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Canon Unveils the PowerShot SX500 and SX160: Zippy Zoom and Fast Focusing

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Canon has added two new beefy compact cameras to its SX (“superzoom”) line: the PowerShot SX500 IS and the PowerShot SX160 IS. The main features of these two cameras is snappy autofocus speed and powerful optical zoom. Both cameras feature a 1/2.3-inch CCD 16 megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-800, 720p video at 25fps, a 3-inch LCD screen, and Canon’s Intelligent Image Stabilization (which helps you shoot sharper images even when zoomed in, panning, or walking).

PowerShot SX500 IS

The SX500 IS is the beastlier of the two cameras, featuring a 24mm lens and 30x optical zoom (up to 720mm in 35mm terms).

An interesting feature offered by the camera is the “Zoom Framing Assist”. If you ever lose sight of your subject while zoomed in, pressing a special button on the front of the camera will temporarily cause the camera to zoom out. A special frame box helps you frame your subject again, and letting go of the button takes you back to your original focal length. The feature seems like it could definitely be useful for things like sports or animals (both wild and domesticated).

It’ll hit store shelves in September with a price tag of $330.

PowerShot SX160 IS

The SX160 IS is the more compact of the two cameras, and features a less powerful 16x zoom (28mm to 448mm in 35mm terms). It has a dedicated movie button for people who need to quickly record video, and allows for optical zooming while it’s recording (we don’t know whether this adds annoying sounds to your footage).

The camera is powered by AA batteries, which can be annoying for many camera owners but a godsend for people who travel often and can’t always find a proper outlet to juice up with.

Unlike the SX500, the SX160 is a bit more stylish: it comes in both black and red.

You can pick on up starting next month for $230.

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