Immerse yourself in nature with the Canon PowerShot ZOOM

Compact, powerful and easy to use: find out why this portable camera is ideal for the wildlife photographer who doesn't want to miss a thing.
A man standing among the trees using the PowerShot ZOOM.

Any wildlife lover knows that distance is everything. Too far away, and you'll miss the action; too close, and you risk frightening an animal away. But, unless you're a professional with a hefty telephoto lens, you'll find yourself hard pressed to bring those breathtaking sights home with you. This is where the Canon PowerShot ZOOM comes in handy. This monocular camera has everything you need; quiet and discreet, with extraordinary zoom capacity, it lets you see more as well as photographing and filming wildlife. Small enough to hold with one hand and fully automatic, it takes care of the photography, letting you immerse yourself in the experience.

Young conservationist, blogger and photojournalist Tolga Aktas took the Canon PowerShot ZOOM out for a spin around the River Severn in his home area of Gloucestershire, UK. Originally from south London and now studying for a Master of Science degree in Applied Ecology at the University of Gloucestershire, Tolga, 28, has done research projects with conservation groups including Wildlife ACT and The Mammal Society. He shares his passion for nature with the world through writing and photography via his blog, Ways of the Natural World. "The natural world has inspired me in more ways than I can tell you," he says. "We are inextricably linked to nature, and this is something we forget sometimes."

Wildlife essentials: travel light

A man standing by a canal holding a Canon PowerShot ZOOM.

Light and compact, the PowerShot ZOOM can be held in one hand or hung from its wrist strap. This makes it super quick to use and enables you to keep your kit to a minimum.

A hoverfly sat on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM resting on a tree stump.

The Canon PowerShot ZOOM is fully automatic so when you spot something magical, you can simply point and shoot. "I love capturing memories when I'm out with my camera," says Tolga. "Especially when I'm blessed with a rare wildlife sighting or surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes."

Out in the field, Tolga prefers to travel light. "I tend to stick to a minimalist kit that allows me to focus on my surroundings and not what's in my bag," he says. His essentials are sturdy footwear, waterproofs, a notebook and pen, trail mix, water, coffee, and a multi tool. Of course, he usually also packs a set of binoculars and his photography equipment.

Exploring the canals, fields and nature reserves of Gloucestershire with the Canon PowerShot ZOOM, Tolga could reduce his kitbag, thanks to the kit's flexibility. "The PowerShot ZOOM was both my camera and my binoculars, which saved me a ton of weight."

Once charged up via USB cable, the PowerShot ZOOM can take and store up to 150 shots or 60 minutes of video footage (captured 10 minutes at a time) before recharging. You can shoot and store more images depending on whether you use a microSD card, a microSDHC or a microSDXCon.

You can also charge your PowerShot ZOOM with a powerbank and can even charge while on the go in your car with the USB cable*. You can transfer your images to your smartphone by using the Canon Camera Connect App.

Mindful wildlife encounters

A man walking through trees in long grass, holding a PowerShot ZOOM in one hand.

In his conservation work, Tolga has learned from experience that it's important to soak up the environment instead of rushing in and photographing everything you see in front of you. "You just never know when you'll be able to go back to a place, so just take it in first," he says.

A close-up shot of a female mallard duck.

Tolga spotted this female mallard duck resting near a canal. "Ducks are some of the many waterfowl bird species that either briefly visit or inhabit the area all year around," he says. With its internal image stabilisation, the Canon PowerShot ZOOM produces clear images when you're shooting on the move and immerses you in the moment. Taken on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM at 800mm, 1/500 sec, f/6.3 and ISO100. © Tolga Aktas

For Tolga, observing wildlife is about slowing down and being mindful. "I think it's important to spend the majority of your time just observing the natural world around you," Tolga explains, "listening to the sounds, smelling the different scents from the environment or touching different biological structures, which each have a unique feel."

This really hit home on a trip to South Africa in 2018 to research endangered species. "I was so stoked to be there; I was photographing literally everything! Doing that, you can miss a lot of other beautiful moments," he says.

When Tolga returned to South Africa a year later, for a project on wild dog and lion conservation, he was more present. "I wasn't lugging too much kit around, and I was able to just connect to the natural world, and witness all of the beauty that South Africa had to offer me."

The PowerShot ZOOM is simple to use and allows for a more immersive experience for observing wildlife.

Observe from afar

Lily pads floating on the surface of a pond.

The PowerShot ZOOM enables you to focus in on small detail without getting up close, which is ideal for shooting skittish and upredictable wildlife. Taken on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM at 100mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6 and ISO100. © Tolga Aktas

A green dragonfly resting on a floating twig, on a still pond covered in lily pads.

This dragonfly on the water was shot at 400mm zoom, but the PowerShot ZOOM can get even closer. Taken on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM at 400mm, 1/500 sec, f/6.3 and ISO125. © Tolga Aktas

Whether in a far-flung location or in his local area, Tolga treats wild creatures with the same degree of dignity. This means avoiding sudden sounds or movements that could frighten them, never disturbing their habitats, and always giving them space. "There is never a need to touch animals or negatively impact a species' safety just for our own benefit," he stresses. "It's best to admire things from a distance rather than getting too close."

A close-up shot of a green dragonfly with its wings raised in the air, resting on a floating stick in a pond.

At maximum zoom capacity, the PowerShot ZOOM can shoot at 800mm, making this dragonfly clear and detailed compared to the image shot at 100mm. Taken on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM at 800mm, 1/500 sec, f/6.3 and ISO160. © Tolga Aktas

A man holding a Canon PowerShot ZOOM in one hand.

The PowerShot ZOOM comes with dioptre correction for the viewfinder which adjusts to suit your eyes and the compact kit can be used with either hand or eye, making it more accessible for more people.

Tolga was impressed that the Canon PowerShot ZOOM, despite its compact size, boasts powerful zoom capabilities, equivalent to a 400mm telephoto lens, with the option to use digital zoom up to 800mm. "It was lightweight and ready to use within an instant of turning it on, without disturbing any wildlife. And, with the opportunity to zoom between 100mm, 400mm and 800mm, which you can jump to by pressing one button, the freedom is unbelievable!"

Capture every detail

A close up of two gulls resting on a roof.

As Tolga says, "Everything around us within the natural world has as much right to be here as we do." If your subject is up high and out of the way, whether it's in a tree or perched on a roof, you can still capture detailed shots thanks to the zooming capabilities of this compact kit. Taken on a Canon PowerShot ZOOM at 800mm, 1/640 sec, f/6.3 and ISO100. © Tolga Aktas

The handheld size and intuitive functionality of the PowerShot ZOOM has great potential for viewing and capturing images, with an electronic viewfinder to match Canon's mirrorless cameras. This meant Tolga could take high resolution images of creatures perched up high, or of intricate tree patterns. "If I wanted to capture a gull on a roof at 400 or 800mm zoom – no problem at all. Or if I wanted to capture the details of a pinecone on a pine tree, this little camera didn't fail," he says. "What I loved most was the optical image stabilisation, which allowed me to capture super sharp stills and video footage. I usually have shaky hands, so I was glad to know Canon had me covered."

Stay in the moment

A man sat down outdoors, looking at photos of wildlife on his phone, holding a Canon PowerShot ZOOM

Connecting your smartphone with the Canon Camera Connect app lets you view, download and share your pictures while you're still out in the field.

A man in the woods putting a Canon PowerShot ZOOM into his shirt pocket.

The compact Canon PowerShot ZOOM is ideal for taking on a wildlife walk, and can easily fit in your bag or even your pocket.

You can carry the monocular-shaped Canon PowerShot ZOOM hands-free thanks to its nifty wrist strap and, at just 145g, it weighs less than many smartphones. Designed for ease of use, it's fully automatic, with an autofocus tracking that will help you take clear, sharp shots of even the most skittish wildlife.

Unlike a smartphone, the Canon PowerShot ZOOM doesn't have any distracting apps that might take you out of the moment. However, should you choose to take your phone along with you, you can use the live view on the Canon Camera Connect app to share your experience with another observer, whilst the person operating the camera sees everything via the viewfinder.

You can also view your images in the PowerShot ZOOM's electronic viewfinder, and, thanks to its built-in Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, when you're ready to reconnect, you can share those moments with the world via social media in an instant.

Something for everyone

A man on a hike looking through a Canon PowerShot ZOOM.

Tolga enjoyed taking the PowerShot ZOOM along with him on his nature walk, as it added to his experience and enabled him to see nature up-close without startling any animals. "You can simply turn it on and enjoy where it can take you, capturing the moments that mean the most to you," he says.

You don't need to be a professional conservationist or a seasoned photographer to find the Canon PowerShot ZOOM useful. "From a nature lover and birdwatcher's perspective, this is a great tool to enhance your experience, alongside whatever other gear you usually bring with you," says Tolga. "But it's not exclusive by any means: it's a versatile piece of kit that I'd recommend to anybody that loves the great outdoors."

Written by Rachel Segal Hamilton

*Can be charged/powered with USB Type-C. No charger supplied with the camera. Minimum charging requirement is a USB PD compliant power source providing a minimum of 5V, 1.5A with a USB Type-C output and using the provided USB Type-C to Type-C cable.

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