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The Canon Powershot N features an 8x optical zoom lens, tilting touch screen and built-in Wi-Fi. Its square design makes it an unusual looking camera. The Powershot N is available in black & white and costs around £269.
- 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
- 8x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-224mm)
- Lens shift image stabilisation
- 2.8 inch tilting 461k dot LCD touch screen
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 80-6400
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- Creative Shot
- 2.3 fps continuous shooting
- Available in black or white
There are two rings on the front of the camera, the front one can be pressed up or down to release the shutter. The inner one turns to adjust the zoom. You can use the camera the other way round as the zoom and shutter have dual direction capabilities. It's different, and takes a little getting used to. You can also use the touch screen to set the focus and release the shutter. The LED flash isn't particularly large and powerful as it comes from the same round hole as the focus assist lamp.
Battery life is rated at just 200 shots according to CIPA test results, this is quite low, particularly if you want to use the Wi-Fi frequently. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.0 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||1.5 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.3 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||2.1 fps|
Continuous shooting records at full 12.1 megapixel resolution.
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Canon Powershot N Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/100 sec | f/3.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 1600
Landscape | 1/200 sec | f/9.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 160
Trees | 1/640 sec | f/3.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 160
Pet Portrait | 1/125 sec | f/3.5 | 14.2 mm | ISO 400
Sample Photos - Images have excellent colour reproduction and are well exposed. Portrait skin tones are OK, with no red-eye present when using the flash.
Canon Powershot N Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/3.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 40.0 mm | ISO 80
Zoom Plus | 1/500 sec | f/5.9 | 40.0 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/15 sec | f/3.2 | 6.3 mm | ISO 80
Lens Performance - Image detail is good throughout at both ends of the lens, with very little sign of purple fringing in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm which allows for macro shots with a decent amount of detail.
Canon Powershot N ISO test images
1/8 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 80
1/10 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 100
1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 200
1/40 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 400
1/80 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 800
1/160 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 1600
1/320 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 3200
1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 12.8 mm | ISO 6400
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 80, 100 and 200. Images become a little softer at ISO 400 and again so at ISO 800. Again, images are a touch softer at ISO 1600. At ISO 3200 there is a little blurring in contrasting areas, this worsens at ISO 6400, but image quality is good at higher ISOs, particularly for sharing on the web.
Canon Powershot N White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.2 | 7.7 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/3.2 | 7.7 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.6 sec | f/3.2 | 7.7 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.5 sec | f/3.2 | 7.7 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the auto white balance (AWB) has a strong orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing well. The AWB performs much better under the fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset having a slight colour cast.
Creative Shot 1
Creative Shot 2
Creative Shot 3
Creative Shot 4
Creative Shot 5
Creative Shot 6
Fish Eye Effect
Toy Camera Effect
Digital Filters - Above are example pictures taken using the Creative Shot mode, you get the original picture plus five shots that have been digitally enhanced automatically. There are other creative modes available, but not as many as Canon normally include on their digital cameras.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p resolution. Quality is good, you can also use the optical zoom during recording, an example can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Canon Powershot N is available for £270.00. If it's the design that attracts you to the camera, you'll struggle to find any alternatives, but if we look at cameras with Wi-Fi and a similar amount of zoom, there is the Nikon Coolpix S800c for £175, Canon IXUS 255 HS at £210, Sony Cybershot DSC-WX200 at £160, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 at £100 and Samsung WB30 at £120. All of these cameras have 10x optical zoom. When compared to these other cameras, the Powershot N looks quite expensive.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Canon IXUS 255 HS. Canon have sacrificed the traditional zoom and shutter release, reduced the flash size considerably and the battery life is low. The other features, such as the touch screen and built-in Wi-Fi are good and image quality is as well, even at higher ISOs, so there's enough reasons to justify purchasing it, if you have the budget.
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Canon Powershot N ProsGood image quality
Decent performance at higher ISOs
Tilting touch screen
Canon Powershot N ConsThe zoom control and shutter release won't be to everyone's liking
Poor battery life
Very small flash
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Canon Powershot N Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 224mm|
|CCD pixels||12.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||461k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||1sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion NB-9L|
|Box Contents||Digital Camera PowerShot N, Wrist Strap WS-800, Battery Pack NB-9L, Compact Power Adapter CA-DC30E, AC Cable, Interface Cable IFC-400PCU (USB), User Manual Kit|