By Paul Hayes

SYDNEY, NSW: In a big week for digital cameras, Canon Australia yesterday announced the newest addition to its IXUS digital compact range, the IXUS 300 HS.

The timing of the launch is significant because it came on the same day Sony unveiled the NEX-3 and MEX-5 cameras, that company’s splashy entry into the hybrid digital image market that bridges compact DSC and DSLR consumers.

Canon said its new camera is the first of the IXUS series to offer the HS SYSTEM high-sensitivity system, which incorporates a 10-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor with Canon’s DiG!C 4 image processor and is designed to function better in low-light conditions.

The IXUS 300 HS is able to shoot HD movies with a super slow motion movie function and also features a 3-inch wide angle LCD display and a 3.8x optical zoom with optical image stabilisation.

“The IXUS 300 HS delivers the highest image quality available in the IXUS range and the new high sensitivity sensor lets users take better photos in a wider range of situations including low-light scenes,” said brand manager DSC, Canon Australia, Danielle Hinton.

Coming in red, black and silver, the IXUS 300 HS will be available nationally from Canon dealers at the end of May.