Canon IXUS 300 HS


"Patience" is a word that simply doesn't exist in today's vocabulary. Everything has to be instant, and there is absolutely no room for error. From cars to computers to cameras, speed is key and the Canon IXUS 300 HS is out to satiate the perpetually impatient.

Most manufacturers succeed in baiting consumers with eye-catching aesthetics, so let's look into that first before judging if this compact shooter's really that quick on the uptake. As expected, Canon doesn't fail in the design department, with our test unit clad in a cute, bright red hue (reminding us more of Jelly Beans than sports cars) and with dimensions that will frustrate those with pudgy hands.

The top portion contains the Power button, shutter, zoom controls and switch for video, photo, and auto modes. The 3-inch TFT LCD display holds court at the back, accompanied by the menu, playback, and scroll wheel. Everything is done with the scroll wheel, and longtime Canon users won't have a problem adjusting to it; new users, on the other hand, will need some time to familiarize themselves with it.

The HDMI and USB and A/V ports are hidden on the right side with a rubber cover, and the speakers are on the left. It's streamlined, compact, and great to look at, traits that the IXUS product line has had for so many years.

The IXUS 300 HS has everything that most consumers will expect from Canon cameras: a wide range of shooting modes (including aperture and shutter priority), face/blink detection, image stabilization, etc. But there are also some pleasant surprises. The miniature and fish-eye effects are a welcome change to the usual shooting modes, giving users more ways to exercise their creativity.

Speed freaks will definitely tinker with the camera's high-speed burst mode, which captures fast-moving subjects but comes with a megapixel downgrade to 2.5 megapixels to get 8 frames per second; the same downgrade can be seen when using the low-light mode. For those who want to slow things down, there's a "Super Slow Motion Movie" mode that amusingly makes subjects look as though they're part of a Matrix-like sequence.

The driving force behind this shooter is Canon's HS system, which puts together a DIGIC 4 processor with a backlit CMOS image sensor to produce better photos in low-light settings and enable faster processing speeds. This combination, along with an f/2.0 lens that allows more light to come into the sensor, brings a significant improvement to photos taken in dark environments and shorter lag times between photos. It certainly shows in our photos and videos – shots that would've gotten groans from us when using other shooters were handled quite nicely by the IXUS 300 HS.

High ISO levels produced great photos, but remember that there's only so much a camera can do for you. Noise and decrease in detail will eventually show up, but it's still better than what other cameras can crank out.

This shooter takes speed to heart and doesn't keep its users waiting for long. Unlike other compact cameras, this one goes from startup to "let's do this!" within a few seconds. Its battery life is also impressive; a little more than a day of constant use, and it still has enough juice in it for more shots. However, we encountered some problems with focusing: some shots put our subjects out of focus, and zooming in on them in low-light environments took some time before it locked in.

Overall, the Canon IXUS 300 HS is a great option for those who want to replace their current cameras or are looking for something that offers more compared to the shooters in its class. If you still have enough money after the barrage of gadget sales this year, don't pass up on this one.

Click here to see the Canon IXUS 300 HS in the Buyer's Guide.

 

Performance
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Value
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Overall
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+
  • Compact and streamlined design
  • Great photos in wide-angle low-light settings
  • Additional photo and video shooting modes
  • Long battery life
  • Little lag time between shots
-
  • Downgrade to 2.5MP for high-speed and low-light modes
Bottom Line
  • Looks great and has the power and speed to match
Editor's Pick No
Price P24,950
Tech Specs
  • Resolution:
    • Stills: 10 megapixels
    • Video: Up to 1280 x 720 at 30fps HD
  • Imaging Processor: DIGIC 4
  • Zoom
    • Optical: 3x
    • Digital: 4x
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMC Plus, HC MMC Plus
  • Screen
    • Size: 3 inches
    • Resolution: 230,000 dots
  • Image Stabilization: yes
  • Face Detection: yes
  • ISO Range: 125-3200
  • Shutter Speed: 15 - 1/2500 sec
  • Aperture Range: f/2.0 - 8.0
  • Interface
    • Hot Shoe: no
    • USB: 2.0 Hi-Speed
    • HDMI: yes
  • Battery
    • Type: NB-6L
    • Life: approx. 250 shots (CIPA)
  • Size: 100 x 54.1 x 23.6mm
  • Weight: 175g (with battery and storage card)



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