We just had a leak through from a tipster close to Canon, who claims that the digital camera maker is planning a version of its low-cost Ixus range that’ll feature a CMOS sensor – the kind normally reserved for expensive DSLRs.
CMOS stands for Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. In low-light situations, most compact cameras take very noisy, grainy shots due to their CCD sensor, but with a CMOS chip, the usable ISO range is much wider, so dark shots look much better. Traditionally, Fuji’s CCDs are the best at dealing with low light conditions, but the introduction of CMOS technology into low-cost point-and-shoots will ramp up the competition from Canon.
In fact, at the moment there’s only one compact on the market that has a CMOS sensor – Canon’s own PowerShot SX1 IS, which retails for a whopping £530. Our tipster reckons that a whole rash of CMOS compacts will be unveiled at the forthcoming PMA ’09 in March. He also proposes this as a possible CMOS Ixus spec.
- 10-megapixel CMOS sensor (most likely 1/2.33 or 1/2.5 inch in size)
- HD Movie Mode
- 5x Zoom (28mm wide)
- 3″ LCD
- Li-Ion battery
- ISO 50-3200
- RRP of £330-£350, on the shop floor at £250 or so
It’s that massive ISO range which is the most promising. If this new Ixus exists, can cope with low light as promised, and doesn’t cost the earth, then this could bring the tools for some fantastic photography into the hands of amateurs. Or, at very least, your photos of ‘Debbie an the gals dahn at the club’ will look sublime.