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Customer Review

1,875 of 1,897 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.


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.


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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Showing 1-10 of 80 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 5, 2011 7:05:14 PM PDT
I have a question for you, does this camera only record video for 10 at a time? I read one review he had a 32 gig only hold 10 minutes.
I trying figure out the new memory cards. I was thinking of buying 32 gig sandisk sdhc thinking this will hold 1 hour plus pictures. I am wrong? Also, read you can't see the video in windows is this correct?
Sorry I have not bought or even look at new cameras for 5yrs. I can't believe the changes...thanks so much for your time.

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 6:14:29 AM PDT
Stringfellow says:
Hi, There's a little ambiguity about the video fps... It says in the Amazon description that it will shoot 1080p in 30fps but the techs at Canon say it's only 24fps. Have you discovered which is correct? In high motion scenes this would be important. Good review... thankyou.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2011 10:44:20 AM PDT
JJG says:
A 32 GB card give you almost 2 hours of video. My 16 GB card says it will record almost 58 minutes of video at 1080p. A couple of weekends ago I recorded several shorter clips on the 16 GB card. There was probably about 15 minutes of footage on the card. I haven't recorded anything longer than a 3 minutes clip so I'm not sure if a clip maxes out at 10 minutes.

The video files will play on Windows Media Player. The playback tends to be better when going through Canon's software though. With Windows Media Player the video looks a little choppy at times. At first I thought it was a problem with the write speed of my card. After converting the file to another format, I haven't had any problems with WMP playback.

Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2011 10:46:37 AM PDT
JJG says:
Canon is right, it is only 24 fps. You are correct in high motion scenes it will make a difference. I've noticed if I pan to quickly the video will look jumpy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2011 6:37:47 PM PDT
For the wonderful reviewer or anyone who might know:
I have an older model in the same class, the SD780IS (which was replaced by the 300HS's predecessor, the SD1400IS). The 1400IS wasn't enough of an improvement to warrant an upgrade, but I'm wondering if the 300HS with CMOS is enough of an improvement to go for it. I'm especially interested in low light, evening shots and video where the 780IS, like most portable cameras, is fairly weak. The other upgrade option is the Canon S90/S95 which I am sure is superior, but if the 300HS is close enough, I'd rather save the money for a future DSLR.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2011 7:23:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2011 7:24:54 AM PDT
R. Evans says:
To answer your questions (Pontifcating Consumerist) I sold my 780IS on ebay for this camera...and the truth is I miss it. The 300HS has a more powerful zoom and a wider lens, so it takes pictures on par or even better than the 780IS, but its also not has smooth or as small. It feels more mechanical, if that makes sense. It's slightly larger than the 780. It also has a textured paint job, I suppose this was to make it easier to hold and not drop, but I never dropped my 780 so I don't know why they went this route. If you have dry to slightly dry skin the texture can be almost irritating to the touch. I haven't messed around with the 1080p video too much, but from what I have seen its very hard to differentiate between the 720p and the 1080p, since you are most likely replaying the video on a laptop or pc. They are both considered Hi Def cameras, and while 300 lines of resolution is noticeable, you aren't going to film any production films with either of these cameras.

Pros for the 300HS IMO)
lcd screen, its brighter and bigger
zoom, way more powerful and clear

Bigger camera, not by much, but noticeable
texture skin, annoying to the feel
battery life isn't as good, and Im not sure why...feels shorter though
price (this camera is anywhere from 20 to 50 dollars more)
I paid 229.00

Overall, Im not disappointed in the 300HS but being that the 780IS is such an awesome camera, I do miss it. My advice is to keep the 780 and pass on the 300. If you do trade up for it, get the silver one...(i think the silver is non-textured) I went from 780black to 300black, and I hate hate hate the textured coating.

I hope this helps


In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2011 1:08:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2011 2:05:30 PM PDT
Amazoniac says:
Hello Randy,

I also own a 780IS but I am having problems to shoot pics if things are moving. I travel a lot and I like to shoot just out of a driving car sometimes and pics are very blurry. I use the kids/pets shooting mode which I believe is the one for moving objects? I also own a Canon Powershot Ixus70 (SD1000) which is 4 years old and shoots sharp pictures of moving objects and therefor I am very disappointed in the 780 and the money that I spent.

I bought the red 780IS by the way and the red color is mostly peeled off because I keep it in my pocket without a case. It is silver underneath so maybe I should go for a silver model right away.

Now that you have both, 780IS and the one that is being reviewed here, is this one better with taking pictures of moving objects better?

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 6:39:51 AM PDT
R. Evans says:
@ Amazoniac - I had my 780IS in Vermont last year, and the country side was very very beautiful. I took pictures out of the car window traveling around 55mph, and the pics came out crystal clear. I believe you have to set the ISO to 400 or lower. I'm not sure where you have it right now...but something is definitely wrong. My 780 took amazing shots, in fact 2 of my family members loved it so much they had me order them 2 of the same model. I haven't had a chance yet to take moving shots with the 300HS to give it a fair review but Im sure with the settings arranged properly it would be right on par or better, since it has a better lens & zoom and the same stability controls. PS. invest in the PSC-1050 Canon case (its a leather case and comes in either black or red (It fits the 780 snug and is small enough to fit in your pocket) Well worth the extra 10-15 dollars.


In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 7:09:24 PM PDT
Amazoniac says:
Thanks, Randy.

Has anyone tried a 64 GB SDHC card? I wrote Canon and they replied they have only tested the camera up to 32 GB and they don't know if a bigger one would work.

Posted on May 10, 2011 6:41:24 AM PDT
LegoMyGeggo says:
Any experience with the 500 HS? I was looking to get that and was wondering if you knew any comparisons vs the S95 as well. I'm trying to find a good camera for my GF for her graduation (yay for last minute shopping =)). If those aren't worth it, what would be your recommendation? My budget is ~400.
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