updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2013
Lefties likely to appreciate Canon's quirky PowerShot N compact shooter
At Canon's booth at CES we made ourselves familiar with the upcoming PowerShot N compact camera. It breaks from tradition in two key ways, as it's a near perfect square rather than the usual rectangular form factor and lacks a physical shutter button. Instead, users can either use the 2.8-inch touchscreen to capture photos or by pressing down on the forward-most metal ring. Right behind it is the zoom ring, with a larger diameter, allowing zooming in during video capture (at up to 1080p) as well.
The PowerShot N gets a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with Canon's DIGIC 5 Image Processor. It can share images over its built-in Wi-Fi radio with iOS and Android devices thanks to free apps that will become available when the camera launches. The Mobile Device Connect Button is a shortcut for quickly pairing the camera with the mobile devices. Viewing photos and sharing them will be possible, but the app likely and unfortunately won't double as a remote shutter, for example, or allow adjusting other settings of the camera.
As usual, the build quality is top-notch and the camera exudes a feeling of solidity from its metal body. Its shape makes it fairly easy to operate one-handed, or at least capture an image thanks to that ring shutter. Its shape also means its perfectly suited for lefties.
A Creative Shot mode makes five separate exposures or filters from the original for a different look.
The touchscreen tilts up on way up to 90 degrees, but an integrated accelerometer will automatically flip the image on the screen and the captured photo when it detects a user is holding it over her head.
The PowerShot N is due to arrive in April, priced at $299, and available in black and white.