on March 14, 2013
I'll note right off the bat -- I've been interested in photography for many years and have been honing my skills, but I am not a professional photographer. As a result, I can only speak to the qualities of this camera that might appeal to beginner/intermediate photographers. I owned a previous version of the Canon PowerShot and enjoyed it so much that I decided to purchase this newer model.
First, the basic specs. This camera has a 28mm wide-angle lens, a 16 megapixel sensor, DIGIC 4 image processor, image stabilization, settings for shooting in specific conditions (snow, fireworks, etc.) and numerous special effects (black and white, sepia, miniature, pinhole camera, etc.). It has sensitivity up to ISO 1600, which is perfect for those who often shoot in low lighting situations. With this type of camera, however, you're just not going to get the excellent low-light resolution that you will with cameras at a higher price point. This is only noticeable if you're zoomed in on an image taken at a higher ISO; the resolution in brighter conditions is excellent.
One of my favorite features about the camera is its 8x optical zoom; this is a great improvement upon the previous model I've owned. The image quality and stabilization at a higher zoom is excellent, resulting in perfect images every time.
The LCD screen is bright and a great size. It's easy to review previous pictures and compose a shot using the screen.
Although I haven't done much beyond simple experimentation with the movie settings, the camera can shoot 720p HD video (25 frames per second). The few videos I have recorded have been clear, crisp, and high-quality. It's not a feature I will use often, but it is an attractive feature for those wanting to capture shorter clips of sporting events, concerts, etc.
Thus far, the battery life has been great. There is an "eco" mode that conserves battery power without reducing image quality or camera performance.
Other features that may be of interest include:
* Wi-Fi capability to directly upload pictures
* "Smart shutter," which automatically takes a picture when a person smiles or gets into frame
* Face ID detection
* Color accent effect, which retains just one color and makes the rest of the photo black and white
Overall, I highly recommend this point-and-shoot camera for amateur photographers or for those who simply want a small, portable camera in addition to a DSLR. The image quality is great, and the price is very competitive. Enjoy!
on May 17, 2013
I just received this camera today. I had done extensive research and comparison with other Canon Elph models before choosing this one.
A few factors led to my decision:
1. I wanted high resolution and high optical zoom capability. Optical zoom is so important because that governs how much raw info you can capture. Digital zoom is just software and ultimately will result in pixellation.
2. The Wifi capability was intriguing, but not a deal breaker.
3. The price point was well under $200 ($169) and this was far below the MSRP. A note on this - I would have opted for a higher priced camera but this is a second camera to be used on an upcoming trip where I did not want to lug my Canon Rebel EOS and all of its lenses. I would not have chosen an Elph as a primary camera - but for travel, it seemed to be ideal.
4. In keeping with the above, I also wanted something I could drop in my fanny pack or shirt pocket (although I am not likely to do that - shirt pocket that is.)
5. I chose Canon because of familiarity with the brand and generally good experience with an older Elph I bought for my wife, and of course the EOS and lenses.
6. I definitely did not want the touch screen that was offered on some new models simply because - although convenient - they are a royal pain and I often mis-touch the screen requiring go backs, or cancellations and do overs. For a device this size, buttons seemed to be a better choice. I do use the touch screen on my Motorola Razr Droid Maxx and have learned to live with its idiosynchracies. I also read some really negative reviews on the touch screens and didn't want to be a guinea pig.
So, now that you understand what my decision factors were, here is what I have learned experimenting for the past few hours:
- It is intuitively easy to use, and if you know the menu system on one Canon, you will know it here as well.
- It is so small and compact, yet the controls are easy to use and they are responsive.
- The installation process (software & User's Guide) was relatively easy, and I was able to copy the PDF file to my Google Drive so I will have it while travelling (sans computer).
- The images are incredibly crisp and clear with good to excellent color rendition at the M1 (medium) resolution setting. I usually opt for the highest resolution, but I'll explain why I didn't in the CONS. I would suggest you always opt for the highest resolution you can since you can always reduce an image without losing clarity, but if you choose too low a resolution, you will experience pixellation on digital enlargement.
- The WiFi capability seems like a really nice feature, but you better not be using Windows XP if you want to WiFi the pics to your computer. You can use a USB connection however. There is a disclaimer in the documentation that the WiFi will only work with Windows 7 or 8. You can however WiFi to your smartphone (Droid or iPhone with the appropriate app from Google Playstore or Apple) and then share pics from there, or upload them to your computer via the cloud.
- The write speed to the SDHC card is uncomfortably slow if you are shooting rapidly, and using very high resolution. The difference between L and M1 is incredible. With the L resolution, you wait what appears to be an interminable time before you can shoot the next picture. It's not really that bad, but it is in the "seconds" range. If it is perceptible enough to be annoying, when testing, it will also be so when out in the field, particularly with action shots.
- It would have been nice if Canon included a memory card in the package, but I understand they are trying to keep the price competitive. I'm sure I paid less for a 16GB card than they would have charged.
- It also would have been nice if Canon had included a case. My wife's older Canon Elph came with a quality leather case. I purchased an after market CaseLogic case for much less than Canon would have charged.
- Battery life - I haven't had an opportunity to really test this yet, but I am a little worried since the User Guide states that I will only get about 200 pics per fully charged battery. Of course there are many variables that contribute to this (i.e., resolution, read/write time to card, ECO mode or not, flash usage or not.) It's almost impossible to predict exactly how well I will do here, so we'll just have to wait and see. My concern is that I am going to Scandinavia and Russia, and while I shouldn't have any difficulty charging the battery with the appropriate voltage adaptors, I will probably buy a second battery so I always have a spare charged.
(CORRECTION: You will not need a voltage adaptor. The charger clearly states 110-240 volts input. You may need physical plug adapters, although most European hotels have "American" outlets for electric shavers, etc.)
- Also note that it took almost two hours to charge the "cold" battery completely. This will probably be shorter when starting with a partially charged battery.
I have not had an opportunity yet to test the myriad of other features, such as the various shooting scenarios, lighting conditions, portrait vs scenic, close up vs panorama. I will test these and report back when I have information with meaningful metrics. If necessary, I will adjust the 5 stars at that time, but for now, I will give Canon the benefit of the doubt based upon my previous experience with the brand.
BOTTOM LINE - I would buy it again, and I am completely comfortable with my decision to not opt for a higher end model with a touch screen.
Hope this has been helpful.
****Update 1 - 5/18/2013
Well, the learning saga continues. It's sort of an adventure. I actually successfully set up a WiFi connection between the camera and my home network with the target device being my Motorola Razr Droid smartphone.
The basic steps are to download and install the Canon app for your smartphone and configure it with some very simple settings. Then configure the camera with the name of the target device (which you assigned in the previous step.) You then need to scan for WiFi nets from the camera and select the appropriate net, enter the key, and you are pretty much in business. You are then ready to share the pics from the phone via email, Facebook or whatever mechanism or website you choose. Play with it; it won't bite.
After a little juggling with the settings, I actually sent the pictures to the phone. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult, I would give this about a 4. Time expended: about 40 minutes. Not bad. And the next time will be even easier.
My next task will be to try to set this up on an open WiFi network somewhere else. I imagine I will have to identify the phone again, and let the camera search the available networks.
I also noticed that it gave me an option to connect to another network which is probably the Canon cloud. The name of the network seemed to identify Canon, the camera model and a sequence number. I haven't tried that yet, but I probably will later.
In addition, I can use the phone as a wireless access point, so I may be able to send pics to the phone without being on a network ... essentially a point-to-point net of two devices, the phone and the camera.
I'm trying to get as much of this exploration done before my trip next month so I don't get frustrated when under pressure. So far, so good. Still five stars!
on March 15, 2013
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 130 is the latest Canon PowerShot I've owned, making it probably the third or fourth in about 8 years that I've been using Canon cameras. What draws me to Canon is the amazing picture quality and the ability to truly customize settings, almost as with a digital SLR, without the bulkiness or hefty price tag.
This camera is ultra compact. It's perfect for taking with you on hikes, travel, to parties, events, and for any type of photography. The new features that I'll comment on make it definitely worth the money.
First, the ability to resize images brings it in line with other makes, like Sony, that have offered that ability for years now. If you are traveling and running low on memory card capacity, then the resize capability is a lifesaver.
Second, the WiFi feature is great. It requires you to install a program on your computer or an app on your smartphone, and after initial setup, you can transfer images almost instantly from the camera to another device. This is great, as in the past I have taken both my camera and my smartphone with me on travels so that I could take professional shots (with the camera) and shots for social media (with my phone). Not anymore. Now, it's possible to snap amazing photos with this camera, come back to the hotel, and use the establishment's WiFi to transfer photos to your smartphone, then from there to Facebook, emails, etc.
Finally, the 8x optical zoom is amazing. All photos are crisp, sharp, and have excellent lighting. I couldn't ask for more.
If you're on the fence as to which camera is right for you, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 130 is the answer.
[(2/10/14) I'm currently seeing an unbeatable price for the Elph 330 of $120 when ordered in silver directly from Amazon (not the same as "Prime"). Recently, Amazon had lowered the price of the Elph 130 below that of any other seller, making it an unbeatable value for Prime subscribers ($93 for the red model). What you'll get is a pocket rocket with 8X zoom (Canon's most powerful Elph is 12X) plus Wireless Connectivity. The caveats, or possible "downsides," of the 130: the wide angle lens is an "acceptable" 28mm (not 24mm); the DigiProcessor is the previous edition (4th) rather than the current Digic 5; the maximum aperture is f/3.2, which again is "acceptable"; the camera does not bear the HS suffix (Canon's guarantee of rock-steady low-light shooting). With these considerations in mind, the extra $30 for an Elph 330 strikes me as irresistible.]
Amazon point and shoot shoppers are pretty savvy, as shown by the current listing of most popular models on Amazon. Of all Canon Elves, the Elph 110 continues to hold a price that's close to retail ($200), thanks to consumer interest and "Consumer Reports" ratings, but it's far from a "value play." All of the cameras in the title are going for close to, and even under, $100, making each an attractive candidate for anyone looking for a subcompact camera that stands to shoot pictures with better resolution and sharper detail than a smartphone camera.
The choice could easily come down to appearance --for example, a preference for the sharp edges and classic boxy look of the compact but highly competent 500 series over the somewhat "softer"-looking 130. But from the low-priced Elph 115 to the Elph 520, the dimensions, features, and actual results will be remarkably similar, with any particular Elph capable of producing the best pictures in the hands of a skilled and experienced photographer.
The features that should be of least interest to the shopper are: 1. megapixels (10 is often as good if not better than 20); 2. movie pixels (720 will be as "high def" to viewers' eyes as 1080p); 3. size of screen (2.5" is as useful as 3" or larger, and any size can be worthless under a bright overhead sun); 4. the power of the zoom lens (telephoto lenses should not be a priority for the buyer of a subcompact camera--a lens of greater than 5:1 power may be an indication that the buyer should be looking at a larger camera, such as the Canon Powershot 260-280 line).
The features that matter most to experienced photographers are: 1. focal length, especially where the wide angle lens is concerned (28mm is good, but 24mm is better, ensuring better focusing because of greater depth of field as well as the possibility of capturing a large cathedral without backing away by an extra block or two); 2. aperture--for low and and indoor available light shooting, a lens that opens up to f2.8 is better than one opening to f3.2. just as a lens that opens to f2.0 (as on my Canon Elph SD4000) will produce measurably better low-light results than an f2.8 lens; 3. "Burst Mode," which is especially useful (if not essential) for capturing images of pets and active children at just the "right instant"; 4. face detection and automatic shutter (when I tell my grandkids to hold still for a picture, I'm usually ignored; when, on the other hand, I tell them that the camera will "magically" take their picture if they look at it and smile, I or, rather, the camera suddenly has an attentive audience. 5. Wi-fi, for those photographers who have been spoiled by their smartphones and wish to maintain "social connectivity" while having access to a "Cloud" where their pictures will be instantly stored and backed up.
For most viewers, the Elph 130 comes closest to offering the most features for the least money--a camera that, in 2009, would have cost 2-3 times its present price. HOWEVER, it doesn't have burst mode and, perhaps more importantly, the wide-angle lens is 28mm rather than 24mm. The Elph 330, therefore, deserves careful consideration for anyone who plans, for example, to shoot pets and appreciates the advantages of a wide-angle over a big zoom lens. The Elph 520 looks highly attractive--on paper. But despite its ultra compactness and power, the reviews by users have not inspired confidence in the camera. It's going for close to a hundred, so it may be worth a gamble if you can buy it from Amazon Prime and try it for 30 days (the new Digi 5 processor has not been getting high marks and may require some improvements. In fact, Canon's newest Elph, the 340 (yet to be released), returns to the proven Digi-4 processor. Personally, I found that Canon's discontinued Elph 300 came closest to satisfying my wish list. By looking at "Like New" models offered by sellers through Prime (for easy returns), I found my Elph at my price point. Yet I continue to hang on to my "old" SD780 for those bright, sunny days since it was Canon's very last Elph with a viewfinder.
Finally, you'll need an SD card. If you plan to take movies, better make it 16GB. And while you're at it, don't forget to pick up an extra Canon battery (the Canon SX160 may have been the last Canon to take regular alkaline batteries, and some Panasonics still make it easy by requiring a simple plug-in of the camera into any available AC outlet). If you plan to get a case, be sure to check out the custom-fitted leather ones made by Canon, as some are currently being offered at a steep discount.
on April 9, 2013
Great camera. I love it. The pictures are incredible and clear resolution at 16MP. I also have a Canon T3i and travel alot. But during travels, the size of the Canon T3i makes it very impractical and heavy. So the ELPH 130 is my travel camera. It goes on my hip and takes great pictures. I especially love the CMOS capability, which makes it a very nice camera for close quarters and limited lighting. I strongly recommend this camera to anyone looking to buy a camera that takes professional quality pictures at a fraction of the cost of a large professional camera.
on March 31, 2013
I purchased this camera early in March and the price is already reduced by $20+ ! Anyway, I am mostly happy with my purchase. What I like: size and light weight, several settings for special effects and different shooting situations, easy to figure out, wifi. What I don't like: I use an android tablet and do not have the ability to use Canon Image Maker to download and play with my photos...it requires a cd rom to install the program components, :-(. I was able to download an app to allow the wifi to download to my tablet gallery, but can't make use of what the canon software would allow me to do. This is a big disappointment. So far, I havent had any problems with battery life....I just came back from vacation and took several hundred pictures with no problems.
on November 12, 2014
I bought this camera to use on vacations and at concerts. I wanted something that took good quality pictures and video and it was also important to me that the sound quality was good, as I wanted to be able to go back at look at concert videos between shows.
The camera has lived up to all of my expectations! For the price, you really can't ask for anything more and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. The battery life lasts all day for pictures and if I charge it up before a show I don't have to worry about it dying during concerts when I'm going back and forth from taking pictures to videos.
I'd definitely recommend this as the best point-and-shoot camera I've owned.
on November 22, 2013
I've owned Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic digicams in the $100-$200 range. I know how to focus and shoot a digicam under low light conditions. Having read glowing reviews both by professionals and users, I thought the Powershot ELPH would suit my needs, once the price dropped to nearly half of msrp.
This is the only Canon I've had that focused so poorly in zoom mode, and under moderately low light conditions. I don't know if I just got a lemon. After failing that criterion, I did not even want to explore the rest. My mistake was the lure of the pricepoint. I could have gotten a more spendy Canon HS (high sensitivity) model which takes better low light pictures.I returned this for a FinePix F660EXR.
When they say the ELPH models are small, they mean it! I am female with child sized hands and fingers. The selector circle is so small, I found it easier to use a fingernail than a fingertip to activate the piece of the circle I needed to hit. I have never had to do that on any other camera. If you just put it on auto, drilling through menus should not be problematic for you.
On a right-handed gripping position, my fingers look for a rest on the camera face. The only thing to hang onto, on the front is the slightly raised metal logo with sharply defined edges. Would have preferred a rubber grip there, or a smoothly beveled logo. If I'd have kept the camera, I would have stuck a dorky silicone nosepad over it. It may be nitpicky but it detracts from the comfort of handling the camera.
- Metal construction with metal (not plastic) tripod mount
- Ultra Compact
- Large 3" screen
- Intuitive menu controls
- Impossibly small selector dial
- Poor focus in low light zoom
- Rough Canon logo
on November 14, 2014
One star because the actual image was not effected, one star because I really did like it when it worked ...
I bought one of these a little over a year ago. It was not "heavily" used, mostly to take pictures of white boards in meetings and the occasional use on vacations. It was stored in it's own protective case, in my back pack. It was never dropped, wet, sat on, or mistreated in any way, it looked new. For a year or so it worked great and I would have given it 5 starts. A few months ago vertical lines started showing up in the display, it got worse over time (See photo) and last week I finally contacted Canon tech support, after a few emails and sending them a picture of what the display looked like they said I would have to send it in for repair. Since Canon does not do RMAs I had to pay for shipping (if it fits it ships for $5). They received the unit yesterday and today I got an email that said for $50 they would send me a refurbished one. I paid about $150 for it when I got it! I called tech support and tried to talk to them and the best they would do was 20% off ... after all of that they asked me to take a survey ... they wanted to use it for marketing, I really hope they do. Here is what I had to say to Canon ....
The issue was not resolved. I had to send the unit in for repair. They do not repair these units but instead, replace them. The Canon service center wanted to charge me $50 to replace something that I paid about $150 for a little more than a year ago. I then called the customer service organization and the best they would do is offer me a 20% discount. I am very disappointed in the quality of this item and your response to the failure of it. My wife and I have had many Canon products in the past including half dozen point and shoot type, an SLR film camera, and 2 DSLRs and early EOS a recent D6 but I think that run is over. I will not pay an additional $50 for something that I have already paid for. I am having the unit returned and I will purchase a competitive product with better capabilities for $90. I will also provide online reviews as to the quality and life expectancy of this Canon unit, as well as the quality of service that one can expect from Canon these days. I'm very disappointed in how this turned out.
I really hope Canon's quality and support get better, and maybe I just got a lemon but this is not the way business should be done.
on December 26, 2013
We purchased ours over a year ago. The camera reported memory card issues a few times and each time we lost some pictures. I've reformatted the card a few times but the issues return intermittently. I'm currently running a different memory card and the camera reported another error and this time the entire card seems to be unreadable. These are brand name cards, class 10 speed. I finally realized that it's the camera. Maybe I have a lemon..I don't know. I have other Canon camera's operate well, but I can't recommend this model.