Customer Review

197 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant point-and-click camera., May 1, 2013
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 12.1MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
I want to use my DSLR whenever possible, but it is often not practical to take with me as a "walkabout" camera due to its size and the need to carry additional often bulky equipment. A point-and-click camera is something I still use often and can carry with me at any time with barely a second thought.

I'd previously owned several Canon point-and-click models - most recently a Powershot A2000 that I've taken almost 10,000 photos with so far and is still going strong. It is getting a little long in the tooth now though, with just a CCD sensor rather than a CMOS, and fairly limited operation and speed due to the old Digic 3 processor, (rather than the Digic 5 in this ELPH 330 model.) The Digic 5 processor is noticeably quicker than my old Digic 3 based camera - and of course it has to do a lot more as well both due to shooting in much higher resolutions, but also because the camera has a lot more automated features. The fact that this camera had the Digic 5 processor was a big selling point to me. It offers a huge improvement over previous iterations of the chip, (I won't detail them here but Canon's website provides this information if anyone is interested.)

When I received this camera, the first thing that struck me was how tiny it is - especially bearing in mind the fact it has a 10x optical zoom that is required to extend out so significantly and retract back into the main body. How Canon has achieved this is beyond me, but I'm glad they did.

Anyone who has ever used a previous Canon digital camera will be right at home using this new model. The auto mode is fantastic - I never thought I'd say that about a compact camera - and it takes great photos in a variety of environments I've tested it in, (at night under artificial light with and without the flash; outside on a sunny day and outside after snowfall; indoors during the day, outside in close to darkness, etc.) To be honest, I'm fairly experienced when it comes to photography - I know my way around f-stops, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, etc. as I own a DSLR, but for use as a "walkabout" camera, I'll probably only somewhat rarely take this camera out of "Auto" mode. The pictures are so wonderfully focused, clear and full of color. The semi-auto and manual modes are still there, (with the omission of the old "landscape" mode - although there is an "infinity" mode now that appears to be a similar thing.) There is a Program (P) mode too which I've always found incredibly useful and my default mode to use with other Canon point-and-shoot models - that mode allows the camera to handle the aperture and shutter and gives control to the user to set other factors of the photo - namely the ISO, flash mode, exposure compensation and white-balance. The camera does still retain a "Portrait" mode too, which is useful for taking photos of people up close and allows the camera to blur the background a little using a large aperture (i.e. small f-stop) automatically.

This camera has built in wireless connectivity, but, to be honest I probably will never use this capability. I prefer to copy my images to my computer and edit/crop them in Paintshop Pro prior to uploading them anywhere.

Insofar as video recording goes, I was very impressed by the quality both of the picture and the sound. I briefly tried full 1080p recording, and was quite astounded by the quality once I downloaded the video to my computer. However, for my purposes the 720p resolution is good enough, (and a much smaller file size to work with and edit.) As with all point-and-click cameras you can audibly hear the camera zooming in and out on the recording if you decide to do so. It's not too imposing though so it's no big deal. Most of the video I'll ever take with this camera will be wide-angle anyway, so I'll probably never touch the zoom lever while recording anyway.

The 12.1mp CMOS blows away all the 16mp CCD cameras I've seen and used. I know a lot of people believe that a digital camera's specification all but ends at the megapixel level, with the more the better, but this is a false belief. A camera with a good CMOS sensor is FAR better than a cheaper (but perhaps more megapixel) CCD based camera.

I'm trying to think of negatives to balance my review, but am struggling. I'd like Canon to stop ripping off their customers with the price of additional "official" batteries. True, there are cheap clones at less than 20% of the price of a Canon brand, but if the reviews on them are anything to go by, they should be used with caution and may invalidate you camera warranty if they cause damage. Ah... I just thought of a negative thing about the camera itself -- the buttons on the back are flat and almost flush with camera body. This can make them a little harder to press than with previous camera models which had raised or rounded buttons. Sorry, that's the biggest negative I can think of. This is a terrific camera.

P.S. The camera comes with a decent little "Getting Started" manual. However, there is a much more comprehensive and detailed manual available (for free) from the Canon USA website, and also on the disc supplied with the camera. Amazon doesn't allow web-links in their reviews, so I'll post the link to download the full manual as a comment on this review instead, (which does seem to be allowed by Amazon.) Anyone considering buying this camera also may wish to download the manual to ensure the ELPH 330 is the model for you, or to familiarize themselves with operating it while you wait for Amazon to deliver it.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 1, 2013 9:11:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2013 11:36:11 AM PDT
Darren says:
Here's the link to Canon's website to download the full and comprehensive manual for the ELPH 330 camera, (in PDF format):

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_elph_330_hs#BrochuresAndManuals

(You'll need to copy and paste the link into your web browser.)

As I stated in my review, the camera only comes with a printed "Getting Started" manual although this more comprehensive manual is included on the disc that is supplied with the camera. I found it useful to download this full manual prior to ordering though - both to famialiarise myself with the camera, and to ensure the camera was suitable for my needs prior to purchase.

Posted on Jun 30, 2013 12:29:55 PM PDT
I just bought a 330. Pictures are great.
Question: Do you hear zoom motor sound, during video playback, from zooming in and out? I can take it back to COSTCO, but I don't know if I should swap or take the money and run.
I compared the zoom motor sound to other family members P&S 8x to 20x cameras. My 330 is very noticeable during playback. My other choice was the Sony WX150, but its colors are not true.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2013 1:12:13 PM PDT
Darren says:
I almost never zoom when recording video, partly for this reason, (I usually only need to record video at a wide-angle or when I do very occasionally want to record something zoomed then I set a static zoom level prior to recording). The motor sound is noticeable on this camera, as well as on other point and click cameras I've owned due to the built in microphone being so close to the lens mechanism. I wouldn't say it is worse than the norm, but it is most definitely audible on recordings.

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 10:04:03 AM PDT
DeeanneWat says:
You wrote a review that really sounded like me so I was wondering would this be a good camera for 'kid capture'?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2013 6:09:26 PM PST
MJ Atlanta says:
I think it is a brilliant idea to download the manual aheadof time to determine if one thinks they will be capable of setting it up, etc. Thanks for that - I will do that prior to other electronic purchases as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2013 4:05:57 PM PST
Darren says:
Definitely. You can even program the camera to recognize several individual faces and to auto-focus on the specific people you wish to capture should you wish. The quality of portrait photos is fantastic for such an easy to use camera - both the colors and sharpness of photos are excellent in my experience.

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 6:23:32 PM PST
D Sands says:
Does anyone know how large a photo can be blown up without fuzziness or noise? I'd like to make BIG posters.

Thanks!

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 3:55:49 PM PST
Roky says:
There is no mode to control aperture,shutter speed or manual focusing.
That means you will be shooting at F3 /1000 Sec, instead of F 6.9 and will lose 150% of the possible depth of field. In other words every picture you take will have less depth of field than it might have had. No serious photographer can be happy about that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2014 11:38:05 AM PST
Darren says:
No "serious photographer" would use a sub-$200 point-and-click as their primary camera though. Of course it doesn't offer full aperture or shutter control, you'd need a much bulkier bridge camera or full-blown DSLR for that. It is what it is - insofar as a compact camera goes, this is a good one for the money.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2014 6:05:16 PM PST
Roky says:
My point is that it was a serious management mistake to leave that feature out. I am not aware of any technical reason why it could not have been included in the menu. Most likely the auto programing could be changed by Canon giving the smaller aperture priority when there is sufficient light for a shutter speed of say 1/60 second. They could also have a sports mode for moving subjects with a fast shutter speed priority and a scenery mode for small aperture priority.
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