With regular compact cameras going the way of the dodo, Canon is trying something completely different. It just unveiled the PowerShot Zoom, a “compact telephoto monocular,” with a design that looks like a golf rangefinder rather than a camera or camcorder. It’s designed not only to take 12-megapixel photos and 1080p video, but work as a viewer for “hiking, birdwatching and nature gazing,” according to Canon.
To keep that form factor so small, the PowerShot Zoom has a relatively tiny 1/3-inch sensor along with an f/5.6-6.3 lens that supports 100mm or 400mm focal lengths, along with a digital zoom to 800mm (full-frame equivalent.) You can capture either 12-megapixel photos or 1080p video (with a modest 100-3200 ISO range) to a microSD card, and it has built-in optical stabilization along with face-tracking autofocus capability. The battery can last for about 150 shots.