Canon Takes Smartphones Head-On With the All-New PowerShot N

As smartphones have risen to compact supremacy, slowly killing the point-and-shoot market as a result, every company has tried one thing or another to somehow save the compact. Now, it’s Canon’s turn. But instead of adding a gimmicky feature, or doing away with compacts all-together in favor of mirrorless systems, the company has decided to re-invent the wheel… okay, the point-and-shoot.

The result is the new PowerShot N, a compact camera that has no top, bottom, left or right — it’s an incredibly thin square with a center-mounted lens and articulating screen you can use however you see fit.


Spec-wise, the new pocket-sized point-and-shoot sports an 8x 28mm f/3-5.9 lens, 12MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 processor capable of an ISO range between 80-6400, all packed into just 1.1 inches of thinness. On the back you’ll find a 2.8-inch, 461k-dot articulating touchscreen that articulates only one way, but that shouldn’t be a problem, since you can just turn the whole thing upside down (or right side up?) if the occasion calls for it.


Controlling the camera is done using the two rings around the lens: one for zoom, the other shutter release. And, of course, just like any good point-and-shoot, the PowerShot N can also shoot video — 1080p and 720p at 24 and 32fps, respectively.

Other noteworthy features include an Eco mode for conserving battery, an ‘Intelligent Scene Analysis’ mode that will crop and enhance your photos for you without altering the original and, of course, WiFi connectivity.


The N is set to ship in April at an MSRP of $300, alongside a set of accessories that will use the camera’s small size and unique shape to their advantage (think: creative ways to keep it attached to your body at all times).

  • Patric Franksson

    Hmm .. with the right sticker that could look like a InstagramCamera..

  • Michal Rosa

    Canon is finally getting innovative again, good to see. Pity that beyond the sexy exterior it’s still just another crappy P&S with a tiny sensor and slow lens.

  • Mike

    I think this looks like a fun little camera. I wonder how the shutter release being on a ring around the lens will work. Does it take square photos?

  • Alexander Aditya

    attach to my 15″ mbp and voila…! 12Mpx webcam ^_^

  • Armando

    Just a bad copy of go pros, another high priced P&S camera thats shoots like a 2009 camera

  • ├ôran Desmond

    awwwww i thought it was going to be a canon smart phone.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Canon: makers of cameras and fashion accessories that happen to take pictures.

    If they seriously want to reclaim the market share lost to smart phones, I don’t think they have many other options besides jumping the Android bandwagon. Not many people out there willing to carry 2 separate devices for marginally better pictures.

    Otherwise, they could take notes from Fuji and make fashionable cameras which aren’t functionally crippled.

  • 9inchnail

    Yeah… now you only have to invent a 15″ display that has the corresponding resolution. In case you can’t do the math: a display resolution of 1920×1200 equals a little over 2 MP.

  • Vidya Putra

    if it using Android, it almost like smarphone; maybe the next version will look like fat iphone…

  • Urs

    It might be fun to use, I give them that, but…. nah. I don’t get it. So it’s a handicapped P&S set out to combat the phonography market by stripping away that tiny bit of alleged creativity of choosing ‘Hudson’ over ‘Sutro’ by instead applying random filters by default – on its own? Yes, really?

    Stupid. I can think of “gimmicks” that might get me to buy one of your “innovations”, you camera manufacturers. Sadly, you constantly choose to do the dumb things.