Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS Review

A sensor with a resolution of 12.1 megapixels and sensitivity settings that range from ISO 80 to ISO 1,600 equivalents are included in the design of the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. The Canon SD1300 features a lens with a 4x optical zoom, which is similar to a range of 28mm to 112mm on a 35mm camera. This provides the user with a suitable wide-angle to a modest telephoto.

Over the course of the zoom range, the maximum aperture shifts from f/2.8 to f/5.9. The SD1300 IS from Canon comes equipped with a genuine optical image stabilization technology that helps to reduce blur caused by camera shake.

The Canon SD1300 IS does not have any kind of viewfinder, either an optical or an electronic one; instead, the LCD display on the back of the camera is used for all interaction. The display of the PowerShot SD1300 has a diagonal measurement of 2.7 inches and delivers a resolution of 230,000 dots, which is roughly equivalent to a pixel array measuring 320 by 240 pixels with three dots per color. It is believed that the LCD coverage is roughly one hundred percent.

The Canon SD1300 is capable of recording still images at resolutions up to 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, as well as movie clips in standard definition at either VGA (640 x 480) or QVGA (320 x 240) resolution, at a rate of 30 frames per second in Motion JPEG AVI format, and including monoaural audio. Still images can be recorded at resolutions up to 4,000 x 3,000 pixels.

Secure Digital, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards are used by the Canon PowerShot SD1300IS to store still photographs and videos. The NTSC and PAL standard definition composite video formats, as well as the USB 2.0 High-Speed data format, are both available as connectivity choices. The power comes from a unique lithium-ion rechargeable battery called NB-6L. This battery is supposed to last for 240 shots before it has to be recharged.

Body and Design

Style and ease of use are the defining characteristics of ELPH cameras, and the Canon SD1300 IS captures lots of styles while making it easier to take photographs that turn out well. The price tag of under $200 is also very enticing to consumers.

My connection with the dapper little ELPH was one of instant adoration and affection. As I carried it around with me, I found that I continued to find something appealing about it, but I immediately came into a couple of restrictions with it. And even if there is nothing that casual shooters have any reason to dislike about it, aficionados might want to take note of it.

In the end, though, the Canon SD1300 will be a pleasant companion if you truly don’t want to bother about making any decisions other than when to start recording a video or taking a picture with the camera.

You won’t get those amazing photographs of your star on the soccer field where they are in fine focus and everyone else is a gorgeous blue, but you will get photos that are really pleasant regardless of what you capture.

Without any direction from me, the Canon SD1300 captured some remarkably well-lit flash images, as well as some nice close-ups and landscapes in natural light.

Look and Feel. Simply said, the Canon SD1300 is stunning to look at, which is exactly why I couldn’t help but fall in love with it at first glance. A model in a metallic blue color (one may argue cerulean) was provided by Canon. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, silver, green, pink, and brown.

The color shell on the side and top panels is broken up by a black band that hides the AV/Out port on the Canon SD1300 above the strap eyelet on the right side and narrows after the Shutter button on the top to become a thin band that continues down the left side. This frees up space for an easy-to-find and uses the power button in the shape of a triangle that is bigger than normal and is located to the left of the shutter/zoom lever combo.

On the rear of the camera, near the 2.7-inch LCD, you’ll find all of the typical PowerShot controls. Additionally, a plastic tripod mount is located next to the battery and card storage on the bottom of the Canon SD1300.

The front panel is completely smooth and flat, and the only slightly elevated text that it has is the word “Canon.” The Canon SD1300 lacks an optical viewfinder, in contrast to its predecessor, the SD1200 IS. But I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.

When I was finished fastening the wrist strap, I just slid the item into the front pocket of my pants and then I was ready to go.

Controls

Tiny The power button is the most annoying part of tiny digital cameras, but the Canon SD1300 IS has an interesting button in the shape of a triangle. Because of this, the total surface area is significantly more than it would normally be. Because it is also somewhat elevated, I had no issue at all feeling for it to turn the camera on or off. This is because it is also little raised. The power button is often a source of frustration. Not the case with this one.

In addition, the Canon SD1300 begins its operation quickly once the Power button has been pressed. I didn’t actually have to wait for the lens to come out or for the LCD to display what the lens was looking at. Both of those things happened very instantly. When I brought the camera up to my eyes, it was already set up and ready to go when I pressed the shutter button.

The Shutter button that is located to the right of it is also rather large, and the Zoom lever that is located surrounding it is in the perfect spot for me to access it. Because the zooming was so fluid and quick, without any jerkiness, I was able to frame my photographs without having to flip the Zoom lever.

The SD1300 IS does not include a Mode dial in its interface. On the other hand, it utilizes a Mode switch that is located at the upper right corner of the rear panel. This switch has three settings, and they are Smart Auto, Still, and Video. When you select Auto as your mode, you won’t be able to adjust too many of the options, as I will explain below. Still does. And Video creates motion pictures.

The Playback button may be found to the left of the Mode switch on most devices. To view the photographs that have been saved to the SD card in the camera, you must hit the Playback button. When you push it when the camera is off, it will turn the camera on but will not expand the lens. When you put the camera on a table with the back pointing down, for example, that comes in extremely helpful.

Even more conveniently, you may turn off the camera by just pressing the Playback button. However, this is not the case if you came from the Recording mode into the Playback mode. If that is the case, all it does is put you back into the Recording mode. In that regard, you may think of it as a kind of intelligent Playback button. One of the advantages of having a Playback button on the Canon SD1300 is that you can go back to Record mode with a half-press on the Shutter button. This is something that you are unable to accomplish if Playback is one of the options available on a Mode switch.

The buttons for displaying and accessing the menu are located underneath the navigator. Display navigates you through the various display choices, while Menu brings you to the camera’s configuration settings.

Instead of the 3-inch LCD seen in many compacts nowadays, this one has 230K dots and is 2.7 inches diagonally. Because it can be seen clearly even when viewed at an angle, you can even hold the SD1300 IS over your head and still have some notion of what the Canon SD1300 is focusing on. On the surface that reduces glare, it is possible to leave fingerprints, although they may be removed rather fast. I have to confess that I did not miss having a 3-inch LCD at all.

Lens

What I did not have access to, however, was a lens that had a greater zoom range. The Canon SD1300’s 4x zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 28mm to 110mm, which provides a useful wide-angle to a moderate telephoto perspective. However, I frequently found myself shooting in the range of a digital zoom of four times, even when the subject was just a fair distance away, such as across the street.

Because this lens is equipped with Canon’s optical image stabilization, blur caused by camera shake will not spoil the photo as frequently even if you are forced to disable the flash (in a museum, for example).

The wide-angle lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, while the telephoto lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.9. On the other hand, the Canon SD1300 IS does not provide you with any direct control over the aperture or the shutter speed.

The results of our laboratory testing revealed that there is blurring in the corners of the picture when using a wide-angle lens, as well as the typical barrel distortion (although it wasn’t very bad). The telephoto lens produced results that were significantly more crisp in the corner with no discernible distortion. The horizontal and vertical resolutions of the Canon SD1300 were both more than 1,800 lines per inch. The horizontal resolution was much higher.

Modes

The Canon SD1300 has a more straightforward and user-friendly variety of Record modes in comparison to earlier ELPH models. This simplicity also brings with it a more intelligent Auto mode.

Canon’s adaptation of what other manufacturers refer to as intelligent Auto is called Smart Auto. However, in contrast to the other methods, Smart Auto does not choose a Scene mode. Instead, it analyzes the environment and selects one of 18 possible presets for the camera to use. These presets are differentiated from one another on the LCD screen by their own icons and color schemes.

If the camera finds humans in the picture, for instance, it will evaluate whether or not those people are backlit by a strong source of light, such as the sun, or whether or not the sky is blue. If the illumination is poor, it determines whether or not the camera is mounted on a tripod (something it can presumably deduce from its image-stabilization motion sensors). The symbol representing humans, which may or may not include sun or moon, will appear in one of three colors based on the circumstances that were detected by the camera.

Both distant and nearby subjects, such as landscapes (which may contain a fourth color), should be treated in the same manner.

In Smart Auto mode, the camera takes all of the decisions about exposure for you (including turning off EV Compensation, ISO, and White Balance, among other settings), but there are a few that you may customize. These include the Flash (just Auto or Off), all of the options for the Self-Timer, and the Image Size.

Program is still considered an automated mode (you can’t directly adjust the shutter speed or aperture, but you can modify the ISO), despite the fact that it provides you control over the majority of exposure decisions. On the four-way navigator, the EV Compensation option, the Focus mode option, and the full Flash option are all turned on. There are options for ISO, White Balance, My Colors, Metering, Release Mode, and Image Size on the menu that is accessed by pressing the Func./Set button.

In addition, the Canon SD1300 IS’s Scene modes may be accessed through the Program mode. These modes are referred to as Portrait, Night Snapshot, Indoor, Kids & Pets, and Underwater respectively.

In movie mode, you may record video at resolutions of 640 by 480 at 30 frames per second or 320 by 240 at 30 fps for up to an hour for each clip or 4 gigabytes total. You have the option of using a quiet digital zoom, and the sound will still be captured. Memory cards with an SD Speed Class 4 rating or above are suggested.

Menu

Once you become familiar with how the game is played, the Canon controls and menu system are simple and straightforward to use (which seems to change a little on each model). Simply press the Function button after selecting a Record mode to view the available shooting modes and settings. To access the general camera settings options at any time, use the Menu button.

Storage & Battery

The following SD card types are supported by the Canon SD1300 IS SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMC Plus Card, and HC MMC Plus Card. When capturing video, it is advised to use SDHC and SDXC cards with a Class 4 or higher rating.

There are around 1,231 high-resolution photos that may be stored on a card that is 4 gigabytes in capacity (a 3,084K file size). A 4GB memory card has the capacity to store 32 minutes and 26 seconds of video at the highest quality level.

Shooting

The Canon SD1300 was the first one I used, and the first thing I did with it was reset it to its original settings. After that, I went ahead and turned i-Contrast on. I’m not sure why this function is turned off by default on Canon cameras, because one of the most common issues with compact cameras is blown highlights, and i-Contrast is designed to avoid exactly that problem from occurring. It prevents clipping in either the shadows or the highlights, and it bumps up the contrast on flat photos when it’s required to do so. In addition, it performs what was said above. Therefore, turning it on is a smart idea.

The gallery photo of the light bulb was one of the first shots I took as part of my “get acquainted” series. In the LCD preview, the light bulb was only visible as a shadow due to the afternoon light that was coming in through the window; however, when the flash was turned on, the scene was completely different.

Even though the white subject was just about a foot away from the camera when the photograph was taken, I was immediately struck by the fact that the flash did not completely wash out the image. It is not difficult to differentiate between the whites produced by the porcelain fixture and the glass bulb.

And just to make sure I covered all of my bases, I snapped a picture of the empty garage to test how far the light would go when I used a wide-angle lens, and it lighted the area up without any issues.

That’s quite a decent flash performance for such a little camera. Although I don’t typically test flash, I have a feeling that it will play a significant role in the average use. It is without a doubt up to the challenge. Note that while shooting in full auto mode with a telephoto lens, the flash’s range is restricted to around six feet at ISO 500, which is not at all unusual at.

The macro photography was the second shooting mode I experimented with using the Canon SD1300. One of the many benefits of using digital photography is the ability to take photographs from a very close range. On the other hand, it frequently includes some challenging configurations (like Macro or Super Macro or Digital Macro, which may or may not prevent any focal length setting other than wide-angle).

The Canon SD1300 IS, on the other hand, enables shooting in macro mode as easy as moving the camera in close proximity to the subject while in Smart Auto mode. In the event that you have an issue with the focal length of your shot (often because you have zoomed in too far), the LCD will notify you. In this case, you may zoom out and bring the camera in closer.

If you don’t want to shoot in Program mode, you may still take macro photos by pressing the Left arrow to choose Macron as the focus mode instead. In the gallery, there are several photos of a Kodak camera as well as instances of a carpenter’s pencil, which demonstrates how depth of focus may be achieved with a lens that is wide open. The carpenter’s pencil, which has an aperture of f/2.9 and an ISO of 75, is a great example of how narrow the depth of field can be (and it’s still fairly nice), but it wouldn’t be difficult to shoot at a higher ISO to achieve greater depth of field. There is enough space.

Flowers that are red typically provide a challenge for small digital cameras since these cameras have a tendency to oversaturate the red channel. I snapped a picture of some red ground cover that maintained a considerable amount of its red color. I was convinced that the fluorescing crimson petals would blind me, but the Canon SD1300 handled the situation extremely well. I was wrong.

This resulted in a macro photograph of some white ground cover (which was not blown out), as well as some poppies, which are also in the red spectrum.

The optical image stabilization, high ISO, and noise suppression of the Canon SD1300 are the three features that Canon highlights when describing the low-light performance of the camera. Due to the fact that the menu system of the Canon SD1300 IS needs you to click the Display button in order to access it, at first, I was unaware that the camera featured a Low Light Scene mode.

So, what happened with the dolls that were tucked away in the shadows?

The doll sequence begins with Smart Auto, which does not use the flash, then moves on to Program Auto, followed by Program at ISO 800 and ISO 1,600, and ends with Low Light. Surprisingly, both Smart Auto and Program Auto set the aperture to f/5.5 and the ISO to 800, but they utilized quite different shutter speeds (1/8 and 1/4 second respectively). The exposure was handled more effectively by Program Auto when set to 1/4, despite the fact that the image stabilization was unable to avoid blur caused by camera shake. The ISO 800 photo provides more evidence of this, while the ISO 1,600 shot, taken with a shutter speed of 1/8 second, produces the clearest image of the sequence.

According to the information contained in the Exif header, the picture size for the Low Light photo was significantly reduced (it was only 1,200 by 1,600 pixels), and the shutter speed was set to 1/16 of a second. The ISO setting was 4,726. There are also more believable values saved there, such as an AutoISO of 800 and a BaseISO of 591. Both of these values may be found in the storage area. Despite this, the color and detail are still lacking.

Therefore, the low-light performance of the Canon SD1300 was not particularly spectacular; nevertheless, if you want to get better results, you will need to pay more money.

When I went to the de Young Museum with my Canon SD1300 IS, I found that I was framing shots much beyond the telephoto focal length of the 4x optical zoom and into the 4x digital zoom range. I had to use digital zoom even when I was merely shooting across the street or across a reflecting pool.

However, the digital zoom photographs have really maintained a decent level of quality. They are not nearly as crisp, that is true; but, the color is decent, and they do have enough detail to create good prints. A nice illustration of this is the bronze hunter. Without using 2.5 times digital zoom, I would not have been able to create that composition, yet even the weeds seem nice.

Histogram. During playback, one of the various display options that are available.

If your camera has a sensor of 12.1 megapixels, then the full resolution image that you see on your monitor may not be accurate. Examining the image at one-half its normal size is the best way to evaluate the level of sharpness. To do this while seeing the image at your computer in its full quality, move your chair back so that you are twice as far away from the screen.

I did have some difficulty bringing out the details of the dark bronze sculpture that Gustave Doré had created with all of the little figures. When the camera was turned to face north, a clear blue sky could be seen. When I looked in that direction, the sky was white. Even with i-Contrast turned on, I was apprehensive that the shadows might become muddled due to the subject matter, which is gloomy. Because I was aware that the LCD would not be able to provide an accurate representation of the capture, I relied on the histogram that was presented either in the Review mode or the Playback mode.

Detail. Playback mode is only another of the many display options available.

I discovered that the EV Compensation feature of the Canon SD1300 did not allow me to significantly improve the situation. My best option was to just adjust the proportion of the frame that was taken up by either the vase or the sky, lock the exposure by pressing the shutter button halfway down, and then recompose the shot. This produced the results that you can see, which, in comparison to the original image, are somewhat overexposed yet manage to preserve the black detail.

Lense Quality

Sharpness

The corners of the image captured by the Canon PowerShot SD1300’s wide-angle end of the zoom are a little bit soft, and this softness goes quite a ways into the frame. However, while using telephoto, each of the four corners maintains a level of sharpness that is comparable to that of the image’s center.

Distortion of the Geometry

When using a wide-angle lens, there is remarkably little barrel distortion (0.3 percent), while when using a telephoto lens, there is a minor degree of barrel distortion (0.2 percent). There is little doubt that the nimble processor within the camera is responsible for this.

Aberration of Chromatic Color

At wide-angle, there is a significant amount of chromatic aberration, as seen by the presence of brilliant blue-purple pixels. At telephoto, chromatic aberration can still be seen, but the pixels aren’t nearly as bright or distracting, and the effect on the whole image is quite minor.

Macro

Even if the corners and edges of the picture are blurry and include a trace degree of chromatic aberration, the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS’s Macro mode is able to capture crisp details in the middle of the frame. The smallest possible covering area is just 1.6 by 1.2 inches (41 x 30mm). Because of its location on the camera and the near range, the flash gave highly inconsistent results; thus, you need rely on external illumination to achieve the optimal exposure while using the macro setting that is closest to you.

Image Quality

Color

The color as a whole is fairly nice, with only a little amount of oversaturation in some reds and blues and just a little bit of lowered saturated in brilliant yellows, but overall, the color is quite good. Accuracy in terms of hue is likewise pretty high, with just minor deviations such as cyan leaning toward blue and orange leaning toward yellow (and some yellows toward green). The difference between darker and lighter skin tones is minimal; lighter skin tones have a hint of pink while darker skin tones have a hint of yellow. I am pleased with these findings.

ISO

The Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS handles noise very well at the lower ISO levels; but, by the time you reach ISO 400, details get somewhat smudged.

Results at ISOs 800 and 1,600 are a little bit better than normal, despite the fact that they have a significant amount of luminance noise and visible noise suppression. For further information on how this impacts printed photos, see the section below under “Printed outcomes.”

Flash

Even though the camera had to boost its ISO to 500 in order to get the desired results in the testing that was requested by the manufacturer and which is displayed on the right, we got clear and brilliant images at the recommended wide-angle distance of 13 feet.

The telephoto test produced vivid results at a distance of 6.6 feet, which is the rated distance for the lens, despite the fact that the ISO was adjusted to 500. In light of these findings, the flash that comes with the PowerShot SD1300 IS will be enough in the vast majority of instances, given that you keep your distance to around 9 feet and do not zoom in more than halfway.

Incandescent

The Manual white balance setting was found to offer the greatest overall results in this instance, despite the fact that the Auto mode did not do too poorly either (just a hint reddish). On the other hand, incandescent lighting generated a deep red hue.

Performance

Shutter lag

The delay in the shutter while using full autofocus is acceptable, clocking in around 0.53 seconds at wide-angle and 0.58 seconds at maximum telephoto. The prefocus shutter latency is 0.073 seconds, which is less than the industry standard but is still rather quick.

The length of one cycle

In single-shot mode, the camera has a cycle time that is somewhat longer than the norm, taking a picture once every 2.2 seconds. Although Canon claims that the SD1300’s continuous mode can capture 0.9 frames per second, we were unable to independently confirm this.

Recycle Flash Lights

After a full-power discharge, the flash on the Canon PowerShot SD1300 takes 6.3 seconds to recycle. This is a quite sluggish rate.

In the Box

  • The following items may be found inside the retail package:
  • Digital ELPH camera PowerShot SD1300 IS with image stabilization
  • Battery Pack for Lithium-ion Devices, Model NB-6L
  • Charger for Batteries CB-2LY
  • Wrist Strap WS-DC7
  • Interface Cable for USB Devices IFC-400PCU
  • AV Cable Model Number: AVC-DC400
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM

Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 2248, 3264 x 2448, 2592 x 1944, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, 320 x 140
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorDigic 4
ISOAuto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)28–112 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.8–5.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)SingleLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size2.7″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range4.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Fill-in, Slow Syncro
Continuous drive0.9 fps
Self-timerYes (2 sec or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
FormatMotion JPEG
MicrophoneMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MMCplus/MMCplus HC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6L battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)140 g (0.31 lb / 4.94 oz)
Dimensions91 x 56 x 22 mm (3.58 x 2.2 x 0.87″)
Orientation sensorYes

Conclusion

Since last year, Canon has added a few more models to its ELPH series of tiny, automated cameras. However, it has developed in two ways that are both satisfying. To begin, it’s not as big (and, yes, lighter). Second, taking images is now far less complicated than it was in the past.

And Smart Auto takes that ease of use and applies it to a few additional challenging conditions. The menus and choices have been been simplified, and the Scene modes have been reduced to a healthy but limited collection of possibilities.

The Canon SD1300 IS is an ELPH camera that has a 4x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, and a 12.1-megapixel sensor. You can choose the color of the casing that it comes in, and the pricing is extremely appealing. It’s not only easy, but also quite quick to use.

The only things that were less than ideal were the lack of an HD preset for video capture, the ability to shoot in low light, and shooting towards the sun. The contrast in the outside settings was a little too much for some of our subjects, but on the whole, this is something that should be regarded as a positive.

The printed results were fairly excellent, with every ISO setting delivering high quality at typical print size. The print sizes ranged from a stunning 13×19 inches at ISO 80 to a decent 4×6-inch print at ISO 1,600. The printed results were quite good.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • No wireless connection was established.
  • Lack of a Screen That Articulates
  • There is not an external flash shoe.
Need Improvement
  • 140 g of Light Body Weight
  • Image Stabilization
  • Lens with a Fast 2.80 Aperture at Wide

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