Canon announced on December 5 that the new concept digital camera "iNSPiC REC" will be available for general sale from the end of December. This is a simple, lightweight model with a carabiner mechanism. It was a topic that was sold out on the same day when it was sold in advance through crowdfunding. In the future, it will be available for purchase at consumer electronics mass retailers and mail order sites.
The price is open, and the expected actual sales price is around 13,800 yen, excluding tax.
A minimal digital camera “made by subtraction”
iNSPiC REC is a reference exhibition at the camera exhibition “CP + 2019” held in February, and the “Outdoor Activity Camera” [Soto Asobi Camera], which attracted attention, was commercialized. It is a product with the concept that you can always carry it around and enjoy shooting outdoors.
Prior to this general sale, a preliminary sale was conducted on a trial basis at “Makuake” on the crowdfunding site. In this pre-sale, when 1,000 units were prepared, it became extremely popular that it was sold out on the same day. If you can't make a reservation with Makuake, you can purchase it at the store.
iNSPiC REC belongs to the category of compact digital cameras because it is fixed to the lens, but it is a camera with a very different hair color from “IXY” and “PowerShot” that the company is working on.
Pursuing thorough simplicity, digital cameras don't even have a standard LCD monitor. You can check the image on a smartphone connected via Wi-Fi, but the Canon representative says, “The ultimate subtraction camera. I hope you enjoy the inconvenience of having no monitor.”
In general digital cameras and smartphones, it takes time to check the shot image, but iNSPiC REC basically does not check on the spot, it is a camera that is a style of shooting more and more was.
The image sensor is a 1/3 type CMOS sensor with an effective 13 million pixels. The lens is a single focal type equivalent to 25.4mm in 35m format and zooming is not possible. The focus is also fixed, and it can be focused from 50cm to infinity. Regarding the image quality, it is not a camera pursuing image quality because it does not have Canon's original image processing engine DIGIC and is different from the IXY series.
However, it seems that it was finished in a camera that is so light as about 90g and not difficult to carry because of such dices.
With a smartphone, when there is a scene you want to shoot, you can take it out of your pocket and unlock it. iNSPiC REC comes with a carabiner so you can attach it to a bag or trousers, take it off and turn it on. You will be able to shoot casually even in scenes where you've been troublesome to put out your smartphone until now.
At first glance, the pop-imposed body feels delicate, but in fact it has toughness performance. In addition to being able to withstand a drop from 2m, it is also waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 2m. These parts are also superior to smartphones, and the point is that you can shoot without hesitation even in environments where you are hesitant to shoot with a smartphone outdoors.
The front face jacket [panel part] is fixed with a magnet and can be easily removed. Initially, three sets of different designs [FP-301, tax-excluded 1,980 yen] are available as options, and in the future we plan to add jackets of various designs.
The operation part of the main body is extremely simple with only the shutter button on the top and the mode dial on the back. There is no half-press on the shutter button, so you can shoot with a single press. Continuous shooting [approx. 2 frames / second] is possible by holding down the shutter button. The square hole in the carabiner part is used as a viewfinder, and it is a mechanism that can be used as a rough reference for the shooting range. When the mode dial is set to video, you can shoot up to full HD / 60fps.
Sensitivity [ISO100 to ISO3200], white balance, and exposure compensation are all automatic, so there is a merit that you don't have to worry about shooting. Anyway, it is a simple operation that "just press the shutter button toward the subject".
There are action cams that can be worn, but many of the action cams have a crocodile design and are not always easy to hold as a camera. iNSPiC REC is as thin as about 18.5mm, so I felt that it was handheld and easy to shoot like a general digital camera.
The aspect ratio of the photo can be selected from 4: 3 and 1: 1. Some of the settings that cannot be made with this unit are made with the dedicated smartphone app “Canon Mini Cam”. If you use the smartphone app, you can also perform remote shooting with Wi-Fi and camera image confirmation / transfer.
The recording medium is a microSD card. The battery is built-in and can be charged via the microUSB terminal. The charging time is 3 hours, and about 1,000 shots can be taken.
A palm-sized super telephoto camera is coming soon
At the presentation site of iNSPiC REC, there were other new cameras that were exhibited at CP + 2019. Both are developing for commercialization.
“Multi Functional Telephoto Camera” is a telephoto camera with a telephoto lens. Switch between 100/400 / 800mm equivalent with a single button [800mm with digital zoom]. In this presentation, moving products were exhibited and we were able to try it out. Looking through the viewfinder [EVF], it was like looking through a small telescope. This camera is designed to separate the front and back, so to speak, it is a mechanism that is divided into a “camera part” and an “operation & EVF part”. It seems that they are also considering a style where only the camera part is attached to the back of the smartphone.
The “Intelligent Compact Camera” is an automatic camera that allows the camera itself to select and shoot good scenes with AI. It seems that the development of the internal software has made it possible to distinguish and shoot the tracked subject.
The “Kids Mission Camera” for children is characterized by incorporating game elements. There was no update since CP + 2019, and it was still a mock-up exhibit.
Born in 1981. Since 2006, he has worked as an editor for the Impress news site “Digital Camera Watch”, covering the camera and photography industry and writing equipment reviews. Free from 2018.