LAS VEGAS -- The Canon PowerShot N, which debuted at CES 2013, is a little square camera that isn't much more than a lens and a touch screen. The PowerShot N100, announced at CES 2014, is, as its model name implies, a bit more than that.
For example, the N introduced a Creative Shot mode that would automatically create five different versions of a single shot using different color and tone settings, crops, and styles in addition to saving the original photo. The N100's Creative Shot gives you some control over the results, however, letting you choose a category of filters -- Retro, Monochrome, Special, or Natural -- for the camera to use with a total of 46 filters available.
The N100 also has Canon's Hybrid Auto mode (also a first for the N) that captures a few seconds of video before each picture you take. At the end of a day of shooting, the camera automatically gathers up all the little clips and your photos -- taken with Canon's scene-recognition Smart Auto -- and puts them into a movie.
Building on that is a new Story Highlights mode, which Canon says creates a 2- or 5-minute highlight reel of photos and movie clips that you can individually select or have the camera automatically select based on events, date, or person.
Also entirely new for the N100 is a Dual Capture mode. What may at first look like a viewfinder on the back is actually a secondary camera that can be set to take a picture or movie clip of the photographer when the shutter release is pressed. Those ancillary shots can then be combined with the photos or movies taken with the main camera for a picture-in-picture effect.
Returning for the N100 is Canon's Mobile Device Connect button that, once it's set up, lets you directly connect over Wi-Fi to an iOS or Android device with a button push. To make that initial setup easier, at least for Android users, the N100 has NFC. With it, you'll be able to tap the camera to your smartphone and it will establish a Wi-Fi connection between the two. Using Canon's mobile app, you'll be able to view, send, and share your shots as well as remotely control the camera.
The camera's key specs include a 1/1.7-inch 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a 5x f1.8-5.7 24-120mm lens, and a 3-inch 90-degree tilting touch screen. The sensor, lens, and touch screen, by the way, are the same ones found on Canon's enthusiast-targeted PowerShot S120, as is its Digic 6 processor.
Look for the Canon PowerShot N100 to arrive in May for $349.99, just in time for dads and grads and summer vacations.