Canon PowerShot Zoom Review: Pocket Telephoto Camera

canon powershot zoom review pocket telephoto camera

PowerShot Zoom


The Canon PowerShot Zoom doesn’t neatly fit into any specific category. It’s sort of a camera, though Canon doesn’t call it that. It’s sort of a monocular, though it has an electronic viewfinder and can take photos and videos. It’s bigger than an action cam, but still fits easily into your pocket.

Canon calls it a “compact telephoto monocular” and a “portable imaging tool.” I wrote about the specs already, but the basics are 2.1 megapixel images (4,000×3,000 pixels) and videos at 1080p30. There are three zoom settings, 100mm and 400mm optical, and 800mm digital (all 35mm equivalent). The lens is a little slow, at f/5.6 in 100mm mode, and f/6.3 at 400mm.

After spending a few weeks with the Zoom, I have a few thoughts.

Big Zoom, Little Package

I feel like you either see a use for the Zoom right away, or you don’t. I think some people will look at it and go “yes! I need that!” and others will, for any number of reasons, go “huh?” Honestly, I think that’s fine. Not everything needs to be for everyone.

One of its best attributes is how easy it is to use. It can fit in just about any pocket, or hang from a lanyard. Turn it on as you bring it to your eye and it’s ready to go by the time it gets there. The OLED viewfinder is excellent, with great contrast and high resolution. The biggest button on top, right where your index finger falls, is the zoom button. It cycles through the three modes quickly.


Rear, top, and front views.


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