21 October, 2020

Canon’s PowerShot Zoom is like a pocket telescope that takes photos

A tiny camera with a lot of zoom range

Canon has announced the PowerShot Zoom, an unusual camera that’s more like a digital monocular than a point-and-shoot. The company has been showing off the idea for a while and recently crowdfunded it in Japan; now it’s coming to the US.

The PowerShot Zoom is a tiny device with an electronic viewfinder, a 1/3-inch 12-megapixel sensor, and two switchable equivalent focal lengths of 100mm and 400mm with a digital zoom up to 800mm. The lens is f/5.6-6.3, so this probably isn’t well-suited to low-light use. Image quality in general is not really the focus.

Canon says the product has been designed for people who enjoy outdoor activities like birdwatching and hiking, however, and it could be a useful accessory for spectators at sports events like the Olympic Games — if they actually go ahead. The camera charges over USB-C and saves images and video to a microSD card, plus you can transfer images to a smartphone over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The PowerShot Zoom will go on sale in the US late next month for $299.99.