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August 21, 2012

New Canon SX500 IS and SX160 IS superzooms with 16mp 1/2.3" CCD sensor

If you are a fan of 1080p video and superzoom digital cameras, prepare for some shock and dismay! Canon has just announced two new Powershot superzooms, the SX500 IS which is a new sub-line of superzooms, and the AA-powered SX160 IS which follows up on the SX150 IS and continues a long line of AA-powered SX1xx-series superzooms. The starting prices are $330 and $230 respectively.

The SX500 IS has a 30x stabilized optical zoom with a 24-700mm equivalent, while the SX160 IS has a 16x stabilized optical zoom lens starting at 28mm equivalent. Is it my lack of morning coffee or does the SX500 look like some of the Kodak Easyshare superzooms?

As with other cameras and manufacturers, the lack of 1080p video can be pin-pointed in the choice of a sensor. Canon went with a 16mp 1/2.3" CCD sensor, instead of a CMOS sensors. CMOS sensors are what have given other Canon Powershot cameras their HS designation and the usual speedy features (better burst mode, 1080p video, etc) of recent CMOS sensors.

Press release with detailed specifications at and Imaging Resource. Dpreview and DC Resource have not posted these yet (as of the time of writing). Detailed specs can be found at B&H Photo (SX500 IS, SX160 IS) where they are already accepting pre-orders.

181 new cameras this year so far [updated]
The addition of these two new cameras brings us closer to 200 for the year, currently at 181 179 from the major manufacturers. These two helped increase the superzooms percentage among fixed-lens cameras to 40.13% 40.65%. Superzooms, for this exercise, are defined as fixed lens cameras with a zoom ratio of 10x or more. And quite interestingly perhaps, among the 63 superzooms, 60% of them have a zoom ratio of 18x or more. [numbers in this paragraph updated after the addition of two new P&S models from Casio and Samsung]

And that number is all you need to know about the state of the "flood the market" strategy. 63 superzooms announced in eight months. Can you imagine the average consumer trying to sort through all these [and the previous year models ("only" 57 superzooms last year)] to find the best camera for their needs?

Want a superzoom? Sort through 120 models! Or buy the one in the store with the shiniest display ;-)

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