Canon is bringing a new lens and a new image processor to its PowerShot A-series of digital cameras. The PowerShot A650 IS and the A720 IS both include 35 to 210mm-equivalent 6x zoom lenses with optical image stabilization and Canon's DIGIC III image processor, an upgrade from last generations' DIGIC II processor that Canon claims offers improved speed and image quality. Both cameras also keep the same manual exposure controls as the models they replace, the PowerShot A630/A640 and A710 IS.
The PowerShot A650 IS joins the PowerShot G9 and SD950 IS as Canon's first 12-megapixel non-SLR cameras. Like the more advanced G9, the A650 sports a 6x zoom lens with optical image stabilization. It also keeps the 2.5-inch flip-out, pivoting LCDs found on the PowerShot A630 and A640. It will be available in September with a suggested retail price of $399. If that seems a bit too steep for you, Canon also announced the PowerShot A720 IS. It keeps the same image-stabilized 6x zoom lens and basic design as the A650 IS, but it features a much more modest 8-megapixel sensor and a stationary LCD screen. You can also pick it up in September, for the much lower price of $249.