Canon Launches the PowerShot Zoom in Black

Canon Rumors Guy

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www.canonrumors.com
I have no idea how many PowerShot Zooms have been sold, but I guess it has been enough of them to launch the unique monocular camera in black.
The black PowerShot Zoom has only appeared on the Canon Japan site, so it’s possible that the camera will only be sold there.
The PowerShot Zoom Black edition will go on sale in December 2021.
PowerShot Zoom Key Features

One-touch switchable telephoto magnification from 100mm to 400mm
Optical, and to 800mm digital
Auto Focus (Continuous in Viewing mode; Face Tracking available during video)
Optical Image Stabilization for Shake Correction
Compact and Lightweight
0.39 inch 2.3M dot, 59.94fps EVF
12 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
Full HD 1080 30p Video and up to 12 Megapixels Still Image Recording
LiveView and Photo Downloads available with Canon Camera Connect App

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EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
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I am glad that this device was popular enough to warrant a sequel.
*In before people claim it is crippled because it only shoots 1080p
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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I pre-ordered one when they came out but my big hands and fingers just struggled to control it, and even with IS, a long zoom was a problem. I returned it. I can see others using it, but it did not work out for me. Mu Samsung phone has a 10X optical lens and works pretty well at that setting.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
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Yeah, the twitchers pretty universally love it. I'm not sure why so many Serious Business camera sites/channels tried to review it as if it was meant to be a contender against a 150-600 or whatever; Canon very clearly marketed it as a digital monocular which happens to be able to record record (er, that's 'REE-cord' 'REC-ord') shots. The crowd that want a digital monocular with record shots seem to have no complaints. The strange group of reviewers who expect every single device ever released to be a Hollywood-grade cine camera (I'm looking at you, DPR) of course did not like it, but that's on them for demanding products to be something they're not intended to be.

It's not perfect by a long shot and in particular it really needs an additional button to activate focus, and the option to restrict focus to a specific point. It could do with a beefier battery too, of course. But it does what it's meant to. Nobody should have ever been testing, let alone buying, a device like this expecting it to be a contender for a super-zoom on an R5. If you're a casual bird watcher, or maybe you just don't want to carry the 400mm f/2.8 with you on every dog walk, it does the job better than any other digital binoculars or monoculars on the market.
 

InchMetric

Switched from Nikon. Still zooming the wrong way.
CR Pro
Jun 22, 2021
159
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My review:
Disappointing. I compared to a $200 Zeiss 5x10 Monocular (a bit fatter and shorter than a Sharpie marker), and a $440 Leica 8x20 BCA Trinovid binocular used with one eye. The reviewer also owns and is familiar with a stabilized Fujinon 14x40. I had hoped this would be a superior companion to other monoculars for nature walks, plane flights, and vacations, but it isn't.

The 1x view is useful only for finding a subject. The 400mm optical magnification was compared, and the 800mm digital zoom setting was pretty useless, and I wished I could have locked it out in the menu. All assessment was at the 400mm setting.

Comparing subject size (not field of view) Powershot was half the magnification of the Leica 8x, and 80%+ of the 5x. I assumed that 400mm meant 8x compared to a normal 50mm lens view. Not so. This is a 4x magnification device. Field of view (ignoring subject magnification) was compared by putting the Powershot up to one eye, and the optical one up to the other, and estimating the difference. The Zeiss 5x image circle neatly circumscribed the Powershot's rectangular field, so that the diagonals were the same, and the Powershot's field is noticeable smaller. The Leica 8x20 field of view had a diameter double that of the Powershot diagonal, creating an enormous difference.

Viewing a house number at distance, the Zeiss 5x was clearer and more satisfying than the PS, even without any stabilization, and the Leica 8x20 revealed an undetected street name text below number. For objects like birds and planes against a bright sky, excessive image sharpening was observed.

In my opinion, the eyepiece optics and electronic display were well matched, both used to their limits, and no improvement expected by improving only one. I had high hopes that I'd get an improvement for one-eyed pocket viewing, but was very disappointed. This is going back, and I will keep an eye out for a future model boasting vast improvements - and I won't be an early adopter of those.
 
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maulanawale

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May 25, 2021
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My review:
Disappointing. I compared to a $200 Zeiss 5x10 Monocular (a bit fatter and shorter than a Sharpie marker), and a $440 Leica 8x20 BCA Trinovid binocular used with one eye. The reviewer also owns and is familiar with a stabilized Fujinon 14x40. I had hoped this would be a superior companion to other monoculars for nature walks, plane flights, and vacations, but it isn't.

[. . .]
Very thorough review (y)
I assume, given that you are in this forum, your threshold for what constitutes acceptable IQ is way different than that of the average birder with no photographic knowledge or intentions.
As I said, the couple of birders I know that have one are happy, but before that they were mostly handholding their phones in front of their binos so in relative terms, must be quite an improvement.
I, however, can't see an use case for myself where I wouldn't be frustrated by the lack of IQ compared to a proper camera with a decent lens.
 
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aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
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My review:
[...]
Which is all fair enough if what you're after is 'just' a monocular. Solely as a monocular it's not particularly great, just like how solely as camera it's not particularly great.
However, as a monocular-camera hybrid—something to both see and record sightings within a single device—it's unmatched.

The Powershot Zoom should not be compared to either cameras or monoculars. It should be compared, as maulanawale points out, to things like holding a phone up to a scope, or things like those terrible digital binoculars which have flip-up screens and sensors recycled from outdated phones.

Also, your estimations of magnification are a bit off. The diameter of the optic factors into field of view and apparent (not literal) magnification, and also 400mm is never 8x magnification. That's a woefully outdated misconception based on the erroneous idea that 50mm is how human eyes see (which has never been the case and is just a relic of 1930s marketing). In reality, 400mm is more like 6x real human vision magnification (assuming the human in question has two fully functioning eyeballs with at least 20/20 vision). Also, the effective focal length (and thus magnification) is based on the output file (i.e. 1:1 pixel output) and does not factor in the playback viewing format; looking only through the small screen in the device (which can't display the image 1:1) shows, unsurprisingly, a much smaller image than if you were to view a photo or clip on a computer screen or TV.
So your finding that the Powershot's magnification, when looking through the device's own screen, being close to the 5x10 monocular is to be expected. This is a well documented problem with comparing camera focal lengths to binocular/monocular magnification, as though 400mm is 8x magnification by the photographic 50mm standard, it's not 8x magnification by the standards of binoculars, and never has been, and now that we've also got to factor in the viewing sizes and display densities of digital devices, really the whole comparison gets thrown out the window.
 

InchMetric

Switched from Nikon. Still zooming the wrong way.
CR Pro
Jun 22, 2021
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Ace, I stand by my report of the magnification. It’s not wrong and the 50mm note was an aside and not part of my factual report.
I measure magnification by how much bigger things appear compared to the naked eye and not to a 50mm camera.
I trust you haven’t used one of these or measured the magnification.
 

blackcoffee17

EOS RP
Sep 17, 2014
695
889
This could have been such a nice travel accessory. But instead, Canon managed to design something which has worse image quality than a low-end smartphone.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
355
192
Ace, I stand by my report of the magnification. It’s not wrong and the 50mm note was an aside and not part of my factual report.
[...]

Yes, it is wrong, and the fact you assumed 400mm would equal 8x magnification based on the old 50mm standard is precisely part of the problem. (The other part being you blew past display magnification and optical magnification being two separate things.)
And yes, I own one (though, granted, between injury keeping me at home and my possession of much finer optics, I rarely use it) and I have measured the magnification in regards to infinity focus. As a former extreme macro and copy specialist employed by governments, museums, galleries and royal families primarily on the basis of my mastery of precision reproduction, I know my way around a tele optic or two. The actual magnification does depend on which magnification standard you refer to, hence why I say "more like 6x" and not "precisely".

Also, you don't seem to understand what "factual" means; a subjective use case and opinion is not a "factual report". You may well have written out your individual experience, which is fine, but do not be so ridiculously egotistical as to ever portray your individual use case as a "factual report". That's just plain stupid.

This could have been such a nice travel accessory. But instead, Canon managed to design something which has worse image quality than a low-end smartphone.
But a "low-end smartphone" does not reach 100mm equivalent, let alone 400mm, and putting one behind an equivalent scope nets you far lower image quality. Waving this off as inferior to a phone is ridiculous when they have such entirely different functionality. The worst tele image in the world still does a better job of identifiying a far away animal than the fanciest phone's 28mm-ish lens.

Seriously, people, come on: how is it you see a hybrid device yet keep insisting on comparing it to entirely different, single-function products? Do you complain that the M50 isn't a C500? Do you get angry at the G9X because it doesn't have an f/1.4 prime? Y'all are nuts.
 
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InchMetric

Switched from Nikon. Still zooming the wrong way.
CR Pro
Jun 22, 2021
159
187
Yes, it is wrong, and the fact you assumed 400mm would equal 8x magnification based on the old 50mm standard is precisely part of the problem. (The other part being you blew past display magnification and optical magnification being two separate things.)
And yes, I own one (though, granted, between injury keeping me at home and my possession of much finer optics, I rarely use it) and I have measured the magnification in regards to infinity focus. As a former extreme macro and copy specialist employed by governments, museums, galleries and royal families primarily on the basis of my mastery of precision reproduction, I know my way around a tele optic or two. The actual magnification does depend on which magnification standard you refer to, hence why I say "more like 6x" and not "precisely".

Also, you don't seem to understand what "factual" means; a subjective use case and opinion is not a "factual report". You may well have written out your individual experience, which is fine, but do not be so ridiculously egotistical as to ever portray your individual use case as a "factual report". That's just plain stupid.


But a "low-end smartphone" does not reach 100mm equivalent, let alone 400mm, and putting one behind an equivalent scope nets you far lower image quality. Waving this off as inferior to a phone is ridiculous when they have such entirely different functionality. The worst tele image in the world still does a better job of identifiying a far away animal than the fanciest phone's 28mm-ish lens.

Seriously, people, come on: how is it you see a hybrid device yet keep insisting on comparing it to entirely different, single-function products? Do you complain that the M50 isn't a C500? Do you get angry at the G9X because it doesn't have an f/1.4 prime? Y'all are nuts.
You seem nice
 

blackcoffee17

EOS RP
Sep 17, 2014
695
889
Yes, it is wrong, and the fact you assumed 400mm would equal 8x magnification based on the old 50mm standard is precisely part of the problem. (The other part being you blew past display magnification and optical magnification being two separate things.)
And yes, I own one (though, granted, between injury keeping me at home and my possession of much finer optics, I rarely use it) and I have measured the magnification in regards to infinity focus. As a former extreme macro and copy specialist employed by governments, museums, galleries and royal families primarily on the basis of my mastery of precision reproduction, I know my way around a tele optic or two. The actual magnification does depend on which magnification standard you refer to, hence why I say "more like 6x" and not "precisely".

Also, you don't seem to understand what "factual" means; a subjective use case and opinion is not a "factual report". You may well have written out your individual experience, which is fine, but do not be so ridiculously egotistical as to ever portray your individual use case as a "factual report". That's just plain stupid.


But a "low-end smartphone" does not reach 100mm equivalent, let alone 400mm, and putting one behind an equivalent scope nets you far lower image quality. Waving this off as inferior to a phone is ridiculous when they have such entirely different functionality. The worst tele image in the world still does a better job of identifiying a far away animal than the fanciest phone's 28mm-ish lens.

Seriously, people, come on: how is it you see a hybrid device yet keep insisting on comparing it to entirely different, single-function products? Do you complain that the M50 isn't a C500? Do you get angry at the G9X because it doesn't have an f/1.4 prime? Y'all are nuts.

Sure, i get it but is it too much to expect from a camera in 2021 to have at least the same image quality as a mid range plastic Powershot from 14 years ago? My A630 from 2007 had much better image quality and had a 140mm zoom lens.