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1,860 of 1,881 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful compact camera with hd video
I'm a DSLR photographer who shoots professionally and has managed a camera store in the past. I wanted something I can take with me everywhere but still produces good quality shots. I also wanted a camera that could shoot good looking videos. I researched several models and after much deliberation decided on the Canon 300 HS. I'm very happy I did.

Image...
Published on March 19, 2011 by JJG

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253 of 276 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video shaking zooming in at around 3.8x and 4.8x
Customer Video Review     Length:: 0:53 Mins
I liked this camera very much especially the low light photo quality and 24mm ultra wide-angel lens until I received my Sandisk Extreme Pro 32gb memory card and started to play with the video functions of the camera. I found that when I was zooming in from 1x, the video was very smooth until it hited around 3.8x, it was shaking twice, and when I...
Published on April 19, 2011 by T. Wang


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1,860 of 1,881 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful compact camera with hd video, March 19, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
I'm a DSLR photographer who shoots professionally and has managed a camera store in the past. I wanted something I can take with me everywhere but still produces good quality shots. I also wanted a camera that could shoot good looking videos. I researched several models and after much deliberation decided on the Canon 300 HS. I'm very happy I did.

Image Quality:

I tested cameras and lenses all the time while managing the camera store so whenever I purchase a new camera or lens I always test it. The Canon 300 HS doesn't produce the quality of images my Nikon D7000 does but I didn't expect it to. The edges get a little soft with the 300 HS when looking at the image at 100% whereas the D7000 images are almost tact sharp.

Comparing the 300 HS to the Canon Powershot SD1000 from a few years ago, the 300 HS blows it out of the water. The SD1000 is a 7 MP camera. Shooting the same shots on a tripod with the same focal length on the lens the 300 HS uses its extra MPs well. When looking at the images from each camera at 100%, at the wide angle zoom setting and normal zoom setting both cameras have about the same relative slight softness on the edges. However the 300 HS has more MP so it actually produces much more detail in the image. I think it was smart for Canon to keep the MP at 12 because last years models while being 14 MP (SD1400) didn't give any extra detail from what I could tell than the 12 MP version (SD1300). The SD1400 was basically just creating larger files. When zooming in the telephoto setting the 300 HS clearly produced a sharper image than the SD1000. Often cameras have sweet spots in the zoom range in which it will produce crisper images. The 300 HS has consistently good sharpness throughout it's zoom range.

HS system and ISO:

The image processing with the HS system truly works to reduce noise at higher ISOs enabling people to produce better quality images in low light. The improvement in image quality gets more and more visible the greater and greater the ISO. ISO 400 with the 300 HS was almost as good as ISO 200 on the SD1000. ISO 800 on the 300 HS was a tad better than ISO 400 on the SD1000. ISO 1600 on the 300 HS was between ISO 400 and 800 on the SD1000. ISO 3200 on the 300 HS produced the same quality of image (noise) as ISO 800 on the SD1000. A 2 stop in film speed improvement is big.

1080p video and slow motion:

With good light, the 300 HS produces wonderful smooth 1080 videos. If you look at a lot of HD videos from compact cameras the video often looks jumpy. From what I've seen it wasn't until you got to the Canon G12 or Panasonic LX5 that the video looked smooth. Both of those cameras only shoot 720p whereas this camera shoots 1080p. The video also very good detail. It truly looks HD.

If you are wanting zoom and continuous AF with your video this camera is the one you want compared to the 100 HS which doesn't allow you to zoom. The continuous AF with face recognition is stellar with this camera in video mode. I was videoing my wife while she was driving. It focused on her face. I switched to the scenery outside. It immediately focused on that. I then went back to my wife and it found her face and focused on it right away. I even videoed her reflection in the rear view mirror and it found her face in the mirror no problem and focused on it. AMAZING!!!!

Commenting on a complaint I've read about the zoom being slow in video mode. If you like getting motion sickness whenever someone rapidly zooms in or out during their video this is not your camera. As smooth looking as the video is, the zoom is also. The smooth zoom creates nice looking transitions instead of warp speed ahead looks.

The slow motion is a fun feature that works well. You need to have good lighting though. In low light even with high ISO's it produced very dark videos. In a review someone commented that it should have sound with the slow motion video. I honestly don't know how that could work unless you want to listen to everything at 1/5 it's normal speed. I think it's a good thing that it doesn't have sound with the slow motion videos.

AF:

I commented on AF partially in the video portion of the review. It does have several AF modes for various situations. The face detection works great. If you have a person in the picture but want something other than the person to be in focus you will need to change AF modes from face detection. The reviewer that had the problem with the 300 HS focusing on things he didn't want the camera to focus on likely didn't have the correct AF mode for the shooting situations. The 300 HS does have a center AF if you prefer that.

Areas for Canon to improve on with the 300 HS:

The camera is so well thought out that I'm surprised Canon let this slip. I love having a wide angle zoom go down to 24mm. It's great for scenery and photojournalist type shots. If you shoot at the widest angle zoom and use the flash, the lens on the 300 HS blocks the flash's exposure on the bottom right corner of the image. The corner is completely black. If you zoom in a bit so you aren't at the widest angle setting when using the flash you will be fine. Still all Canon had to do is not put the flash so close to the lens.

When shooting video in lower light situations the video does start to get noisy and grainy quicker than some other cameras.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a wonderfully thought out camera with great image quality and image processing and it shoots stellar videos for it's compact size.
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499 of 509 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Point and Shoot, March 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a point and shoot class camera, if you understand that going in, you are going to be more than impressed with it. I'm going from an SD630 and hands down, this beats it. I even had an SX210IS and these images are on par with it, if not better. I had to return my SX210IS as it had issues with dust on the image sensor and I've been waiting for a new P&S class to come out. I bit the bullet on this, well, the black version Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12 MP CMOS Digital Camera with Full 1080p HD Video (Black) and what can I say - I am happy!

300HS vs 500HS:
There is a 500HS version of the camera, which is approx $50 more. To this point, the only differences I can tell are the LCD on the back as well as aperture priority and shutter priority, while the 300hs does not. The touch screen on the 500hs can also be used to focus on a particular subject. The 500hs also has a wider aperture at 2.0, the 300hs has 2.7.

Form Factor/Display:
Small. Awesome. There is a texture on the camera, I really like this as it seems like it will help if you hands are wet (sweat, snow, etc). Easy to operate one hand and if using both hands, flash isn't in a horrible place. Display is very bright and button seem intuitive as with other Canon cameras. Battery and SD are on the bottom door, USB and HDMI are in a covered side port. Comes with a wrist strap if you desire a little extra security.

Boot Time/Software:
Camera is ready to take photos very fast. From the time you press the button, it's pretty much set to catch the action. Time between photos wasn't terrible (about 1.5 seconds) and if you need it, there is continuous shot mode. Had no problem with the Canon software on Windows 7. I've used the Canon Photo Window import for a while, does a good job of getting photos off the camera without duplicates. I use Picasa to then manage my photo library (I skip the Zoom Browser, but it's really not bad if you want to use it, I'm just a slave to Google/gmail)

Computer Connectivity:
I didn't find this anywhere in the specs, so if you're looking, the camera uses mini-USB, similar to all Canon's that have come out over the last few years.

Optical Zoom:
You're going to be impressed with the form factor of this camera and it's 5x OPTICAL zoom. I immediately disabled digital zoom as 12.1MP + 5x Optical will get you very close to the action. You're better off digitally enhancing the photos later on.

Battery + Memory Card:
This uses the NBL-4 (again, I found confusion on this and accessories) - so if you have some of those laying around keep them as they'll work just fine in this camera. This is nice as my SD630 uses the NBL-4 so now I have 2 chargers + 3 batteries. It took my 32GB SDHC without any issues and holds thousands of images. Images have tended to be between 2 and 3mb on the highest settings.

Image Quality:
Look, I'm no photo fanatic, I don't expect the people buying this camera are. I am looking for solid images and this camera delivers. There are a ton a feature you can delve into and I'm sure they are good. It has manual mode, so if you fancy that, you can go down that path. But I'm the type of person that knows when something looks good, OK or great. This camera consistently delivers GREAT photos. I'm happy with the low light and images aren't blurry or grainy (within reasonable expectations).

Video:
FINALLY! Optical zoom on a Canon during video! 1080p brings this camera up to par with others in its class and it does a decent job. I didn't notice any major noise when zooming in and out while recording video. I know this is the excuse Canon has used in the past as to why they never had this feature. It shoots nice clips for those quick moments. This will NOT replace a true DV cam, but hey, for a few minute clips here and there, you will simply not be dissapointed.
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242 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Canon product!, March 29, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
I currently own a 5D Mark II and was looking to replace my Canon S80 which is now 6 yrs old. While I love the S80 and the quality pics it captured, the bulkiness of this point-and-shoot (P&S) became inconvenient. My wife was adamant she wanted a more compact P&S this time around.

In addition to great pics, I was looking for a P&S with 1080p video capability so I wouldn't have to get a separate camcorder. Let me say that the 300 HS is a quality camera packed into a sleek body that I can easily slip into any pocket on the run.

Most Canon cameras (I am a Canon loyalist) take great shots. But what most impresses me about this camera are its low-light capabilities. It obviously can not match the image quality of a DSLR, but for a P&S, I was impressed! Indoor night shots of my kids WITHOUT flash (incandescent lighting only) come out amazingly crisp with minimal noise. Autofocus is quite impressive as it tracks faces in the frame further enhancing ease of use. Menu functions are quite intuitive (if you've owned previous Canon models). It's got plenty of preset shooting modes. And it's quick between shots for a P&S (a couple seconds with flash photography).

I also compared the 1080p video vs Flip Ultra HD which shoots in 720p. The video quality is like night-and-day with the 300 HS finishing ahead by a mile. Low-light video is grainy but still watchable (unwatchable on Flip). In daylight, video looks beautiful. Video is easily imported into both iphoto and imovie. Just make sure you have a large memory card as 1080p takes up 16GB/hour of video. I bought a 32GB card.

I did purchase an extra battery after reading battery life can be short. I've had the camera a week and have used it for 15-30 minutes daily (including video capture) and I have not needed to recharge yet.

I'd also recommend the black body as it has a textured housing that makes holding this small camera much easier.

Also purchased a Caselogic TBC - 302 compact camera case which fits this camera perfectly. It has a small side pocket that I slip the extra battery in.

Overall, considering the excellent quality of the camera, easy portability, and great price, this camera is worth every penny.
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera if it's what you're looking for, March 19, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
I've only had it for a couple days now, but I can honestly say this camera was worth every penny so far. It has a lot of interesting features, and is the only camera I have found that hits all the strong points I was looking for (120 fps @ 640x480 resolution, full 1080 hd video, optical zoom and auto focus during movie recording, strong low-light performance, good image stabilization, and small form factor [very small. much smaller than other cameras like it that I was considering])

Other things of note: I have Photoshop, and use it regularly, so I wasn't looking for a camera that can do everything by itself. This camera cannot shoot hdr pictures by itself like the Exilim ZR-10 or 100 can, nor can it take panoramic pictures all by itself. It does have a "panorama helper" kind of application, which will help you line up the shots, but you must then use software later to merge them (it comes with software, compatible with both mac and pc, that will help you merge photos, as well as sort through them and manage them, but I find that Photoshop does a much better job than the packaged software does at creating panoramas. I also use the HDR toning option on Photoshop to simulate an actual HDR picture. As long as all the details are there (not blown out or too dark to brighten), PS can create a very convincing HDR picture, and this camera does a good job at getting all the detail in pictures.

It also doesn't take the fastest pictures (around 3 per second) on continuous mode, but I rarely (if ever) take more than 1 picture at a time. I may take pictures in succession, but I generally set each one up, rather than just shotgunning a bunch of pictures.

The pictures are very sharp. I haven't had much time with video or sound yet, but the little that I have played around with it produced pretty good results. (altho sound can get very distorted with windy sound in a windy environment, as many camera's microphones can. still thinking about/searching for a remedy...)

Also, just a little side note, the finish on the camera is left a bit rough. This is a good thing, as it gives the camera more grip, and makes it less likely to slip out of your hand. I have used cameras that were shiny and slippery before, and it make taking pictures with one hand much more difficult and risky. The rough texture keep this camera more firm in your hand. This also makes the camera less prone to finger prints, altho the screen will collect plenty of those (but that has never really bothered me much)

Just a couple knocks against it that I have found so far, but they are not deal breakers for me. It says that it can take pictures with shutter speeds between 1/2000s and 15s. This may be true, but it is not user choosable. You cannot set the shutter speed of the camera. It has options for "Longer Exposure" (or something named like that), but does not let you choose the speed. I have not gotten it to hit a 15 second exposure yet. I was thinking of trying a city scene on a tripod where you set the exposure long so that the car lights look like streaks, but it doesn't seem to stay open long enough.

Also, the zoom doesn't seem to be variable, it goes at one speed, and it's pretty fast, so sometimes it can be hard to hit that sweet spot if you are trying to get a shot somewhere in the middle (5x zoom, which I think is very reasonable for it's size), and optical zoom is pretty slow while recording video, but still an option, which is more than many cameras of this type can say. The battery may also be a tad short (especially if doing a lot of video and/or zooming in and out, but that will shorten the life all camera batteries), but they are pretty small, and you can get extra, generic batteries for very cheap.

There is no way to plug in the camera to a wall for continuous shooting/video, so you need to replace the battery when it dies. However, I have seen the option of having a battery stand-in that sits in the battery slot and runs a line down to an adapter that plugs into the wall, but this will require you to leave the battery door open while using it)

For everything your getting, I think this camera is well worth $250. It takes sharp, accurately colored pictures look great on their own, as well as with Photoshop. If you do not own any imaging editing software, this camera still produces great pictures, has a ton of very cool, very interesting modes (some of which I've never seen on any camera before), and comes with some simple editing software (mainly for merging panorama shots. there is also other, free image editing software out there on the internet if you are so inclined)

Edit:

You CAN choose the shutter speed, it's just not as simple to find as some of the other options. You have to go into program mode, choose the Long Shutter option. Exit program mode. When you're back to the normal screen, press the up button (+/-). From there, you can choose the shutter speed by pressing right and left. Glad to find the option!
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best quality you can get for under $200, December 3, 2011
By 
fisharefriends (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Overall, this is the best under $200 camera you will find. My simple advice is: there is power in reviews. I looked at a dozen professional reviews for this camera and after 3 weeks of owning this camera, I am completely satisfied with my purchase. I will just list a few quick points about this camera rather than pro's and cons because there are a ton of other reviews doing that. If you don't have the time (or commitment) to read through this entire review, the first sentence of each bullet will summarize the point. Also do remember that out of cameras within 5 years old, this is the only one I've owned so I suppose you can take the review with a grain of salt. When it comes to me comparing it to other cameras out there, I am simply re-hashing what I read on other professional reviews. Think of it as me doing your shopping research for you. Bottom line, I highly recommend this camera.

-I am not a professional, I am not an amateur, I am a casual user. I don't take photos for fun, I take them for the memories. I believe if you don't have the camera with you, it is worthless. But..if they are low-quality pictures, you will regret it in the future when you look back.

-I bought this for $150, and you will not find another camera for a better value in my opinion! The other camera I was looking at was the Sony WX-9, but my bias towards Canon won out and I'm glad it did.

-If you are shopping for a camera, shop by price. I know it shouldn't boil down to money, but the truth is it is all about money when it comes to electronic purchases. If you are willing to spend more, you will always find a better camera. Pick your budget and stick to it. In the under $100 range, I have no suggestions because I did not want to spend that little on a camera that I expect to last at least 5 years. If you are in the $200-300 range, I would suggest ignoring the basic point-and-shoot altogether. Get a Canon S95 (the newer version is the S100, but it is $120 more), it is a borderline DSLR while still being a compact. It has manual controls, control rings to adjust focus and aperture and ISO settings, and altogether is in a whole different class of cameras. Do note though that the S95 only has 720p video (although the new S100 has full 1080p video). I would not suggest the elph 500/510, because those are up near $300 and there is no reason to get a basic point-and-shoot that costs as much as cameras with decent manual controls and settings, not to mention much higher photo quality. Unless you must have a touch screen.. The pro's are a better user interface, a larger screen in general (because you don't have to place buttons on the layout), and the ability to select your focus point with a simple touch. The downsides are not being able to use it with gloves on, and a significantly lower battery life (the reason I didn't want one.)

-The black camera has a sandpaper-like finish, while the silver and red versions have the traditional, somewhat slick finish. The black camera has the sandpaper finish that owners have either praised because it give more grip, or loathed because it felt cheap or picked up lint and dust too easily. I actually originally bought the black version because it was cheaper (also $150 at the time..but the silver was $180) and I knew about the texture going into it. When I got it, I thought I liked the sandpaper texture because it provided more grip, but after owning it for about a week, I didn't like it anymore because of said reasons. I bought the silver version for my brother because he was also in need of a camera, and lo and behold, it was a sleek, traditional finish. I liked it enough to return the black one i bought and get a silver one for myself.

-There are indeed versions of this camera that are made in china, and others made in Japan. My thoughts (albeit just speculation) is that all these cameras were originally made in Japan, but considering the tsunami and the fact that there is a newer version (elph 310) out, production was shifted to China. There are others saying that only the Made in Japan versions are worth it because of the zoom 'knock' around 3.8x zoom in the China versions, but I will say that both of the cameras that my brother and I own do not have this problem. They both will have a motor zoom noise, but whether it has the knock or not I suppose it's just the specific camera you receive. Yes, traditionally Japan will have higher quality products than China, but in this case I did not notice a difference. I actually read another review (this one a professional one) that said the China versions had a quieter motor zoom noise, but that just depends on the specific one you receive. I actually was planning on returning mine to look for a Made in Japan one, but after playing around with it for a few weeks, I decided not to. Since the 'knock' isn't present, I figured they aren't going to get any quieter than what I have. If you are paranoid about it (as I was for a little while), good luck on your search.

-turn off the "AF-assist beam" setting for taking macros. In general, Infrared rangefinders are very inaccurate in short distances (under 6 inches), it will make it impossible to focus on close shots. The only time you need this setting on is when it is very dark (almost no light), but you want to take a shot with no flash. Then it will be able to properly find a focal length. But if there is light present, this camera will auto-focus without it. Also, when using flash, there is another setting in the camera that will allow you to use this infrared rangefinder only when you use flash.

-there is a newer version of this camera, the Elph 310. The basic differences are: 310 has a 3" screen vs 2.7" and a higher resolution at 461k vs. 230k pixels, 310 has a macro rating down to 1cm vs. 3 cm, 310 has 8x zoom vs. 5x, but it has a worse sensor in it (maximum f3.0 aperture vs. f2.7..the smaller number actually means a better aperture on cameras). I don't know why a newer version would have a downgrade on it..but it does in this sense. This mostly only affect low-light shots without flash, but that is something that deterred me from upgrading. Professional reviews that I read said the overall picture quality of the 310 was slightly worse than the 300. The 310 also costs $200 while the 300 is $150 (assuming you find decent, albeit somewhat common sales on them).

-The startup time is very quick (under 1 sec) and delay between pictures is also quick, assuming you turn review off. There is also almost negligent shutter delay. It focuses in under a second. Overall, a very fast camera. There are also high-speed burst modes (~8shots/sec, but at a lower, 3MP quality) and continuous shot mode (~3shots/sec, but full quality). Do note that the speeds of these shots is dependent on the memory card speed (see below). Also, their focus is dependent on the first shot's focus, so you won't be able to change subjects in the burst (same as any camera)

-This camera has one of the best auto modes out there. If you are buying a point-and-shoot, I'm assuming you are not an avid photographer that is going to go through menus and settings to find a good photo, you just want to have the camera do it for you. I am a fan of not having to use flash if possible, so this camera was perfect for me. It has the best low-light pictures out of others in its price range. But in reality, the only difference between a camera with good picture quality and a camera with bad picture quality is its ability to take low-light pictures. Cameras from 8 years ago already had fantastic pictures in good lighting, but they were grainy and soft in low lighting. This camera is fantastic in low lighting settings. Reviews I read said it will be completely crisp up to about an ISO of 800, but even at 1600 I found it to be ok. High ISO settings require a longer exposure, so if you are very steady of hand or have a tripod, that will vary your 1600 and higher ISO photos (for the better or worse). But if you are taking pictures in that low of light, you'd probably be better off using flash.

-Like other reviews have said, I am quite surprised that Canon did not prevent this, but there is a shadow in the bottom right-hand corner of pictures when you use flash, due to the flash area not being wide enough and it being too close to the lens. However..what isn't stated in most reviews is that the problem is dependent on the distance of the photos. At macro range (within 6 inches), the shadow covers almost an 1/8" of the corner, which is unacceptable as a photo, but that shadow gets much smaller as you get further away from your subject (somewhat common sense, but I might as well say it). at around a foot, the shadow is nearly gone, but still faint and present. Anything past 1 foot away there is no shadow. To be honest, 95% of your pictures that require flash are going to be taken from further than a foot away. I don't know anyone that takes macro shots in very low lighting that requires flash..they're all taken in good lighting. So..it is a big problem that you will most likely never encounter (making it a small problem?).

-The image stabilization is very good in my mind. It isn't going to completely eliminate large vibrations from a very unsteady hand, but any regular shakes in you or the subject will not appear in the photo. Unlike almost all cameras in the under $200 range, this camera has true lens optical stabilization rather than a digital stabilization.

-the video does cut off at 10min (or when you run out of memory), but you can always start taking videos again once it cuts off. I will admit, that can get annoying, but I suppose you don't really take long videos on a P&S, get a camcorder for that. I know other P&S cameras have limits up to 30min (the Sony Cybershots in particular), but that was just a minor irk for me.

-Put a class 10 memory card in there. For 1080p video, anything less than class 6 will have your video cutting short because it cannot keep up with the filesize. But class 10 cards truly maximize the speed of the camera, going from being dependent on the card to the maximum limit of the camera's processor. This is useful in terms of the delay between shots, the speed of rapid shot bursts, and the speed of continuous shots. I would recommend Sandisk Extreme disks. I bought my 16gb class 10 for $24, but that was a black friday sale. Normal prices are 8gb for ~$20, 16gb for ~$35, and 4gb for ~$12. Class ratings for memory cards denote their minimum speeds: class 4 at 4mb/s, class 6 at 6mb/s, and class 10 at 10mb/s. However, the average speed for cards is not noted in class ratings. The sandisk cards have ratings of 'up to 30mb/s', and reviews I read on the cards have sandisk cards being almost twice as fast as other class 10 cards. 4gb translates to 15 min of 1080p video, 8gb as 30min, and 16gb as 60 min of 1080p. You will get well over 1000 pictures (the highest quality..largest size) with a 4gb card, so if you don't plan on taking any video, 4gb should be sufficient.

-this camera has plenty of toys to it, but my favorites are the long exposures (up to 15s) and the slow-motion (high fps) movie modes. I live in Salt Lake City where the Christmas lights are absolutely beautiful, and to have a little fun, long exposures let you create effects with lights. You can write words with a flashlight, etc etc. This is also the same setting you use to get that motion-blur effect. Just make sure you are very steady of hand or have a tripod when using it, or your final subject will be blurry too. The slow motion video can be taken at 320*230@240 fps, or 640*480@120 fps. I prefer the slightly higher quality, but both these are somewhat low qualities. It's good for a laugh and entertainment though. There is no sound with the slow-motion movies though.

I also wrote this as a reply to Stephan Krasner's review, but i figured it had good info in it so i will put it in a product review: ([...])

I also purchased the elph 300 semi-recently, and I did not have the same problems you had with indoor and outdoor shots, sorry to hear that. You have to remember by default, this camera in auto mode will pick up an aperture/exposure from the entire shot's lighting (with the ability to change that in manual mode..but to be honest that isn't what people buy this camera for). This camera by far had the best auto-scene selection out of under $200 cameras out there in my opinion.

As far as the screen goes, you might want to give the elph 310 (the new version of this camera) a shot if that is bugging you, it has nearly twice the resolution and a 3" screen vs. this camera's 2.7" screen. It is ~$200 rather than $150 though, assuming you do a little shopping to find a decent price (these were the most common prices I saw leading up to and during Thanksgiving). That was also one key concern when I bought this camera, but after playing with it in-stores, I found it to be decent enough for my liking. Do remember that there is an option in the menu called "AF-Point Zoom" that magnifies the focus subjects on the screen, both while taking and reviewing photos (they're 2 separate settings). It's enough for me to tell if I got a good picture or not. But yes..it would be nice to have a Sony-quality screen on there. Just not essential.

Concerning macro, I did notice that when you have the auto-focus assist beam (from the menu) on, macro shots have a very hard time focusing. Simple solution, turn this setting off. The only time the camera really benefits from having this setting on is in really really (near black) low light. With any reasonable light present, even semi-low lighting, the camera does a fantastic job range-finding a focal point in my opinion. This camera is rated at a 3cm macro distance (that is from the tip of the lens at 1x zoom, remember..), but I found it able to focus well down to almost 2cm. I really believe that auto-focus infrared lamp was what was making your images so blurry. The simple truth is infrared rangefinders cannot correctly read distances at that close of a distance, but they work really well at mid-to long distances (anywhere past 6in). That is the truth about infrared rangefinding, in this camera and any application. I got beautiful shots from macro, and i suggested the Elph 310 to you earlier, that camera is rated down to 1cm macro. Since you said you were a huge fan of macro shots, that seems like a high recommendation to you. I can post or send some macro shots I took, they look fantastic to my eyes. The thing I love about this camera is the quick-key tracking auto-focus by simply pressing the up button. As long as you have a steady hand and basic knowledge of maintaining distance to keep the focal length, the center-focus allows me to focus on the subject I want and then offset and reposition the shot I want after focusing. Works wonderfully.

I am glad you have found a P&S you are satisfied with, but personally i find a difference of opinion when it comes to picture quality. I will admit, Sony Cybershots on average have much more bells and whistles, most notably their screen quality (most of them i shopped around for had 921k screens, vs. the 230k on this camera, or the 461k on the elph 310), but when it comes to picture quality (and with the elph 300/310's case, video), the Canon P&S camera's blow them out of the water. Canon puts the goodies where it counts, in the actual sensor and camera rather than its toys and trinkets. It's nice to have a nice screen, but this one was decent enough for me (esp with the af-point zoom setting on) considering pictures are taken to be shared on a large screen or printed rather than on the camera.

I am by no means a professional photographer, but I don't think this phone was marketed to professionals. I wouldn't even call myself an amateur, simply a casual user that takes photos for memories, not hobby. If you want a compact but slightly more 'advanced' manual control camera, I would suggest the s95 ($300) or s100 (the newer version, albeit $120 more), but this completely satisfies me. It looks like Canon's marketing scheme is working..after buying this camera, which in my opinion is way above its pricerange and is the best value you can find on the market today, I am really enjoying photography and just might take it up as a hobby. One of these days I might fork over the big bucks for a borderline DSLR camera, but my philosophy still stands that if you don't have the camera with you, it is worth nothing. But you do have to remember that value is the entire judge of a products quality..if you are willing to fork over more money, there are always more competitors that are higher quality.
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253 of 276 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video shaking zooming in at around 3.8x and 4.8x, April 19, 2011
By 
T. Wang (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
Length:: 0:53 Mins

I liked this camera very much especially the low light photo quality and 24mm ultra wide-angel lens until I received my Sandisk Extreme Pro 32gb memory card and started to play with the video functions of the camera. I found that when I was zooming in from 1x, the video was very smooth until it hited around 3.8x, it was shaking twice, and when I continued to zoom in to around 4.8x, it shaking once a little more, no matter what resolutions I used (1280, 1920, 640). Please take a look at the video. I zoomed in all the way from 1x to 5x, and zoomed out and in several times between 3x and 5x. Zooming out was no shaking at all, but zooming in was shaking at around 3.8x and 4.8x. Does anybody have this kind of problem? I don't know if I got a defective one or it is normal. Please let me know and appreciate any comment. Thanks!!

[Update (4/23/2011)]: Finally I returned it because I thought it is defective and just received the replacement one this afternoon. The only difference I noticed at first is the returned one is "Made in Japan", and the new one is "Made in China". I tried to record video by zooming-in with the new camera and very happy to find out the video got perfect zooming-in without any shaking. But later I played that video file on my computer, and heard some very loud knocking sounds when the zooming-in almost reaching to the end (5x). I tried several times and the results were the same. I listened very carefully when I recorded video by zooming-in the camera, and found out the knocking sounds came from the lens' motor. That didn't happan with the returned camera!! I think Canon must have some quality assurance problems. I bought this camera to replace my two and half years old Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder that only has poor digital zoom function, so I wanted to use this camera to record video mostly and expected much from its 5x optical zoom. I don't know if I would return this replacement one too. :(

[Update (4/25/2011)]: Found another person has the similar problem - clicking noise when zooming-in during video mode. Because Amazon doesn't allow to post the link directly. Please go to YouTube and put "Unboxing Canon Elph 300 HS" in the Search field. Go to the movie page posted by "whynot7891", and see the comments just below that movie.

[Updated (5/2/2011)]: Finally I returned my replacement camera. Before I did that, I went to the local BestBuy, and bought another one that is made in Japan. I was happy to find out that one is free of problems. Though I still can hear the lens noise when zooming, but it is hardly audible. I am glad I didn't give up, because I really love this camera. It is very compact, fast to function, and creates great picture and video even in low light. I particularly love its 24mm wide and 5x lens. I would like to give it a 4 and a half stars if I can. Good luck to get your one!

[Updated (10/4/2011)]: For your information, there is a new model coming out - Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with Full 1080p HD Video (Silver). Price is $60 more as today, with same 12.1 MP, same DIGIC 4 processor, but higher 8x Optical Zoom (a plus), larger 3" LCD display (another plus), narrower 28mm lens (a minus), and with more body color options (no black though).
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "Burst Mode" for Action Shots, November 21, 2011
Have had this camera for a month or two now from a previous purchase. But saw the great price just now and decided to get another. This camera meets all of the needs I have in taking photos of dogs at the local animal shelter to help get them adopted. What I needed was something great in low lighting without flash due to the shiny reflection off of dogs' eyes with flash, as well as a super fast burst mode to try to capture that just right pose when the dog smiles, but without having to guess when the dog will smile. So I just start pressing and it takes like 8-10 shots in a second or so. Fantastic! And the HD video of course is great, which I use to make videos of the dogs playing with toys or with other dogs to show off they energy levels or socialability with other dogs of various personalities.

Don't shop, adopt a shelter pet! :O)
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great camera, with a few caveats, June 9, 2011
By 
davbol (CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
Quickly: very pleased with this camera, good for indoor kid shots and such.

Longer (much!) version for those interested...

Background
We've been looking for a replacement for our dear SD870IS which died of the dreaded lens error. We've been using a SD4000IS in the interim, which is acceptable, but hasn't quite lived up to the 870's shooting performance or image quality. We've been through (and returned) countless P&S's from various mfr's, and this 300HS is the closest we've come to an adequate replacement.

(Aside: I found it interesting that I'm not the only SD870IS user that has ended up here, see other reviews -- pretty sure we're all seeking something similar. I'd have bought another 870, but they're now going for 2X original price, yikes, and I know from trying some refurbs hands-on that it's a big gamble on whether it ever fully recovers from the surgery)

The particular niche that we're in, and is one that I think this camera suits, is indoor shooting, kids and such, without flash. For us, a camera either does a good job in that situation or it's a failure. This is a job best left for our DSLR, of course, but when away from home (birthday parties, etc) we want a P&S that can at least come close. I'd say my expectations are high, but not unreasonable - the SD870IS met our needs.

So this review is targeted in that direction. Outdoor shots in full sun aren't nearly as challenging, and this camera does a fine job at those, so it's not worth much comment from me. Instead I'll focus solely on the "is it good for indoors" aspects.

Short answer: Yes! (but, see "But..." below)

The sensor is quite sensitive. The lens is (can be) quite fast. The autofocus is (can be) quite responsive.

We're about 1000 shots into this camera. Maybe 100 of those are "careful" shots, and another 900 or so that were taken haphazardly just playing with the camera in various ways. The vast majority of careful shots were "keepers", and quite a number of the haphazard shots turned out as well. (By "careful" I mean that, at the very least, time was taken to frame and half-press prefocus in anticipation of the right moment; by "haphazard" I mean just point and full-press, cross fingers, and hope something interesting happens when the shutter opens)

Images are of low noise, not overly softened, and (for the most part) have proper tone/balance/color/etc, JPG artifacts seem minimal (using best setting), etc - overall quite pleased with image quality.

BTW, I'm not a megapixel junky, 12 is plenty, don't fall for the hype. Canon is (partially) headed in the right direction by (partially) reversing this trend. I say (partially) because they have other models that are still chasing that megapixel marketing monster with 1/2.3" CCD sensors, which seems ridiculous to me. The A3300IS, for example, would not at all be appropriate _for me_.

Heck, I'd be fine if this had been a 10Mpx sensor in the hopes of getting yet one more stop of sensitivity. That's a tradeoff I'd gladly make. (SD870IS is only 8, SD4000IS is only 10, both are adequate for our use) I say this only so you get a sense of where I'm coming from, what's important to me in this review - maybe it is/isn't important to you. That tiny sensor DOES appear to have enough sensitivity to support (most of) Canon's HS hype at 12Mpx.

The 24-105mm f2.7-5.9 is very nearly same as 870's 28-205 f2.8-5.8 on paper. Just a tiny smidge wider and faster at full wide. Though my sense is that the 870 might have had a bit better glass overall.

But... to get the most out of the low light sensitivity of this camera you'll have to live within it's sweet spot. It's not AS fast, with just ANY settings.

Some caveats:

The lens is only fast at it's widest setting, and gets noticeably slower quite rapidly with any amount of zoom. That's fine for our use, as we zoom with our feet, and in fact I just treat it as a 28mm prime lens. (if you're outdoors in sun, f5.9 at full tele is plenty fast, so full range of lens is usable)

Problem with wide angle is (as mentioned by others) the flash is too close to lens and bottom-right will be shadowed. Again, that's fine for our use, as I despise flash, and force it off. I'd rather have an underexposed picture in natural light than a properly exposed picture using any P&S-caliber flash, so I'm willing to ignore this flaw.

Auto mode isn't always that smart, and it does seem to slow down shooting performance noticeably. Some of this is apparently the continuous AF, which, while would be a handy feature, seems to be a performance penalty rather than benefit, and is only available in Auto mode. The remainder is probably the "scene detector", you can often witness it "change its mind" as to what it thinks you're shooting if there activity in the scene. Program mode, even with everything left at defaults, is far better, and is definately my favored mode of operation.

Auto white balance can be fooled, though it's more often ok than not. A small gripe, and is the case with most P&S's, so I'm not overly faulting this camera. Again, though, if you're inside and can set it to tungsten (or as appropriate, or manual) specifically, you'll get better consistency. (and tho I can't confirm it rigorously, i have the feeling that this too, like auto-scene detect, makes the camera ever-so-slightly less responsive in full auto mode - so set it yourself and solve two problems at once)

BTW, if you can accept the reduced resolution, the 3Mpx modes (high speed burst & low light) offer opportunities to capture some photos that I'd never expect a camera of this size to get. I've tried similar modes on current Nikon/Sony/etc, though none were as effective imo. For the most part, I don't intend this review to cover the other "effect" modes, as I myself will never use them, but these two modes seemed worth mentioning.

Other issues:

I do miss the 3" screen of the 870IS. I sort of wish there were a "400HS" model that used the (nice) screen from the Sx230HS. (am personally NOT a fan of 500HS's touchscreen) Of course it'd have to be a bit bigger, but that's ok, it's so tiny right now there's some room to grow and still be pocketable, and they could probably then fix the flash location too.

My dream imaginary "400HS" would also have the remaining PSAM modes (shutter/aperature/manual missing here) of the Sx230HS. I'd particularly like to have a shutter priority mode (or at least a "sports" type scene mode that strongly favors fast shutter in its overall solution). But I don't need the 230's GPS, don't like it's flash, don't need all that zoom, don't like the lens speed tradeoff you make for that zoom, autofocus seems a bit laggier with that lens, etc -- in short, the Sx230HS wasn't a good fit for me overall, so that extra bit of control was something I had to gave up to get a better overall fit with the 300.

A note on the texture of the black model: It's subtle, and I personally like it, makes it feel like a camera. No, it's not sleek like your cell phone, but you can get the red or silver model if you'd rather have a camera that's more likely to slip out of your hands.

Summary:
If you're doing well-lit shots, then no problem recommending this camera, it's as good if not better than others in this price range. If you're doing poorly lit shots, particularly if you don't need zoom, then I'd highly recommend this camera, as it's currently better than any other that I'm aware of in this price range. Same for all the current "HS" line (Elph 100/300/500 HS, Sx20HS), I've tried all of them, though this is the one that best suited me, so I know it best -- check out the other model specs and see which best suits you.

I'd give this camera 4.5 stars if I could - as I more than "like it", but fall short of "loving it". It's really just about as good as it can be for what it is and what it costs, but Amazon calls their stars "like/love", so 4 is more appropriate. I'd have to reserve 5 stars for the ficticious "400HS" as described above - come on Canon, build it!! :D
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145 of 161 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of the lens, July 25, 2011
I am a total believer in Canon over many years and though not buying this camera from amazon, I thought of adding this review as many look for the reviews on amazon no mater where they buy the product. Despite intense love for canon I like to mark this product as a potential problem. Quality of still picture and size of camera is excellent but mine in its 4th month of use is gone dead due to "Lens Error" message that appears on display, immediately after turning camera on. In a second camera turns off automatically and not responding anymore. Lens is stuck out and not moving. In my research I see this as a common problem of this model and if you run a search for eg on ebay, you see many are sold for part for the same reason. I am not sure if this is the result of camera's sensitivity to fall or minor hit on the lens side or a defect of model but this is not something expected from a Canon Built. I wish Canon could address the issue and finds a remedy for the users specially those left without warranty and in any case you need to be very careful with handling of this camera or better, look for some other model.
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110 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Pocket Camera, March 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera (Black) (Camera)
Got this camera from my Japanese friend as a birthday gift, which is IXY 410F. I found out that camera name in USA is ELPH 300 HS. After open the box and play couple days, the weight is super light as my old school Canon SD1000 and the indoor picture quality is not bad comparing with my current S95, so it catched my eyes right away after we received it. Even it's SD1400 replacement from canon point of view, I have to say this tiny camera with S95 quality.

ELPH 300 HS vs S95

ELPH 300 HS wins on 1080P movie, weight (70% of S95), CMOS sensor, 24mm, 5x zoom, shooting speed (2 time faster than S95), cost (62.5% of S95)

S95 is better on the sensor size (1/1.7" as G12), Aperture F/2.0, RAW.

I would say...

For sure S95 won on manual setting, but I used my Canon Rebel XS most of the time when looking for quality pictures, and S95 didn't provide more point-and-shoot advantages than ELPH 300 HS to me. CMOS sensor is more sensertive comparing with CCD, so I cannot tell huge difference between bigger size CCD and smaller size CMOS sensors even from those indoor low light pictures. End out, I traded the manual settings to small size, light weight, and fast shooting speed.

So, my S95 moved on eBay...... and IXY 410F (ELPH 300 HS) is in my wife's bag...... I have to wait for it to be available on Amazon to get another one for myself.
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