Canon has launched a campaign on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake for an AI-powered camera, the PowerShot PICK. The campaign has proven to be highly successful, attracting nearly ¥100,000,000 in support. The goal was ¥1,000,000.
The experimental PowerShot PICK camera can analyze a scene, identify people, track their faces and then, using artificial intelligence, determine the ideal moment to capture a photo. In a rough translation, Canon refers to the PICK as an ‘automatic shooting camera.’ The PowerShot PICK combines Canon’s optical, video processing, and artificial intelligence technology.
In terms of design, the PowerShot PICK is a compact, modern-looking device. It has been designed to blend in, while Canon has also considered ways to give the PICK some character. You can also take the PICK with you when you leave the house, such as when going to a family gathering or an event. You can place the PICK on a tripod as well, and Canon is offering special Velbon tripods as part of the campaign.
The PowerShot PICK uses a 1/2.3-inch 12MP CMOS image sensor. The sensor is paired with a 19-57mm equivalent zoom lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8. The PICK includes built-in image stabilization. The PICK pans 170° in both directions and can tilt 110°. The PICK records to a microSD card and weighs a mere 170g. As you can see in the video above, the PICK is small, with a height of about 3.5″ (90mm) tall.
|The Canon PowerShot PICK is a compact device. It has a 360° field of view and incorporates a 12MP image sensor. Image credit: Canon on Masuake|
While the PICK is designed to take photos automatically in the background, which Canon believes will result in more authentic images and better mementos, the PowerShot PICK can also be manually controlled using keywords. A user says, ‘Hello PICK,’ followed by commands to take a photo, record video, change subjects and stop capturing.
The PICK will launch alongside a dedicated smartphone app, allowing you to view and share photos and videos captured by PICK. The app automatically recommends the best photos, although you can view all images.
The setup process promises to be easy. After pairing with your smartphone, which is required, you simply power on PICK and place it somewhere, depending on the situation. You could place it on a table at the center of a family meal, on a tripod near an event, on a bookshelf, etc. As mentioned, although PICK can operate automatically, it can be controlled using voice or by using the smartphone app.
The Canon PowerShot PICK is currently available only to backers on Makuake. The price for the PICK works out to just under $400. Given the campaign’s success, the only remaining units are for the PICK and charging cable. The tripod bundle has sold out. Canon intends to ship the PICK to backers this July. Canon hasn’t announced global or public release plans, so it’s unclear if the PowerShot PICK will be available outside of Japan. You can learn more about the PowerShot PICK by visiting Makuake.