Canon launched a successor to its flagship PowerShot G10 compact camera today, the Canon PowerShot G11 - with five megapixels less resolution.
It has an October release date and we'll have a Canon G11 review as soon as it is out. The PowerShot G11 uses a 'high sensitivity' 1/1.7-inch 10MP CCD sensor, compared to the 14.7MP chip at the heart of the out-going G10.
Canon claims that the G11's chip will 'increase image quality' and 'greatly improve' noise performance, by up to two stops.
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The G11 also has a smaller LCD than its predecessor, with the camera squeezing the same 461,000 dots into a 2.8-inch tilt-and-swivel screen, compared to the fixed 3-inch monitor found on the G10. The G11 is fronted by the same, optically stabilised 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens, and continues to offer full manual shooting, RAW image capture and Digic 4 image processing.
The G11 does offer some new features. It has a higher flash synch speed of 1/2000 seconds and adds a mini HDMI connector - although the G11 can still only record video clips at standard def (VGA) resolutions. It also has a Low Light that makes the most of the G11's improved noise performance, offering ISO 12,800 shooting at a resolution of just 2.5MP.
The G11 will cost £570 on its release in October, while the G10 is currently selling for about £360. Whether the semi-pro photographers Canon is aiming at are willing to pay a £200 premium for a camera with fewer pixels and a smaller screen, just to improve noise performance, will be a key indicator of whether the resolution arms race is really over or just taking a breather.
Canon also announced the PowerShot S90 today, a return to its 'pocket-sized' S-series PowerShots for serious snappers looking for a compact, lightweight (175g) back-up camera.
The S90 has the same 10MP, 1/1.7-inch CCD, Dual Anti-Noise system and Digic 4 processing, as the G11, but with a 3.75x (28-105mm equivalent) lens that boasts a bright f/2.0 maximum aperture. It has a neat-looking control ring around the lens to adjust various settings by wire and sports a maximum ISO of 3200. It will be available from early October for £450.