Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH 520HS crams in 12x zoom

Canon's newest ELPH is tiny. Seriously tiny. While not as quite slim as some of its former models, the PowerShot Digital ELPH 520 HS has an overall volume that's impressively tiny for its specs. A 10.1 megapixel sensor should allow most users to get as many pixels as they like, and a 12x-rated optical zoom will let them get in close to capture them. The whole camera is just a little thicker than and deck of cards, and much shorter and more narrow.

But perhaps what's really amazing is a 12x zoom cramped into a lens that only extends out about half an inch. That should cut down significantly on viewfinding and motor noises. It's all visible on a 3-inch viewscreen that's sadly not touch-enabled. An ISO range of 3200 should make for some good night performance.

What's most interesting is the new facial detection, which can differentiate between children and adults. It can also be set – in a photo with up to 12 people, the ELPH can choose to focus on either infants, children or adults. When focusing on a baby, the photo will automatically take three shots when it detects a smile, and disable the autofocus beep and shutter sound when it detects that the baby is sleeping. Now that's kid-friendly.

The PowerShot Digital ELPH 520HS will be available in March for $299.99. It comes in black, red, silver or blue.