Finding a camera to fit your budget and needs isn’t getting any easier. There are a lot of choices and that’s only part of the problem – it’s difficult to find the camera to fit your budget. To add to their expanse of cameras in every category, Canon launched the Digital IXUS 300 HS, which belongs to the portable and style-oriented family of cameras.

Easy-to-use mode selection controls

Easy-to-use mode selection controls

Features
The Canon Digital IXUS 300 HS uses a 10 MP CMOS sensor and a 3.8x zoom lens, which is pretty standard stuff. It’s just a little odd to see the megapixel count being lowered. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 125 to 3200 with decent increments which is a good range to work with. In addition to that, Canon claims its HS system should allow low light photography without the need of a tripod and with little noise in the images. We’ll see how well that works. The rest of the specifications are the standard ones found on most of the other cameras in this range.

Design and Build Quality
The first thing that strikes you about the IXUS 300 HS is its build. It’s very sturdy with the majority of the body built with a matte finish which ensures that it won’t slip out of your hands and it doesn’t attract fingerprints either. There are hardly any glossy plastic panels on the camera except for the buttons and the panels covering the USB and HDMI connectors. The design itself is very stylish, sleek and resembles the form factor of other IXUS cameras. This one has more than its fair share of curves. The 3.8x optical zoom lens fits well into the small body.

Canon's new stylish clicker - IXUS 300 HS

Canon's new stylish clicker – IXUS 300 HS

Being so compact means there is no large dial to choose shooting modes. A slider on the top allows you to select between movie, picture and auto shooting modes. The playback button is a separate button altogether. Aperture and shutter priority controls are also available, but there are no manual focus controls. Canon has manual focus on some of its IXUS models but this one doesn’t, which isn’t great since this is a very expensive camera. The rest of the profile settings are also available in the Program shooting mode.  

Decent zoom with good natural colours

Decent zoom with good natural colours

Images tend to be slightly overexposed

Images tend to be slightly overexposed

Darker shadowed areas appear brighter than expected

Darker shadowed areas appear brighter than expected

Performance
Image quality is decent but it isn’t the best you’ll find on a point and shoot camera. At low ISO settings, there’s close to no grain but the image isn’t the sharpest at the same time. The flash isn’t very strong but on the upside, the battery lasts pretty long. Focusing takes slightly longer than most cameras. Exposure metering also doesn’t work as flawlessly as we’d like. Images turn out brighter than expected, especially well lit outdoor photos. In more limited lighting, it works in its favor with photos ending up better exposed.

Low light performance is pretty good overall. Video quality is decent and the camera can record clips at 60 fps in slow motion mode. It looks great but the video resolution has to be cut down to just 320 x 240. We found the video quality to be good. Optical zooming is possible while shooting clips although the zoom isn’t very smooth – there is some shuddering present.

Verdict
Priced at Rs. 24,995, it’s an extremely expensive point and shoot camera. If you’re looking for something really compact and at the same time sturdy and captures decent images, then the IXUS 300 HS is a model worth considering.

Good overall camera that delivers on its promises, but at a cost

Good overall camera that delivers on its promises, but at a cost

If you’re willing to sacrifice a little on build quality, then there many other options which are available for close to half that price. If you’re more of a serious photographer and aren’t particular about the form factor of the camera, there are even full-fledged DSLR cameras available at this price range. Canon is clearly targeting a very niche audience with this camera.

Publish date: January 28, 2011 12:30 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:14 pm

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