Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

A 20x optical zoom lens in a slim body is the big calling card of the SX280HS, as well as a brand new image processor.

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Canon is pushing the big zoom numbers with the release of the SX280 HS, realising that there's a valuable market of zoom-loving photographers who just want a pocketable point-and-shoot. The 280 HS boasts a 20x optical zoom, though it's not particularly bright throughout the focal length range: just f/3.5-6.8.

Going by the example set on other Canon cameras that have come before, the 280 HS grabs Wi-Fi connectivity as standard for transfer of photos and videos to a smartphone or tablet. There's a GPS built-in for travellers, as well as the ability to use assisted GPS to download extra data when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Also new is the debut of the company's latest image processor, the Digic 6, which is claimed to capture better photos in low-light situations in conjunction with the HS (high sensitivity) sensor.

Videographers will be pleased at the 1080/60p capture in H.264 MP4 with a stereo mic, as well as a slow motion movie mode for VGA resolution capture at 120fps. Continuous shooting will be at 3.8 frames per second.

To help keep shaky hands stable at the upper echelons of zoom, the image stabiliser compensates up to 4 stops, while you can get a little closer to the action with a digital or extended zoom option that brings it to 40x.

Manual exposure is available, as well as a hybrid automatic mode that records four seconds of video in 720p before a photo is taken. Then the camera will determine what the best auto setting is for a "perfect shot", and at the end of the day, it will stitch together a memento of all these four-second moments into one video.

The SX280 HS will be available from the end of April, though no official RRP is available.

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