Getting to grips with the N2

It is no secret that I am wanting to improve my photography.  Whilst I love taking photos of the girls, I want to understand more about the camera and improve on my skills.  Given the opportunity to try anything related to photography and I am very interested.


One such opportunity presented itself recently when I was asked to try the brand new Canon Powershot N2.  At face value the N2 had some very impressive statistics




IMAGE SENSOR

Type 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 16.1M
Effective / Total Pixels Approx. 16.8M
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type DIGIC 6 with iSAPS technology

LENS

Focal Length 5.0 – 40.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 – 224 mm)
Zoom Optical 8x
ZoomPlus 16x
Digital Approx. 4x
Combined Approx. 32x
Maximum f/number f/3.0 – f/5.9
Construction 8 elements in 7 groups (1 double-sided aspherical lens, 1 single-sided aspherical UA lens, 1 single-sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 2.5-stop. Intelligent IS

FOCUSING

Type TTL
AF System/ Points AiAF (9-point, Face Detection or Touch AF)
AF Modes Continuous, Servo AF/AE(in Auto mode), Touch AF
AF Assist Beam Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 1 cm (W) from front of lens in Macro
EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (Touch AF frame)
AE Lock Yes
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
ISO sensitivity AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

SHUTTER

Speed 1 – 1/2000 sec. (factory default)
1 – 1/2000 sec. (total range – varies by shooting mode)
WHITE BALANCE
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H.
Type sRGB

LCD MONITOR

Monitor Tilt type 7.1 cm (2.8”) PureColor II G Touch screen LCD (TFT). Approx. 461,000 dots. Capacitive type
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of five levels

FLASH

Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off
Slow Sync Speed Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 sec.
Built-in Flash Range 50 cm – 1.7 m (W)

SHOOTING

Modes Smart Auto (58 scenes detected), Hybrid Auto, P, Creative Shot, Self-Portrait, Low Light (4.0 MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome
Modes in Movie Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), P, Creative Shot, Miniature Effect, Monochrome
Drive modes Single, Auto Drive, Continuous, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Approx. 2.7 shots/sec. (until memory card becomes full) 

RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION

Image Size 4:3 - (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 2048 x 1536, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 - (L) 4608 x 2592, (M1) 3264 x 1832, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 - (L) 4608 x 3072, (M1) 3264 x 2176, (M2) 2048 x 1368, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 - (L) 3456 x 3456, (M1) 2448 x 2448, (M2) 1536 x 1536, (S) 480 x 480
Compression Fine
Movies (Full HD) 1920 x 1080, 30 fps, (HD) 1280 x 720, 30 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6 fps, 3 fps, 1.5 fps
Movie Length (Full HD & HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec.
(L) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour

The N2 feels slightly heavy than a smartphone and whilst smaller in length it is slightly thicker.  This been said it does fit neatly into your pocket.  The N2 is a small yet mighty camera and comes with a host of additional features.  Like all Canon pocket cameras the N2 features a switch to toggle between normal and creative mode.  In creative mode the N2 captures the original photo plus 5 creative images.  This can be great for getting a different perspective on a shot and has created some wonderful and also some random photos.  

The N2 also features USB port, wifi and a micro SD card slot.  The LCD touch screen can be flipped to turn the N2 into the perfect selfie camera.  The touch screen also allows access to other functions including time lapse and camera effects.  One of the downsides for me was the flash, which although I use flash rarely when I do I expect something better than what my smartphone is capable of.







To take a picture with the N2 you press the control ring at the front, or rather squeeze the control ring.  There is no conventional button and this does take some getting used to.  For me personally I really struggled with this.  I found either the ring was too sensitive which resulted in the photo been taken too early or I could not control the camera resulting in an unstable image as I struggled to grip the control ring.  I also had to use two hands to take a photo.  Due to the control ring been around the lens many of my photos also have fingers somewhere in the photo.





Despite all of this when the N2 works it works beautifully and really captures some crisp, clean, sharp images


I have really struggled to write this review because when the N2 works it is so beautiful and such a stunning camera in a small package, the problem is I cannot get it to work every time.  In fact the times I do get it to work are few and far between.  The only time I can guarantee I can operate the camera with success is to take selfies.  For me the N2 is the perfect selfie camera and if selfies are something you do a lot of then you need an N2.  I would certainly recommending to try before you buy as if like me you struggle to operate the control ring than this is not the camera for you.  If you can than you will be greeted with crisp images and a great portable camera.

The canon Powershot N2 was provided on a loan basis and has since been returned. 

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