Canon updates PowerShot A range compacts...

We'd like to tell you that Canon has just launched the most amazing cutting-edge compact cameras to date. They haven't. Mid-range is as good as it gets this afternoon, so if you want something more exciting from the Japanese imaging giants, then take a look at the LEGRIA camcorders instead.

What the company has done with the stills shooters today is quite interesting for other reasons. Essentially, there are two new models and both have slightly nerfed, cheaper versions available only at Argos.

The more basic is the PowerShot A495 model which features a 10-megapixel sensor, 18 scene modes, a 2.5-inch LCD, video capture at VGA quality, 3.3x optical zoom and runs on AA batteries. The Argos exclusive PowerShot A490 is the same but only available in silver, rather than the blue and red flourish the other model enjoys, and there's just the 13 scenes to play with.

For the other pair, it's the PowerShot A3100 IS and PowerShot A3000 IS both of which have the Digic III processor, 4x optical zoom, optical image stabilisation, 2.7-inch LCD screens, VGA video capture, Li-ion power as well as YouTube integration.

The difference this time is that the A3100 IS has a 12.1-megapixel sensor and the A3000 just the 10 inches to play with.

All four models feature face detection, low light shooting modes, smart scene detection and Canon's iContrast mode to properly process light and dark areas of your images. They also feature support for both SDHC and SDXC memory cards and the latter of these offers up to 2TB of storage.

They all go on sale from next month. Prices and pictures to follow.