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Canon refines its quirky square pocket camera for the PowerShot N2

The Wi-Fi-enabled ultracompact gets the screen it should have had the first time around, not to me ntion other feature tweaks.

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Canon

With the PowerShot N2, Canon has turned its PowerShot N into the selfie camera it should have been in the first place.

The PowerShot N was a small square camera with a 8x f3.0-5.9 28-224mm lens and 2.8-inch tilting touchscreen. The thing it, though, the screen only tilted up 90 degrees. That made it fine for low shots and you could flip the camera over and shoot above your head, too.

But what you couldn't do was tilt the screen up all the way to help you frame self-portraits. The PowerShot N2, however, does go up 180 degrees letting you see yourself in front of the camera. To go along with this is a self-portrait mode that will adjust exposure compensation, smooth skin, and add background defocus, and you can tap the screen to start a shutter self-timer.

Another change was made to two of the camera's main controls. The PowerShot N had two rings around its lens: one to trigger the shutter and the other to control the zoom. The rings were close together, though, which made using them a bit of a pain. It looks like Canon has combined the two functions into one ring and while the N would only take a photo if you pressed up or down on the ring, you can press anywhere on the N2's ring to snap your shots.

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Canon

Also tweaked for the N2 is the Creative Shot mode that first appeared in the N. This mode automatically creates five different versions of a single shot using different color and tone settings, crops, and styles in addition to saving the original photo. This has been updated to give you some control over the results, 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 N2 is the first to have the option of a Creative Shot movie mode that combines several movie clips automatically with special effects including super slow motion, quick motion, and various filters.

Other new features include a new 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and NFC for easier setup of Wi-Fi connections to Android smartphones and tablets.

The Canon PowerShot N2 shows up in December in a choice of black or white versions for about $300. Region-specific pricing was unavailable, but that $300 price translates to roughly £185 or AU$333 in the UK and Australia, respectively.

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