Canon announced today a few new consumer digicams. Some plain digicams, some super-zooms, and two somewhat higher-end ones. The two interesting ones are the higher-end ones, the S90 and G11. They have large sensors (1/1.7″), and somewhat faster lenses (the S90′s aperture size is almost as big as the HV20′s, which can mean quite some background blur). And coupling this with the fact that they allow for the same amount of manual image controls as the SX200 IS, they could make them the best sub-$500 video digicams in the market.
And that’s where Canon screwed up.
They offer HD 720/30p support to their cheap new models and their super-zooms, but only VGA to the G11 & S90. This is where HD video would have made some good difference with the big sensor and faster lenses. But noooo… Canon had to segment this new product line. I would have bought the S90, even if I just bought the SX200 IS a few weeks ago, but now, no way I’d buy any of that. That’s money lost for Canon.
Especially for the two high-end models, they could easily make it such as it could do 30 mbps 1080/720p at 30/25/24p (selectable), and with some manual controls (aperture, shutter, ISO) in addition to the current auto modes (that already include exposure compensation/locking, and manual focus/locking). Now, that would be a great stills-video combo gadget that most people would have loved to take with them on holidays.
Product segmentation sucks.
And don’t let me start on their “refreshed” camcorder line (which they do every August traditionally). The new “features” added on the HF-S11 (more flash storage, better OIS) are useless for most video enthusiasts (who already carry bags of SDHC cards and use tripods anyway). Instead of adding native 24p support to FREE US from the pulldown removal HELL, they added the “Advanced Video Snapshot Mode which allows you to create the perfect highlight movie to share with family and friends by recording a series of four second clips when in shooting mode as well as in playback mode.” Really? Really now?