Canon PowerShot SD300 Review

Along with its “little brother,” the Canon PowerShot SD200 Digital ELPH, the Canon PowerShot SD300 Digital ELPH burst onto the scene just in time for the holiday season of 2004. Together, they take the place of the SD110 in the series of well-liked, compact digital cameras produced by Canon. The teeny-tiny, high-style Canon ELPH models have been incredibly successful in both the film and digital photography realms.

Beginning with the PowerShot S100, Canon’s Digital ELPH cameras introduced the compact size and stylish design to the realm of digital photography. Canon has been a well-known name for APS film cameras for a long time. The new Canon SD300 maintains the usage of the SD memory card format that was introduced in the first generation of Canon SD cameras (the SD100), and it enhances the great printer compatibility of the range by providing complete support for the PictBridge standard.

The Canon SD300 and SD200 are also updated to the line. These updates include a redesigned design, a thinner profile, a variety of resolutions, a large 2-inch LCD, and the usage of the (very quick) Digic II processor. In general, one of the most attractive subcompact digital cameras that we have seen to this point: Continue reading to get every last detail!

Essential Attributes

  • 4.0-megapixel CCD.
  • Optical viewfinder that displays the real image.
  • color TFT LCD monitor with a screen size of 2.0 inches.
  • 3x, 5.8-17.4mm lens, equal to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm camera.
  • Maximum 3.6x digital zoom.
  • Automatic control of the exposure, with a Long Shutter option available for shooting at greater shutter speeds.
  • speeds ranging from 1/1,500 to 15 seconds for the shutter.
  • The maximum aperture can range from f/2.8 to f/4.9, depending on the location of the lens zoom.
  • Integrated flash with a total of five different modes.
  • Storage on an SD memory card, with a 16 MB card provided.
  • Power is provided either by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (the charger is included) or by an AC adapter, which may be purchased separately.
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite 1.3, Canon Digital Camera Software, and USB drivers are all included, and they are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • New button for printing and sharing.

The PowerShot SD300 is only a tad more compact than many of the Canon Digital ELPH models that came before it, but it retains the elegant appearance and sleek design that are hallmarks of the ELPH line.

The PowerShot SD300 is a convenient point-and-shoot digital camera that is very compact and quick on the draw (thanks to a smoothly operating retractable lens design). This camera is a point-and-shoot digital camera with a handful of additional exposure features for added flexibility, as well as a larger LCD display than previous models of this size in Canon’s lineup.

When the lens is not extended, the front panel of the Canon SD300 is flush with the body, making it convenient to carry in a pocket, and the all-metal body is tough and long-lasting. The SD300 comes with a CCD that has a resolution of 4.0 megapixels, which enables it to capture photographs of such high quality that they may be printed as big as 11×14 inches or 8×10 inches with a little cropping.

There is also a movie mode that may capture short video clips with sound, as well as smaller image sizes that are suitable for transmission through email or use in web applications.

The Canon SD300 boasts a new 3x, 5.8-17.4mm zoom lens that makes use of Canon’s sophisticated “high index” lens technology. This lens is equal to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera (previous ELPH cameras of this size were limited to 2x optical zoom).

The aperture is adjusted automatically, however, the maximum setting varies depending on the focal length of the lens, going from f/2.8 at full wide-angle to f/4.9 at full telephoto. The SD300 has an 11x optical zoom capacity, which may be increased to 11x with the maximum 3.6x digital zoom option. However, it is important to keep in mind that digital zoom degrades the overall image quality because it merely crops off the image and enlarges the center pixels of the CCD.

When using digital zoom, image details are therefore likely to become less distinct. When using the conventional AF mode, the focus range is from 1.0 feet (30 centimeters) to infinity. When using the macro AF mode, the range is from 1.2 inches to 1.6 feet (3 to 50 centimeters). A new Digital Macro mode gives users the ability to zoom in on their macro objects, essentially cropping the digital image to preserve only the most critical center part of the picture.

There is also a fixed-focus mode called Infinity that may be used. The SD300 utilizes a sophisticated, nine-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Autofocus) system to determine focus. This system uses a broad active area in the center of the image to calculate the focal distance, which is a feature that I’ve been impressed with on many ELPH models and have been happy to see continued on the SD300.

Special Features

  • A movie mode that includes sound. (Up to 640×480 pixels, at up to 30 frames/second.)
  • Fast Frame Rate video mode with sound, for 60 frames/second capture at 320×240 pixels, one-minute maximum recording time.)
  • Modes for continuously taking pictures
  • Panorama mode with stitching assistance.
  • Focusing modes include infinity and macro.
  • Customizable “My Camera” settings.
  • Self-Timer options of two or ten seconds for delaying the release of the shutter.
  • There is a choice to record captions using Sound Memo.
  • There are three types of exposure metering: spot, center-weighted, and evaluative.
  • Adjustment of the white balance (color), with seven different settings and a Custom option available.
  • Adjusting the colors may be done using the Photo Effects menu.
  • Adjustable ISO setting.
  • compatible with the DPOF format (Digital Print Order Format).
  • A USB cable that may be used to connect to a computer (driver software included).
  • A video and audio cable that may be connected to a television set.

You can disable AiAF by going into the Record menu on your camera, which will then set the focusing area to the middle of the frame by default. In addition, the SD300 features an autofocus (AF) assist light that can be turned on via a menu option and serves to help the focus mechanism when shooting in low light. Both a real-image optical viewfinder and a large color LCD panel measuring 2.0 inches are provided by the SD300 so that users can compose their photographs with ease.

The LCD displays a good deal of camera information; nevertheless, exposure information, such as aperture and shutter speed, is not one of those things. When in Playback mode, a histogram display will indicate the tonal distribution of a picture that has been shot. This is helpful for detecting whether or not the image has been over-or under-exposed.

Recommendation

The Canon ELPH line of digital cameras continues to be a popular choice for many customers due to the little size of these cameras as well as Canon’s well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality photographs. The PowerShot SD300 Digital ELPH is an upgrade to the range, and it boasts a 4.0-megapixel CCD for producing high-resolution photographs in addition to having additional capabilities meant to make it easier to print directly from the camera.

Even though the majority of the control over exposure is handled automatically, the fact that exposure lengths of up to 15 seconds may be selected and that the ISO can be adjusted greatly boosts the camera’s exposure adaptability. In addition, the user interface is not overly sophisticated, which makes it easy for beginners as well as more experienced amateurs to feel at ease when using the camera.

Additionally, there is sufficient control over the variable exposure to satisfy both groups. The Canon SD300 is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a solid “all-around” camera, and it would also be a wonderful “second camera” for photography aficionados to have for those occasions when they don’t want to tote about their full-sized camera with all of the bells and whistles.

Body Design

Even though it has more rounded corners, a little thinner size, and a considerably bigger LCD than its predecessors in the ELPH line, the SD300 retains the signature ELPH style that has been shown to be so appealing to customers. This is because the SD300 is a digital camera.

If you want to save that exquisite finish from becoming scratched, you’ll want to put it in a protective case first, because it can get damaged. The tiny size is excellent for swiftly stowing away in a pocket or handbag without worrying about destroying the durable, all-metal body.

Because the lens retracts when the camera is turned off, the front of the camera remains totally flat, highlighting the pocket-friendly form of the camera. Additionally, an automated lens cover ensures that you do not have to worry about smearing the lens or losing a lens cap.

The SD300, which has dimensions of 3.4 by 2.1 by 0.82 inches (86 by 53 by 20.7 millimeters), should have little trouble fitting into the pocket of the typical shirt. When combined, the battery and memory card adds an additional 5.26 ounces (149 grams) to the overall weight of the camera.

The front of the SD300 is easily identifiable as an ELPH camera thanks to a number of distinguishing design elements, including the viewfinder and flash located directly above the lens, which is slightly off-center and angled toward the right. Next to the optical viewfinder is a light emitter that serves various purposes. These include helping with focusing, reducing the appearance of red eyes, and providing a countdown for the self-timer.

When the camera is turned on, the telescopic lens swiftly slides into position and then retracts completely within the camera so that it may keep its flat profile. (The time needed to get started is a lightning-fast 1.5 seconds.) A small microphone is housed in the camera, and its port may be found to the left of the lens. Because there is no actual finger grip available, you will need to fasten the wrist strap that comes with it.

On top of the camera is where you’ll find the Shutter button, the Zoom Ring, and the Power button. The Shutter button and the Zoom ring both protrude significantly from the surface of the camera.

The AV Out and the USB port are both hidden behind a chrome-coated, soft plastic door that is located on the right side of the camera when viewed from the back. Just below it is the eyelet used to connect the wrist strap.

The opposing side of the camera is absolutely barren.

The rear panel of the camera has all of the camera’s remaining controls, as well as both the optical and LCD viewfinders. The diagonal measurement of the LCD monitor on such a little camera is shockingly large at 2.0 inches. All of the controls have been relocated to the right side of the screen because it is so huge.

Playback, movie, and record modes may be selected with a switch that has three positions. The button for the menu and the speaker holes may be found below this. The majority of the fast settings are included in an improved multi-functional Five-Way Arrow pad, and the buttons on the sides of the pad are responsible for both navigation and items such as macro and flash modes.

The Function button has been relocated to the center of the Five-way, where it also performs the function of the Set button for selecting items from the menu. The Display button and the Print/Share button may be found directly below this configuration. The Display button illuminates in blue when the camera is linked to a computer or a PictBridge printer. The camera’s status is displayed by two LED lamps located next to the viewfinder. These lamps light up to show when the focus has been adjusted or when the flash has been completely charged.

The bottom panel of the SD300 is smooth and flat, and it houses the metal tripod mount as well as the compartment for the battery and memory card. It is a wonderful choice for those who want to take panoramas, as the tripod socket is located almost directly below the lens barrel. Additionally, it is close enough to be centered on the body as a whole that the camera should be set level on the majority of tripod mounts.

The slots for the battery and the SD memory card are aligned next to one another inside the container. The cover for the locking compartment may be opened and then moved outward, and it has a little rubber flap in the middle of it. This flap conceals a hole in the compartment lid that provides access to the connection jack contained within the “dummy battery” that is part of the AC converter kit.

(The AC adapter method for the Canon SD300 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.)

Camera Operation

The user interface of the SD300 is easy and reasonably simplistic, with a menu configuration and basic control principles that are comparable to those of the other models in the current ELPH series.

The majority of the camera’s operations are handled via buttons located on the top and back panels, while the LCD-based Record menu is used for controlling a select few of the camera’s settings.

Without requiring the user to navigate through the many menu screens, a Function menu allows for more expedient access to fundamental parameters such as picture size, quality, and exposure correction. Because the menu items are shown in tabs on the LCD screen rather than sequentially on a series of pages, the LCD menu system in and of itself is highly efficient.

In addition, the menus for Setup and My Camera are always accessible, notwithstanding the mode in which the camera is operating. If you have the user manual on available, becoming familiar with the camera shouldn’t take more than half an hour to an hour of your time.

Display for the Recording Mode In any of the recording modes, the LCD display will either show the image area with no information, the picture with a limited information display, or it will not show anything at all. When you press the Display button, the available displays will cycle through one by one.

When the information display is activated, it will report the current resolution and image quality settings, as well as the number of photographs that are currently accessible, the orientation, the Record mode, and a few exposure parameters (although not aperture or shutter speed).

Display in Playback Mode The playback mode offers three display options: the picture only, the image with information, and the image with extended information and a histogram. These modes may be accessed by clicking the corresponding buttons.

You may also zoom in on taken photographs to check for fine details, focus, or framing, and the index display mode allows you to see as many as nine thumbnail images at once on the screen.

This button, which can be found on the top panel, is used to adjust the focus and exposure when it is pressed halfway and triggers the shutter when it is pressed all the way. If the Self-Timer is turned on, fully depressing the Shutter button will start the countdown for the timer.

This lever, which is located on the top panel of the camera and is adjacent to the shutter button, is used to regulate the optical and digital zoom in any recording mode. When in Playback mode, the wide-angle option brings up an index display, but the telephoto setting zooms in on previously shot photographs so that you may examine their finer elements in greater depth.

This button, which can be found on the top panel of the camera to the left of the Shutter button, is used to turn the camera on and off.

This dial, which can be found on the back panel just below the shutter button, regulates the operating mode of the camera and provides the following options to choose from:

The user may replay collected photographs and videos, and there are also options for image management and printing.

Captures moving pictures along with sound; practically all recording modes will continue to do so for as long as there is enough storage space on the card (the exception is the 320 x 240 at 60 frames per second mode, which will only record 60 seconds of video at a time).

for the taking of still images. The Function menu is where you’ll find all of the different modes, such as Automatic, Manual, and so on.

Function / Set Button

This control, which is located in the middle of the Five-way arrow pad, brings up the Function menu in any recording mode and verifies selections once any menu has been brought up. The following choices are available when you press and hold the Function button in order to activate it:

Shooting Mode

Choose from eight different shooting modes, including Auto, Manual, Digital Macro, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, and Underwater. Other options include Night Snapshot, Indoor, and Kids & Pets. Standard, Fast Frame (60 fps), and Compact are the three different modes available in Movie Mode.

Exposure Compensation

Adjusts the level of exposure in one-third-step increments, ranging from minus two exposure equivalents (EV) to plus two EV.

Long Shutter

It is possible to access larger shutter durations, ranging from one to fifteen seconds. (This option is only displayed after it has been activated through the Record menu; to access it, click the Menu button when the Exposure Compensation option is selected.)

A Perfect White Balance

The color balance of photographs may be controlled using this setting. You have the choice of Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and Fluorescent H. Custom is also an option (manual setting).

ISO Speed

Adjusts the sensitivity of the camera to either the automatic setting or to 50, 100, 200, or 400 ISO equivalents.

Resolution

The resolution of the image is specified here. Still image resolutions include 2,272 x 1,704 pixels, 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, 1,024 x 768 pixels, and 640 x 480 pixels. In addition, there is a Postcard mode that takes the resolution to 1600 x 1200 and locks the resolution to Fine for smaller file sizes. This mode also allows a date stamp to be printed on the image. Movie resolutions are 640 x 480, 320 x 240, and 160 x 120 pixels.

Options and Menus for the Camera

Playback Mode: This mode gives you the ability to navigate through taken photos and videos, write-protect images, examine a nine-image index display, zoom into a captured image, remove undesirable images, rotate images, and prepare images for printing on DPOF-compatible devices.

Movie Mode

Recordings may be made in either 640 x 480, 320 x 240, or 160 x 120 pixels with sound, depending on the resolution chosen. The only thing that can restrict the actual amount of recording time in any mode other than Fast Frame Rate is the amount of storage space available on the camera’s SD card (and of course the relative battery life). (There is a maximum recording time of sixty seconds each clip when using the Fast Frame Rate option.) In this mode, you have access to a small selection of exposure parameters; however, functions such as Continuous Shooting, digital zoom, and flash mode are disabled.

The Recording Mode

Places the camera into the still image capture mode; other record modes can be selected from the Function Menu.

Recording Method and Menu System

In the Automatic, Manual, Stitch Assist, and Movie modes, you may access this feature by pressing the Menu button (some options are not available in all modes). The Record, Setup, and My Camera sub-menus each have their own tab in the menu that appears.

Menu to Record

Turns on the autofocus system for the AiAF camera. When turned off, the focusing mode of the camera centers its attention on the middle of the picture.

Self-Timer

Adjusts the countdown duration of the Self-Timer to either two or ten seconds.

AF Assist Beam

Controls whether or not the AF assist light is illuminated. When there is insufficient light, the light will turn on by itself if it is on.

Digital Zoom

Activates the digital zoom function, which is activated when the zoom level is increased beyond the range of the optical zoom. Also disables digital zoom.

Review

Adjusts the amount of time that the image that was shot is displayed on the screen, giving you the option between two and ten seconds. You may turn the immediate review function on or off. (Only photographs, please.)

Long Shutter

Enables the Long Shutter mode and places it in the available options in the Function menu.

Help With the Stitching

Activates the Stitch Assist mode, which is the panoramic shooting mode of the SD300, and provides the option to select a shooting direction (to the right or the left). After you have started the sequence by pressing the Set button and have taken the first shot, blue grid lines will begin to emerge in the LCD panel to assist you in lining up each successive photo. When you push the Menu button, the exposure will be fixed in place for the duration of the sequence. Using the software that comes with the product, the completed sequence of photographs may be combined into a single picture on a computer.

Setup Menu

  • Mute
  • Controls whether or not the camera makes beeping noises.
  • Volume
  • Adjusts volumes independently for the Startup, Operation, Self Timer, and Shutter modes, as well as Playback.
  • The brightness of the LCD
  • You may adjust how bright the LCD backlight is by using the slider.

In the Discrete

The following products are included in the box with your purchase of a PowerShot SD300

  • Strap for the wrist.
  • Video cable.
  • USB cable.
  • Memory card with 16 megabytes SD.
  • lithium-ion battery pack designated as NB-4L.
  • Charger for a battery
  • CDs including software from ArcSoft and Canon’s Digital Camera Solution Disk.
  • Operating instructions and registration card.

Accessories Highly Recommended

  • Memory card with a large capacity for the SD format.
  • An additional lithium-ion battery pack for the NB-4L.
  • AC adapter kit.
  • Small camera case.
  • Specifications

The Quality of the Picture

Color

Very good to outstanding color, and very good to exceptional performance with regard to white balance. Throughout the entirety of my testing, I found that the general color of the SD300 was extremely good, and the white balancing mechanism also functioned very well. The majority of the time, each of the white balance settings that were evaluated yielded satisfactory outcomes, with just very few color casts.

Notably, the Auto white balance setting generated adequate results in virtually all of the tests. It even managed to give a decent result in the Indoor Portrait test, which was lit by very warm-toned domestic incandescent lighting. The skin tones were spot on, and the blue flowers in the bouquet, which are notoriously difficult to get right, we’re almost perfect. Overall, it’s a hue that’s really easy on the eyes.

Exposure

The exposure accuracy is around average (which is fine), but the contrast is rather high. The exposure mechanism of the SD300 did a good job of handling the test lighting I gave it and exposed most of the images properly. In the extremely high-key outdoor picture that you took, the default exposure setting resulted in a minor underexposure, but a smaller-than-average amount of positive exposure compensation (+0.7 EV) brought out the necessary level of brightness in the mid tones.

The SD300, on the other hand, responded with strong contrast and lost highlight detail in response to the purposefully intense lighting of that subject. (It does not feature the contrast adjustment found on many of Canon’s full-sized models, which would have been helpful in this situation.) The camera needed around an average amount of positive exposure correction when used inside, despite the fact that the default setting for the flash exposure was relatively low.

However, the SD300 was easily able to differentiate between the faint pastel tones on the Q60 target of the Davebox, and the shadow detail was typically good.

Resolution/Sharpness

High resolution, with 1,200 lines of what is described as “great detail.” The SD300 had a performance that was approximately average when compared to other cameras in its 4-megapixel class on the “laboratory” resolution test chart. At resolutions as low as 1,000 lines per image height vertically and around 800 lines horizontally, it began displaying artifacts in the test patterns. I counted at least 1,200 lines of “strong detail” in the document. The “extinction” of the target patterns did not take place until around 1,500 lines had been traversed.

Image Noise

An excellent compromise between the amount of picture noise and the amount of topic detail. The developers at Canon performed an outstanding job with the SD300’s noise management, establishing a nearly ideal balance between subject detail and noise suppression. When the ISO was low, the amount of noise was fairly minimal, and there was almost no loss of subject information.

Its photos became somewhat softer at ISO 200, but the degree of noise remained within acceptable standards. Much though the noise was more noticeable at ISO 400 and the subject detail was even less distinct, the overall result was far better than I would have ordinarily anticipated from a subcompact digital camera at ISO 400.

Closeups

A relatively small macro-region that has an impressive amount of detail. However, Flash has difficulty working in close quarters. The SD300 did quite well in the macro category, capturing an area that was just 1.22 × 0.92 inches in size (31 x 23 millimeters).

The resolution was exceptionally high, which enabled the dollar bill, coins, and brooch to display a great deal of minute detail. The close shooting range caused some of the details on the coins and brooch to be more blurry, but the dust particles that were sitting on top of the coins came out looking incredibly sharp. Details became more blurry as one moved nearer the frame’s edges, but the dollar note retained a good degree of clarity.

(When shooting in their macro modes, the vast majority of digital cameras create photos with rounded edges.) When used at such a close distance, the flash on the SD300 struggled, causing the top of the picture to become overexposed while the bottom remained in the dark. (If you want to get the best close-up macro images with the SD300, you should definitely plan on utilizing external illumination.)

Night Photographs

Outstanding performance in low-light conditions. At the lowest light levels of this test, the image maintained good color and exposure, with a relatively low amount of image noise. Excellent autofocus performance even in dim light. Photographs that were crisp, bright, and useable were generated by the SD300 down to the limit of my test, which was 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux), and it produced images with good color at the 100, 200, and 400 ISO levels.

Even at the lowest light level of the test, the target was still able to be seen when ISO 50 was used. The pictures were brilliant down to the 1/8 foot-candle (1.3 lux) light level. Much with an ISO setting of 400, the majority of my images had a rather low level of noise, which was even better than I had anticipated.

Autofocus

The autofocus performance was also good, with the camera being able to focus down to 1/4 foot-candle without any AF assist and in full darkness with the AF-assist light on. Both of these results are impressive. Since the average light level of city street lighting at night is around 1 foot-candle, the SD300 should perform quite well for after-dark photography in normal outdoor settings with artificial illumination.

Accuracy of the Viewfinder

A limited field of vision in the optical viewfinder, but a virtually precise display on the LCD monitor. The optical viewfinder of the SD300 was extremely small, displaying around 82 percent of the final image area when shooting at wide-angle and approximately 80 percent while shooting at telephoto. Despite the fact that the findings were very close to being accurate one hundred percent of the time, the LCD display actually proved to be very little off, showing just a touch more than what made it into the final frame.

In light of the fact that I prefer LCD monitors to have an accuracy that is as near to one hundred percent as is humanly feasible, the LCD monitor on the SD300 did rather well in this regard; but, its optical viewfinder might need some improvement.

Distortion of the Optical Field

When seen at wide angles, there is a moderate amount of barrel distortion, very little chromatic aberration, but a significant lack of sharpness in the frame’s four corners. At the wide-angle end of the zoom range, the SD300 had geometric distortion that was slightly lower than the industry standard. I measured roughly 0.7 percent barrel distortion. I detected roughly 0.09 percent pincushion distortion at the telephoto end, which corresponds to about two pixels’ worth of error. This is a significant improvement over the initial situation.

Chromatic aberration was nearly nonexistent since I was unable to locate any pixels that had a prominent coloring in the image. (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.) The significant issue with the photographs captured by the SD300 was a significant amount of blurring in the four corners of the frame. This issue was most pronounced when using a wide-angle lens, but it was present regardless of the lens’ focal length.

This severe corner softness was the one notable defect in an otherwise outstanding digicam, which was otherwise perfect in every other way. (When I checked sample photographs from the SD300 that were uploaded on other websites, I did not observe nearly as much softness in the corners as was shown in the test shots that we took. I would still say that there was more than the normal amount, but it was not to the magnitude that we discovered in our own studies. – Therefore, it is probable that the sample unit we obtained did not perform completely to specifications.)

Lag in the Shutter and Cycle Time

both the shutter reaction and cycle times are significantly faster than normal. The shutter delays of the SD300 range from 0.57 to 0.78 seconds when using full autofocus, but they drop to an astoundingly low 0.073 seconds when the camera is “prefocused” by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the actual shot is taken. This makes the SD300 surprisingly quick for a camera with a compact model.

Shot-to-shot cycle timings are 1.32 seconds for large/fine photos or 1.28 seconds for small/basic ones with no apparent restriction owing to buffer-memory capacity when using a sufficiently fast SD memory card (I tried with a 32x Lexar SD card). In the continuous shooting mode, it may take up to 17 shots in a row at intervals of 0.42 seconds, but after that, the intervals will decrease down to 0.50 seconds. Extremely remarkable for such a portable version.

Battery Capacity

Although the battery life is slightly longer than typical for a tiny model, you should still consider purchasing a second battery just in case. The SD300, much like the majority of other small digital cameras, has a battery life that is a touch on the short side. According to our measurements, the SD300 has a worst-case run duration (capture mode, with the LCD, switched on) of 99 minutes.

Despite the fact that this is superior to many tiny and subcompact versions, I would still recommend getting a second battery when you buy the camera and having it charged as a backup. (The batteries on my digital camera usually fail at the most inopportune moments.)

Specifications

Camera Effective PixelsApprox. 4.0 million
Image Sensor1/2.5″ CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx. 4.2 million)
Lens5.8 (W)-17.4 (T) mm
(35 mm film equivalent: 35 (W)-105 (T) mm)
f/2.8 (W)-f/4.9 (T)
Digital ZoomApprox. 3.6x (Up to approx. 11x in combination with the optical zoom)
Optical ViewfinderReal-image zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor2.0″ TFT color LCD, approx. 118,000 dots (Picture coverage 100%)
AF SystemTTL autofocus Focusing frame: 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (center)
Shooting DistanceNormal: 30 cm (1.0 ft.)- infinity
Macro: 3-50 cm (W)/30-50 cm (T) (1.2 in.-1.6 ft. (W)/1.0-1.6 ft. (T))
Digital Macro: 3-10 cm (1.2-3.9 in.)* From the front of the lens
ShutterMechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter Speeds15-1/1500 sec.*15-1 sec. possible in long shutter mode.
*Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.
Light Metering SystemEvaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (Center)
Exposure Control SystemProgram AE
Exposure Compensation±2.0 stops in 1/3-stop increments
SensitivityAuto, ISO 50/100/200/400 equivalent
White BalanceTTL auto, pre-set (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H) or custom
Built-in FlashAuto, auto with red-eye reduction, flash on with red-eye reduction, flash on, flash off, slow synchro
Flash RangeNormal: 50 cm-3.5 m (1.6-11.5 ft.) (W), 50 cm-2.0 m (1.6-6.6 ft.) (T)
Macro: 30-50 cm (1.0-1.6 ft.) (W/T)*When sensitivity is set to auto.
Shooting ModesAuto, Manual*, Digital macro, Portrait, Night snapshot, Kids & pets, Indoor, Underwater, Stitch assist**, Movie*Long shutter mode available
** Selectable from the Rec. menu
Continuous ShootingApprox. 2.4 shots/sec.**Large/Fine mode with LCD monitor off
Self-timerActivates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./approx. 10-sec. delay
Recording MediaSD Memory Card
File FormatDesign rule for camera file system and DPOF compliant
Image Recording FormatStill images: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Movies: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (monaural))* This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called “Exif Print”. Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera’s image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.
CompressionSuperfine, Fine, Normal
Number of Recording PixelsStill Images:Large: 2272 x 1704 pixels
Medium1: 1600 x 1200 pixels
Medium2: 1024 x 768 pixels
Small: 640 x 480 pixels
Movies :Standard: 640 x 480/320 x 240 pixels
Fast Frame Rate: 320 x 240 pixels
Compact: 160 x 120 pixels
The maximum length of a movie clip
– Standard: Until the SD card becomes full.
– Fast Frame Rate: Maximum of 1 min.
– Compact: Maximum of 3 min.
Playback ModesSingle (histogram displayable)
Index (9 thumbnail images)
Magnified*(approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor)
Sound memos (up to 60 sec.) or Slide show.*Advance or reverse through magnified image is available.
Direct PrintCanon Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct compatible, and PictBridge compliant
Display Languages21 languages available for menus and messages (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese)
My Camera SettingsThe start-up image, start-up sound, shutter sound, operation sound and self-timer sound can be customized using the following methods
– Using the images and sounds recorded on a camera.
– Using the downloaded data from your computer using the supplied software.
Interface– USB (mini-B, PTP [Picture Transfer Protocol])
– Audio/Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source– Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (type: NB-4L)
– AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC10 (Sold Separately)
Operating Temperatures0 – 40 °C (32 – 104 °F)
Operating Humidity10 – 90 %
Dimensions
(w x h x d)
86.0 x 53.0 x 20.7 mm (3.39 x 2.09 x 0.82 in.)
(excluding protrusions)
WeightApprox. 130 g (4.59 oz) (camera body only)

Conclusion

The ELPH name has become synonymous with high image quality and a user-friendly design, which is the reason why the line is so popular with such a diverse group of customers. Members of the digital ELPH series have always impressed me with their quality and adaptability. This is an extension of the good reputation that the brand name has earned in the world of film.

The fact that the design of the SD300 is so small and has been made even more compact is certainly a benefit, and the fact that it has such a wide variety of capabilities offers it an advantage over many of the other subcompact point-and-shoot digital cameras on the market. Despite the fact that the actual exposure management is still left to the camera’s automated settings, the shooting range of the camera has been greatly expanded thanks to the addition of manual controls for ISO, white balance, and longer shutter speeds.

It is also incredibly responsive for a subcompact digital camera because of its high-speed DIGIC-II processing chip, and its video capabilities go much beyond what I am used to seeing from models of subcompact digital cameras. In general, each and every one of us here at IR found that it was a really fun camera to use, and we adored the gorgeous “Canon” color that it arrived in.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Strong endurance of the battery
  • Ultracompact
  • Great burst capabilities
  • Little shutter lag
  • flexible movie mode
Need Improvement
  • a limited number of manual controls and scene modes
  • inaccurate viewfinder with no diopter adjustment

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