Just released: May 11, 2010, the Canon IXUS 300 HS Digital Compact Camera. No big deal, right? It’s just another new point & shoot with another new gimmick.

Foto 334 from Canon UKThe IXUS 300 HS is the first model to feature Canon’s new HS System, combining a high-sensitivity 10.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor with fast DIGIC 4 processing for enhanced low light performance and high-speed shooting.

High-sensitivity 10.0 MP CMOS sensor
A high-sensitivity, back-illuminated CMOS sensor gives outstanding image quality in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Even images taken at high ISOs feature low noise levels and a wide dynamic range.

HS System
The new HS System dramatically improves image quality in all situations. A powerful combination of DIGIC 4 processing and high-sensitivity sensor, the HS System allows full-resolution shooting at up to ISO 3200 (10MP) or up to ISO 6400 in Low Light mode (2.5MP).

More details on the IXUS 300 from the press release at Canon.

A high sensitivity, back illuminated CMOS sensor that will allow high ISO 3200 shooting with nearly no noise is a big deal. This is the first cam that Canon has released with this feature. High ISO shooting isn’t really a Canon camera strength. The evident noise that comes along with high ISO photos almost always mean running it through an image noise reduction software to make it usable.

On Saturday morning I go about my daily web routine and hit the bookmark on Canon Rumors. The page loads flawlessly as usual and CR guy is at the Henry’s Photography, Video and Digital imaging show in Toronto. Where he gets to shoot off a few frames from a pre-production Power Shot SD4000. Apparently with the same HS System like that of the new IXUS 300. Take a look at the hi-rez photo and what don’t you see?

IMG_0065-2 From

ISO 3200 - Canon SD4000 Image from Canon Rumors

At ISO 3200 the photo (right) lacks the noise common on Canon cameras. If this is an indication of Canon’s upcoming update on their sensor technology then we might be in for a significant improvement in the EOS lineup. Including the rumored replacement for the 50D where release date and specs are gathering more steam on a few sites.

Hopefully Canon does a major overhaul of the xxD line with the inclusion of the HS System and back lit sensor. This should be a tad more promising than just upgrading the EOS processor to DIGIC V.