PowerShot PICK: Meet Your Tiny New Candid Photographer
On 28 October 2021, Canon announced the PowerShot PICK, an automated camera that is the first of its kind in Canon’s lineup. While it may look like a surveillance camera, it promises a unique new photography and video capture experience. How so? Read on to find out!
Your dedicated photographer and videographer
Love photography, but sometimes wish that you weren't stuck behind the camera as unofficial default photographer at events and activities and could participate in the fun with your friends instead?
Or maybe you wish you had more than just selfies and posed shots after group activities. Candid images of beaming faces, intense concentration on the task at hand, and authentic interactions say so much more, don’t they?
Perhaps you just want to preserve those ordinary but precious moments in everyday life, like your family laughing together at a toddler’s antics or groaning at yet another of dad’s lame jokes—this time, with everyone in frame, including that beloved family member who’s usually the one behind the camera.
With an automatic camera like Canon’s new PowerShot PICK, all that could be reality.
So that everyone can be part of the action
More than simply record images and videos from a fixed position, the camera is equipped with pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) capabilities that allow it to adjust its shooting angle and find the best composition, as well as Canon’s excellent subject detection and tracking technology which accurately recognises and tracks people’s faces and can even identify facial expressions to capture the best moments. Support for voice command and customised shooting preferences allow you to take control whenever you want.
Identifies photo opportunities and finds suitable compositions
Harnessing Canon’s long-nurtured subject recognition technology, the PowerShot PICK detects the face information (e.g. number of faces, position, orientation and size) of the people around it, and pans, tilts, and zooms to capture the best compositions accordingly. If there is someone smiling, it detects a photo opportunity and automatically focuses on the person; it can also determine if it should take a still image or a video.
Images shot by the PowerShot PICK
No more “camera face”
Believe it or not, these images of friends on a camping trip were shot by the PowerShot PICK. It has shot wide-angle to capture everyone in-frame, zoomed in on people who are smiling, and even adjusted the composition for variety. There can be limits to how stealthy a human photographer can be, and seeing the camera makes people react in strange ways! In comparison, the PowerShot PICK is so small and unobtrusive that it’s easy to forget that it’s there. This also makes it easier to capture videos and images with natural facial expressions.
When the PowerShot PICK is in operation and you need it to shoot a photo or video of a particular moment, you can instruct it to do so with voice commands. There are four operations you can conduct via voice command, so you can ensure you get what you need with minimal disruption to whatever you are doing.
Shoot a still photo: “Hello PICK, snap a picture!”
Start video recording: “Hello PICK, record a video!”
Change the subject: “Hello PICK, find others!”
Pause automatic shooting: “Hello PICK, auto off!”
Seven languages are supported: Japanese, English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Pick how you want to use it
The PowerShot PICK also recognises faces during video recording, and can pan, tilt, and zoom to track a subject. The videos you get might even have special camera effects such as wide-angle panning, multi-panning, zoom-in and zoom-out, and frame-in effects. The situations that you can use the PowerShot PICK in are endless: besides documenting memories, you can also use it to capture behind-the-scenes footage, dance and sports practice videos, and even your vlogs. The limit is your imagination!
For even more variety, screw a grip or selfie stick into the tripod socket at the bottom of the PowerShot PICK and record videos handheld, just like you would with your camera. You don’t have to worry much about camera shake—the camera is equipped with two image stabilisation methods.
One method involves mechanically controlling the panning and tilting of the lens barrel to counteract camera movement. The other, active during video shooting, is Movie digital IS (IS = Image Stabilizer), which digitally corrects the effects of camera shake. With these in place, you can be assured of steady, seamless video footage.
Control it with your smartphone
The PowerShot PICK is not equipped with a monitor. Instead, there is a dedicated smartphone app for configuring the camera and reviewing images.
Choose who you want more images of
During automatic shooting, the PowerShot PICK will automatically recognise people in its range and register them. You can set a registered person as priority by marking them as a favourite, which instructs the camera to shoot them more often.
Customise your shooting preferences
You can choose to record more videos, more photos, or equal proportions of both. It’s also possible to set a preferred shooting frequency, the camera’s search range, the zoom range, and other parameters.
Organise video and image files
If the camera took many images, it can be tedious to go through all of them one by one. For a simpler workflow, you can just look at those that the camera identifies as ‘Recommended’ on the app. To share your favourite images or videos to social media, simply download them to your smartphone.
If you are on iOS, you can also create a short highlight movie from selected photos and videos that were shot in a specific period.
Take control over camera angles
You can also remotely control the PowerShot PICK’s pan, tilt, and zoom functions via the smartphone app.
Works as a webcam, too
Transmit images from your PowerShot PICK to a computer in real time by installing the Wireless Webcam Utility for Mini PTZ Cam app on your computer (Windows only) and connecting both devices to the same 2.4Ghz network. From there, you have full control of the camera’s pan, tilt, and zoom function via the control panel on the app, so that you can show your online audience what you want, when you want.
Technical specifications: Size, sensor, etc.
Size and weight
Size: approximately 56.4mm × 81.9mm (diameter × height)
Weight: approximately 170g (including micro SD card)
Wondering how big the PowerShot PICK is? As this picture shows, smaller than a mug! This makes it extremely easy to slip into your bag and carry around. No worries about finding sockets to plug it into: powered with a built-in battery, which can also be charged with a compatible powerbank.
Battery life: Rechargeable built-in battery, capable of up to 5 hours of operation during video shooting*
Portable charger support: via USB Type-C, using USB Power Adapter PD-E1 (recommended; sold separately) or commercially available Power Delivery compatible adapters (9V DC/2A or more).
*Automatic shooting mode, low shooting frequency setting at 30 fps, no smartphone connection, no voice command shooting.
Image sensor and processing engine
Image sensor: 1/2.3-type CMOS sensor with approximately 11.7 maximum effective megapixels
Image processor: DIGIC 7
This combination is capable of producing high quality images.
Resolution: Full HD (1920 × 1080)
Frame rates: 23.98/29.97/59.94 fps
Recording format: MP4
Focal length: 19 to 57mm (35mm full-frame equivalent), which is up to 3x optical zoom.
Additionally, up to 4x digital zoom is also possible.
Autofocus (AF): Driven by Nano USM, which is capable of quick AF acquisition during still shooting as well as smooth subject tracking during video shooting.
Key parts of the PowerShot PICK
A: Stereo microphones, which record audio during video recording
B: USB Type-C terminal, for charging the built-in battery
C: Power button
D: Wireless communication button
E: Tripod socket
F: Memory card slot (supported cards: micro SD/micro SDHC/ micro SDXC)