Top positive review
371 people found this helpful
Initial review & Update 1 + correction - will update with continued usage
on May 17, 2013
I just received this camera today. I had done extensive research and comparison with other Canon Elph models before choosing this one.
A few factors led to my decision:
1. I wanted high resolution and high optical zoom capability. Optical zoom is so important because that governs how much raw info you can capture. Digital zoom is just software and ultimately will result in pixellation.
2. The Wifi capability was intriguing, but not a deal breaker.
3. The price point was well under $200 ($169) and this was far below the MSRP. A note on this - I would have opted for a higher priced camera but this is a second camera to be used on an upcoming trip where I did not want to lug my Canon Rebel EOS and all of its lenses. I would not have chosen an Elph as a primary camera - but for travel, it seemed to be ideal.
4. In keeping with the above, I also wanted something I could drop in my fanny pack or shirt pocket (although I am not likely to do that - shirt pocket that is.)
5. I chose Canon because of familiarity with the brand and generally good experience with an older Elph I bought for my wife, and of course the EOS and lenses.
6. I definitely did not want the touch screen that was offered on some new models simply because - although convenient - they are a royal pain and I often mis-touch the screen requiring go backs, or cancellations and do overs. For a device this size, buttons seemed to be a better choice. I do use the touch screen on my Motorola Razr Droid Maxx and have learned to live with its idiosynchracies. I also read some really negative reviews on the touch screens and didn't want to be a guinea pig.
So, now that you understand what my decision factors were, here is what I have learned experimenting for the past few hours:
- It is intuitively easy to use, and if you know the menu system on one Canon, you will know it here as well.
- It is so small and compact, yet the controls are easy to use and they are responsive.
- The installation process (software & User's Guide) was relatively easy, and I was able to copy the PDF file to my Google Drive so I will have it while travelling (sans computer).
- The images are incredibly crisp and clear with good to excellent color rendition at the M1 (medium) resolution setting. I usually opt for the highest resolution, but I'll explain why I didn't in the CONS. I would suggest you always opt for the highest resolution you can since you can always reduce an image without losing clarity, but if you choose too low a resolution, you will experience pixellation on digital enlargement.
- The WiFi capability seems like a really nice feature, but you better not be using Windows XP if you want to WiFi the pics to your computer. You can use a USB connection however. There is a disclaimer in the documentation that the WiFi will only work with Windows 7 or 8. You can however WiFi to your smartphone (Droid or iPhone with the appropriate app from Google Playstore or Apple) and then share pics from there, or upload them to your computer via the cloud.
- The write speed to the SDHC card is uncomfortably slow if you are shooting rapidly, and using very high resolution. The difference between L and M1 is incredible. With the L resolution, you wait what appears to be an interminable time before you can shoot the next picture. It's not really that bad, but it is in the "seconds" range. If it is perceptible enough to be annoying, when testing, it will also be so when out in the field, particularly with action shots.
- It would have been nice if Canon included a memory card in the package, but I understand they are trying to keep the price competitive. I'm sure I paid less for a 16GB card than they would have charged.
- It also would have been nice if Canon had included a case. My wife's older Canon Elph came with a quality leather case. I purchased an after market CaseLogic case for much less than Canon would have charged.
- Battery life - I haven't had an opportunity to really test this yet, but I am a little worried since the User Guide states that I will only get about 200 pics per fully charged battery. Of course there are many variables that contribute to this (i.e., resolution, read/write time to card, ECO mode or not, flash usage or not.) It's almost impossible to predict exactly how well I will do here, so we'll just have to wait and see. My concern is that I am going to Scandinavia and Russia, and while I shouldn't have any difficulty charging the battery with the appropriate voltage adaptors, I will probably buy a second battery so I always have a spare charged.
(CORRECTION: You will not need a voltage adaptor. The charger clearly states 110-240 volts input. You may need physical plug adapters, although most European hotels have "American" outlets for electric shavers, etc.)
- Also note that it took almost two hours to charge the "cold" battery completely. This will probably be shorter when starting with a partially charged battery.
I have not had an opportunity yet to test the myriad of other features, such as the various shooting scenarios, lighting conditions, portrait vs scenic, close up vs panorama. I will test these and report back when I have information with meaningful metrics. If necessary, I will adjust the 5 stars at that time, but for now, I will give Canon the benefit of the doubt based upon my previous experience with the brand.
BOTTOM LINE - I would buy it again, and I am completely comfortable with my decision to not opt for a higher end model with a touch screen.
Hope this has been helpful.
****Update 1 - 5/18/2013
Well, the learning saga continues. It's sort of an adventure. I actually successfully set up a WiFi connection between the camera and my home network with the target device being my Motorola Razr Droid smartphone.
The basic steps are to download and install the Canon app for your smartphone and configure it with some very simple settings. Then configure the camera with the name of the target device (which you assigned in the previous step.) You then need to scan for WiFi nets from the camera and select the appropriate net, enter the key, and you are pretty much in business. You are then ready to share the pics from the phone via email, Facebook or whatever mechanism or website you choose. Play with it; it won't bite.
After a little juggling with the settings, I actually sent the pictures to the phone. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult, I would give this about a 4. Time expended: about 40 minutes. Not bad. And the next time will be even easier.
My next task will be to try to set this up on an open WiFi network somewhere else. I imagine I will have to identify the phone again, and let the camera search the available networks.
I also noticed that it gave me an option to connect to another network which is probably the Canon cloud. The name of the network seemed to identify Canon, the camera model and a sequence number. I haven't tried that yet, but I probably will later.
In addition, I can use the phone as a wireless access point, so I may be able to send pics to the phone without being on a network ... essentially a point-to-point net of two devices, the phone and the camera.
I'm trying to get as much of this exploration done before my trip next month so I don't get frustrated when under pressure. So far, so good. Still five stars!