Technology What is Canon's mini camera worth without a screen...

What is Canon’s mini camera worth without a screen or viewfinder?


The Ivy REC is a small backpacking camera that can be connected to a smartphone. – CANON

  • During the summer of 2019, Canon presented its Ivy Rec project on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
  • Bingo: acclaimed by internet users, Ivy Rec is now sold at 129 euros.
  • This tiny little camera that clips onto your belt is worth it for its all-purpose side and strength, but its photos are of very ordinary quality.

For Canon, it all started with a crowdfunding campaign on the platform
Indiegogo during the summer of 2019. Objective achieved: the project for a mini, waterproof and resistant camera named Ivy Rec by the Japanese manufacturer was able to see the light of day. The device is now sold and sold for 129 euros.

Canon probably did not need the money raised on Indiegogo to develop its Ivy Rec. The world number one in photography has enough means to self-finance his projects… It is more to assess the appetite of the public around a new concept that he wanted to rub against the verdicts of internet users, visibly won over (funding was 522% completed). But let’s face it: the Ivy Rec surprises.

No screen, flash or viewfinder

Available in four colors (apple green, anthracite gray, passion pink and lagoon blue), the device is effectively mini: 110.5 x 45.2 x 18.5 mm for 86 grams. It’s three times lighter than a smartphone. It works on battery and recharges via a USB cable.

The Ivy REC weighs only 86 grams. – CANON

Originality (and good idea): the little backpacker clips like a carabiner on the belt. It’s handy to never part with it. And once in its place, it really doesn’t interfere, even when you’re sitting. The Ivy Rec could almost be used as a keychain …

A simple adjustment wheel to choose its shooting mode.
A simple adjustment wheel to choose its shooting mode. – CANON

At the back is a notched dial to make some selections. In addition to turning the device on and off, you can choose Photo, Video, Photo / Video or Wireless mode. Exit, the aiming screen: this is replaced by a hole in the hull of the Ivy Rec! Just place your eye in the back to frame your images. On top, finally, a classic trigger. Flash, we will not find any.

Ivy REC available in different colors.
Ivy REC available in different colors. – CANON

Note that a thread is present under the Ivy Rec. He allows it to be fixed on a photo stand, but we imagine it more on a tripod. A microSD card (very difficult to install and extract given the small size of the device) is used for image storage. You need to download the Canon Mini app to go a little further.

Lucky framing lucky!

Let’s quickly settle the famous question of the framing: the one operated absolutely does not obtain the expected rendering. Equipped with a fixed lens equivalent to 26 mm with a field of view of 78 °, the Ivy Rec delivers shots much wider than what was thought to obtain. It’s a bit haphazard luck… Besides, the square format of the frame on the device does not correspond at all to the rectangular format of the photos.

The framing made with the viewfinder of the Ivy REC ...
The framing made with the viewfinder of the Ivy REC … – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES
... do not correspond exactly to reality.
… do not correspond exactly to reality. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

A 13 megapixel 1 / 3p CMOS sensor immortalizes them in correct quality … but nothing more. If good lighting conditions, especially in sunny weather, suit them like a glove, noise is instantly invited into the images as soon as the light dims. Videos can be shot in Full HD (1080p at 60 frames per second) and are, to say the least, respectable. The quality of development remains however perfectible.

An app to do more

Weighted with the Canon Mini app, our smartphone recognizes Ivy Rec in a few steps. The first pairing is a bit tedious. Things will be much simpler then: just place the wheel on the back of the smartphone in “Wireless” mode and then open the application for both to communicate via Wifi. The key, first of all, is the possibility of making adjustments. There is the choice of the size of the photos among the three proposed: S (2080 x 1560 pixels), M (2944 x 2208), L (4160 x 3120). And there is the selection of their format: 4: 3 or 1: 1. It’s hard to make it simpler.

Also offered, remote triggering. From then on, the smartphone will be used as a viewfinder for taking photos as well as shooting videos. Hence the interest in having a small tripod to hang the device anywhere. Finally, the application allows you to access, download and share the contents of the memory card. The multiple tests that we carried out encountered no difficulty.

Pictures taken in bright light ...
Photos taken in bright light … – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES
... are rather of honest quality.
… are rather of honest quality. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

We regret, however, that it is not possible to use the screen of your smartphone to focus and even less to zoom. A selfie mirror wouldn’t have ruined Canon either. In addition, the application does without any possibility of cropping, retouching, adding a filter … which is a bit chickish. It will therefore be necessary to rely on its usual photo applications to possibly rework the shots. But the simplicity is there.

A master key for children

Of course, photo experts may laugh at the Ivy Rec without even trying it out. Certainly, it is clear that with the latest offshoot from Canon, the images produced do not get the rendering of those immortalized with a good smartphone. We are faced with raw, basic views, which may lack detail.

Falls, splashing water, immersion ... the Ivy REC fears nothing.
Falls, splashing water, immersion … the Ivy REC fears nothing. – CANON

But the vocation of Ivy Rec is not to pose as a potential competitor, but as an essential complement. Resistant to shocks up to two meters, waterproof to one meter (standard: IP6X), it is a master key that will avoid risking the life of your smartphone in a hostile environment. With the Ivy Rec, you can photograph or film a water slide descent, a canoe trip, a ski bowl … for twice the price of the first GoPro. And this, almost without adjustment. But at 129 euros, the Ivy Rec is still a bit expensive if you compare it to most of the Canon compacts sold, them, less than 100 euros. If they are not necessarily waterproof or connectable, they have a screen. Dilemma…

The fact remains that without saying so, the manufacturer may be eyeing a clientele often forgotten in photos: that of children. Not necessarily teens who already have a smartphone, but the younger ones who are not yet old enough to be equipped with a smartphone (or to which we do not want to lend ours). For them, the Ivy Rec can truly be a gateway to the world of photography: sufficient in quality and fun to use.


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