The PowerShot A520 is the latest addtion to Canon’s digital camera range. An upgrade of the A510, the 4-megapixel camera is a compact model with a 4X optical zoom. The unit comes with 20 different shooting modes (including fireworks, foliage, beach and snow"), support for VGA resolution movies and a "rear focus system" which should help to preserve battery life. Canon’s also taken the wise step of ditching the chunkier Compact Flash card in favour of the smaller, lighter Secure Digital (SD) format. This in part explains why it’s 13 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than its predecessor. Canon has also got a waterproof casing and a number of adapter lenses to accompany the camera.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever use half those shooting modes, but it’s nice just to know the company’s thought about them enough to include a special "underwater" mode and a mode for "kids and pets". You can also manually set the modes up if you know what you’re doing, taking control of white balance, exposure and shutter speed settings. The PowerShot A520 is available late February for £239.