Convenience at your fingertips
CANON calls the PowerShot N100 a new-concept camera that lets users tell a story while being part of it.
The N100 has a Story Highlights mode that automatically uses your pictures and videos to create video montages according to faces, themes or dates. It has a Dual Capture mode using a 0.3-megapixel rear camera (Story Camera) with a 25mm wide lens to capture a selfie every time you take a picture.
The Movie Digest feature in Hybrid Auto mode captures 4sec of video automatically before you take a shot.
If you are a purist, just roll your eyes and stop reading right here.
The N100 is clearly targeted at a different consumer, one who seeks quick and easy processing of photos and videos. It is for the shutterbug who literally wants to be in the picture at all times.
With the Dual Capture and Hybrid Auto modes, the rear camera can capture the expressions of the photographer as events unfold in front of him. This selfie image captured by the rear-facing camera will be juxtaposed against the main image simultaneously when photos or videos are taken, just like an iPhone FaceTime chat.
Personally, I think these are just gimmicks that users will tire of after a few tries, and I fail to see the point of having a selfie superimposed on the picture that I am shooting.
For some reason, you cannot use the rear camera to take only a selfie. The tiltable touchscreen display can be flipped up only 90 degrees, not 180 degrees, which would make it more convenient for a selfie.
Looking beyond the gimmicks, the N100 is actually a capable compact camera. Its 5x optical zoom lens has a nice range of 24-120mm, with a big aperture of f/1.8 at 24mm.
It is also quite fast. It starts up in about 1sec and shuts down in about 1.3sec, twice as fast as its peers.
Button layout is well thought out, with many dedicated function buttons.
Image quality is not bad for a camera of this class, with accurate colours and sharp details. Noise performance is competent. There are no noise artefacts until ISO 800. Even at ISO 1,600, the images are still good for small prints or Web use.
Videos are sharp and crisp. While the videos do pick up a fair amount of ambient and wind audio, you cannot hear the sound of the lens zooming in and out.
12.1MP 1/1.7-inch CMOS
3-inch tiltable touchscreen LCD with 922,000 dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication
289g (with battery and memory card)
Value for money: