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on May 5, 2013
So on a lark I bought the Canon Powershot N . It is a nifty piece of technology but a great photographic tool. Its small size and ease of use makes it a perfect pocket camera that you will actually carry in your pocket and take out and use!!. I am a professional photographer in New York and have bought several pocket cameras over the years in the hopes that I will carry and use the thing..Finally I have found that camera. I have not been happier with a pocket camera and use it more often than I thought I would. I have to say the semi articulating screen is a definite plus allowing you to shoot from the hip or even lower. And the any way up allows you to shoot above your head and still view the screen. I would recommend this to any other photographer and even plan to buy a couple more as christmas gifts to family and friends.Canon PowerShot N 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 8x Optical Zoom and 28mm Wide-Angle Lens (Black)
44 comments167 of 177 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 18, 2013
I've had this camera for about a month. I couldn't wait to get it, then I couldn't figure out what to do with it. It is such a departure from any camera I've ever used, it took a while to find a way to enjoy using it.

First, the biggest thing is the form factor. How to hold it? I found that for your typical snapshot, opening the screen 45 degrees made for the best combination of holding the camera and seeing the shot. I also found that the ring shutter release is really awkward, especially if you wanted to use the touchscreen to select your focus point. It's much easier, especially with the screen at a slight angle, to touch where you want the focus and snap the shot at the same time. There is a setting to enable the touch to shoot option.

Secondly, the next big thing is the WiFi feature. I've used Eye-Fi cards for years, and expected the same experience. Not so. Not nearly as automatic, but still pretty simple once you figure it out. First, press the WiFi button on the camera. It will start looking for an access point on your network, or, what I recommend, a smartphone. Next, on your phone, change the WiFi network to the name display on the LCD of the camera. Now you can select photographs on the camera and transfer them to an impressive number of websites.

With these two revelations (for me), I've gone from "why bother" to "hey, this is kinda cool".

Finally, the image quality is extremely good, much better than most P&S cameras. The Depth of Field is even decent using the method I mentioned. I posted an image here so you can see what I'm talking about.

So, if you're feeling a little adventuresome, this is a really well built camera that takes great pictures. The only drawback I see is if you are out with friends and want a stranger to take a picture for you.
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on August 12, 2013
I have been a Pro and Semi-Pro photographer for many years. Partly because of that experience, and partly because of the staggering advances we have seen in digital DSLR cameras, I was feeling that I had fossilized in my picture taking creativity.

Although I have repented since, I was an early and loud fulminator against the whole idea of camera phones. I also wrote off Instragram and others like it as abominations.

Every day for about the last five years I have carried a pocketable camera of some sort, (mostly the Canon S95/100), when I wasn't carrying my large Nikons. I got good snapshots and sometimes photographic art but little of the excitement I used to feel doing what I can only call "found photography", or spur of the moment and random inspirations.

Then I came across the PowerShot N. It is so quirky in its controls and features that I instantly found myself way beyond my photographic comfort zone. I started taking pictures at odd angles, (the tilt LCD is a big help here), I took them for no particular reason, I took a lot. The camera just begged to be used in weird and chaotic ways.

I initially thought that the camera's quirkiest feature, which allows the camera to take not only the picture you wanted but then goes on to take 5 shots of its own using random color temperatures, filters, and zoom positions, was a useless marketers gadget. But that was conservative mindset so I forced myself to turn it on and experiment. Most of the time the random shots are pretty poor or uninteresting, but about ten percent of the time I find that the camera has found a perspective and image setting so far beyond what I would ever have thought of that it verged on brilliant.

So, as a creative tool I cannot speak highly enough of the camera, but there are some things that bother me.

I find myself accidentally triggering the touch screen and messing up either a menu setting or even preventing the camera from taking a shot.

The shutter trigger areas on the front lens ring are a little too small for me and not prominent enough for reliable blind shooting.

But the biggest problem is how Canon has implemented the camera's ability to network. Technically I suppose it is great but for the life of me I have never read such a confusing user manual. It suffers from the greatest sin in technical writing; referring the user to different pages during a procedure. So, you start to read about how to connect to lets say your home network; Step 2 might want you to jump 14 pages ahead to read about something. Then while there you might be sent back 5 pages before where you started and so on.

The manual also commits the technical writing sin of never explaining why you have to do such and such, or what the effect of any options might be, or any explanation for why something may or may not work.

I am pretty comfortable around networks but Canon's user manual is just a dog's breakfast.

That said, I now have a superior camera linked to my smartphone (Nexus 4) so I do not have to use the very poor camera in the phone for Twitter, G+ etc.

And I really do think this quirky little piece of experimental camera technology has really helped me to break out of my self imposed creative straitjacket.

I like it a great deal for that.

Rick Grant
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on May 3, 2013
Just received the far all I can say is that I purchased the white version and it is a gorgeous little camera! BUT please be aware to purchase a microSD card! It doesn't mention this anywhere in the description so I need to get one before I can test out the camera...stay tuned...

Update: May 5, 2013

Camera takes pictures just as good as my Canon S90. Totally different experience is more like my iPhone. Intuitive but requires being open to a camera that handles differently than any before it. The camera is small and subsequently the buttons are small also. Even though the buttons are small they are easy to hit and because of their location, do not get pressed accidentally. The touch screen works very well, only requiring a very light touch. Being able to touch the screen to focus on the area you want to be in focus allows for very quick focus targeting. Also, using the screen to sweep through the pictures is very convenient. The zoom is very quick and the swing out screen is very handy. The creative burst feature has been a favorite of my high school age daughter. She has borrowed the camera quite a few times to take pictures and post them to her social accounts. I found the slow motion video to be a addicting...there are two speeds to choose from...taking slow motion video of my son's golf swing allows us to see everything very clear and in very cool slow motion. I have used it to capture my other children practicing gymnastics, bike riding and trampoline gives us all a good laugh. Most importantly, and the reason I bought the camera, is the wireless capability. So far for me it has worked great. If I want to post something or want to send a friend a picture I start up the CameraWindow app on my iPhone and I can view all the pics on the camera. I then select what I want transferred to my iPhone. The transfer has been quick and effortless.

So far I have not explored all the capabilities of the camera but I can say I am very happy with the camera. I have also had positive reaction and have shown the camera to a number of interested people who have seen me while using it public. For the price it has exceeded my expectations.

Update: May 10, 2013

Still enjoying the camera! I want to add some additional thoughts on this camera. I have not altogether replaced my compact point & shoot with this camera. This camera is for someone willing to try something unconventional and is not looking for a replacement for their S95 or G10. It does not have the traditional manual functions of an enthusiasts camera but it has more capabilities than a camera phone (does use a similar sized flash however). The camera is more of a curiosity that lends itself to the fun picture taking. There is a dedicated button that allows you to shoot a quick succession of shots (some randomly of the background and not the subject!) and adds creative filters to them. This is the type of customer that I believe Canon is focused on. My teens love it and get a kick out of it when sometimes a stranger in the background shows up as the main subject of one of the random creative shots. Also, if you do not want to upload your pics via WiFi to your phone then this probably isn't the camera for you. ... Just some thoughts if you are looking for a serious point & shoot camera to replace an old favorite...
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on December 18, 2014
I have a Sony Nex 5n - which I love!! I got in trouble at a Black Keys concert for having a camera out with a removable lens – this really was annoying!!! Taking high-quality pictures at concerts is certainly one of my hobbies!!! This was the first time in two years that I have encountered a problem with the Nex - unless there was a complete no camera rule. My iPhone 5s just does not have the clarity or zoom functions.
I have been on the lookout for a small camera that will take high-quality photos.
I have bought and returned several cameras. No matter what claims were made – the pictures were not what I was looking for.
I ran across this camera in a digital online camera review. I went to Amazon and read the reviews and was intrigued!
I ordered the camera and received it in two days on prime – and was pleasantly surprised!!!! The price was amazing – $149 - as the newer version is soon to come out. The camera is much heavier than I thought it would be – which is a plus in terms of using the zoom and keeping it stable!! It has an 8X optical zoom and to my surprise has a total of 32 X when you add the digital zoom! I was also pleasantly surprised that the little blue snap on jacket and cool leather braided next strap were included!!
I have not taken the camera to a concert yet - I have experimented with some of the many setting options and so far it seems to be a sharp little camera!!!!
The only con I have run across is that there is not a separate battery charger included. No big deal – Amazon offers a compatible charger with two extra batteries for $24.99.
The camera is very easy to use and the touch screen is intuitive. I like that the shutter and the zoom are both on the lens ring. Super easy – and the zoom is much better than the point-and-shoot automatic zooms which take forever to lock onto the subject.
There is a brief manual included with the camera – but if you go online to the Canon website - the complete manual is available!!!
This camera does use a microSD card - so I ordered one from Amazon!
I will report back later after I've had more experience shooting pictures with the camera! So far – so good!
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on January 6, 2014
I bought Canon Power Shot N to take on my vacation in a few months. Having tried it for few days I have second thoughts on it and planning to return it.

Pros: Slim and handy design, reasonable picture quality comparable with new smart phones. The flip display and touch screen are good features. Zoom and shutter rings around the lens are cool. Good zoom range (8x optical) with indication of optical and digital. Flip display and touch screen are useful features.

Cons: Flip display moves only 90 degrees and not suitable for selfees. My main complain is its user interface. Despite the touch screen the navigation is very badly designed and has very poor usability. Many issues are annoying and some are painful. Even the printed ‘Getting Started Guide’ is poorly done.
Multi-photo ‘creative shots’ feature is useless in my opinion. Very few people will use it and even then only a few times just to tryout. You have 5 pictures to delete every time you take a picture. A true multipicture feature would have been useful instead of camera deciding on parts of the scene to capture. Strangely this apparently useless feature is selected with a dedicated hardware mode switch. However, a useful feature such as slow-motion video is the last selection on the menu. Slow motion performance is nowhere near iPhone 5s. Very poor stabilization of videos and cannot recommend it for taking any videos. Shutter ring and the zoom ring are very close and one may shutter inadvertently while trying to zoom.
Nice leather looking long carry strap, only if you like to carry this tiny camera like a ladies handbag.

Note that the camera does not come with any memory at all and you need to buy a micro SD separately before you can even try the camera.
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on September 3, 2015
I stumbled upon this unique little camera while looking for a smalll pocket size camera for use while hiking. I have been using my high end cell phone camera while hiking for some time, and am just tired of it. I feel these cell phones are not a great options for camera use. I should add that i am a loyal canon owner with a T3i and powershot G9. I did NOT buy the powershot N to replace Either of these. I bought it for fit -form -function. If i take a 'photography' walk, i would definitely take the t3i. The N is for simple random pics while in the hills on a regular 12 mile hike.

While searching This powershot n just continued to intrigue me with its shape, size and zoom/shoot toggle rings integrated into the lens rings. I feel both of these features work well though they do take some getting used to.

Out of the box, the first thing that struck me was just how small and handsome this camera really is. It just fits in the palm of my hand. (I am definitely using the supplied wrist strap) The N is very sturdy too. It does indeed feel like its case made of aluminum. And the screen is glass. For its size it is quite heavy, but i like that. The weight makes for a sturdier more stable hold while shooting. The pivoting screen does work well for shooting at trickier angles.

So far the picture quality of this little camera is quite nice. Actually far better than i expected. There are multiple shooting modes including 'hybrid auto', 'auto' and 'program'. In the 'hybrid auto' function, when you take a photo, the camera also takes about 1-2 seconds of video each time you take a photo. Then when you go back and review the photos, you can playback either JUST the pictures, OR you can play a little video/photo slideshow that plays back the small 1-2 seconds of video the camera automatically saves when shooting. And it only plays the video snippets fof photes taken on the same day. Actually a pretty neat little feature. To me its like a photo on steroids. Very cool.

In the 'program' setting you get the standard options to adjust exposure, AWB, drive mode, ISO, flash aspect ratio and light metering. All work as prescribed.

Or you can go regular 'auto' and let the camera adjust automatically for the scene you are in. There are also 'miniature', 'soft focus', 'toy camera','monochrome', and 'fish eye' effects to choose from. Those could be fun. Something for the kids i guess.

I have downloaded the "canon " app for andriod and transferred photos to my cell over wifi. It was very quick, easy and painless. I only used the user manual to find what app to buy. The rest was self explanatory and very easy to use with my samsung galaxy note 4.

So far, the only drawback i have found to this lil camera are: 1. When picking up the camera, its hard to find what way is "right side up". Something that will hopefullly get easier with use. 2. The flash in this unit is mostly just an upgraded smartphone camera flash. Not the real deal. And 3. While the touchscreen on the camera is premium glass, it will be a shame if the camera gets dropped. I know that there are clear film screen protector options, but those only steal the premium feel of the camera.

But In all this little "point and shoot" camera is a really fantastic low end compliment to your camera collection. It is by no means a "replace all" for large DSLR's. I really love the user-friendly uniqueness of this little camera. For what it is, its 5 stars all the way. I really love it!!
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on August 17, 2013
I just received this camera yesterday and took it for a test drive today. I gave the camera 4/5 stars only because I haven't had a chance to see what it's like downloading photos to FB. Totally happy with its size and image quality and video quality also impressive. Very easy to use and get used to. Connected it to my iPhone by installing the Canon Camera Window app. Really easy to transfer photos and videos from the camera to my phone, but be patient as it takes some time depending on the number. Having a trickier time connecting to FB since I have a MacBook Air that has no disk drive. Tried to download the software from the Canon website, but my Mac wasn't detecting the downloads. Contacted customer service and they suggested installing the software disc on another computer then downloading it to a USB key and installing it on mine from the key. Will try as soon as I can! I'm a seasoned photographer, well-versed in equipment, and was at one time a professional photographer. This camera is a great addition to my iPhone's camera and is an easy accessory to throw in my purse!
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on May 30, 2015
UPDATE 12/27/2015
I am correcting myself here. Use the "evaluative" setting, not center. This camera bewilders me. Outdoors, it's great. Under darkness it's great. Used it around the neighborhood taking snap shots and video of the Christmas lights and animated inflatables. Under both those circumstances, the camera was very good. During daylight outdoors, I run this at 100iso in the "P" mode. Beautiful!!

Darkness surprised me. I left the camera in the "P" mode, but "Auto iso." Stills were great. Video was clean for only 23.97 fps.

It seems that indoors is where this camera gets confused. My living room has PLENTY of light. It defaults to 1600 iso. I set the iso to 400. Too dark. Really? 400 iso dark with flash? NEVER experienced that indoors in my house. Had to move up to 800 iso. It works, and has less grain than 1600 iso. Can't figure out how it can work so well in darkness, but stumble indoors with more light.

The lens is very sharp. Hope this update helps you.

It's a point and shoot. It has point and shoot limitations however, when used indoors, it's disappointing. In my dining room, I have three windows just pouring in bright sunlight. That said, an indoor picture should NOT require more than 200 iso. Maybe even 400 iso. This camera jumps up to 1600 iso. The pictures with that high an iso are pretty lackluster regarding color. They are grainy. Changing the metering to center weighted seems to have improved quality a notch.

Outdoor Pictures:
This is what I found works quite well for me, so far. On a bright sunny day, I set the camera to the "P" mode. The metering to center weighted, and the iso to 100. The pictures are beautiful. Smooth. Colorful and no grain. Of course, we are talking stills here. Movement will require are higher iso for faster shutter speeds.

There is no "My colors" on the function menu as are in previous Canon Models. I used to put my A2000is on vivid for more punchy colors when shooting scenery. Can't do that here but, if you set the camera as I suggested, I think you will be fine.

The zooming and snap shot rings are a tad funky as they are close together. The flip screen? Personally, I see no use for it in my hands. Maybe you will.

One strange thing. When you download the pictures onto your computer, and you use "original file name" Despite formatting the card, you I can't reset the image numbers back for the next shoot. Wherever you left off.....say IMG_0249. Your next picture will be numbered IMG_0250.

The only I can "zero out" for the next shoot is to not use original file name, but use "tag" instead.

I hope this helps you.
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on February 17, 2014
I ordered this for my girlfriend as a gift and she really love it. I didn't think it would be that great due to the size of the camera but the photos are surprisingly sharp. Really good buy.
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