Canon PowerShot ZOOM: A Strange Monocular Camera Now in Your Pocket

  • Cameras
  • 10 min read
Canon PowerShot Zoom

Canon has long been known in the market not only as a manufacturer of amateur and professional photo and video cameras, but also for its unusual 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 device looks like this:

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Canon PowerShot Zoom 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 on, 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 a normal 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, which the manufacturer hints at in 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. Speaking of Canon X Makuake, there was a carabiner type camera “INSPIC REC”. That was also well received, but this time as well, the target amount was cleared about 30 minutes after the start of the campaign.

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) allows you to get closer to the subject.

The zoom is about this.

Canon PowerShot Zoom
Zoom Feature

100 mm, 400 mm, 800 mm from the left. If you want to get as close as you can with a single-lens reflex camera or mirrorless camera, it will be quite heavy equipment. It’s about 144 gm in the palm of your hand, so isn’t it pretty dangerous? I ‘ve been interested in it since the end of last year, So I made an investment immediately.

Smart Looks, Comfortable Grip

Detailed specifications are written on the Makuake page, so only the important 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: Canon PowerShot Zoom

The body color is white only. They said that they were conscious of not batting with the team color when he brought it to watching sports. 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

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

Buttons: Canon PowerShot Zoom

At the top are the power supply, menu, and Zoom button. If it feels like hands-on, I don’t think I use the menu button very often, so the important thing is the zoom button. In addition, the captured image cannot be confirmed on the main 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 the lens of a smartphone camera 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 Feature: Canon PowerShot Zoom

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 items such as exposure compensation can only be operated from the menu button, and the menu screen must also be checked from the eyepiece, so it is difficult to make settings as quickly as with a normal 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 if it is this size, I would like to carry it around and use it as a snap.

Ease of Use: Canon PowerShot ZOOM
Ease of Use: Canon PowerShot ZOOM

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 the stability of 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

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“, live view display and remote shutter are also possible. It’s not a rare feature, but it’s pretty interesting to be able to display the world of 400 mm and 800 mm on a smartphone screen. It’s good, this cooperation.

This, 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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The image quality could not be confirmed. The sensor size 1/3 is the same size 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 clearly.

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 rather fixed manner for sports, airplanes, railroads, wild birds, etc.

But the telephoto view is simply fun, isn’t it? Isn’t it exciting with a magnifying glass or a microscope? The “PowerShot ZOOM” is a camera that packs the fun of telephoto into a 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.

1,000 units have been pre-sold at Makuake, but as of 18:30 on September 10, 2020, the remaining 500 units have already been cut. You see, there are people who are longing for telephoto lenses for canon.