Canon Powershot N Hands On: What a Cute Little Thing

We spent a short time with the new Canon Powershot N and found that even though the square body makes it a little awkward to use, it's pretty fun at the same time. As a full-time camera, the cute gimmicky form factor is limiting. But as a little secondary camera? A blast.

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The camera is light and easily pocketable, although the flip up screen and its hinge give it a chintzy feel. You can take a picture by pushing the lens ring down. It's neat, although trying to zoom by twisting the dial accidentally fired away one too many times. I'm sure with a few more tries, you can easily get the hang of it.

Illustration for article titled Canon Powershot N Hands On: What a Cute Little Thing
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Running through the touchscreen isn't exactly Speedy Gonzalez fast, but it's not slow enough to ruin the experience. We didn't get a chance to test the N's Wi-Fi connectivity with a smartphone, or see the automatic filters it can place on a picture—the battery died halfway through our hands-on.

Illustration for article titled Canon Powershot N Hands On: What a Cute Little Thing

The Canon N is most definitely an intriguing camera but even for as cute as it looks, we'd still need a bit more convincing that the square camera accessory is worth the 300 bucks.

That 360 degree view comes compliments of our very own Gizmodoscope. Check out more of its handiwork here

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DISCUSSION

Everything old is new again. Long ago in the land of chemical photography there was a kind of camera called a Twin Lens Reflex. It had two lenses; one was the taking lens to expose the film, the other was a viewfinder. The viewfinder had a reflex mirror that projected the image (flipped right-to-left) up onto a ground glass focusing screen. You most often held the camera at waist hight and looked down onto the screen. And... we're back.

PS: Early single lens reflex cameras also used the look-down ground glass viewfinder, until Contax added the pentaprism in 1949, providing an eye-level, through-the-lens view.