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Showing 1-10 of 528 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 602 reviews
VINE VOICEon March 22, 2013
I have just finished taking my new Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS camera through a lengthy shakedown cruise. I have learned a number of things about it and will share my findings as clearly as I can.

You should know that I have far more digital cameras than one person should own. My experience with them over the years has given me some degree of confidence in what I say about the Canon ELPH 330HS. This is my second Canon camera. I also own a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS which is similar in several ways.

I am an avid amateur travel photographer and my remarks are influenced by using my cameras extensively for that purpose.

I hope the following observations will help you make a decision about the Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS.

Pros:

* The camera is quite small and a true pocket dweller.
* Mine is silver in color and it looks great.
* It takes excellent pictures with the AUTO setting, but there are many options for those who think they can do better manually.
* It has an extensive of list of shooting modes for every situation.
* It has face recognition along with blink and smile shooting features.
* The low light capacity of the camera is outstanding.
* 12.1 megapixels put a lot of detail in the pictures.
* The 10x optical zoom is plenty and the anti-shake feature keeps them crisp.
* The image stabilization feature works very well and it is automatic.
* Close-up shots are beautiful.
* The WiFi feature is outstanding technology and that makes this camera special.
* I use the WiFi in my ELPH 330 HS for wirelessly transferring photos to both iOS devices and PC computers. That is amazing.
* The camera stores images on SD memory cards so pictures can be shared with a computer that way too.
* Using the WiFi one can also upload photos directly to social networks or email.
* I used the free Apple app Camera Window to connect with my iPod 5g and it worked better than the Canon suggestions found in the DVD instruction manual.
* Paring with a PC computer is a bit tricky, but it can be done by ordinary mortals.
* The display window on the camera is large and bright.
* The 330HS movies are excellent and there are a number of shooting options available.
* There is even full HD video in stereo sound available.
* The fit and finish are very good and that means this is a solid high quality camera.

Cons:

* Setting up the WiFi feature is not all that easy even though some of it is automatic.
* WiFi photo transfer is somewhat slow, but no problem.
* The camera controls are not made for large fingers.
* I miss the manual shooting mode wheel--poking around on screen based options is too slow to be useful if scenes, locations and objects change rapidly.
* The instruction manual on the provided DVD is confusing for setting up WiFi.
* The Hybrid movie feature is strange and seems to have limited purpose.
* I have yet to determine what the body of this camera is made of. It seems very light in weight which suggests plastic, but maybe aluminum.
* One can get bogged down and confused by the myriad of options available and it is difficult to find the way back out of unwanted settings. There is a way to re-set everything just in case.

That is about all of the first impression information I can offer. I plan to carry my new ELPH 330 HS to Europe later in the spring and hope to take advantage of the WiFi features for sending photos back home to friends and relatives while I am traveling abroad.

UPDATE:

I have just returned from two weeks in Great Britain and almost 700 photos taken with my Canon ELPH 330 HS and I was very satisfied with the how it performed. This little camera did everything I asked of it. Transferring all of those pictures to my iPad and to my Windows 7 laptop via WiFi was a perfect addition to the many other features. I am even more impressed with this camera after putting it to a very rigorous test. I bumped the camera around a lot on our trip and without a case on it. I even dropped it once and it kept on ticking. As a travel camera it is the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned.
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on May 1, 2013
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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on March 31, 2013
I bought the ELPH 330 to replace a Canon PowerShot ELPH 310  that was 'appropriated' by a family member. I quite liked the 310, and the other ELPH models that we've owned previously (SD100, SD200, SD400). To give this review some context, I also have a Canon PowerShot S5, a GoPro Hero, and various film cameras dating back to an Olympus OM-1 and a Rollei 35. While Canons may not always be the 'best' cameras on the market, I've become used to the Canon menu system, and my collection of accessories are compatible with my previous ELPHs. So I assumed the ELPH 330 would be a satisfying addition to my photographic arsenal.

Alas, I was sadly disappointed. What's wrong with it? In a word, the user interface. It has regressed significantly compared to the 310. The biggest shortcoming is the all-important '5-way' controller (the up, down, left, right, and the central FUNC/SET buttons). On the 310, the 5-way was slightly raised above the body of the camera, making it possible to position one's thumb on the desired portion of the controller by touch alone. On the 330, the buttons are completely flush with the body. This may sound like a small detail, but I've found this design change makes it much harder to operate the 330. I've found it tricky to register my thumb over the 5-way without looking, and I don't have terribly big hands. The tiny FUNC/SET button in the center of the cluster is actually recessed just a bit, which is terrible from an ergonomic perspective. One needs a tiny thumb to reliably click on the FUNC/SET button. In the short time I've had the 330, I've accidentally activated the wrong button numerous times.

The second failing of the 330's UI is the bizarre slide switch. Canon has taken what was a great step forward on the 310 UI and totally trashed it on the 330. On the 310, the slide switch selected between AUTO or MANUAL modes of operation. The former was great for taking quick'n easy point-and-shoot tourist snapshots. When the photographer wanted more 'creative control', a simple flip of the switch put the camera into manual mode. User could then choose from a large variety (too many) of special shooting modes (portrait, nighttime, backlit, sports...), adjust ISO, override shutter speed, etc. This arrangement was extremely versatile and I've come to love it.

On the ELPH 330, the slide switch now activates a glitzy new Canon feature: photos plus a Movie Digest. When you slide the switch to the 'up' position, the camera takes a still photo in Auto mode AND a 3-second movie clip captured immediately before every still photo is taken. It then composes a daily sequence of these clips, all concatenated together. So if you were to shoot 60 pictures on a given day, you'll end up with 60 still photos, plus a 3-minute long movie containing the 'live action' as you composed each shot. With the switch 'down', the Movie Digest feature is turned off and the camera operates in whatever mode is chosen from the Record Mode menu (not necessarily Auto mode).

The side effects of this fancy Digest feature are non-trivial. First, the camera goes dormant for a few seconds after the shutter is pushed, while the captured movie clip is compressed and concatenated onto the daily movie file. During this interval, the green 'camera busy' light is flashing. This means you can't take another photo until the movie processing is completed. No rapid-fire picture taking when in Digest mode. Perhaps more important is the potential impact on battery life. When the 330 is in this mode, it's capturing video continuously. It doesn't know when you're going to trip the shutter, so it constantly records video into an internal 3-second buffer memory, which is then saved to the SD card after each click of the shutter. I haven't yet measured the impact on battery life but continuous video capture and storage will surely shorten run time.

Fortunately, the ELPH 330 still has both Automatic and Manual picture modes, but you now have to make a trip down into the menu system to select one or the other. The slide switch, which occupies a fair bit of the limited real estate on the back of the camera, is totally wasted (unless one becomes enamoured with the Movie Digest mode). I'm astounded that Canon would deem this feature so important that it qualified for 'top billing' with a dedicated mode switch. Perhaps there is a big demand for this feature in Japan, but I can do without it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the improvements in the 330. The longer telephoto (10x, vs 8x in the 310) is a small but welcome enhancement. Likewise, the wide angle is a little wider (24 vs 28mm). I haven't yet mastered the WiFi features. Canon's user manual describing them meets their usual standard for convoluted & confusing documentation.

Occasionally, the orientation sensor (sensing landscape vs portrait) messes up and misclassifies the orientation of a picture. This may be a defect with the sensor in my unit, or could be a design issue that affects all ELPH 330 units.

Frankly, I'm undecided whether to keep the ELPH 330 or not. I'm tempted to carefully place a tiny dollop of hot-melt glue on the FUNC/SET button. That might partly alleviate the ergonomic shortcomings of the 5-way controller. But there's no way to make the stupid Movie Digest slide switch useful and achieve the versatile functionality found in the ELPH 310.
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on April 8, 2016
I had a Canon Elf that was getting old. New lenses, better pixel quality, and smaller size led me to buy this and sell the old one. I'm so disappointed that I did!!

I'm lazy: I want to point this camera, snap a pic, and move on. This is for travel to places where I don't want to bring my $600 iPhone. But! The image stabilizer in this camera is TERRIBLE! Most of my pictures comes out blurry. And it struggles in natural light to find a good white balance. This camera demands a higher learning curve than I wanted to invest...
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on October 22, 2013
Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS Camera Review

The choices available today in digital cameras might seem bewildering. In many ways, they are, for cameras are often classified in random fashion. No one seems to know what a "pocket" camera is, what a long-zoom camera is, and what affordable might happen to be. There is no clear distinction from where "point and shoot" ends and "enthusiast" or prosumer-marketed cameras begin. It changes annually.

We hardly buy cameras based on image quality alone. As I write this, the #1 selling digital camera on Amazon is the Nikon Coolpix L820, a fairly large and heavy 30x unit powered by four AA batteries. On the same list, the #11 spot is held by the same L820 with a red case. While a lot of camera for the money (selling at the same $170 level as this Elph 330), the Nikon L820 wins no "best of the best" awards, but buyers think quite differently.

There are a lot of things to consider, if you want to be satisfied with your camera for the life of your use with it. Although volumes have been written about image quality, that isn't the main reason why folks are dissatisfied with cameras, much less the only reason. Here are a few of the most common concerns, interlaced with Elph 330 relevant comments.

BATTERY LIFE
Digital cameras with dead batteries don't work well. The current lithium-ion type of rechargeable battery isn't new technology at all. Batteries can be of most any capacity a manufacturer wants them to be, though few relish the prospect of running a digital camera with fork-lift batteries.

They are often small, for a battery enclosed inside the frame of a camera partly determines the envelope dimensions and weight of the camera. It is hard to get a light camera if it runs on four AA batteries, which at one time was common. Cameras are not totally redesigned annually, just re-marketed annually. Yet, when more features are added (better image stabilization, larger LCDs, etc.) battery drain goes up and life drops in concert. We don't want larger, bulkier cameras in general, and manufacturers like to build upon existing frames, so the quicker, more powerful zoom motors and bigger LCDs take their toll, as does advanced image stabilization arrays.

The Canon ELPH 330 HS (IXUS 255 HS in Europe) takes the NB-4L battery, and is good for about 220 still-image shots. For video, you'll do well to get 45 minutes or so, less in cold weather. As a rule of thumb, lithium-ion cells give 65 - 70% life at 32 degrees F. vs. 70 degrees F. Extra batteries are readily available and inexpensive: I always carry two fully-charged extras, in addition to the one in the camera.

ZOOM RANGE
You can't have too much usable zoom, but that of course comes with a price. The ELPH 330 has a 10x zoom (24mm - 240mm), something everyone will appreciate vs. the common 5x or 8x variety shirt-pocket cameras. Canon also has their "Zoom Plus" 20x mode, a digital zoom along the lines of Sony's Clear Image and Panasonic's Intelligent Zoom. All of these digital zooms do about the same thing. While they aren't as good as true optical zoom, they do produce far better results than older digital zoom attempts did. To say no loss of image quality isn't strictly true, but for 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 prints few could notice the difference.

SHOOTING PERFORMANCE
Waiting for a camera to autofocus or to save images to file is no fun. Canon's compact cameras have been sluggish in times past, including the SX230 that I eventually quit using in favor of a Panasonic ZS-15. Autofocus time and lag time is significantly reduced in the ELPH 330, about one third faster than their previous 310 and other models. It is a readily noticeable and welcomed improvement. Autofocus does do some searching, particularly when using zoom in low-light.

LOW-LIGHT
Invariably, when small sensors are overpopulated with super-dinky photo-sites, image quality suffers. How much it suffers is contingent on the camera's software and processor, but it does suffer. Unfortunately, mega-pixels sells cameras, and if it doesn't make dollars it doesn't make sense. Fortunately, Canon has stayed with the 12MP sensor, while others have succumbed to the large file, but lower quality nonsense.

Within its range, the ELPH 330 takes far better than average stills. It handily out-shoots several similarly sized pocket cameras at ISO 800. With low noise images to ISO 1600, less than 1.5%, it does as good or better than many cameras at base ISO.

VIDEO
Few compact cameras are ideally suited to video for reasons of battery life and image stability when not using a tripod. Enclosed batteries in small chassis make for a very poor heat sink as well. This Canon does just average in the video quality department, very dark in low light and just average quality otherwise. It isn't a resolution issue.

FOX and Disney (ABC, ESPN) broadcast in 720p HD, the rest mostly use 1080i. The hyped 1080p capabilities of pocket cameras make little sense, including this Canon as the harder to edit 1080p is at 24 fps per second, or film rate. Unless you plan on burning Blu-rays, using anything other than 720p is a waste of file size editing time, rendering time, and upload time with footage captured with a small-sensored still camera. It makes even less sense if the video is viewed on a Smartphone with a 3.5 - 4 inch screen for example.

WI-FI
Though a recent, loudly touted "feature" in cameras, it is one of very little value as far as I'm concerned. Sending pictures to yourself makes little sense, nor does spamming social media direct from a camera. Images of interest that are sent along invariably benefit from a bit of thoughtful review, light cropping, and so forth. The grand benefit of frenetically rushing to send an image of a bowl of oatmeal straight to Facebook under the guise of "sharing" somehow escapes me. While perhaps theoretically useful for professional engagements where you'd like to show images to clients immediately, it serves mostly as yet another way to needlessly drain the battery of a compact camera.

LENS
Jim Fisher, using Imatest to determine the sharpness of the Elph 330 lens, found that it scored 2069 lines, well above the 1800 lines required for a sharp photo, and dramatically better than the Panasonic SZ-7's 1563 lines. Jim Fisher also found the noise levels held under 1.5% at ISO 1600, rising to a still quite respectable 1.9% at ISO 3200. The Nikon P510 bridge camera scored 1,865 lines, while the Canon SX40 HS scored 1,836 lines. The Panasonic FZ-200 scored 1811 lines; the Panasonic ZS-20 scored a weak 1662 lines per picture height.

The Elph 330 starts out at F/3.0 at the wide angle end, fairly bright for a compact, but drops off to a small F/6.9 at the 10x end. The Elph 330's lens is demonstrably sharp, better than many more expensive cameras from many brands, including other Canon product. It betters both the premium 5x compact Canon S120 that managed 1897 lines at 24mm / F/1.8 and edges out the latest Canon SX280 that managed 1957 lines. While lens sharpness isn't the exclusive barometer for grading a camera, the Elph 330 is class-leading in this regard, and produces sharper images than several "enthusiast" level compacts that sell for more than double the price.

FLASH
The small flash unit of the Elph 330 is just average, not nearly as effective or as even (some vignetting) as the more substantial flashes found on larger footprint cameras. It is one of the compromises inherent in small, light cameras, and the Elph 330 is no exception. The best thing about the Elph 330's flash, as far as I'm concerned, is that don't need to use it as much as some super-compacts make you.

CONTROLS / HANDLING
This is a 5 ounce, very compact camera. With its diminutive form factor, less buttons, wheels, and smaller buttons in general are a consequence of retaining the small envelope dimensions. If you have moderately chubby fingers, you won't like this camera. I don't have chubby fingers, but the flush buttons and lack of a raised control wheel made using this camera in other than just full automatic, "hit the button mode" a chore.

CONCLUSION
This is a superb pocket camera, that does what a camera should do: take good images, and take them reliably. Its general no flash performance, for this super-compact class of camera, is good, despite its dark F.6.9 lens @ 10x. If you put a high priority on bulk and weight, and can live with the tiny flush button controls, it takes satisfying pictures for this light and small class of camera. If you can tolerate an extra few ounces, you'll be able to get far more out of the 7 oz. - 8 oz. class of pocket camera, though, with easier to use and more appropriately sized controls, along with longer focal lengths.

Copyright 2013 by Randy Wakeman and Randy Wakeman Outdoors.
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on August 27, 2013
My ELPH 310 was stolen early this year. It was no longer available (at least, at a reasonable price).

I looked and looked for a replacement, and when the 330 became available, bought it immediately, just before a vacation.

I love the size (slides into any pocket), performance (wide angle to long zoom, picture size choices, quickly ready to shoot), and features (quite a few overrides of "standard" so can take good pictures in difficult lighting conditions).

Small negatives: The performance should not be compared to SLRs - picture taking is not instant, but it is adequate. There is no full manual for shutter and aperture - but that is rarely needed.
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on August 22, 2013
I have been a huge fan of the Elph series since the earliest models. These have been my pocket snapshot camera of choice for at least a decade. I've probably gone through at least a half dozen personally upgrading over the years, and I've given at least that many more away as gifts. My point is, I know this product line extremely well, and I've been a fan, so keep that in mind as you read what I have to say about this model.

Let's talk about the good stuff first, and these apply to every Elph I've ever owned.

First and foremost it is just the right size. It is small enough to easily drop in your pocket without feeling like you're carrying a brick, but it is large enough that it is easy to operate for someone with big ham sized hands like myself. This is what keeps me away from the more upscale SD1xx series, it is so small that the controls are awkward for even dainty hands.

Second, it is easy to use yet powerful. You can teach your granny how to use this camera in under 5 minutes to take wonderful snap shots in auto mode. But at the same time, for a more advanced photographer, you can find controls and settings to let you take great photos even in very challenging lighting environments, etc.

Battery life is good. I have used it for an entire weeks' vacation taking hundreds of pictures without ever having to charge it. As expected, flash will run it down quickly if you're using it for a lot of your shots. The other caveat on this unit is wifi is a battery drainer.

The lens on this one is a good upgrade. It starts from 24mm for wide angle, which is great for vacation photos taking picture of big scenes, monuments, buildings, etc. But this one will also go all the way out to 10x optical for the zoom, which is very useful for cropping and bringing things closer. It'll actually go even further with digital zoom enabled, but I never use it. Digital zoom is better done with software where you can control it and see what you're doing to your pixels.

So far sounds like the latest and greatest elph which is what I was expecting. Here's the downside and why I actually do not recommend this particular model.

The wifi is largely a waste of time. I'm a gadget guy, and this seems to be the "it" feature for the snapshot cameras right now. Also, the idea of being able to piggy back my phone and send pics straight to social media sights from the camera in real time was appealing.

Again, I would consider myself techie, but setup of the wifi was almost enough to make me box this thing up and send it back. I never send anything back that isn't broken, so that's a statement. Canon makes you jump through a ton of hoops just to get wifi going. You MUST have a canon login so you can use their web portal to enable the thing. To get a login, you have to register the product. The combination of those two alone was enough to test my patience when I just want to tear in and play with my new toy. Now couple it with the fact that Canon's site was on the fritz the first time I tried to do this, and I was starting to boil.

Site finally comes back up, now I run into issues because I own another Canon wifi enabled device (a video camera), and I had to email support to finally get a login working so I could get the wifi going on the camera.

Eventually I get everything configured with the applets enabled so I can send to Facebook, et al, but it was all very anticlimactic. Due to the clunkiness of the apps, about the only thing I'll ever use this for is to transfer files from the camera to my phone or tablet so I can then in turn do with them as I wish on those platforms. I wont use the camera for anything other than transfer.

Also, given the speed of transfer and the cost of battery life on the camera, if I'm near anything with a SD slot, I'm simply going to pop the card out of the camera and into that device to do a quick move of the files.

Bottom line, is the wifi is a pain to setup, frustrating to use and simply does not offer enough value to be worth the cost and hassle. I still recommend the Elph series, but I would drop down one model from this one and skip the Wifi.
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on September 5, 2014
It lasted me one year. Took decent photos, not great, but decent for a small point and shoot. There was a constant battery issue. The battery would be fully charged and the camera kept saying change the battery. Come to find out Canon knew about the issue and you could send it in to get it fixed. I never did. I also had a lot of lens open and closing errors. It lasted one year. . .
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on April 16, 2015
My wife bought this camera because it was small and more powerful than her phone. It does a nice job with the field of view, focuses close to the subject, and is very portable. A good purchase.
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on April 13, 2014
I bought this camera after my gorgeous Leica camera fell and broke. I realized that paying $600 to get it fixed/replaced just wasn't within my budget right now and I also felt like I wasn't using it to its full potential. I am an experienced casual photographer. Meaning I LOVE taking pictures of everything and anything and I carry my camera with me all the time, but I don't take the time nor do I have the energy to become more professional with my photographing. That's where this camera is PERFECT. Even just on the simply setting it takes amazing pictures. It works well in any light, especially if you select a particular setting from the options of pre-sets, and it's pretty simple to use. I would not recommend it if the selling feature for you is the wi-fi integration as I find that a little annoying. But it's a great camera for someone who wants a nice quality point and shoot that produces professional looking photographs. The price is right and Canons are great. I would absolutely recommend this camera!!
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