on May 27, 2011
I own a Canon EOS 7D (DSLR) and an old SD400. The SD400 is nearing its end, so I wanted a new small point and shoot to replace it. I would never expect a new P&S to even approximate the quality of my 7D, but I'd certainly expect more out of a couple generations of PowerShots.
Unfortunately, I'm disappointed and will be sending the ELPH 300 back.
The good: It's very small, sturdy, and constructed well. The handling is quite nice with a powder-coated metal frame. It powers on quickly and the menus are fairly easy to navigate. The video modes are nice, too, with the 120fps 640x480 mode and 240fps 320x240 mode. I'd probably never use them, but they're cool. The newer PowerShots also support SDHC, so they work great with my 8GB Eye-Fi SD card. The SD400, unfortunately, doesn't support over 2GB.
The bad: A new camera isn't worth it if it doesn't exceed the quality of my old 5Mpixel SD400 and this one doesn't. The auto white balance is poor and doesn't compare the SD400 in either flash or no-flash modes. With my EOS 7D, I'll shoot in RAW and do post processing in Lightroom, but the point of a P&S is to avoid those hassles. I'd need to properly balance every picture taken so far with the ELPH 300.
With 12 Mpixels, you'd expect pretty good images, but the problem is that the ELPH 300 compression is turned up so high that the sensor's acuity gets lost (softened) in compression. Without a "super-fine" mode or at least a higher-quality fine mode, the best simply isn't good enough. The 5 Mpixel images from the SD400 come pretty close to the acuity of the ELPH's images and are 1/3 the size.
on December 29, 2011
I had high expectations for this camera. There was a high volume of overwhelmingly positive reviews, and my previous camera was a 6-year-old Canon Powershot A620. Any new camera would be an improvement, right? While the low-light photos definitely came out better than with my A620 (not great, but better), I felt that, on a whole, my old camera took photos that were much more clear and crisp. While I loved that the ELPH 300's size and weight made it easy for me to tote around, and I found the camera itself easy to use and navigate, I was very disappointed in the quality of the photos. I tested the camera out in multiple environments and on multiple settings, but around 90% of the photos were unsatisfactory. The photos looked great on the screen, but as soon as I uploaded them to the computer I saw that none of them were actually crisp. To be fair, many of my photos were taken in low-light settings and without flash which already makes for less crisp photos. However, for a camera that boasted being able to take better photos in low-light settings, I don't feel like it delivered. I did play around with many of the settings: changing the iso, utilizing the tungsten or fluorescent light setting, etc. and while on the camera screen the photos appeared great, again, as soon as I uploaded the photos to the computer I saw that I was mislead. FYI, my camera/card was set to the largest size and highest quality photos so that wasn't the issue.
I am unsure as to why I couldn't get more than a few good (not great) photos with this camera, since there are so many positive reviews (not to mention great photos uploaded by users) for this camera. I might have received a lemon, or it might be error on my part; but seeing as how I have already spent a great deal of time and effort trying to get the best out of this camera (which is supposed to already take good photos without ANY effort), I think there is a problem here.
I originally intended to purchase the ELPH 100, but opted for the 300 instead because so many more people had [positively] reviewed it, and because even though I was paying more, I was saving more off of the original price. However, $150 for a camera that I do not love is more than I am willing to pay. While I would love to only pay $100 for a camera, it doesn't seem like there is a great option in that price range (if the ELPH 300 failed me, I am assuming the ELPH 100 will as well). I would rather pay more for a camera I love. After almost 4 weeks of trying to work with this camera, I have decided to return it. I have since ordered the Canon Powershot sx230 (as high as I'm willing to pay for a point-and-shoot at this time, otherwise I would have gone for the Canon Powershot sd90 which seems like a safe bet) and after only a few hours of toying around with it, I am already much more impressed. Even with the 14x zoom (which is a definite perk), the photos have been coming out more crisp than the ones I took with the ELPH 300. I find it most helpful to read reviews for comparable items left by the same person, so once I decide for sure whether or not I am happy with the sx230, I will leave a review for it, as well as modify my review here.
I still have only had the Canon sx230 for a few weeks, but I will absolutely not be returning it!! It has lived up to, and exceeded my expectations. I see that the most recent reviews for the elph300 are positive so I'm not sure where the disconnect is between their experiences and mine. If you bought the elph300 and are happy with it, great; but if not, I highly recommend the sx230!
on September 2, 2011
I really don't understand why people seem to rave about this camera. I bought this and returned it a couple weeks later; I found the image quality to not be very good, images (even taken outside in good light) were noisy, washed out looking, bad colors, not sharp. It would really be great to be able to buy a compact, pocketable camera that takes good photos; you can't expect dSLR quality, but hopefully decent, acceptable quality. Unfortunately, I don't think this is possible. Basically, from my investigations, the key ingredient to getting good photo quality is to have a large sensor (e.g. read here: [...]). And in considering previous cameras I have owned and liked the photo quality of (e.g. Kodak V1073, Kodak C875, HP PhotoSmart 945), they all had larger than average sensors (not dSLR sized, but bigger than the 1/2"3 that is used on this camera and many other compact cameras and it made a noticeable difference in quality to me). Anyway, I still don't really want to have to buy a huge dSLR and have to lug it around. There are some intermediate level cameras that have large sensors but aren't so big as dSLRS (but bigger than compacts like this one). For example, the Sony NEX line looks promising. Also, the Samsung NX100 looks good too (and seems very reasonably priced). You can easily find the image sensor size of cameras at the web site dpreview.
Another, separate gripe I had about this camera is that, while you can take panoramic photos (i.e. take multiple snapshots and have them stitched together into a larger panorama photo), the stitching is NOT done in the camera --- you have to upload the separate photos to your computer and use an external piece of software to do the stitching. What a hassle! Digicams have been doing in-camera stitching of panoramas for years, why can't this camera?
Also note that while you can take full HD video with this, it is only 24 frames per second and you are limited to about a max of 10 minutes per clip. By contrast the Sony DSC-WX9 (which I also was considering) can take 60 frames per second full HD video and there is no time limit. If you must have a pocketable camera like this, I would recommend the Sony DSC-WX9 over this one.
on August 22, 2011
I am a huge fan of Canon, but am completely disappointed with this little camera.
The Elph 300HS is very small, which makes it easy to take with you just about anywhere you go. The matte black finish is stylish and makes holding the camera very comfortable. As always, the menus on the Canon cameras are easy to navigate and get in and out of. The HD video capability of the camera is fantastic--it blows my HD Flip camera out of the water. It is a nice looking, easy to use camera.
The auto-focus AI on this camera is the worst I have ever used, and is the reason for the 2 star rating. Even in full sunlight, with center-focus selected as the focus mode, the camera will rarely produce a crisp, well-focused image. The intelligent focusing modes are even worse, rarely detecting faces or relevant focal points. The battery life is also very poor. A fully charged battery will last about a day of hiking and photo taking. If you are traveling, don't forget your charger. Low expectations are a given for a point and shoot camera, but it should at least be able to focus properly.
I have had several point and shoot digital cameras over the last decade or so, and this is bar far the least satisfying of them all.
on June 17, 2011
My trusty Canon SD630 starting to get a little worn so I decided to upgrade to a similar sub-compact point and shoot. The Elph 300Hs is almost identical in size to the older SD630 with a few more rounded edges. Right away it felt a little slippery in my hands but I liked the fact I could use the same case, battery charger, and battery as my old camera. The menu system has been revised from older Canons but all things considered if felt pretty familiar.
My first use was in a trip in the mountains. The outdoor shots in Auto mode were just ok and frankly I was a little disappointed with the sharpness and detail. Everything had a washed out appearance (which I recognized as overexposure later) The real problems started when I took the camera to my son's wedding. The auto mode produced horrible pictures. Overexposure (noted by some reviews) was present in almost all shots. In some cases I took shots within a second of each other with the same scene and the Auto setting drastically changed. ISO, aperture, speed was all over the place. I ended up switching to program settings to fix the ISO at 100, keep the flash on, changed to vivid, and fiddled with the exposure. This helped a little but I still was not happy, especially since I expect a point and shoot to work well in Auto. I then tried some more fixed settings with higher ISO and no flash to take advantage of the sensitivity. I can honestly say the results were worse than my cell phone camera. Giving up I switched back to Auto for the rest of the wedding and ended up taking many bad pictures with motion artifacts, overexposure, out of focus, you name it.
This camera may have been defective but I don't think so. After doing some more research it seems that these CMOS sensors my not quite be ready for prime time. I sent the camera back and upgraded to the Canon S95. I could not be happier! The S95 takes amazing pictures in auto mode and is a lot of fun to try out some of the manual options.
Do not get fooled by all the positive 300HS reviews. This camera is not worth the high price. You would be much better off going more high end with the S95 or just buying a cheaper point and shoot and saving some money.
on September 2, 2011
Not a high end camera, not the best-of-the-best... mediocore at best... camera looks better than photos come out
1) Slow focus times
- If you press click too quickly, the image is blurred
2) Poor sunset/sunrise captures
- Photos are washed out even when NOT taking a photo of the sun. Was at Grand Canyon and Sedona this past weekend.. a trip of life time.. and downloaded photos to computer.. and out of the 300 taken -- using various settings --- only perhaps 5 are frameable. The rest are washed out, blurry, grainy, what have you (used a tripod for some of them even)
3) Poor low-light photo capture -- worse than my prior Canons
4) Flash will wash out subjects often
5) video playback stalls/is choppy. It as if the camera cannot handle playing back the videos it takes.
6) No way to turn off flash in automatic mode.. must go to manual mode.. which means manual mode cant be left for a night-time shot etc. as you constantly move it around.
I am going to replace this camera although it was purchased new.
Suggest doing more research before buying. Not the digital camera to bring onto a $4,000 trip to Europe or South America etc.
on December 17, 2011
To start with, I am Canadian from Quebec and I didn't buy this camera on Amazon.com site. I appreciate Amazon's principles to let people express their opinion about products and I always use this site as a reference before buying anything - thank you Amazon for this.
I bought camera online based on positive reviews (note: I had several Canon ELPHs in the past and Canon DSLR, I like photography and I understand it). I still use Canon SD880 and SD1100, older ELPHs with CCD sensor. This camera is exactly what I wanted, small, wide 24mm angle, 5x optical zoom and HD movie. Camera size is very important to me and my DSLR is always home..
When I received camera I really liked it, kudos to Canon engineering team! This is beautiful P&S camera with nice spec.
I was disappointed with a first picture taken in Auto mode and I immediately spotted that camera was selecting very high ISO (note, this cam is having small CMOS sensor so high ISO means digital noise, soft/blurry images - possible to print 4x6 pictures but that's it and I guess majority of people are doing exactly this). I am not 'pixel peeper' but images are not sharp at all. High ISO for this camera is 640 and above (400 is acceptable), and this cam goes easily to ISO 1000 and over which is horrible (still possible to make small 4x6 print but images are soft, full of noise, missing detail etc --> very bad).
I selected Program mode and lowered ISO to min which is 100. Pictures were dark even I had enough light and using flash didn't help. Increasing ISO to 400 in P mode resolved issue but it also introduced additional 'softness' into image - which is normal for such small sensor. I didn't investigate further but it make me think that Canon is using some ND filter which is causing darker images in lower ISO (because of CMOS sensor?). This was still much better since in Auto mode camera was selecting ISO 800 and 1600 (just because of the high contrast situation - this was indoor with daylight).
My all older ELPHs (with CCD sensor) are limiting ISO to 250 max in Auto mode which assured clean images (these are cameras with small CCD sensor, with their limitations so lower ISO is recommended and I could trust Auto mode).
Another issue with 300HS is that camera is using high F (aperture) when zooming in (it's normal but not to this extent). Again, I never saw this on any of my older Canons... I would suggest to disable iContrast from menu, it will not eliminate problem but it will help a bit.
Even some professional reviews are mentioning these issues.
For example read: [...]
Auto flash produced dark results with our Indoor Portrait scene when set to ISO 100, and the camera selected 1/60 second shutter speed. However, switching over to the Slow-Sync mode results in a much brighter exposure, though shutter speed is a very slow 1/4 second. You'll definitely need a tripod at this setting to prevent blurring from camera movement. Shot taken at ~5 feet (~1.5m) on a stable tripod.
Note that he is stating that that he could NOT take a clean ISO 100 image without using TRIPOD and Slow-Sync flash mode in this shot, which is indoor. It's same situation I experienced with daylight-indoor shot.
He could do it with almost any other camera, in same situation, and since this is P&S, who will use tripod in real life? We buy these cameras not to use tripod and to rely on Auto mode or moment is gone.
In his conclusion he also mentioned that images are soft,not sharp, but he recommended camera. By comparing pictures on the same site you can judge it by yourself and note that camera will ALWAYS use high ISO in Auto mode except in bright daylight outside.
My initial thought was that I received 'dude' (something was wrong with a camera - and it was made in China). I went to closest Best Buy and Future Shop store and guess what, all other 300 HS and 100 HS were behaving same way, made in Japan or China, so nothing is wrong with a camera.
This camera is having totally different, unwanted/bad, behavior from all older ELPHs I used which is affecting image quality. In Auto mode pictures are BAD majority of time as explained above.
This can be done on purpose by Canon to make a difference between higher P&S model as S100. In my opinion Firmware is culprit. In any case, shame on you Canon for ruining such a nice device.
We deserve better and these issues can be fixed in Firmware (which Canon will never do and I assume that's why camera went on sale for a half price).
People owning this camera should email Canon and complain about it !
I do NOT recommend this model because of poor image quality in Auto mode (which majority of people will use).
If you don't believe me test it, I can guaranty you that cam will select high ISO even with wide open lens (f2.7). Check image - see that noise, softness and blown highlights if you had any bright spot?
There are several 300HS owners that experienced same issues I described so read reviews with one and two stars.
For me, this is so far nicest ELPH (looking into camera spec) and at the same time it produces worst images due to the bad firmware (lens could be better but I am happy with it).
on June 11, 2012
It would be 5 stars... but after about 6 months the lens cover started sticking and wouldn't fully open or fully close. I sent it back to Canon and they replaced under warranty with a refurbished camera. Good customer service, it took about a week to get it replaced. The replacement worked great for about 8 months, then it happened again, sticking lens cover. I sent it back to Canon hoping they might replace it again even though it was a couple of months out of warranty. No luck, they will charge $147 to repair it. I can replace it for not much more than that. But since it lasts for only 6 to 8 months, it's time to search for a more reliable camera. Bummer, it was great while it lasted.
on August 9, 2011
I bought this camera for "AUTO" mode only. I am great fan of Canon and have several Digital camera/ Video cameras. I have used this camera over 3 months.
When I take pictures in bright sun light in "AUTO" mode, the pictures are so bright, they look bad. I am not an expert but it seems that either it has over-exposure or higher ISO problem. I wouldn't recommend this camera.
One odd thing to note is although pictures are not good but video quality is excellent in this camera which is surprising as it should have better picture quality than video!!
My five year old cameras give better pictures than this. Don't buy this camera.
on October 12, 2011
First, I bought this camera as a compromise knowing it was limited but it was the best for my applications. The ELPH 310 HS came out and it regressed to a 28mm lens. No good. So...
1) It has the super wide angle 24mm lens. I could care less what the "1 Billion X" zoom is on a camera. You can almost always move closer to a subject. Indoors, you can rarely move farther away.
2) Great video modes. I don't need 1080P, but I do like 720P and I really love the high speed 240FPS option. I can take really neat videos when I want them.
3) It does have PANORAMA ASSIST. I looked through spec after spec and ended up seeing a you tube video that showed the panarama stitch assist mode. It made me happy.
4) Decent low light capabilities.
1) I had to return it because it had a defective AF system. The camera was constantly hunting during AF. It would go in and out for about 5-10 seconds and then stop usually out of focus. I thought this might be a "feature" (something I'd have to live with), but I stopped by the local big-box store and their camera performed just fine.
2) The buttons on the back of the camera were NOT tactile. You had to actually LOOK at the buttons to see what you were hitting. Of course, I use the camera indoors and in low light and I was CONSTANTLY fighting with the buttons.
"Features" (items that may annoy you, but aren't really bad or good):
1) Sandpaper finish. Yeah, it's very rough. It makes the camera easy to grip, but it just doesnt' feel right to me. I would prefer a matte finsh and a wrist strap.
2) Microphone location is on the TOP of the camera which makes it easy to cover with your left hand. If you shoot one handed or on a tripod, I guess it would be okay.
3) Wind noise was HORRENDOUS outside. This is common in these tiny cameras, but you would think somebody would have figured out a better way.
This camera (not the broken one I got but a functional one) would be GREAT for indoor blogging, family pictures, etc. I can't use it for what I bought it for, though. Now that my money is back from this, I've ordered a Sony DSC-WX10 Cyber-Shot 16.1 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera with 7x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom G Lens, 3D Sweep Panorama, and Full HD 1080/60i Video (Black). The Sony has a few features that I like like the ability to use SDXC cards now (not just Memory Schtick), in-camera panorama stitch, Hand-Held Twilight, and good low-light functionality. For that, I trade the high-speed mode and better (IMHO) optics of the Canon, and about $50. Hope it will work out for me.