|*||4-Megapixel CCD delivers 2,272 x 1,704 pixel images|
|*||3x optical zoom lens covers 35-105mm equivalent range|
|*||Nice mix of high-end features, easy usability|
|*||Beautiful, rugged, compact design|
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Canon U.S.A. has long been a strong contender in both film and digital camera markets, well-known for its high-quality optics, technical innovations, and aggressive product development. Since early 2001, Canon has released a full complement of new digital cameras, all designed and engineered to live up to Canon’s competitive standards. The 4.0-megapixel PowerShot S45 updates this extensive line by improving on an already excellent model, the PowerShot S40. The S45 is an advanced point-and-shoot style digital camera that incorporates many features from the high-end PowerShot G3 model, but in a more compact, portable format. With the exception of the rotating LCD monitor and external hot shoe, the S45 has almost all of the advanced features of the G3, including an impressive range of automatic and manual exposure controls, a 3x optical zoom lens, JPEG and RAW file formats, and in-camera adjustment of image contrast, sharpness, and color saturation. In addition to these features, relative to the earlier S40, the S45 also offers an updated user interface, more customizable features, a nine-point AiAF focus mode. Like other Canon digicams, the S45 has a direct-to-inkjet printer connection, enabling the user to make prints not only to the Canon CP-10 and CP-100 Photo Card Printers, but also to several of the company’s newest inkjet (“bubble-jet” in Canon’s terminology) printers. The S45 has a host of other updates, too numerous to mention fully here, but detailed further on. With a list price at introduction of only $499, the PowerShot S45 is an excellent bargain, sure to be a popular choice among business users, prosumer photographers, advanced amateurs, and even beginning photographers who want a high-quality digital camera that delivers large, sharp, colorful picture files.