Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 Review
In the modern age of digital cameras, the sea of options can make it difficult for manufacturers to stand out. Canon, with their innovative point-and-shoot line of cameras, has sought ways of demonstrating that a standalone pocket digital camera is still a worthy investment despite the proliferation of cameras in phones and mobile devices. The Canon Powershot 300 is a great example of convenience and usability that reminds photographers why a compact digital is still a must-have.
The first characteristic that photographers will notice when they hold the Canon ELPH 300 is its amazingly slim construction. At just over half an inch thick, this Canon Powershot is exponentially smaller than any digital SLRs or Micro Four Thirds cameras on the market today. However, thinness was not achieved by sacrificing functionality or style. This sleek and fashionable little camera can fit in a pocket, but it packs the same intuitive functionality that many expect from the larger Canon digital cameras. The secret is in the sensor. The 12 MP CMOS sensor at the heart of this tiny camera is powerful enough to capture impeccable pictures that can be printed to 14.5-inch by 9.7-inch sharp prints.
The physical dimensions of the camera are impressive, but the functionality is what really sets the Canon Powershot 300 apart in its class. Wide angle shots are often difficult for many little cameras because manufacturers must overcome the challenges associated with building high quality compact lenses. As a matter of fact, the iPhone 4′s camera incorporates a 35mm lens equivalent to 30mm at f/2.8, which does provide notable scene coverage. However, this much smaller Canon Powershot ELPH 300 has a built in zoom that spans 24mm to 120mm at f/2.7 and includes an optical image stabilization system. This is where the differences between cameras included in the latest phones begin to pale in comparison to ELPH 300.
Optical zoom, like that included in the ELPH 300, gives greater photographic versatility. The included 5x optical zoom means that Canon’s designers still found a way to fit moving optics inside its extremely narrow body. Optical zoom is always preferred over digital zoom because it provides greater sharpness. Digital zoom is simply an enlargement of the recorded image and not of the actually scene being photographed. The optical zoom capabilities of this little camera are what make it possible to provide such fine quality prints and enlargements.
The Canon ELPH 300 out performs camera phones by being smaller and by providing higher quality images, but that is just what is expected. What photographers did not expect was a 1080p HD video capability from such a compact camera. As computers become more powerful and portable storage continues to increase in size and affordability, many photography enthusiasts are seeing fewer reasons to use anything less than 1080p to record all of their most precious memories. Typically, 780p was what could be expected from the compact digital camera market, but the ELPH 300 exceeds that expectation. By recording at 1080p on a 12 MP CMOS sensor, this compact Powershot can record videos that look great even when viewed on wide screen televisions. That is impressive, but Canon takes the video capability one step further.
High resolution video means larger files and that kind of data transfer can seem much less practical if it has to be downloaded to a computer and processed through a video editor before being recorded back to a type of media that can be played on the big screen. This is why Canon’s designers included a mini HDMI plug that allows the camera to be attached directly to a television’s HDMI input via the included cable. That means HD video can be recorded and viewed with no time wasted and little effort. HDMI cabling provides faster data exchange so the 1080p video recorded will experience no lag or distortion when shared over a flat screen or projector.
Canon has been making cameras for several generations, so making a camera with the above mentioned cutting-edge capabilities is to be expected. There are, however, many functions that this tiny camera includes that are not new but definitely worth pointing out. For example, the high speed shooting capability of over eight frames a second means this little camera is great for catching action shots. Additionally, the included scene assistance options like fireworks, hand-held night and underwater offer in-camera expertise for hard photography situations. Canon has even stayed abreast of the latest trends in photography by offering additional shooting options like fish-eye effect, digital-tilt-shift for miniature effects and toy camera style options.
An interesting bonus feature in the ELPH 300 is a function called Movie Digest Mode. When it is in use, this camera will record a short video clip before each picture that is taken throughout the day. Then, when the images and videos are downloaded, a composite video including short highlights from throughout the day is automatically assembled and ready to download. What a great idea for those on vacation because often times it was the interesting events happening around a picture that truly help to capture the whole story and make the memories that much more enjoyable.Overall, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12 MP CMOS digital camera with 1080p HD video is more than simply another compact camera. It is a tool of photographic versatility that still fits in a pocket. The convenience of camera phones may seem practical, but preserving memories for years to come requires more shooting power than those included cameras can offer. Canon knows that, but they also recognize that customers need a standalone camera to still be portable and convenient. That is why they have made the ELPH 300 so powerful and compact