|*||5.0-Megapixel CCD delivers 2,592 x 1,944 pixel images|
|*||4x optical zoom lens covers 28-100mm equivalent range|
|*||Nice mix of high-end features, easy usability|
|*||Updated, beautiful, rugged, compact design|
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The Canon PowerShot S60 is a significant update of last year’s best-selling S50 model. At the top of the “mid-sized compact” PowerShot line, the sleek Canon S60 takes last year’s design and adds a wide-angle zoom lens (reaching down to 28mm equivalent focal length at its widest zoom setting) to an already superbly crafted camera. Hidden within the Canon S60’s trim case though, is a new level of optical sophistication, thanks to Canon’s advanced molding process that permits aspheric lens elements to be (reliably) crafted from high-index optical glass for the first time. The result is a zoom lens that’s capable of very wide angle operation, in a very compact form factor, yet with lower levels of distortion than was formerly possible.
In addition to the new lens technology it uses, the 5.0-megapixel Canon PowerShot S60 also includes a new set of updates to both the user interface and controls. Unlike previous models in this line, the Canon S60 does not match model number to resolution. The Canon PowerShot S30 was a 3.3 megapixel digital camera, the PowerShot S40 and S45 were 4 megapixel units, and the S50 was a 5 megapixel design. To avoid confusion the Canon S60 might have been better named the S55, because up to this point the SXX series of PowerShots has followed this convention. Regardless, the S60 is an advanced point-and-shoot style digital camera that incorporates many features from the high-end Canon PowerShot G5 model, but in a more compact, portable format. With the exception of the rotating LCD monitor and external hot shoe, the Canon PowerShot S60 has almost all of the advanced features of the G5, including an impressive range of automatic and manual exposure controls, a JPEG and RAW file formats, and in-camera adjustment of image contrast, sharpness, and color saturation, as well as a user-controlled AF point that can be moved around the screen in the manual exposure modes. Superior to the G5’s 3x lens is the 3.6x optical zoom lens which reaches a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 28mm at its widest. In addition to these features, relative to last year’s very popular S45 and S50, the Canon S60 also offers an updated user interface (a slight redesign), and the new Print/Share button that is appearing on all new PowerShot cameras, designed to make the PictBridge direct-to-inkjet printer connection that much easier. With an estimated selling price at introduction of only $499, the Canon S60 is a really excellent bargain–a full $100 less than last year’s S50. It is 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.