Canon canons on with compacts

Canon IXUS 255 HS, available in pink, black, and silver

Canon brought out four new compact cameras, as well as the Powershot N, at CES; three weeks later and it has announced another four compact cameras. Today we're introduced to the IXUS 255 HS, IXUS 135 HS, IXUS 132 HS, and the Powershot A2500. (Or the ELPH 330 HS, ELPH 115 HS, and Powershot A2500 in the States. Yes, only three new cameras there.)

You know the drill: they'll all have smart auto mode with an improbable number of scene options (58, in the case of the IXUS 255 HS), they'll be HD video-ready, they'll all have a slew of filters, there'll be some quirky new introductions in an attempt to keep compact cameras relevant, and then you'll blink and you will barely be able to tell the difference between them.

In the case of the 255 and 135, they have wi-fi connectivity to allow you to share your images via your mobile or your tablet, and you can latch on to GPS via your mobile, too. All of them include Canon's new Eco mode, that aims to reduce battery use by 30% and there's also ZoomPlus technology, that supposedly allows you to double the reach of your optical zoom digitallly, but still maintain image detail.

The IXUS 255 (ELPH 330 HS in the US) is a fairly grown-up compact, with a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor coupled with a DIGIC 5 processor that should be competent in lower light situations and allow for higher speed shooting. Its lens is 24mm at its widest point and has a 10× optical zoom. There's also Intelligent IS to help reduce camera shake whatever you're up to, and the same Hybrid Auto that we saw in the Powershot N, that uses both smart auto and scene detection to grab the best shot and can create a montage of four second video clips grabbed before every shot that you take over the course of a day to produce some sort of meta-shoot.

The IXUS 135, IXUS 132 (ELPH 115 HS in the US), and Powershot A2500 all have 16 megapixel sensors with DIGIC 4 processors and 28mm lenses at their widest. Whilst the IXUS models have 8× optical zoom and Intelligent IS, the A2500 has a 5× zoom and slightly less wizzy Digital IS. 

There's no UK pricing or availability for these cameras as yet; I'll be interested to see what sort of difference there'll be between the IXUS 135 and IXUS 132 with really only wi-fi to choose between them. But the Powershot A2500? I think that could make an excellent first camera for a little one.

(In the US, the ELPH 330 will be around $230; the ELPH 115 $170; and the Powershot A2500 will be in the region of $130.)