Rarely do you see a camera design that strays too far from a lens on the left half and shutter and grip on the right. Canon's PowerShot N is a quirky little point-and-shoot that challenges almost every camera convention we're used to. It's also adorable.
The PowerShot N's appeal is its design, not its specs. The camera's shutter button is placed oddly on a ring around the optical lens right next to another ring that controls the zoom. The PowerShot N also doesn't have a single button on its back, which is dominated by a 2.8-inch touchscreen that can tilt 90 degrees upward.
If that's not strange enough, the PowerShot N has two little lanyard holes located on the side of the camera for a neck strap. Think of it as a way to vlog your life from your chest's point of view (if you're into that).
On the left side of the PowerShot N is a lone on/off button. On the right there's a switch to toggle between regular photo mode and Creative Shot (the camera automatically takes six photos and applies different filters and effects them). Below that switch is a button to connect the camera to a smartphone through built-in Wi-Fi to share photos through the CameraWindow app for iOS and Android. The third is a playback button, below.
The PowerShot N is low on manual controls, but that's the point — to make photography less intimidating. Just about every setting is controlled on the touchscreen.
For those who care, the PowerShot N has a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 5-40mm optical lens, 2.3 frames per second burst shooting, nine-point autofocus, max ISO of 6400 and 1080p HD video recording at 24 frames per second.
This camera isn't for everyone and definitely not for a pro photographer, but for someone who is less savvy when it comes to photo taking, or for a child, the PowerShot N will be a fun little camera to mess with. Now if only it didn't cost $299. The PowerShot N will be available in April.
Posted on location at CES 2013 in Las Vegas. All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE.