Review: Canon PowerShot Pick

The Canon PowerShot Pick is an interesting beast. I’m not quite sure if I know what it is exactly, and I think it may have a bit of an identity crisis too.

Is it a webcam? Or is it a security camera? Or is it a security camera masquerading as a webcam. Or indeed, vice versa.

Let me try and explain.

The PowerShot Pick is one of the new breeds of what are PTZ cameras. This means instead of having a fixed lens, the lens mechanism in these units can pan, tilt and zoom which gives a hell of a lot more flexibility as you can imagine. This is why they are in demand as security cameras.

But they are also infiltrating into the broadcast space. It is much easier for a director with a console operator running say, 6 PTZ cameras to get the action at a large music concert for example, than having to direct 6 separate cameras on dollies or booms etc.

(I bet the director of the PULSE concert by Pink Floyd in the 90s that I posted last week would have killed to get some PTZs back then).

So, why not combine these tow uses – security and broadcast – and scale it down a bit, and you have a pretty funky, albeit at almost $500 a pretty expensive – webcam?

Throw a few party tricks in such as voice control and wi-fi connectivity to your PC (via a dedicated app) to make the PowerShot Pick act as a webcam and on the surface, you have a versatile little beast yes?.

On the technical side, it also has automatic tracking complete with image stabilization to keep you in the frame. It uses auto-subject searching based on face recognition and is even smart enough to adjust the composition automatically. If the PowerShot Pick is connected to your smartphone (yep, another app) you can use touch tracking too.


The PowerShot Pick is about the size of a small pepper pot, and the one I received was black, but you can apparently get it in white as well. I reckon Canon would make some extra sales if they brought out a Dalek version with skins you could change.

The ports are covered by waterproof seals and there is one for USB-C for charging / data transfer and a second for the mini-SD card. Two buttons are also on the body, one being power on / off and the other wireless on / off.

The top half of the body is the rotating lens mechanism.

Technical Stuff

The image sensor in the PowerShot Pick is a 1 /2.3” CMOS type with 11.7 effective megapixels. The aperture can vary between f/2.8 to f/5.0.

In the PTZ area, the PowerShot Pick can Pan through 340°, Tilt 110° (from -20° to +90° and Zoom optically zoom at 3x and digitally to 4x.

Recording is to 1920 x 1080 HD at a choice of 23.98, 29.97 or 59.94 fps in 16:9 resolution.

The focal length (in 35mm equivalent) is 19 – 57mm.

There is a built-in stereo microphone, as mentioned, both wi-fi and Bluetooth is supported.

Finally, the PowerShot Pick weighs in at 170g and dimensionally is 56.4 x 81.9mm.

In The Real World

The first thing you need to do out of the box is charge the PowerShot Pick. This had me tricked for a minute as surely no, Canon would not make something without an indicator light? It turns out there is one, but it is easily hidden by the rubber waterproof flap when you open the port. While charging it flashed orange and is on constantly when full.

Next, I downloaded the app for my Samsung smartphone. Pairing is via Bluetooth and on the surface should be a simple operation; power on the camera (it gives little R2D2 whistles and beeps when you do – very un-Dalek like) and then you press the Bluetooth pairing button.

In the perfect world, this should then pair within a few seconds, ask for confirmation, and then away you go. In my case though, this camera had been used before and needed to be un-paired from the previous camera.

Thankfully, although it took a few attempts, it is not a hard process, and not like it would be if this was a real security camera where that has to be manufactured instigated in most cases.

Once you are paired, you can page through a few screens on the smartphone where you are told about some of the party tricks of the PowerShot Pick such as the auto detect and voice commands, remote shooting and viewing and auto registering people.

Then you are ready set the PowerShot Pick up to your requirements.

The Smartphone App

The first option of the smartphone app is Camera and from here you can choose whether you want to capture a still or a video. A single camera icon triggers the camera to shoot.

 Additionally by using the on-screen controls you can pan, zoom and use the tracking option. By using your finger on the image, you can also control the lens direction.  At top left is a small icon for aperture control letting choose the exposure.  This is more akin to using an ISO control I found, with the image getting visibly brighter or darker as you wind the value up or down.

The next screen is for playback. Thumbnails of images shot are displayed and touching one will open it up for viewing (still) or playback (video). You can download any video or still from the camera to the smartphone with a single button press, with the option of choosing which folder to save to.

You can also tag images with a star icon to mark importance or whatever you want the tag to act as I guess. Deleing files is an option from here too.

The next page is the Settings page where a whole bunch of options awaits. These range from Shooting modes to Basic Camera Settings, Network Settings, Webcam Settings and a list of allowed Voice Commands which in reality are a little limited if you compare for example to a GoPro or DJI Action Camera, restricted to Snap A Picture, Record a Video, Auto Off or Find Others.

I did lose the Bluetooth connection a few times even though the phone was right next to the camera, and when this happens, the app locks up for a few seconds which is a bit disconcerting, before doing a search and reconnecting.

I also noticed that using the app to pan, tilt and zoom had the occasional lag, especially if it had been left alone for a while. Once the camera it “realised” it was under manual control however, it was very responsive.

Registering People

You can register up to 12 people to the camera. More on this in a second.

At this point I heartily recommend downloading the PDF manual from On its website, Canon has a walkthrough of the features and functions of the PowerShot Pick with ‘how to’s’ on each, but for me, it was a little disjointed, not letting me quickly cross reference subjects.

For example, until I got the PDF, the functionality of registering people had me a little confused.

Basically registering a person makes the PowerShot Pick shoot them when they come in range. You can set a priority level so they will be shot more often. For example, if you have a person 21st birthday party out of all the people you have registered (family, friends) you might select the birthday boy / girl as the highest priority so that during the party there are more shots of them.

You can use this function in either still or video mode. And example of using it, combined with auto tracking might be when shooting a team-based sporting function. The camera can track an individual in the field of play and shoot accordingly.


I like the concept of the PowerShot Pick. I can see lots of opportunities where it would be useful. But not in its present form and at the current price.

Sure this is Pick 1.0 and there always has to be a 1.0 version of everything so it can at least get out in the field and have the waters tested, see what people like and dislike, what suggestions they make and what things they absolutely hate.

The things that need improving in Pick 1.0 include low light capability, the response time, battery life and the AI needs tweaking to make it more responsive and reliable.

A few reviews I have read allude to the design as being ‘creepy’ and looking too much like a security camera as I mentioned.

I personally don’t see this as a problem. We have become very used to these devices and they are appearing in more and more homes now as well – and with very good reason. See my story on that very subject here.

At present, the PowerShot {ick is a little too much gimmick value and not enough actual camera. Canon is a camera company first and foremost and I am sure they know this.

So I am interested in Pick 2.0 very much and see what sorts of improvements and new things the boffins can add.

You can get more information from Canon here.






Sony launches the FR7

“The world’s first[i] PTZ camera to combine a full-frame image sensor, lens interchangeability, and remote shooting functionality”

[i] As of Sept 6th. 2022 product announcement, compared to cameras with integrated pan/tilt mounts, Sony survey.

Sony announces today the latest addition to its Cinema Line, the ILME-FR7, an E-mount interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame image sensor and built-in pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) functionality. Its versatile remote control and cinematic features open creative possibilities in studio, live production and filmmaking settings.

A high-performance full-frame image sensor and the expressive scope of Sony’s extensive E-mount lens[i] line-up work with remote pan/tilt/zoom control, high flexibility in zoom capability and wide angle shooting to break through location and space limitations. It also offers the cinematic look and operability that have made Sony digital cinema cameras push the boundaries of the filmmaking industry, plus versatile connectivity and efficient multi camera workflow support.

Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging ANZ commented: “The FR7 is a ground-breaking new product that delivers on both the growing demand for remote PTZ cameras, and on the trend and desire to produce cinematic images for broadcast and live production. Whether it is capturing the emotion of a live concert/event or the drama of a reality TV scene, the FR7 will open up new ways for creators to deliver more engaging content”.

Uncompromised image quality in a PTZ form factor

The FR7 features a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor Exmor R™ with approximately 10.3 effective megapixels and wide 15+ stop latitude[ii] in a pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera for the first time. In addition to wide dynamic range, low noise, and cinematic full frame bokeh, this amazing sensor also delivers high sensitivity that allows ISO to be expanded up to 409600[iii] when shooting in low light. The FR7 features Sony’s E-mount and can mount a wide range of E-mount lenses2, including the G Master™ series with stunning resolution and bokeh effect. A choice of focal lengths ranging from 12 mm to 1200 mm[iv] gives users comprehensive creative control.

A number of Cinema Line features are built into the camera to deliver a cinematic look and feel including:

  • The Sensitivity setting allows ISO to be expanded up to 4096004 when shooting in low light.
  • A 15+ stop latitude3 allows smooth highlights and low noise levels.
  • A number of preset scene files are included including S-Cinetone for natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin colour, plus soft colours and gorgeous highlights. Since the target look can be created while shooting, time can be saved in post-production. In the Cine EI mode, base sensitivity can be set to either ISO 800 or ISO 12800 to match lighting conditions and to minimise noise while maintaining a consistent look. This mode is ideal for post-production, as it allows the use of Sony’s original S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3. Cine colour spaces.
  • Shooting in up to 4K 120p[v] slow-motion is possible, again creating that emotional possibility offered by a cinematic look.

Easy operation for storytelling from new angles

With a new dedicated web application, pan, tilt, zoom, focus, record, playback, and all camera settings can be intuitively controlled from a tablet or computer web browser. Multiple people can monitor FR7 footage remotely at the same time. Multi camera monitoring is also enabled, allowing multiple cameras to be viewed remotely on one device. With its integrated remotely controllable pan/tilt mechanism, the FR7 can be mounted on a tripod, on a ceiling with the dedicated CIB-PCM1, or in other locations with limited access so that subjects can be unobtrusively followed and recorded from unique viewpoints.

It is also compatible with Sony’s RM-IP500 remote controller[vi] for multi-camera production, expanding creative potential while reducing the need for dedicated staff in production studios and other shooting situations. A single RM-IP500 unit can remotely control up to 100 PTZ cameras and provide precious joystick-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom operation. The supplied infrared remote controller will also support the FR7’s simple operation.

Variable PTZ movements for smooth camera work

Pan and tilt speed can be continuously varied from 0.02 degrees per second to 60 degrees per second, supporting a wide range of stable and smooth camera movements. The pan angle range is from -170° to +170°, and the tilt angle range is from -30° to +195°.

Up to 100 preset camera positions

The FR7 can memorise up to 100 camera position presets. The built-in web application and optional RM-IP500 remote controller allow up to 100 camera position presets to be recalled. Presets include camera direction, zoom, and focus, and can be recalled at the touch of a button.

The FR7 will also support S700 protocol via Ethernet, enabling control of this product from Sony’s Remote Control Panel (RCP) and Master Setup Unit (MSU) with a firmware update[vii].

Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking

Fast Hybrid AF and pan/tilt/zoom functionalities combine to focus on static or fast-moving subjects precisely and smoothly over a wide area, to avoid blurred images, even when a shallow depth of field is used.

The integrated BIONZ XR™ engine realises detection performance for pinpoint eye focus even when subjects are looking at steep angles, allowing the operator to concentrate on composing the best shot. Touch Focus can be used to initiate focusing with Real-time Tracking on the desired subject when using the FR7’s web application, with Real-time Eye AF if an eye is detected.

Sony’s built-in electronically controlled Variable ND filter

The built-in electronic variable ND filter allows seamless ND adjustment. An Auto ND function keeps exposure constant by automatically adjusting the ND filter to match changing light. Remote control is also possible, allowing exposure control at a distance from the camera.

Versatile interfaces for various production workflows

The FR7 is built to integrate and adapt to many workflow scenarios, from simple plug and play to more complex high-end productions, thanks to a comprehensive selection of video inputs and outputs, IP streaming, power supply, and synchronisation with other devices.

Internal XAVC recording /External RAW output

A rare feature in a PTZ camera, the FR7 also features dual media slots that support CFexpress Type A and SDXC memory cards. The ability to record high-quality XAVC-I footage with metadata makes the FR7 an excellent choice for a wide variety of video production applications.

CFexpress Type A cards are particularly well suited to high bitrate 4K movie production, with high-speed write capability that ensures stable recording of high volume, high frame rate data. Simultaneous recording, relay recording, interval recording, and proxy recording are also supported.

The SDI output can deliver a 16-bit RAW signal to a compatible external recorder (sold separately).

Professional Video/Audio Interface

HDMI Type A and 12G-SDI connectors are provided for video output as well as optical output[viii] for long transmission.

The AUDIO IN (XLR type 5-pin) connector will receive signal from an external microphone or audio device. AUDIO CH-1 and CH-2 use a single connector.

Ethernet connectivity

Camera control, video and audio transfer, and power supply can also be carried out via a single LAN cable, simplifying cabling requirements.

The FR7 LAN (network) connector supports a variety of streaming protocols, including RTSP, SRT and NDI ® |HX[ix], perfect for working in an IP based environment.

The FR7 can be powered from an external PoE++ (Power over Ethernet Plus Plus)[x] device via a standard network cable, eliminating the need for separate power supply cabling.

Multicamera production synchronisation

The Timecode IN connector receives timecode for synchronization with an external device, while the GENLOCK receives synchronization signals in multi camera setups.

Additionally, red/green tally lights are provided on the camera’s side panels, allowing performers and staff to easily identify the on-air and preview cameras in multi camera setups in studio or on location.

The FR7 will be showcased for the first time on Sony’s booth at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam from September 9th to 12th.

Price & Availability

The FR7 will be available in Australia from late November 2022

SRP: AUD$14,999.00

[i] When using the SEL100400GM, SEL200600G, SEL400F28GM, and SEL600F40GM, please use after fixing the pan/tilt with the locking mechanism of the camera.

[ii] S-Log3 recording. Sony measurement.

[iii] Custom mode.

[iv] SEL20TC teleconverter is required.

[v] 10% crop, approximately.

[vi] Sold separately.

[vii] Update in early of 2023.

[viii] Optical output requires SFP+ module (sold separately).

[ix] NDI® is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc. NDI®|HX is a technology of NewTek, Inc. An NDI®|HX Upgrade must be purchased from NewTek.

[x] Conforms to IEEE802.3bt (Type 4, Class 8). Internal recording and playback are not available when PoE++ power is used.