Canon PowerShot Zoom: a pocket camera crossed with an 800mm telescope!

Canon PowerShot Zoom: a pocket camera crossed with an 800mm telescope!
(Image credit: Canon)

The Canon PowerShot Zoom has just been announced for a release in the west, after the innovative pocket camera – which features up to 800mm zoom, with image stabilized stills and video shooting – was released in Japan via crowdfunding.

One of the manufacturer's most unusual products, the Canon PowerShot Zoom is unique in the marketplace. Featuring the same 12.1MP image sensor found in the Canon SX70 bridge camera, it combines the functionality of a pocket-sized telescope or monocular – with a three-step zoom system offering 100mm f/5.6, 400mm f/6.3 (optically) and 800mm (digitally) focal lengths.

Boasting 4-axis image stabilization, the Zoom can capture stills at up to 10fps (via an electronic shutter) as well as 1080p video at up to 30fps. This makes it a formidable tool for wildlife photographers, birders, sports and music fans (enabling you to take photographs in arenas where cameras are forbidden), plane and trainspotters, hikers and ramblers, travel shooters, news gatherers and even security personnel.

The remarkable palm-sized body weighs just 145g and is designed to be operated with one hand, ergonomically designed with minimal controls (there are only four buttons, plus the diopter and power button) that can be distinguished by their distinct tactile feel. 

It also features stereo microphones (though it has no speaker), accepts microSD cards for storage, and has a USB-C connection for transfer and charging (yes, it can be charged while in use).

At the heart of the PowerShot Zoom is a Digic 8 processor, with the same 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder seen in the Canon EOS M50. This can be used for shooting and reviewing images, though the WiFi enabled camera also pairs with the Canon Camera Connect smartphone app – which obviously gives you the option for a much larger viewing monitor, and also enables remote shooting. 

The Zoom becomes the second concept camera we first saw at CP+ 2019 to make it to market, following the similarly quirky Canon Ivy Rec

The Canon PowerShot Zoom goes on sale in November with a price of $299 / £299 (AU$540). Initially available in white ("that matches any of one's favorite team colors"), Canon is also considering making a black version. 

• Pre-order the Canon Powershot Zoom from
Pre-order the Canon Powershot Zoom from Adorama (USA)
Pre-order the Canon Powershot Zoom from B&H (USA)

Read more:

The best Canon camera
The best point-and-shoot camera
The best monoculars

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.