Canon Concept Consumer Cameras Come to CES 2020

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Yes, the EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR is the major release from Canon’s imaging team at CES 2020. However, tucked away in the Canon booth is a section with multiple camera concepts that are interesting, unique, and sometimes make it into production. The IVY REC is a perfect example of a CES concept becoming a reality, and we had a preview of it at CES last year. Once again, Canon showed up with a bunch of cool new cameras that may just be available to you in the near future.

Intelligent Compact Camera

The Intelligent Compact Camera is something we have seen variations on for the past couple of years, and it is still very cool. It’s a small camera that fits in your hand and functions similarly to many PTZ cameras. Size is a major selling point here because it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. This makes it well suited to being placed in spaces where a more conspicuous camera would be a problem. It also has great pan-tilt-zoom functions. It’ll pan 170 degrees, tilt 110 degrees, and zoom up to 4x. Intelligent functions make it possible to follow subjects.

Putting it on your desk for webcam use, placing one in a corner to act as a baby monitor or pet camera, or functioning as a discreet security camera are all viable uses. I would even consider it useful for parties or weddings to serve as part of a digital guestbook setup or photo booth. There are also voice commands and manual shooting modes. Software can make the camera even more useful. Canon showed off a program that snapped a photo and then graded it based on whether people are smiling. It is not a far stretch to think this could be set up at a wedding, automatically take pictures when people are smiling, and sort out the images in which people are not.

Canon’s software rated our smiles and we happened to get a couple of threes.

Core specs are available, too, though they are subject to change. There is a 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, a 19-57mm equivalent lens, electronic image stabilization, dust and waterproofing, and a battery able to run for 2.5 hours. It can record data to a microSD card, has a USB Type-C port, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Multi-Functional Telephoto Camera

Next up is something I enjoyed: a pocketable telephoto camera. Looking like a miniature camcorder, this camera makes superzoom something you can always have on you. Able to be configured with either a 100-400mm or 800mm equivalent zoom, you can get some serious reach for either looking around, taking pictures, or shooting video. I could see someone like my dad, who loves to fish and hike in the park, use this to check out some of the birds he sees, or look around as he walks and then easily snap some photos. I hope to see more of this one.

Three-Style Camera

Smartphones have done a number on the consumer camera industry, but not because they are better than dedicated cameras. The three-style camera takes a concept that smartphones have done well and makes it an even better system. My smartphone has three cameras, though the differences are essentially in focal length. Canon’s Three-Style Camera has multiple imaging options via included attachments and gives three distinct functions: Super Macro, Super Telephoto, and Super Wide.

So, this may be a harder sell to people already in love with their smartphone. It looks quite slick, which may go a long way to it being a successful product, but really it comes down to producing images with better quality. If you find yourself constantly wanting to take more specialized shots or fussing with various lens attachments on your phone, you’d probably be better off with this type of camera.

Multi-Style Wearable Camera

Last on the list is the fun-looking Multi-Style Wearable Camera. Light on hard specs, this is more of an idea on how to make a camera more convenient for more people. It looks like a smartwatch and can be worn as such. The strap is easily adjusted to be hung up, set up as a cross-body strap, or basically anything else you may want. Obvious uses are for outdoor activities, and Canon is showing off two versions of the device. One is a Dual Camera offering a wide and a standard camera—much like a smartphone—along with an OLED screen and rotatable bezel for control. The other is a 180-degree camera that will capture everything in front of you. And we were told they would hopefully be waterproof, so you can take it anywhere.

It’s always fun to see what potential cameras the engineers are thinking up. Anything here you might want to get if they become real products? What would you use it for? Stay tuned to Explora for more news from CES 2020.

4 Comments

Since Im one of the few who do not carry a cell phone and wont, It would be incredible to have a small camera I can toss in my bag or car and have with me at all times.  If they can produce decent enough shots, then I want one.  The problem Ive had with the micro cameras is they arent accurate or focused.  Nothing  out of focus can be fixed post.  

These are 'concept cameras' which presumably means that they are not yet available, and may never be.  What percentage of these actually make it to market?

Probably small, but there never was a product that made it to market without first being a concept.  Personally I am cheering for the Three Style camera.  Smartphones are just phones and a good small camera could be invaluable, especially in low light environments. 

Unfortunately, there isn't a set percentage we can offer in regards to which of these cameras will actually make to the market. Brands like Canon have surprised us in the past with the release of other cameras, so it's quite possible that all the cameras featured here could be available soon. We would just have to wait on an official announcement by Canon to confirm.

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