Canon has updated its zoom lens-touting travel compacts, introducing the PowerShot SX260 HS and PowerShot SX240 to the range and increasing their optical range considerably. Both feature new 20x zoom capabilities and lay claim to being the slimmest models with that optical range in the manufacturer's line-up.

In specifications terms, the models are similar. Each features the aforementioned 20x zoom, 25mm wide-angle lens, and they have 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensors and the DIGIC 5-powered HS System. They also sport Canon's proprietary Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation) technology.

ZoomPlus technology adds digital zoom to the cameras too, combined DIGIC 5 with the sensor in order to extend the range to 39x.

Both cameras have 3-inch PureColor II G LCD screens on the rear, and now chuck in Face ID, a face recognition system that can recognise up to 12 previous stored faces of your friends and family. You can also include their birthdays, and then Smart Auto will apply age-related setups and scenes to photographs. For example, if one of the stored faces belongs to a sleeping baby, Smart Auto will know to disengage the flash and audio cues.

Face ID will also tag images with the names of the subjects.

Another interesting feature is Movie Digest. It records the last four seconds of action before each shot is taken and then edits them into a single movie at the end of the day, in 720p, so that you can watch a mini film of your excursion or event.

Each camera also offers Full HD (1080p) video recording functionality, which also utilises the 20x zoom lens and image stabilisation talents.

Other notable features include Manual, Av and Tv modes, high-speed shooting, and the cameras can be complemented with optional 40m waterproof cases.

The major difference between them is that the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS also comes with GPS to location stamp images.

Available from March, the SX260 will cost £329 and come in four colours - silver, black, red and green - while the SX240 will be £299 and come in three - silver, black and red.