Canon is synonymous with cameras, and the PowerShot Pick pivots in a slightly different direction by making it smart enough to capture images on its own.

This camera first started out from a crowdfunding campaign, and is now heading to retail. It’s not a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and is really only handheld to a minimal degree. The idea behind it is to place it on a flat surface where it can track subjects and do most of the work. Think of it kind of like a security camera, only for much more fun use cases.

What the Powershot Pick does

The PowerShot Pick has a base that it rests on, yet doesn’t necessarily need to be installed anywhere. That means you can place it in a lot of different places, where it can face a subject from different angles and perspectives. The camera itself works on small motors that pans, zooms and tilts to keep subjects in focus.

It is able to recognize up to 12 people, using face detection to also remember people when they appear in front of the camera again at a later time. You can use it to take both still photos and video, which you control through an app on your phone (iOS or Android). That app lets you customize some of the features and controls, and set up voice command access to tell it when to take a photo or record video.

The PowerShot Pick pans 170-degrees in both directions and tilts 110-degrees, giving you a pretty wide range in either axis. The image sensor isn’t new, it’s the same 12-megapixel sensor coming from the company’s point-and-shoot cameras. It does have a wide f/2.8 aperture, which could be very helpful when you try using this in different lighting conditions.

Other useful features

You don’t need flat surfaces alone to mount the PowerShot Pick. It has a standard screw-in tripod mount that you can utilize, too. It weighs a modest 170 grams, so not too heavy, meaning it would be perfectly fine on mini tripods as well.

You can also use the Pick as a webcam, though it currently only works with Windows PCs. It’s not clear when Canon might add Mac support, but it’s always possible. It also has the ability to capture images when subjects smile, tracking anyone who does so within the frame.

Despite the connection to the Connect app, you will need a microSD card to store the photos and video from the Pick. The app does have several different settings, including changing the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9, and limiting its pan or tilt, if necessary. Canon says the battery should last up to five hours of continuous use. Your mileage may vary, though.

The PowerShot Pick is available now at Best Buy.

Editor Cellular/Mobile Technology
I’m a fortunate man in being able to do the fun job of following and reporting on one of the most exciting industries in the world today. In my time covering consumer tech, I’ve written for a number of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Yahoo! Canada, CBC.ca, Canoe, Digital Trends, MobileSyrup, G4 Tech, PC World, Faze and AppStorm. I’ve also appeared on TV as a tech expert for Global, CTV and the Shopping Channel.

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