on May 28, 2012
As a full time professional photographer for 15 yrs. now retired, I was dissapointed not to find a quality pocket camera with an
optical viewfinder, until now. I consider this a critical part of any camera that is not an SLR. LCD screens should not be the only
finder on a camera. I have been using the A1300 for a few weeks now. It has performed perfectly in a great variety of situations
and lighting conditions in both auto & program modes. The viewfinder tracks with the optical 5X tele. very well. Am very serprised
at how good the 20X digital zoom & stabilization are.The LCD is bright and adjustable. In the real world of point & shoot photography, not lab tests, this ultra compact took really good photos! Very happy it uses AA cells. I use Ni.Mh rechargeables &
always have extra Alkalines along.
. Batt. life has been good. This is the easiest, most fun and now my go to camera. The A1300 is a
Very well thought out and executed point & shoot camera. Thanks Canon for making something we really need at a very
on June 29, 2012
For background: we've had a Canon A20, with a magnificent 2 Megapixels (grin), for the last 10 years. One was stolen in airport baggage (my stupidity for packing it). I was thankfully able to buy a replacement A20 on e-Bay. So we have been quite content for about 10 years. This A20 has been bulletproof, you might say. Fast Forward to 2012. My spouse wanted a smaller, lighter camera--No problem...
...But I wanted an optical viewfinder--BIG problem; hardly anyone makes them any more. Thank you Canon, for still providing this feature.
For those of you wondering what is this -- an optical viewfinder? It is simply a camera that you place up against your cheek, and perhaps use the zoom buttons, to compose the picture. This is how you used to do it with film cameras, before LCD screens were even invented. Single-Lens-Reflex (SLR) cameras, that cost vastly more, use this method, although with vastly improved optics. The alternative is to hold your (non-viewfinder) camera out at arm's length. Which results in:
-- Get out your glasses, cuz you can't see enough detail on the toy screen.
-- Then, when you finally see your pix, you realize that your cam is unsupported--this will cause BLUR. So you have to take another...
-- Then, you hit your forehead with your fist (in anguish) as you realize that the sun is shining so strongly that you cannot see anything on the little screen at all.
Then, you retire to the bar and regret not buying a camera with an optical viewfinder. Get 'em while they last. For the price of a bottle of Champagne, you could have bought this camera. Attention: you can still use the LCD screen at arm's length on this camera if you wanna.
The other reviews are great; I wanted to call out great emphasis on the viewfinder. Sports and wildlife photographers rely on such viewfinders, since they can track, zoom, and compose a shot (in a fraction of a second) which would be impossible with an LCD display.
For those of you thinking of using a cellphone or an i-Pad for photography, fuhgettaboudit. Their pix are horribly granulated (few pixels & small sensors), and as with any handheld, the blurring is atrocious. I know; I've tried. Try not to shame yourself by sharing such pictures.
This camera is magnificent. Over the years I have done darkroom film development, printed enlargements from the negatives, carried camera bags full of changeable lenses for my SLR, had slide projectors; now this is all I need. I can't imagine spending money on a more expensive camera, unless you want to move up to a nice SLR, but that will be bulky and heavy. This cam is 6oz, versus 12.5 for my beloved old A20.
I find that most of my relatives and friends take lots of pictures (be it on a cellphone or camera) and then never DO ANYTHING with them. They are not shared with anyone, and mostly just sit on chips or CDs in drawers. So it is worthwhile to point out that this camera includes Canon's album software; the chip pops out for easy unloading (or use the cable connector)--to help us get organized.
If you would like a case for this, consider the "Lowepro - Tahoe 10 Digital Camera Bag - (various colors)" which is a softcase. I've done trial fits at Beste Buye and it works fine. I ended up buying the Kodak "Essentials" hard case. The Case Logic units that I tried were a tad too small.
A final word on chargers and batteries. There is no charger. This cam uses two AA batteries; if you need them they are globally available from Topeka to Taipei to Tuscany. If you buy a charger camera, consider: You have one more charger to carry. You already have phone chargers, GPS chargers, Blackberry/i-Pad/PC chargers. Some have two different cables: one 12-volt for a car, and one 120-volt for the wall. Does your cam charger work on dual-voltage 120/220? If not you will need to buy a second one (220v) at great expense for overseas travel. Not to mention another prong-converter for when you finally travel overseas. Ugh. [But do see notes on rechargeables in the Comments On This Review, below]
Shopping notes: This camera does NOT come with a memory card (but does have batteries). Amazon has a good 4GB SD card for about $6. Add it to your shopping cart. When checking out, do NOT buy either of these things with 1-Click, or you will lose free shipping. Add them to the cart, then go to checkout, then change the shipping method to "free shipping", then complete.
Please comment if you have issues and I will try to address them. Cheers y'all.
xxx ooo xxx
PS. For me the image size is important for some of my software (it probably won't matter to most people) so just be aware: The A1300 can be set to take 640x480, 1600x1200, or any of 3 even larger formats. My old A20 could take 1024x768 format, but that is not available on the A1300.
on June 1, 2012
Canon A1300 Sure Shot
Pros - Has an optical viewfinder !! - a must have in bright sunlight
Uses two AA batteries !! - can buy at almost any store
Confortable in your hand and fits nicely in shirt pocket or purse
Takes a very good still photo
Takes a very good HD Video with good single audio (non-stereo)
Can also take a fairly good standard video with single audio - good for saving SD Card space
Audio sounds fairly good when having to video in gusty wind conditions - as compared to some other brand cameras
Very easy to use and easy to switch back and forth from Auto to Low Light, etc and easy to switch back and forth from flash and no flash
Video button on back is separate from the still shot button on top- I like that because I take mostly videos
Very good camera for the price
Cons - The videos and still photos are occasionally very blurry and non-usable - as though the auto focus has failed
( I just turn the camera off and start over again (reboot) and then it is fine )
The optical viewfinder does not show the zoom in/out when videoing but the the LCD does show the zoom in/out while videoing
Does not come with an SD Card - Camera does not have any internal memory so you must buy an SD card
Standard AA batteries last only about one hour when videoing - I recommend using the rechargeable batteries to save money
Conclusion - I like this camera and I would give this camera at least a four star if it were not for the above listed cons - This camera is an
inexpensive point and shoot pocket camera and I recommend this camera.
on April 14, 2012
Smal portable camera east to operate even without reading a manual if you are used to digital camera, excellet picture quality, even when in moving car the stabilty is supurb. Zoom is good except the last 6x zoom which is digital once it hits the limit of the optical zoom the digital is almost worthless. However for fast snap shots on the fly it's a nice working camera and the price is about right. This was used to replace a Pentax digital camera. The pentax would not accept the 64 gig flash disk but the A1300 does. Easy to handle comfortable to hold and like that it's not just another sqware box. Night flash works good and face detecton is nice too. would buy another one.
After haveing this camera for a short time have found that the memory card and battery has issues. Buyer beware of this issue you will try to take a picture and it dies out have tried new batteris and everything sending it to factoy for repair
on July 13, 2012
I bought this to replace an old Cannon which took a dive in a lake and didn't survive. This camera is actually cheaper than the one it replaced, though it has more features. Build quality is quite good. I really like having a viewfinder and using AA rechargeable batteries. If you have ever been stuck with a camera that uses proprietary batteries you will understand. One can always by AA batteries to keep going. Also, I seldom use a much larger camera I have since I find it easier to take along a camera that will fit into a pocket. The 5x Zoom works well, and the pictures come out quite good. I don't like using digital zoom which reduces the pixels used. I was especially pleased with the macro setting... pictures of flowers are quite stunning.
The camera has lots of features, but many are buried in the menus. You really need to read the manual (which is a pdf file on the disc) in order to get the most out of it. ISO and shutter speed settings are all there, once you discover them.
I am an amateur photographer, so I do have a lot of pictures in the My Pictures folder (Using Windows). To my surprise, the Image Express software supplied with the camera told me that I had way too many pictures for it to work. After that message it promptly closes the program. Tried it several times, and I suppose there are work-arounds on this issue. Fortunately, it is redundant software.since Windows immediately recognizes the camera and flawlessly transfers the pictures from the camera to the hard drive. My recommendation is to skip that program during the customized install (the other software seems to work, though I usually use the consumer version of Photoshop.
No, this isn't a massive high end camera and doesn't pretend to be. But, overall, this is a lot of camera for the money. Small enough to carry around and flexible enough to adjust for lighting and circumstances.
on August 24, 2012
I shopped extensively before buying the A1300 Canon. I weighed the value of using a pair of AA cells versus a dedicated power pack. I included the ability to use rechargeable cells - the precharged cells with long shelf life. Because this is a grab-and-go camera, it needs to be ready at a moment's notice. AA cells are great for that. And it's the camera our 10 year old will use and he's not at all good about keeping his electronic gizmoz charged, so the AA feature is a plus there. I also like the optical view finder. Holding a camera at arm's length is the norm, but heads are fairly steady, so the camera is also quite steady when used with the optical finder. It's a simple tunnel, but it is accurate and simple. I also kept in mind the fact that this is a camera in the $100 price range and there is no reason to expect lens quality, flash range, manual control or any other feature to be equal to a camera in the $200 or higher price range. So we shopped and ordered from Amazon.
Delivery was on time as expected. The camera came with all of the accessories listed in the ad - a very basic kit. Our first go with this piece was disappointing. It seems that even the major manufacturers can produce a dud from time to time. Our A1300 was a battery hog. I immediately contacted Canon through their website, explained the problem and what I had done to try to correct the problem. They asked that I return the camera to them and the replacement arrived in less than one week. The new one is spot-on.
So what about the A1300? The AUTO function is impressive. It does more than I ever expected a point and shoot to do - automatically. The color brightness and focus are good and the photo details are great. I don't see any odd colors and it does adjust to ensure people are people colored, no matter what the color of the people. So if the photos from the A1300 are good, How good is good? My Canon S3 takes a VERY GOOD photo. My friends Canon EOS DSLR takes EXCELLENT photos. It's not an issue of photo size, it's quality and clarity. And this little camera holds it's ground very well. I also have a lesser brand camera about the same size as the A1300 that takes poor quality photos. Sure I can tell what the photo is, who is in it and where we were, and the features of that one are excellent but it's just not crisp in the details. So in my opinion, a good photo is one that doesn't give me any particular reason to complain. I'm sure there are aberations that a pro could find in a detailed review, but that's not why I got this camera. This one is in the glove box, in the pocket of my motorcycle jacket and at family functions where I don't want the obvious BIG camera that makes people nervous. It takes a far better photo than my cell phone.
At full optical zoom at about 150 feet I can count the blades of grass in my neighbor's lawn with the camera set at 16mp. I am not used to having such a wide angle on a digital camera and I am getting scenery shots that look great. It handles the light whether I am shooting into the sun or with the sun at my back. I have not tried some of the special programs offered, but of the ones that I have tried, the low light setting allows me to get very nice photos in museum lighting. The Stealth option is both low light and silent so the camera is not a bother when discretion is needed. And the digital IS mode works well. I'm past my prime and I'm not as steady as I once was. Our boy is young and is also not rock steady. Digital IS gives us a good shot every time. The video function gives me bright and clear HD videos - or far more compact 640x480 videos. I wish the zoom worked with in video mode but that's one thing I gave up in this price range. For motorcycle trips with the guys, it's great to be able to set the camera to 640x 480 and just shoot lots of pics that are easy to email and look fine on the computer monitor. Shooting one handed as I ride doesn't always get me a great shot, but if I shoot enough shots I get plenty of great photos to share. Fun - cheap - reliable - great quality. What else could I ask from a $100 price range camera? But, you don't want to drop it into the lake. That's another story and there are far better models if that's part of your plan.
on June 13, 2012
I LOVE THIS CAMERA A1300 WHICH USES 2 AA BATTERIES!!!
loaded with many highly desireable features, has a viewfinder as well which I use only occasionally for special purposes. I did a lot of research covering many many hours to find the best camera with as many features as possible and Canon proved to have it all!
My last camera was a Kodak which finally gave out after like 12 years and was 5MP. The A1300 camera is full of upgraded features like 16MP without a big price and has the AA batteries which is my first requirement! Since Kodak is going out of the Camera business, I did try to get one anyway, but the lousy quality was shocking as the button to take a photo was RECESSED and a real PAIN to try to work with it. I could not tolerate this and returned it as I need a good camera loaded with features to take excellent photos as possible for my buyers of puppies. Pups are usually quick movers and is tough to get a good photo. You can take 30 photos and only end up with a couple of good ones, so fighting a camera in addition is not worth it and very stressful. This is one excellent reasonably priced all around state of the art camera being a point and shoot camera! YOU MUST USE A MEMORY CARD TO TAKE ANY PHOTOS. Anyway, I love it!