Technology Used in Compact Digital Cameras

A digital camera uses a lens to collect light, which is then converted to an electrical signal by an image sensor. An image processor is then used to create image data based on this signal.
Canon's compact digital cameras are highly regarded for their high image quality, high performance, convenience, and ease of use. The body incorporates the latest technology, including the optical technologies that the company has cultivated as a camera manufacturer.

2018/12/27Featured Technology

40x Optical Zoom Lens

#Imaging technologies#Physics

Canon's compact digital cameras1 feature an ultra high-magnification 40x optical zoom lens. This makes it possible to vividly capture the subject down to the smallest detail. In addition, Canon's electronic progressive fine zoom makes it possible to maintain clear resolution at magnifications as high as approximately 80x.

  • 1
    Specifically the PowerShot SX720 HS, PowerShot SX730 HS and PowerShot SX740 HS.


The 40x optical zoom lens incorporates one Hi-UD lens, three UD lenses, and three aspherical lenses. This makes it possible to successfully achieve high magnification and image quality while maintaining a compact size. When the lens is retracted, some lens group is kept away from the optical axis by using a lens evacuation structure, which makes it possible to achieve a compact, thin body. The lens also incorporates numerous other cutting-edge technologies, including intelligent IS, which further advances high magnification performance, and a lens barrier with an eight-lens structure that makes a smaller outside lens-barrel diameter possible.


(1) Hi-UD lens

A Hi-UD lens, which has a high refractive index in the low-dispersion region, is used to keep the lens diameter from getting too big even when pursuing high magnification.

(2) UD lens x 3

Three UD lenses, which have low-dispersion characteristics, are used to effectively reduce chromatic aberration caused by the telephoto lens.

(3) Aspherical lens x 3

Three aspherical lenses are positioned so as to achieve excellent optical performance over the entire zoom range.

Back-Illuminated CMOS Sensor

#Imaging technologies#Electrical engineering#Physics#Chemistry


Compared with the CCD sensors used in many compact digital cameras in the past, back-illuminated CMOS sensors make it possible to reduce noise, even when shooting at high sensitivity, to achieve clear photographs even in low-light scenarios. By incorporating a back-illuminated structure in which the light-receiving surface is positioned above the wire layer, this sensor achieves increased light-gathering efficiency and high sensitivity.

DIGIC 8 Image Processor

#Imaging technologies#Electrical engineering#Semiconductors



When light enters the camera via the lens, it is converted to an electrical signal by the image sensor. Canon's DIGIC image processor1 is then used to generate image data based on the signal. This data reproduces natural colors with rich gradations and little noise. DIGIC uses proprietary algorithms to perform processing optimized for still images and videos, which makes it possible to reduce noise while maintaining high resolution, even when shooting in low-light scenarios. Additionally, Canon's DIGIC image processor is a high-performance system LSI2 that uses a proprietary architecture to make high-speed processing possible, including the creation and processing of beautiful still images and videos, autofocus, image-stabilization evaluation operations, continuous shooting processing and Live View display.

  • 1
    A microcomputer in which a CPU core, memory for storing programs, timer function, and I/O unit connected to an external source are incorporated into one integrated circuit.
  • 2
    A large-scale integrated circuit on which functions achieved using such parts as CPUs, memory and special-purpose LSIs are integrated on one chip. System LSIs speed up operations by making it unnecessary to connect the complicated wires required when using multiple chips. In addition, because little board space is required for one chip, it is possible to make both the board and product more compact.

An Ultra-Small Lens Unit with a Image Stabilizer (IS)

#Imaging technologies#Mechanical engineering#Electrical engineering

A variety of technologies are used for image stabilization in digital cameras. Since the 1980s, Canon has been improving the performance of its lens-shift type image stabilizer (IS)4, which is also employed by compact digital cameras. The information detected by a gyro sensor within the camera is used to analyze the amount of movement and shift the corrective optical lens within the lens unit needs to apply to negate this movement.


A Shift Lens Ball Support System that Offers High Responsiveness Due to the Low-Friction Rolling Support Provided by a Bearing Ball

Many of Canon's compact digital cameras employ lens units incorporating UA lens5 elements that provide excellent expression while ensuring a compact camera body, and Canon's unique image stabilization technology is used in these ultra-small precision units. A ball support system is used to drive the corrective optical lens. This system's rolling mechanism, which uses a bearing ball, achieves low friction. This works in concert with a high-precision control circuit to provide smooth, precise movement and outstanding responsiveness.

  • 4 Image Stabilizer (IS)
    Image sensor shift type and electronic stabilization are other image stabilization methods. A lens-shift type image stabilizer has the advantage of providing a wider correction scope with almost no deterioration of image quality.
  • 5 UA lens (Ultra-high refractive index Aspherical lens)
    A glass-molded (GMo) aspherical lens with an ultra-high refractive index. Impeccably sharp images befitting of a Canon lens are produced through the optimal combination of various lenses that have different optical characteristics to this aspherical lens.

Face, Motion and Scene Detection Technology

#Imaging technologies#AI#Electrical engineering#Computer science

Canon's digital compact cameras incorporate many technologies that enable easy shooting of beautiful photos by automatically detecting the optimal settings for various subjects, movements and scenes.

Face Detection technology quickly recognizes human faces in a picture and adjusts such factors as focus and exposure accordingly through a combination of a face detection algorithm based on the features of people's faces and iSAPS technology. Up to 35 faces can be detected in a frame, of which up to nine can be tracked on the LCD monitor.

Motion Detection technology responds to movement of the subject. It determines whether or not the subject is moving, immediately detects the speed and direction of any movement, and minimizes blurring of the subject by selecting the optimal ISO sensitivity, shutter speed and f-number (aperture).

Scene Detection technology automatically determines the type of scene being shot. It determines optimal settings based on a comprehensive information set that includes the brightness and contrast of the subject, distance to the subject and color of the overall image.


Overview of Scene Detection Technology

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