Top positive review
156 people found this helpful
Great Quality.. After a Few Tweeks
on October 21, 2011
I purchased this camera as a replacement to my Canon SD870IS which I was very happy with. The features that really caught my eye in the 310 HS were the 1080p video, 12MP images (I print LARGE poster size images at time), the large LCD screen and the new flash technology. I didn't want a touch screen as my interface so I went with the 310 instead of the 510.
So far I've taken about 500 pictures and 20 videos (some 1080p others 720p) with the camera both inside and outside. Overall I'm impressed with the quality of the pictures and VERY impressed with the video quality.
When you set the camera to Auto is does a decent job at detecting the environment. It adjusts the focus/lighting accordingly and takes a decent pictures. However, there are times where I have been taking a wide angle scenic view and it decides to focus on the nearby post and adjust to macro. When it does that, the picture comes out a little grainy and some areas are out of focus. You can't see it on the LCD screen, but when you get it out of the camera and on a larger screen it really shows.
The Image Stabilization (IS) feature is really nice to have. You can watch the camera adjusting for your minor movements that you may have when holding the camera up.
The camera offers the ability to take pictures in numerous formats. The default is 4:3, but it also offers, 16:9, 3:2 and 1:1. The manual mode allows you the ability to changing lighting, ISO, scene, white balance and compression. There are way too many modes to go into each one (26 in total).
If you want to take excellent quality pictures you need to be aware that Auto isn't always what you want and if you move that switch to manual and adjust the settings the pictures will come out looking sharp and cleaner.
This is really where the camera shines. The videos are fantastic. You can shoot at 1080p and 720p or your standard 480i. The IS for the videos works flawlessly. My first "test" video was of my kids playing soccer and me purposely moving the camera to see how the IS works. After downloading it and viewing on a 60" TV there were times where we though the camera was placed on a tri-pod. The IS works that good. The video quality is top notch and most of the time I shoot at 720p.
The format of the videos are MOV. Previous Canon camera shot videos using AVI. This camera will not play back any AVI files (as I found out because I swapped memory sticks from my old to new).
Shooting a 1080p results in a video total bitrate of roughly 36K kbps at 23fps and audio bit rate of 1600kbps. Shooting at a 720p resulted in a video total bitrate of 25K kbps at 29fps and an audio of 1600kbps. Audio is 2 channel stereo at 48kHz for both.
However, there are two things that I wish this camera did different when it comes to video. The first is the size of the videos and it's compression. At 1080p a 1 minutes and 45 seconds the video is 460MB in size. Given this is a HD video, but other cameras and even some phones offer the same quality and time with less space. The second is the removal the "Time Lapse" feature of videos. With my SD870IS it had the ability to record a video as a time lapse that would allow it to take a pictures every 1 or 2 seconds and stitch it into a video. I utilized that feature on numerous occasions and it has been removed.
The battery claims to take 250 pictures on a single charge. However, I was only able to get about 180 (no flash) on the first charge before I had to insert a different fully charged battery. Perhaps it will increase overtime and as the battery becomes more used. I would recommend that you invest in an additional battery and carry that with you as well. From the time that the "low battery indicator" came on I was able to get about 15 more pictures before it shutdown.
I was hoping that they would offer the Red of the 510HS on the 310HS but I can't fault them for that. The case is nice and well put together. It's very functional and the buttons are intuitive and properly placed. I have not had an incident where I pushed the wrong button.
Overall I'm really impressed with the camera and it's feature set. It will take some adjusting to make sure that Auto is taking the pictures that I want it to take, but overall it's a great camera.