You can go ahead and file the Canon PowerShot N under stopgap product, but until someone figures out how to cram a big ol’ sensor and lens into a tiny lil’ package, there’s going to be a divide between what your smartphone’s camera and a real camera can capture. The PowerShot N’s approach is to serve as a companion to your phone and apps — let’s face it, Instagram — through one-touch wi-fi connectivity.
The N’s 28-224mm lens, 12MP sensor and zippy Digic 5 processor mean significantly higher quality photos. It also touts a built-in “Creative Shot” mode that generates different crops and processing effects — oh, and it captures 1080p video. A flexible capacitive touchscreen means serious potential for shooting in unique, tight angles (like the popular top-down foot or shoe shot). The reality? A camera for the social networks. We’ll stick with our iPhone 5 until we get more time with the N, but we already like the idea of pairing one with an iPad for a mobile photo solution (please, no iPad photography).