With regular compact cameras going the way of the dodo, Canon is trying something completely different. It just unveiled the PowerShot Zoom, a “compact telephoto monocular,” with a design that looks like a golf rangefinder rather than a camera or camcorder. It’s designed not only to take 12-megapixel photos and 1080p video, but work as a viewer for “hiking, birdwatching and nature gazing,” according to Canon.
To keep that form factor so small, the PowerShot Zoom has a relatively tiny 1/3-inch sensor along with an f/5.6-6.3 lens that supports 100mm or 400mm focal lengths, along with a digital zoom to 800mm (full-frame equivalent.) You can capture either 12-megapixel photos or 1080p video (with a modest 100-3200 ISO range) to a microSD card, and it has built-in optical stabilization along with face-tracking autofocus capability. The battery can last for about 150 shots.
However, Canon is also pitching this as a monocular viewer that gives you highly zoomed-in views of sports, wildlife, concerts or scenic views via the 2.36-million dot EVF. The Canon Camera Connect app makes it easy to capture and share those via a smartphone. It’ll run for about 70 minutes in this mode before the battery needs to be recharged via the USB-C port.
It’s a pretty unique device, and Canon is clearly trying something different in attempt to replace the budget compact camera market that smartphones have almost completely displaced. The PowerShot Zoom will arrive in late November 2020 for $300.