Canon’s PowerShot Golf is a Laser Rangefinder With Photo Capabilities

An aerial view of a golf course with green fairways and sand bunkers. Superimposed are two Canon PowerShot cameras, and the word "GOLF" in bold white text. The Canon logo and "PowerShot" are also visible near the top left corner.

There’s a new Canon PowerShot product, and it is undoubtedly not what photographers would expect. Canon has announced the PowerShot Golf Digital Laser Rangefinder.

“The New PowerShot Golf Digital Laser Rangefinder can help players target the flag quickly, redefine precision, and ‘putt’ the joy back into every swing,” Canon promises, with a little dash of humor. But the PowerShot Golf is no joke and is packed with interesting features that would fit as much into a camera as it does in a golf rangefinder, including optical image stabilization, an electronic viewfinder with 6x to 12x digital zoom, and the ability to capture photos and videos to a microSD card.

“Canon boasts some of the world’s most refined and precise imaging technologies, with decades of research into delivering products trusted by professionals across various industries. Now with this legacy of excellence in tow we’re excited to introduce something completely new to our lineup, the PowerShot Golf Digital Laser Rangefinder,” says Brian Mahar, senior vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Attention to detail is vital in golf and we saw an opportunity to apply our imaging expertise.”

A person wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt and a white cap peers through a rangefinder on a golf course, with another person in the background holding a golf club. Trees and greenery are visible in the distance.

As its name suggests, the Canon PowerShot Golf Digital Laser Rangefinder includes a laser to measure the distance to a specific target — like the pin on a distant green. The device can also perform slope-adjusted distance measurements, allowing golfers to dial in the perfect club for a shot, regardless of the elevation changes.

Although this is Canon’s first foray into the golf rangefinder segment, it’s not the first time a camera company has gotten in on sports optics. Nikon offers numerous laser rangefinders, including the new Coolshot 20 GIII. And, of course, both Canon, Nikon and another big name in the photography industry, Pentax, have long sold spotting scopes for things like birdwatching and stargazing.

The Canon PowerShot Golf is designed to tuck in the user’s pocket easily and is lightweight, weighing just 150 grams (0.33 pounds). The Rangefinder also includes IPX4 equivalent water resistance.

A black Canon laser rangefinder with a compact, rectangular design. It features multiple lenses on the front and control buttons on the top and side. The Canon logo is visible on the side. The device is designed for measuring distances accurately.

A compact black Canon camera with a prominent lens on the left side. The camera features a zoom button and a red recording button on the front. Canon's logo is printed on the side. The background is plain white.

Canon says the PowerShot Golf has a range of seven to 800 yards, with an accuracy of plus or minus two yards. It also has haptic feedback and vibrates when the rangefinder locks onto the pin.

A golf course view featuring a green surrounded by trees. A yellow text overlay indicates "SLOPE" with a numerical value of "173.0 yd," and below it in white text, "187.0 yd" is shown.

While Canon doesn’t mention specific photo and video features in its product listing, given that the PowerShot Golf is primarily a rangefinder, the detailed technical specifications explain that the PowerShot Golf has a Type 1/3 image sensor and shoots approximately 11-megapixel photos with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Thanks to the crop factor, the 51mm lens is equivalent to a 410mm lens on a 35mm camera. It has an f/3.9 aperture and offers no aperture control. Canon says that exposure control is entirely automatic.

A person with long hair is holding a Canon rangefinder with an outdoor landscape featuring a green field, rocks, and distant palm trees under a clear blue sky. The picture is taken from the side, showing the person focusing on something in the distance.

A person holds a Canon rangefinder in their right hand while standing on grass. The individual is wearing a black shirt, light-colored shorts, and white athletic shoes. The perspective is from their point of view looking down at the rangefinder.

“Unlike other rangefinders, PowerShot Golf also has a photo and video camera built in! Use the camera to record your measurements or turn the laser off and start capturing the moment,” Canon explains. “Whether it’s an unexpected event on the course, or you want to record your swing to look at later, PowerShot Golf is ready to go.”

The PowerShot Golf records Full HD video at up to 30 frames per second for a maximum of 59 seconds per clip.

The built-in electronic viewfinder has a 0.39-inch display with approximately 2.36 million dots and 100% coverage.

The Canon PowerShot Golf is available to preorder now for $349.99, and will begin shipping in July.

Image credits: Canon