Canon's two latest compacts, the Ixus 265 HS and PowerShot SX600, both pack big zooms and a fair few megapixels into small bodies

The Ixus 265 (known as the PowerShot ELPH 340 in the States) boasts a 12x optical zoom lens and a 16MP CMOS sensor. Its equivalent focal length is 25-300mm and its maximum aperture is f/3.6-f/7.0. With dimensions of 100 x 58 x 22mm, it is very compact indeed.

The SX600 is a little larger and accordingly a little more powerful and versatile. Its 18x optical lens has an equivalent focal length of 25-450mm and a maximum aperture of f/3.8-6.9. It also uses a 16MP CMOS sensor, which combines with Canon’s DIGIC 4+ processor to create the Canon HS system to deliver superior low light performance.

A number of features are common to both cameras. Both feature built-in Wi-fi and Near Field Communication for instant image sharing with the Mobile Device Connect button, and can connect to computers using Canon’s Image Sync through the cloud.

Also common to the pair is Creative Shot mode for adding artistic effects o images with Canon’s selection of filters. Four categories are available: Retro, Monochrome, Special and Natural, and the user chooses from these prior to capture. Creative Shot then renders multiple versions of a scene with different individual filters applied, and the user can select a favourite (the original image is also retained).

Both cameras capture video in 1080p Full HD. Hybrid Auto mode allows users to automatically record four seconds of video every time a still image is shot, and then automatically combine the clips and pictures into a single highlight reel.

The SX600 is expected in February, US price $249.99. The Ixus 265 will be available a month later, estimated retail price $199.99.