In the past, Canon has avoided introducing devices with wireless features, excepting its printers. But today, the company has changed course: Four of the eight new products it's announcing—two cameras and two camcorders—include wireless capabilities: the 16-megapixel PowerShot Elph 130 IS ($200) and a new concept model, the 12-megapixel PowerShot N ($300), and the Vixia HF R42 ($500) and the Vixia HF R40 ($400) HD camcorders.
On the PowerShot N, Wi-Fi isn't the only new feature. It's a small camera that has an 8x optical zoom and a 2.8-inch swiveling touch screen LCD and can shoot HD video. But Canon describes its design as unorthodox and boxy. And the PowerShot N includes two rings around the lens; one is used for zooming, and the other is used as a shutter button: You actually press down on this ring to snap the photo. So there's no shutter button on top of the camera.
Other unique features include a new Creative Shot button. Canon says this will analyze a scene and shoot five additional photos, which will alter color, focus, cropping and white balance to deliver a medley of shots at once. A second Mobile Device Connect button lets the camera become a wireless access point, so it can quickly connect with Android and Apple iOS devices, and then transfer photos and video to those devices. You need to download Canon's Camera Window app to your mobile device to make this work.
Similarly, you can wirelessly stream video you've taken with the wireless Vixia camcorders and view it on an Android or Apple device. Additionally, Canon has overhauled both its AVCHD and MP4 video formats, proving better quality and more flexibility in editing.
Like many camcorder companies, Canon has also reduced the number of models in its 2013 product line. It has eliminated the step-up "M" series camcorders, and has no plans to introduce pocket models.
The new PowerShots will be available in February, except the PowerShot N, which will be available in April. The Vixia models will be available in March, except the G20, which will be available in February.
Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.