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Canon PowerShot SD300 Digital ELPH Camera @DASHING THING REVIEW

05 Jul


 

Camera QuickLook
Review Date
11/09/04
User Level
Novice to Advanced
Product Uses
Family / Travel / Special Events
Digicam Design
Automatic Exposure Control
Picture Quality
Good, 4.0-megapixel CCD
Print Sizes
11 x 14 inches,
or 8×10 with some cropping
Availability
October, 2004
Suggested Retail Price
(At introduction)
$399

 

Introduction

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The Canon PowerShot SD300 Digital ELPH swept onto the scene just in time for the 2004 Holiday season along with its “little brother,” the SD200. Together they replace the SD110 in Canon’s popular, diminutive digital camera line. In both the film and digital worlds, the tiny, high-style Canon ELPH models have been wildly popular. Long a popular brand for APS film cameras, the Canon Digital ELPHs brought the compact size and styling to the digital world, beginning with the original PowerShot S100. The new Canon SD300 continues the use of the SD memory card format we first saw in the original SD100, and expands the lines excellent printer compatibility with full support of the PictBridge standard. The Canon SD300 and SD200 also update the line with new styling, slimmer profile, a range of resolutions, a big 2 inch LCD, and use of the (very fast) DiGIC II processor. Overall, one of the more appealing subcompact digicams we’ve seen to date: Read on for all the details!

 

Camera Overview


Slightly smaller than many preceding Canon Digital ELPH models, the PowerShot SD300 features the great looks and sharp design that are the ELPH signature. Very compact and quick on the draw (thanks to a smoothly operating retractable lens design), the PowerShot SD300 is a convenient point-and-shoot digital camera with a handful of extra exposure features for added flexibility, and a larger LCD display than previous models of this size in Canon’s lineup. With the lens retracted, the Canon SD300’s front panel is flat and pocket friendly, and its all-metal body rugged and durable. Equipped with a 4.0-megapixel CCD, the SD300 captures high quality images, suitable for printing snapshots as large as 11×14 inches, or 8×10 inches with some cropping. Smaller image sizes are also available for email transmission or Web applications, and a movie mode captures short video clips with sound.

Taking advantage of Canon’s advanced “high index” lens technology, the Canon SD300 features a new 3x, 5.8-17.4mm zoom lens, equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera (previous ELPH cameras of this size were limited to 2x optical zoom). Aperture is automatically controlled, but the maximum setting ranges from f/2.8 at full wide angle to f/4.9 at full telephoto. A maximum 3.6x digital zoom option increases the SD300’s zoom capability to 11x, but keep in mind that digital zoom decreases the overall image quality, because it simply crops out and enlarges the center pixels of the CCD’s image. Image details are thus likely to be softer with digital zoom. Focus ranges from 1.0 feet (30 centimeters) to infinity in normal AF mode, and from 1.2 inches to 1.6 feet (3 to 50 centimeters) in Macro mode. A new Digital Macro mode allows a user to zoom in on their macro subjects, effectively cropping the digital image to save only the most important central area. An Infinity fixed-focus mode is also available. The SD300 employs a sophisticated, nine-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Autofocus) system to determine focus, which uses a broad active area in the center of the image to calculate the focal distance (a feature I’ve been impressed with on many ELPH models and have been happy to see continued). Through the Record menu, you can turn AiAF off, which defaults the autofocus area to the center of the frame. Also built-in to the SD300 is an AF assist light, which aids the focus mechanism in low light when it’s enabled via a menu option. For composing images, the SD300 offers a real-image optical viewfinder, as well as a large 2.0-inch color LCD monitor. The LCD reports a fair amount of camera information, but excludes exposure information such as aperture and shutter speed. In Playback mode, a histogram display reports the tonal distribution of a captured image, useful in determining any over- or under-exposure.

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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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