Canon has turned to crowdfunding for a camera. The camera, said the campaign page, is feature-packed: 13.0 Megapixel 1/3-inch CMOS sensor, full HD video shooting at 1080p up to 60fps, Bluetooth and wireless connectivity.
It's tiny. It's clippable. It's shockproof. It's go-anywhere. And, it had some observers scratching their heads wondering why. Dami Lee, The Verge: "Or maybe clip it onto your dog or cat's collar so you can see the world from your pet's POV?"
Generally, observers envisioned the camera good for outdoor adventures. This outdoor camera is called the IVY REC.
Lee said the size is about that of a USB flash drive.
How it works: IVY REC wirelessly connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to the companion CanonMini Cam App. The app serves to preview shots and also to transfer them to your phone. So, the app turns your smartphone into a live view display and allows for the wireless transfer of photos and video.
"The empty square space of the clip doubles as a viewfinder, and there's a single dial on the back that lets you switch between modes," Lee said.
A number of tech sites took note that this was a 13-megapixel 1/3-inch CMOS sensor that can record video at up to 60 frames per second in addition to capturing stills.
(OK, said Jon Fingas in Engadget, so it "won't win the image quality wars." However, it's built around a design that should be safer to use than your phone if you are out in the woods or at the beach.)
It is waterproof for 30 minutes for depths of up to three feet.
What's next? The campaign is not yet up and running and there is no price listing as of yet. Instead, there is a sign-up exercise.
You can sign up to be notified when the campaign begins and get 30 percent off the retail price if you're an early backer, said Lee on Wednesday.
The question is, why would Canon crowdfund anything? A known brand begging for dollars? What's up with that?
PetaPixel stepped in to argue that it's not about dollars. It's about smelling the roses or alternatively averting the financial risks. Usman Dawood: "Crowdfunding websites are generally used as a way to determine the demand of a product. This is one of the key benefits of using a website like Indiegogo. Raising a few million on a crowdfunding website is a brilliant way to measure the demand for any new product and mitigates a significant amount of risk."
Few takers? Then the company moves on with minimal loss.
On another point, Gannon Burgett, DPReview, reminded readers of Canon's past remarks in a past interview: "Canon executives noted the company is determined 'to capture as many customers as [it] can' and expressed the belief that 'there's a new genre of capturing: a new casual capturing market,' of sorts that has 'potential for new developments.' "
Moreover, a well-known brand name like Canon may seem out of character in a crowdfunding site but it is a practical way of taking the pules of potential public interest for such a device.
Canon wants to capture as many new customers as possible, especially casual photographers.
So, now that the why-would-Canon-do-crowdfunding has been addressed the next question is why anyone would want this camera.
Gizmodo's reference to it as "a tiny barebones shooter" is excuse enough when you just want to shoot to capture a moment in the great outdoors without worrying over an "expensive device getting wet, or dropped, or even scratched." That way, you use "a cheap tiny camera clipped to your belt, always at the ready," not your phone.
Canon would gladly echo that point. Its own pitch said "No fragile screen to crack—the clip doubles as a viewfinder. The upcoming companion CanonMini Cam App enables live preview on your phone. Transfer and share photos & videos wirelessly."
"While it's not quite as rugged as a full-fledged action camera, it should help you spend more time enjoying moments and less time worrying about breaking your electronics or framing the perfect picture," said Fingas.
More information: Canon IVY REC: Clippable, Go Anywhere Camera www.indiegogo.com/projects/can … e-camera/coming_soon
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