PowerShot Pick uses AI to automatically capture photos and videos
Many of us capture key moments using smartphones or selfie-friendly pocket cameras, but these can be rather forced, all smiles and laughter affairs instead of something wholly natural.
The idea behind the PowerShot Pick is that users can plonk the unit on a coffee table during a family gathering or get together with friends and the camera will use AI smarts to decide when a perfect photo or video opportunity presents itself, swivel around and zoom in on the action and automatically capture the memory.
The unit has the look of a small shopping mall security camera, and it does indeed keep watch on what's going on around it. It features a 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor, Digic 7 image processing engine, 19-57-mm, F2.8 equivalent optics, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It can record Full HD video at up 60 frames per second, and can store content on microSD card media.
The device works in combination with an iOS/Android app, so users can check what's being captured, or share photos and videos to social media. The app will recommend stills or footage to view, but users can also choose to trawl through everything to search for hidden gems. And it's also possible to use the app to remotely operate the Pick.
In operation, the Pick uses subject tracking and facial recognition to automatically search for a subject, with the top of the unit able to move left or right, while the lens can move up and down. Canon does point out that the Pick doesn't have animal recognition and tacking capabilities though.
The camera examines the scenes in front of the lens and watches for potentially memorable moments using algorithms programmed into it that take such things as facial expressions and scene composition into consideration, and then activates the shutter or hits record for a short movie.
Specific subjects can be selected for special attention if desired, and users can use voice commands to take control, as well as tell the unit to pause. And the unit doesn't necessarily need to be sat in one place all of the time, it can be mounted to a hand grip for mobile recording, with integrated image stabilization helping to smooth out the action.
Can it serve as a security camera for the home? Not yet, but Canon says that it will consider such applications if there is demand.
The PowerShot Pick campaign has already surpassed its funding target with more than 80 days remaining on the clock. It's open to Japanese backers only, where pledges start at ¥40,900 (around US$400), and if all works out as it should, shipping is expected to start by the end of July. Whether the Pick will be made available outside of Japan at some point in the future is currently unknown. The video below has more.