon UA lens with 4x optical zoom, DiG!C III image processor with face detection auto focus, ISO sensitivity selectable up to 1600 and an on-screen shooting information display.

The 570IS boasts optical image stabilisation to minimise the effects of handshake, particularly at full telephoto zoom.

“The versatile PowerShot series is designed to be appealing and user-friendly for every photographer in the family. The new PowerShot models embody that tradition, making some of the creative elements of a digital SLR camera accessible in a compact and convenient point-and-shoot model,” said Canon senior category manager – camera, Chris Kearney.

Canon has also expanded its digital camcorder line up with two new MiniDV models and three DVD models, all with native widescreen 16:9 video capture.

The MiniDV models include the MD120 (RRP $549) and MD160 (RRP $699), both featuring 35x optical zoom, QuickStart function and the DiG!C DV image processor.

The new DVD line up includes the DC210 (RRP $729), DC220 (RRP $779) and the top of the range DC230 (RRP $829), all available from mid-March.

All models feature 35x optical zoom, QuickStart, dual-layer recording, the new DiG!C DV II image processor and widescreen LCD screens.