Canon's Facial Recognition Focuses on Friends and Ignores Strangers

We've all taken pictures where we've accidentally focused on the wrong person: who the hell was that dude in the background, anyway? But facial recognition baked into Canon's new cameras should mean that doesn't happen again.

This week at CES Canon announced its new ELPH series cameras, along with the hotly anticipated PowerShot G1 X. During a hands-on with the cameras, the guys over at Digital Trends played around with a pretty interesting feature, though: the face ID system.

We've already reported that leaked details about Face ID suggested it would be able to differentiate between children and adults, and indeed it can. In fact, Face ID is child-weighted: younger subjects get preferential treatment – well, focus, at least — in groups shots. And for even younger subjects, there's a suite of built-in image recognition tools to tell if a baby is smiling or sleeping, which allows the camera to change settings accordingly

But it goes further than that.

Because the camera also has a baked-in facial recognition system. Canon explained to Digital Trends that you can can store details of up to 12 people on the camera, adding names, birth dates, and pictures from different angles to their profile. Then, when the camera recognizes one of the people that is stored in its memory, it gives them preference, focusing on them rather than other people in the shot. No more random dudes taking center-stage in your family photos!

Update: Canon tell us that Face ID will only be available on the PowerShot ELPH 520 HS and ELPH 110 HS

[Digital Trends; Image: pedrosimoes7]