Canon PowerShot Zoom Review: A Strange Monocular Camera Now in Your Pocket

Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

Canon has long been known in the market as a manufacturer of amateur and professional cameras and other devices. For example, the company previously introduced a device called the IVY REC carabiner camera. Now Canon has introduced an electronic monocle – ‘Canon PowerShot ZOOM,’ which is already on sale in the Japanese market.

The camera looks like this:

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular. Source: Canon

The new device allows you to take both photos and videos. There is even a continuous shooting mode with a focal length of up to 400mm, and with the digital zoom, the focal length increases to 800mm. In addition, the device is additionally equipped with an optical image stabilization system (OIS).

Canon Power Shot Zoom is sold only in the Asian market; the cost of this unusual device is 31,460 Yen or 300 USD. The device does not exceed the size of an average adult’s palm, its dimensions are 33.4 x 50.8 x 103.2 mm, and it weighs about 145 gm, including battery and memory card. The case itself is plastic and has no protection against dust and moisture.

Canon Power Shot ZOOM uses a 1/3-inch CMOS sensor with a resolution of 12.1 million effective pixels as a matrix, and DIGIC 8 was chosen as a processor. Photos are saved in JPEG format at 4000 × 3000 resolution, and video is recorded in MP4 format at FullHD resolution at 30fps and 24fps. Also, the device is equipped with Wi-Fi and allows you to transfer the footage directly to your smartphone.

In a commercial, Canon shows why such a monocle might be needed. For example, when attending a sporting event or watching birds and animals, the manufacturer hints at his promotion video.

Source: Canon

Hands-On: 100mm/400mm Lens is in Your Pocket

Let's carry around the world of overwhelming zoom.

Canon's telescope camera "PowerShot ZOOM" has started crowdfunding at Makuake, and within 30 minutes, the target amount was achieved. Speaking of Canon X Makuake, there was a carabiner-type camera, "INSPIC REC."

This camera specializes in zooming, and the step zoom of 100 mm (1.2x), 400 mm (4.8x), and 800 mm (9.6x digital zoom) allow you to get closer to the subject. The zoom step is like this - 100 mm, 400 mm, 800 mm from the left.

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Zoom Feature of Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

If you want to get as close as you can with a single-lens reflex camera or mirrorless camera, it will be pretty heavy equipment. It's about 144 gm in the palm of your hand, so isn't it pretty dangerous? Since the end of last year, I've been interested in it, So I invested immediately.

Smart Looks, Comfortable Grip

Detailed specifications are written on the Makuake page, so only the essential parts. The resolution is 12.1 million pixels, the image engine is DIGIC 8, and the sensor is a 1/3 CMOS sensor. Still, images are jpg only; videos are FHD 23.97/23.98 fps. With camera shake correction. The video display time is about 70 minutes, the number of shots is about 150, and the recording time is about 60 minutes. There is no drip-proof or dust-proof.

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Comfortable Grip of Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

The body color is white only. The exterior of the part with the logo is glossy, and the left part with the eyepiece has a matte texture.

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Body Color and Finish: Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

Charging is Type-C, Yoshi. The card slot is microSD.

Buttons of Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

At the top are the power supply, menu, and Zoom button. If it feels hands-on, I don't think I often use the menu button, so the zoom button is essential. In addition, the captured image cannot be confirmed on the central unit and can be confirmed on the smartphone in cooperation with the smartphone application "Canon Camera Connect." It's the same as "INSPIC REC."

When you press the zoom button, the focal length changes in step zoom in the order of 100 mm → 400 mm → 800 mm (digital zoom) → 100 mm. It doesn't stop at the angle of view in the middle. This step zoom is more like switching a smartphone camera lens than a zoom lens (the switching itself is a moment). At 100 mm, the subject is captured in the center, and at 400 mm, it approaches at once. Once you get used to it, you can operate it quite quickly.

Zoom Button & Other Features of Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

There is a diopter adjustment dial, shutter button, and record button on the bottom. Personally, the existence of the strap hole, yes. AF is activated by pressing the shutter button halfway.

Setting features such as exposure can only be operated from the menu button. The menu screen must also be checked from the eyepiece, making it challenging to make settings quickly with a standard digital camera. But when I used it indoors, I felt that I didn't have to mess with the exposure.

Even if you see an extreme difference in brightness, automatic correction may work if you shift the angle of view well. At least in the assumed scenes, such as watching sports, traveling, and watching live performances, the exposure will not change significantly.

What An Easy 400 mm Experience...

It looks like this when you hold it, but isn't it so easy that you can't imagine seeing things with a 400mm telephoto lens? Take it out of your pocket, turn on the power (power on quickly), and look into the world of zoom.

It is a hybrid that feels like a monocular and can take pictures and videos. The assumed scene is watching sports, but I would like to carry it around and use it as a snap if it is this size.

Ease of Use: Canon PowerShot ZOOM
Ease of Use: Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

The fact that the shutter and record buttons are at the bottom is also a good arrangement. In addition to the powerful camera shake correction that hardly feels blur even at 400 mm, this good grip also contributes to holding.

By the way, camera shake correction has a different standard from digital cameras, so it is difficult to measure by the number of stages. It's a feeling, but it was stable enough that I hardly noticed even if I intentionally buzzed my hands at 400 mm.

Eyecup and Eyepieces: Canon PowerShot ZOOM
Eyecup and Eyepieces: Canon PowerShot Zoom Monocular

Eyepieces do not have eyecups like digital cameras and binoculars. I was a little worried about pressing my eyes directly against this hard part. So, I tried using it with my eyes a few centimeters away from the eyepieces, but it works fine. It is more stable when pressed against the eyes with less blurring.

In addition, when connected to the smartphone app "Canon Camera Connect," a live view display and remote shutter are also possible. It's not a rare feature, but it's pretty interesting to display the world of 400 mm and 800 mm on a smartphone screen. It's good, this cooperation.

It, the hat in the back, is displayed at 400 mm. By projecting the image that the person is watching in live view, there is an advantage that the field of view can be shared with other people on the spot. It would be even more fun to display it on a large-screen tablet instead of a smartphone. Rather, could it be seen more clearly than the photographer?

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I can't confirm the image quality this time. The sensor size 1/3 is the same as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, so the image quality may be as good as the mirrorless camera. As for the resistance to dark places, color noise and display lag were confirmed when the lens was pointed at a dark part. So I think this is also close to the usability of a smartphone camera.

Shows the Invisible World, That's the ZOOM

Canon PowerShot ZOOM (Telescope Type Camera)

I remember lending a single-lens reflex camera to a friend who wasn't very interested in cameras and saying, "It's fun to get closer with a zoom." At that time, I was using a standard zoom of 18-135 mm, but it was fun to see distant objects.

That's because if you're a camera user to some extent, you've probably thought, "I don't need a telephoto zoom." The reason is that I don't shoot things that require a telephoto lens. Telephoto zoom is a lens that is used in a relatively fixed manner for sports, airplanes, railroads, wild birds, etc.

But the telephoto view is simply fun. Isn't it exciting with a magnifying glass or a microscope? The "PowerShot ZOOM" is a camera that packs the fun of telephoto into pocket size. It's hard to have a 400 mm lens on hand, but this camera can do it.

By the way, the size is a little smaller than Ricoh's point-and-shoot "GR III." Just having these two units can cover a wide-angle lens with high image quality and an overwhelming telephoto range. I think it's omnipotent. It's chilling.

One thousand units have been pre-sold at Makuake. You see, some people are longing for telephoto lenses for Canon.

Update

Now it is available on Amazon marketplace and you can buy it for $299 in USA and other countries as well. Here is the product link