Canon PowerShot S300 Review

The PowerShot S300 Digital ELPH is Canon’s second ultra-compact digital camera, following the PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH. In addition to its high-resolution and retractable 3x zoom lens, the S300 includes several new and improved features, such as direct printing capabilities from the new Canon Card Photo Printer CP-10; 20 frame-per-second movie clips with audio at selectable resolutions up to 640480 pixels; shutter speeds ranging from 1 second to 1/1500 seconds; an adaptive primary color filter for improved color reproduction; a choice of nine image quality modes; and automatic exposure sensitivity adjustment (for a variety of situations.

PowerShot S300 cameras have a new digital signal processing integrated circuit (DSPI) that allows for high-speed picture processing and data transfer over the cameras’ USB ports. A Direct Print mode on the PowerShot S300 will enable users to print hard-copy photographs using Canon’s new CP-10 dye-sublimation printer, which is included with the camera. Because the camera’s LCD panel allows users to manage all print settings directly from the camera, printing from digital files is both straightforward and enjoyable with the CP-10.

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Canon PowerShot S300 2MP Digital ELPH Camera Kit w/ 3x Optical Zoom

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:58 am

The data from the printer is then sent directly to the CP-10 using a special interface wire provided. Beautiful 300 x 300 dpi credit card-sized color prints are produced by the new, ultra-compact printer in as little as 56 seconds using the printer’s high-resolution printing technology. On one sticker sheet of eight tiny reproductions of the same image, the CP-10 may be utilized to create a whole new level of entertainment for everyone who uses it. Each sticker has a size of roughly 0.9′′ x 0.7′′ in diameter.

It is possible to record video clips with audio at a rate of 20 frames per second with the Canon PowerShot S300 in one of three resolution modes: 640480, 320240, or 160120 pixels. PowerShot S300 movie clips are stored as QuickTime AVI files, with the picture data saved in the Motion JPEG format, the sound data held in the WAVE format, and the video data contained in the Motion JPEG format.

It is possible to watch the video section of the PowerShot S300 movies on the LCD monitor inside the camera. You may enjoy full audio-video playback when the download is complete using a connected TV monitor or a compatible PC. In addition, the supplied software for the PowerShot S300 allows you to edit, store, and send movie clips to others through email after downloading them.

More: Best Memory Cards for Canon PowerShot S300 | Best Point and Shoot Camera | Best Point and Shoot Camera for Travel | Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 300

The PowerShot S300 has an exquisite stainless-steel body design based on the successful PowerShot S100. However, the S300 has a new 3X (equal to 35-105mm in the 35mm format) f/2.7-4.7 lens with aspherical lens elements comparable to 35-105mm in the 35mm design. As a result, the PowerShot S300’s physical dimensions and weight are somewhat more significant than those of the S100, at 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches and 8.5 ounces, respectively. However, according to Canon, it is still the world’s most miniature 2.1-megapixel digital camera with a 3X zoom lens.

The Digital ELPH is equipped with a 0.37-inch, 2.1-megapixel CCD sensor that can capture full-color or black-and-white photographs with a resolution of up to 16001200 pixels when the camera is switched to the Large mode. When the camera is in the Middle or Small methods, it also provides different resolutions of 1024768 and 640480, which are perfect for on-screen applications such as Web sites and CD-ROMs and enable more photographs to be captured on a single CompactFlash memory card. A CompactFlash card of 8MB capacity will be included with the purchase of the new camera, which is compatible with Type I CompactFlash cards.

In addition to ArcSoft PhotoImpression and VideoImpression software, the PowerShot S300 comes with Apple QuickTime 4.1, Canon RemoteCapture 1.3, and PhotoStitch 3.1 software for both Macintosh and Windows, as well as Canon ZoomBrowser EX 2.6, PhotoRecord 1.2, WIA and TWAIN software for Windows, and ImageBrowser 1.6 and Photoshop-compatible plug-in software for the Mac.

The PowerShot S Included in both ZoomBrowser EX 2.6 and ImageBrowser 1.6 are TimeTunnel and SlideShowMaker, which may be used to create slideshows of images. In ZoomBrowser EX 2.6 and ImageBrowser 1.6, customers can access enhanced capabilities such as auto-layout printing, full-screen slide shows that run automatically, and automated processing of photos for use as email attachments. In addition, ZoomBrowser EX and Image Browser streamline the process of emailing images by automatically compressing the image and launching the email software when the photo is sent.

Design

The PowerShot S300 Digital ELPH, just like its predecessor, the PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH, keeps the compact size that has contributed to the success of the ELPH family of digital cameras. The S300 has one of the most portable bodies available, and its all-metal construction and very durable design should allow it to withstand extensive use.

When the camera is turned off, the innovative design of the retractable lens keeps the front of the camera entirely flat. This allows the camera to be stored in even the tiniest pockets, and the automated lens cover ensures you never have to worry about dirtying the lens or losing the lens cap.

The S300 has dimensions of 3.7 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.2 inches (94.8 millimeters by 62.5 millimeters) and a weight of 8.5 ounces (240 grams) without the battery. This makes it only a bit bigger and heavier than the S100 (but not enough to make much difference). The picture on the right, which is an insert, demonstrates how compact the S300 is: This particular instance has it concealed nearly fully under a regular playing card!

The front of the S300 displays the characteristic ELPH style, with the lens somewhat off-center and angled toward the right. Above the lens are windows for the viewfinder, flash, and focus-assist illuminator.

The center of the camera is where you’ll find the focus-assist light, a bright, bluish-white LED that assists the camera in focusing when there is not enough light. Thanks to the raised writing of the Canon logo and the little grip, your fingers will have something to cling to when they wrap around the camera.

You’ll find the Mode dial, the Shutter button, and the Power button at the top of the camera. Each control has a buried location, contributing to the S300’s streamlined appearance. In addition to that, there is a tiny microphone for capturing sound with the movies.

When looking at the camera’s rear panel, the connection for the wrist strap and the CompactFlash slot is located on the right side. The place for CompactFlash card is hidden safely behind a plastic door that locks.

The plugs for the USB and A/V outputs, shielded by a rubber cover, are located on the side of the camera that faces away from the viewfinder. This cover seems to do a decent job of covering the ports. However, it protrudes a little on the otherwise exquisite casing, and we are also a little concerned about flexible flaps like this one snapping over time. Nevertheless, it appears to be quite effective.

The rear control panel of the camera has all of the remaining camera controls and optical and LCD viewfinders. A textured thumb grip that is relatively fair offers a pretty secure grasp on the camera and provides a solid grip for one-handed use of the device (for small to medium hands, those with larger hands may have a little difficulty negotiating the controls, which are a little close together).

The S300 offers a touch more external control than the S100 did, enabling you to modify the white balance and exposure compensation with only the push of a button. But, again, this is an improvement over the S300’s predecessor (instead of treating it as a menu option).

As we said before, we believe that the greater accessibility of the exposure compensation and white balance modifications is a considerable enhancement to the user interface: Because, in our experience, these modifications are used rather frequently, we found that removing them from the menu system and placing them on a distinct button on the back panel was a beneficial change.

The bottom of the S300 is smooth and flat, and it is here that you’ll find the metal tripod mount and the battery compartment. Because the camera’s weight, which is placed off-center on the tripod head, might cause the mount threads to experience excessive stress, we prefer not to have the tripod mount positioned so far over to the side of the camera.

It’s possible that this won’t be an issue, given how compact the S300 is and how well the tripod socket is designed (kudos for that!). However, because the tripod socket is located so near the edge of the camera, there is a possibility that the camera will not rest level on some tripod heads.

(Once again, this is a relatively unimportant issue given that you can typically tilt the tripod to position the camera in any way you see fit.) A little rubber flap is located in the middle of the entrance to the battery compartment, and the cover for the battery compartment locks by sliding open and then outwards.

This flap conceals a hole in the battery compartment lid that was made to provide access to the connection jack included within the “dummy battery” utilized in the AC adapter kit.

(The AC adapter method for the Canon PowerShot S300 digital camera, like that of many other Canon digital cameras, utilizes a fake battery that fits into the battery compartment and offers a connector for the cable of the AC power converter.)

Optics

The maximum aperture of the S300’s 5.4-16.2mm zoom lens is f/2.8 when the lens is set to its widest angle and f/4.7 when it is set to its most telephoto position. This lens is similar to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm camera. The AiAF (artificial intelligence autofocus) feature calculates the focal distance by using a large active region in the center of the image. This function is quite exact, even when used with slightly off-center subjects in the frame.

(Traditionally designed autofocus systems may overlook this.) In the regular mode, the focus range is from 6.3 inches to infinity (or 16-76cm); however, in a macro way, it extends from 2.5 feet (76cm) to 6.3 inches. During our testing, we discovered that the bright LED autofocus assists light on the front of the camera, helping the camera focus in low-light shooting scenarios. This feature performed exceptionally well.

(Even in complete darkness, the camera can focus relatively well, albeit not precisely.) The brilliant, bluish-white light temporarily illuminates the subject, enabling the camera to determine where the focus should be set. On the other hand, unlike some other cameras that include AF help lights, the S300 cannot turn off the light.

Considering that the S300 does not have a manual focus option, it may be irrelevant whether or not the AF light can be disabled: If you were to turn it off, the only option you would have for candid images, for example, would be photos that were out of focus.

Exposure

We found the exposure control on the S300 to be relatively easy to use, similar to what we had previously experienced with the S100 model. However, the LCD menu system on the S300 was significantly better and required far less time to traverse. The camera has both an automatic and a manual primary exposure mode. The manual option allows you to customize the image quality, exposure correction, and white balance independently of the automatic mode. In each of the exposure modes, the shutter speed and aperture are determined by the camera.

When the camera is set to the Automatic exposure mode, it assumes control of all aspects of the photographing process, except the self-timer, flash, capture, and macro modes. On the top of the camera is a dial labeled “Mode,” which also controls “Stitch Assist” (commonly known as “panorama”) and “Movie” modes. In addition, this dial controls the exposure mode (both described below).

The sensitivity setting on the S300 is fixed at what is comparable to ISO 100 and cannot be changed. On the other hand, while taking photos in conditions with low light, the ISO equivalent will automatically increase to 150. In addition, the Canon PowerShot S300 has a shutter speed range of one to one thousand five hundred milliseconds, restricting the camera’s ability to photograph in low light.

However, during our testing, we discovered that the S300 was capable of producing brilliant and clear pictures at light levels as low as one foot-candle (11 lux), which is about similar to the level of light that would be present in a city at night when standard street lighting is present.

Flash

The built-in flash that is included with the S300 has five different modes of operation, all of which are controlled by the Flash button that is located on the rear panel. The button toggles between the Auto setting (represented by a lightning bolt with an “A”), the Redeye Reduction setting (represented by an eyeball), the Forced On location (represented by a lightning bolt), the Forced Offsetting (represented by a lightning bolt with a slash), and the Slow-synchro setting (person icon with a star).

It should not be necessary to explain what Auto, Forced On, and Forced Off do. Redeye Reduction is when the camera fires a short pre-flash before the main flash to limit the number of times the subject’s eyes appear red in the resulting photograph. In addition, the Slow-synchro mode synchronizes the moment with a slow shutter speed, making it ideal for photographing nighttime scenes since it lets in more light from the surrounding environment.

In the Manual exposure mode, you may choose from any flash modes; in the Automatic exposure mode and the Stitch Assist mode, you can choose from a more limited selection. The charging time for the flash is around ten seconds. When the moment is ready to fire, the top LED adjacent to the optical viewfinder illuminates orange.

According to Canon, the flash power may be adjusted between 2.5 and 11.5 feet (76 cm and 3.5 m) using the regular wide-angle mode and between 2.5 and 6.6 feet (76 cm and 2 m) when using the telephoto mode. Our research determined that the flash has a range of around 8 feet and that the lens is approximately halfway between wide angle and telephoto.

Video Out

The S300 comes with an analog-to-digital (A/V) connection, which enables you to connect the camera to a television set to examine photos and movies on the screen and compose compositions (US and Japanese models come set up for NTSC and European models for PAL). The only option that prevents the use of the television as a viewfinder is the Stitch Assist mode.

Power

Because the S300 gets its power from a Canon NB-1L rechargeable battery pack, you won’t have the choice, even in an emergency, to substitute a set of AA batteries for it. The good news is that the battery pack uses lithium-ion cells, indicating that you may recharge it whenever you choose without worrying about irreversibly lowering its charge capacity.

In contrast to its more widespread counterparts, NiMH batteries, lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from the issue of “self-discharge,” in which they gradually lose charge despite not being actively used. According to Canon’s calculations, an ultimately charged battery pack will allow around 120 shots with the LCD monitor turned on and roughly 270 images while the monitor is turned off.

Quality of the Image

As we do with all of Imaging Resource’s camera testing, we advise you to use your eyes as the most reliable indicator of how well each device functions. Look through the photographs on the pictures page to get an idea of how the S300 performed and how the quality of its shots stacks up against that of other cameras that you might be considering purchasing.

To begin, we feel obligated to acknowledge that the image quality that the PowerShot S300 was capable of producing left us feeling pretty awestruck. Nevertheless, we thought that in order to fit everything into such a small box, certain sacrifices had to be made, even if the older model of the S100 performed admirably in its own right.

We are pleased to announce that the S300 appears to have avoided the need for any such sacrifice in the image quality in any way: The test photos that we took came out crystal clear and highly crisp, with very little distortion, very little noise, and great color. Here is a rundown of the specifics:

The white balance mechanism of the S300 functioned admirably overall, appropriately interpreting the majority of the light sources that we exposed it to. However, the S300 was fooled by the incandescent lighting used for our Indoor Portrait since it generated a somewhat warm cast on the photographs taken while it was being used.

Despite this, the findings of the remaining parts of our testing were consistently correct when we used the automated white balance option. Most of our tests showed that the color looked fantastic, marking a vast improvement over the S100 model that came before it. Although the S100 functioned admirably, the S300 provides considerably more accurate color, and the white balance mechanism of the S300 appears to be slightly more responsive to changes in the intensity of the available light.

We did observe some somewhat brilliant red values, most notably in the red flower of the Outdoor Portrait, as well as a minor propensity to develop purple tints in the blue flowers of the bouquet. These observations were made (in both the Outdoor and Indoor portraits). Despite this, the vast color blocks on the Davebox test target appear to have a level of saturation that is about correct.

(We noted a brighter pixel outline inside the brighter yellow and bluish blocks.) “We detected faint, glowing halos around the outside borders of the bright red and blue blocks.”

Although the black divider line has a reddish hue and the tiny tonal changes of the Q60 chart are faintly visible in the “B” range, the S300 has no problems with the brilliant red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (which are usually misinterpreted by digital cameras) (another common problem area for digicams).

The lens on the S300 looks excellent in optical quality: It creates very crisp and clear images, and it loses very little sharpness even in the corners of the frame, which is impressive.

Although the information is still readily apparent all the way up to 700–800 lines, we start to detect aliasing in the test patterns at around 575 lines per image height in both the horizontal and vertical orientations. Importantly, though, almost no color aliasing can be observed in any part of the image.

We observed about 0.57 percent barrel distortion while looking at wide-angle images with the S300, indicating that this camera’s optical distortion is mild. In addition, the telephoto setting yielded significantly improved results, with no discernible pincushion distortion.

We can observe around four or five pixels of color on either side of the black target lines when the wide-angle setting is used, which would ordinarily grade quite poorly in markings. As a result, chromatic aberration is rather minimal. The degree of coloring is just minimal. However, it is a blessing in disguise because it makes the distortion virtually undetectable in most photos.

Only around two pixels of even the most subdued hue are visible when the camera is set to the telephoto setting. (On the resolution target, you can see this distortion as a very faint colored fringe surrounding the items that are located on the outside limits of the field of vision.)

We noticed that the S300’s optical viewfinder was relatively small, displaying around 79.4 percent of the image area at wide angles. This may be the camera’s most significant shortcoming. The percentage of accurate frames in the telephoto setting was roughly 84.25 percent.

The bottom right-hand corner of the image was emphasized more in photographs that were composed using the optical viewfinder. In addition, the LCD panel was significantly more precise, displaying around 99.3 percent of the picture area when shooting at a wide angle and approximately 99.1 percent of the image area when shooting telephoto.

The S300 performs a fantastic job considering that we typically love to see LCDs with accuracy as near to one hundred percent as feasible. In addition, at the telephoto setting, the dispersion of the flash appears to be good and even, with a little bright spot located on the center target lines.

When the wide-angle setting is used, the flash distribution is at its brightest in the center of the target, with a little but not significant fall-off along the edges and a reasonably dramatic fall-off in the corners. (The S300’s flash system does not receive high scores overall.)

The S300 achieves below-average macro category results, with a minimum area captured that measures 7.81 by 5.86 inches (198.47 x 148.86mm). However, even though it’s not that near, the resolution is excellent, and you can make out a lot of the small detail in the coins and brooch.

The details are pretty sharp while being just a bit vague in places. The color appears somewhat realistic but with a little magenta cast. When we used the wide-angle lens setting, the dollar note had a slight barrel distortion across its surface. However, the noise level is minimal and can only be seen against the gray background.

The built-in flash of the S300 performs a decent job at turning itself down for the macro-region, resulting in a slightly more natural color balance (though greenish). The huge coin creates a shiny reflection, yet all the details remain visible. At this distance, the brightness of the flash diminishes rather noticeably around the image’s edges, but it can still illuminate the primary subject area to a satisfactory degree.

We could only capture bright, useable photographs with the S300 down to one foot-candle, below the industry standard. In addition, the S300’s low-light performance was mediocre (11 lux). The target could still be seen at a light level of 5.5 lux (half a foot-candle) but with a pinkish hue and diminished brightness.

Even when the light level was only 1/16 of a foot-candle (or 0.67 lux), the target was still visible, even if the picture looked nearly monochromatic. The exposure compensation tweaks didn’t make much difference in the final photographs until the light level dropped below half a foot candle.

On the other hand, the exposure modifications were much more evident, from one foot-candle to eight foot-candles. As a result, the photos maintain a shallow degree of noise, almost undetectable at higher light levels (from one foot-candle on up).

Canon PowerShot S300 (Digital IXUS 300) Specs

Body typeUltracompact
Max resolution1600 x 1200
Other resolutions1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3
Effective pixels2 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors2 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.7″ (5.312 x 3.984 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ISO100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceNo
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuper-Fine, Fine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)35–105 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.7–4.7
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSingleLive View
Digital zoomYes (2.5 x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range76 cm (29.92″)
Macro focus range16 cm (6.3″)
Number of focus points3
Screen size1.5″
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeOptical (tunnel)
Minimum shutter speed1 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Built-in flashYes
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Fill-in, Redeye reduction, Off
Continuous drive2.5 fps
Self-timerYes (10 sec)
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions20 fps, max 5/20/30 sec, audio
Storage typesCompact Flash (Type I)
Storage included8 MB CompactFlash
USBUSB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionCanon NB-L1 680 mAh Lithium-Ion
Weight (inc. batteries)270 g (0.60 lb / 9.52 oz)
Dimensions95 x 63 x 30 mm (3.74 x 2.48 x 1.18″)
Orientation sensorNo
Timelapse recordingNo

Conclusion

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Canon PowerShot S300 2MP Digital ELPH Camera Kit w/ 3x Optical Zoom

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:58 am

The S300 is a beautiful addition to the Digital ELPH product line since it combines the best of what the vast majority of digital camera buyers are looking for. A very compact camera that produces high-quality images. In addition, the S300 is one of the most pocket-friendly digital cameras we’ve seen because of its “elfish” size and the tiniest digital cameras we’ve ever seen.

Even though users can pick features like exposure correction and white balance, the point-and-shoot architecture of the S300 makes operating very simple and straightforward. In addition, the Movie and Stitch Assist (panorama) modes offer versatile shooting possibilities, and a solid software complement offers extra creative conveniences for photographers.

It regularly produced clear photos with superb color and very little noise overall. The quality of the photographs made is outstanding. We believe it will become a prevalent model even if it has a small price premium compared to larger 2-megapixel cameras. We are strongly suggested this as an option.

Canon PowerShot S300 (Digital IXUS 300) Price

Canon PowerShot S300 FAQs

Is a Canon PowerShot S300 a professional camera?

The Canon PowerShot S300 is not a professional camera, as that is not its intended purpose. Instead, it’s a simple point-and-shoot camera perfect for taking photos in your spare time.

Is a Canon PowerShot S300 camera a DSLR?

Contrary to popular belief, the Canon PowerShot S300 is not a DSLR camera. Instead, it is a straightforward point-and-shoot camera that does not support lens swapping.

How do I take good pictures with my Canon PowerShot S300?

Lighting, perspective, and camera settings are three essential aspects to think about when you want to take excellent photographs with your Canon PowerShot S300. First, locate an area with sufficient natural light and place your subject within an arrangement that appeals to the eye.

To accomplish the impact you want, you must play around with the various settings on your camera, such as the exposure compensation, the white balance, and the aperture.

Is Canon PowerShot S300 best for photography?

Because of its small picture sensor and limited capabilities compared to more sophisticated cameras, the Canon PowerShot S300 is not necessarily the finest camera for photography.

Is Canon PowerShot S300 best for wedding photography?

No, the Canon PowerShot S300 is not an especially good choice for wedding photographs due to the camera’s restricted zoom range and small picture sensor. Instead, it is more suitable for informal photography, such as taking pictures at family events or traveling.

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