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Small cameras, large zoom: Canon's new PowerShot ELPH 340 and SX600

By dpreview staff on Jan 6, 2014 at 14:48 GMT
Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 / SX600
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Canon has unveiled two new low-cost cameras that pack big zoom lenses into compact bodies. The PowerShot ELPH 340 HS  (known as the Ixus 265 HS in Europe) is slim and stylish, and sports an F3.6-7.0 25-200mm equiv. lens, 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, and 3-inch LCD. The SX600 is just a bit larger than the ELPH, but gains an 18X, F3.8-6.9 25-450mm equiv. lens and 1080/30p video recording. Both cameras have Wi-Fi with NFC, which Canon says is easier to use than on previous models.

The ELPH 340 HS will be available in March in three colors: purple, silver, and black. The SX600 will ship a month earlier, and comes in red, white, and black. The expected prices are $199.99 and $249.99 in the US.

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Press Release:

NEW SLEEK, COMPACT POWERSHOT DIGITAL CAMERAS OFFER SUPER-ZOOM LENSES, ADVANCED CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS AND THE ABILITY TO SHARE IMAGES AND VIDEO

New Cameras Include the Compact, Super Zoom PowerShot SX600 HS Digital Camera and the Stylish, Yet Powerful PowerShot ELPH 340 HS Digital Camera

MELVILLE, N.Y., January 6, 2014 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the addition of two new cameras to its PowerShot line-up: The PowerShot SX600 HS and the PowerShot ELPH 340 HS digital cameras. The PowerShot SX600 HS camera packs an impressive 18x optical zoom and 16-Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor into a beautifully sleek, compact and portable body so capturing close-up photos with high-image clarity is easy and stylish. The PowerShot ELPH 340 HS camera offers outstanding optical performance and versatility with a 12x optical zoom lens and16-Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor.  Both equipped with Wi-Fi® and Near Field Communication (NFCTM) capabilities, photographers can have outstanding image quality and the ability to share images and video with ease.

“These new PowerShot cameras enhance consumers’ enjoyment of photography through the unique combination of high-image quality, long-zoom ranges, ease-of-use and connectivity,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The advanced technologies these new models offer give users the cameras they need to have a photographic experience that allows them to capture high-quality images while on-the-go and share them with their loved ones.”

The Wi-Fi® connectivity options in the PowerShot SX600 HS and the PowerShot ELPH 340 HS cameras allow users to easily share beautiful images online with family and friends.  Using the Mobile Device Connect Button, users can connect to a compatible smartphone, a compatible tablet or a computer.  Connection to the computer is easily done using Canon’s Image Sync through the cloud. For the first time in Canon’s line-up, both cameras have the convenient connectivity of NFC offered on AndroidTM devices. With NFC, users press the Mobile Device Connect Button and tap their NFC-enabled Android device to the SX600 HS or ELPH 340 HS camera to send images from the camera to their compatible smartphone with ease. For even more convenience, photographers can control the camera remotely via the free Canon Camera Window app from virtually anywhere with their iOS® or Android device. After composing the image, the photographer controls the shutter from their compatible smartphone, so that the photographer can be included in the shot. 

Another first for the PowerShot SX and ELPH lines is Creative Shot mode. First introduced on the PowerShot N digital camera, Creative Shot mode is an easy yet powerful tool to add artistic effects to photos. In Creative Shot mode, users compose a shot and let the camera analyze the photo to apply a series of artistic elements. Creative Shot mode includes four categories with 46 filters total. The four filter categories are: Retro, Monochrome, Special, and Natural. Before an image is captured, users choose one of the four filter types and Creative Shot will automatically render five different variations of the shot in different composition, color and lighting styles, delivering creative new perspectives automatically while still maintaining the original image.

The cameras can also capture great video, recording high-quality 1080p Full HD video through a dedicated movie button. The Hybrid AUTO mode allows you to record up-to four seconds of video every time you shoot a still image, and then automatically joins the clips and pictures into a video that captures the essence of a vacation, an important event, or any time you are shooting many shots in a day.  Hybrid Auto automatically recognizes the scene and optimizes camera settings to capture the highest possible image quality creating a great looking highlight reel in a 720p HD video.

The PowerShot SX600 HS Digital Camera

In addition to enhanced connectivity and artistic options, the PowerShot SX600 HS camera features a long-zoom range in a compact point-and-shoot camera body.  Equivalent to 25-450mm, the SX600 HS camera’s powerful 18x optical zoom provides users with the high-quality optics the pocket-sized Canon PowerShot SX camera series is known for. The SX600 HS camera combines a 16-Megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIG 4+ Image Processor to create the Canon HS SYSTEM allowing for excellent low-light performance. 

The PowerShot SX600 HS digital camera is expected to be available at the end of February 2014 in red, white or black for an estimated retail price of $249.99.

The PowerShot ELPH 340 HS Digital Camera

The PowerShot ELPH 340 HS digital camera, successor to the ELPH 330 HS, features a 12x optical zoom lens which is equivalent to 25mm-300mm. Great for low-light scenes, the 16-Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor work together to create the Canon HS SYSTEM helping to ensure images are captured in detail in dimly lit situations.

The PowerShot ELPH 340 HS is expected to be available in March 2014 in purple, silver or black for an estimated retail price of $199.99.

Specifications

 Canon PowerShot SX600 HSCanon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS (IXUS 265 HS)
Price
MSRP$249.99$199
Body type
Body typeCompactUltracompact
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions3264 x 2448, 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480, 4608 x 2592, 3264 x 1832, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360, 4608 x 3072, 3264 x 2176, 2048 x 1368, 640 x 424, 3456 x 3456, 2448 x 2448, 1536 x 1536, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOSCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 4+
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
File format
  • JPEG, Exif 2.3 compliant / DPOF Version 1.1 compliant
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
Image parameters
  • Contrast, sharpness, saturation, red, green, blue, skin tone
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–450 mm25–300 mm
Optical zoom18×12×
Maximum apertureF3.8 - F6.9F3.6 - F7.0
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYesYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typePureColor II G (TFT)TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Hybrid Auto, Creative Shot, SCN
Scene modes
  • Auto, Hybrid Auto, P, Creative Shot1, Portrait, Smart Shutter2, High-Speed Burst, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fisheye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter
  • Portrait, Smart Shutter, High-Speed Burst, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.50 m (50 cm – 3.5 m (W) / 1.0 m – 2.0 m (T))4.00 m
External flashYes (Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2)No
Flash modesAuto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow SynchroAuto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
Flash X sync speed1/2000 sec
Drive modes
  • Single, Continuous, Self-Timer
Continuous drive4 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1280 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11 b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6LHRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11LH
Battery Life (CIPA)290190
Weight (inc. batteries)188 g (0.41 lb / 6.63 oz)147 g (0.32 lb / 5.19 oz)
Dimensions104 x 61 x 26 mm (4.09 x 2.4 x 1.02)100 x 58 x 22 mm (3.93 x 2.27 x 0.88)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone
GPS notesvia mobile (linked to compatible smartphone)
5
I own it
5
I want it
2
I had it
Discuss in the forums
5
I own it
3
I want it
2
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 56
Greynerd
By Greynerd (3 months ago)

There can be no greater confusion than the Ixus/Elph range. Not only are there a hundred variants of the model but each one has 2 names. I do actually own one of these, which I always have in my pocket but which one it is I do not know.

0 upvotes
mrdancer
By mrdancer (3 months ago)

Optical zoom is the only real advantage that P&S cameras have anymore. M43 cameras are now pocketable and take great portrait shots, but zoom lenses are too big to be readily pocketable. Phone cameras are the "have-with-you-everywhere" camera and, for most people, do 90% of what they would need from a P&S. Therefore, the only compelling advantage to a P&S is an optical zoom, or optical mega-zoom. Just find the one with the fastest lens in the range that you need, but is still pocketable.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

They insist on remaking the same thing over and over again...

4 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

No canon changed. They now make things worse then the last model instead of the same.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (3 months ago)

People (not DPR readers, people) insist on buying the same thing over and over.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

BarnET, you are right. It is like Rebel SL1 is worse than 4 y/o Rebel T2i. Ridiculous.

1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

Haven't we done enough damage to the SL1 peevee.
I recall over 60 votes for worst Dslr of the year.

Only fair since some stupid DPreview staff member decided to call it
"gear of the year 2013"

But can you write the ixus 265hs down as worst compact of 2014 Peevee, it will probably win that hands down.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (3 months ago)

Why would you call a person you don't know stupid, just because he liked a camera that doesn't suit your tastes, enough to label it his personal "gear of the year"?

If you like how a camera handles and performs, have fun using it, and you're satisfied with the images you get, then you have every right to say it's a good camera FOR YOU.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

Come on saying the SL1 is"gear of the year" completely unobjective.
It has an 4 year old sensor that is even behind recent µ4/3 sensors. The autofocus sucks for sports and Canon had the guts to list it at an ridiculous full $800 price with an awkwardly large kit lens.

Calling that "gear of the year" should've cost him his job.
Since he lost all his objectivity as an journalist.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (3 months ago)

You can't say that he lost his objectivity, when he was asked to write a subjective opinion piece, and make a personal choice based on his own needs and preferences. The whole point of the exercise was to choose their personal favourites, their personal "gear of the year". There were no awards, no recommendations, just personal opinions, and they are as valid as anyone else's.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (3 months ago)

peevee . guess what.. that's what camera companies do .. remake products. they don't get reoccurring revenue, so they keep coming out with a variety of new products on a reoccurring basis with usually minor upgrades.

however adding NFC, boosting zoom ratio, increasing the Mp's .. and listing it as $20 more than last year's model doesn't sound like remaking the same thing.

not only that, they increased the zoom and actually made it thinner.

smh at some people.

would you expect the powershot ELPH line or the SX line to be drastically different year after year? that is idiocy to expect nor even want from a consumer point of view.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

No we don't expect significant upgrades. But did you expect f 3.6 at the wide end when 2.8 is the norm that even samsung achieves with an s4 zoom. And that when the 330hs got 3.0 there

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

Revenant don't you think that "gear of the year" sounds a lot different then that. You should pick an camera or lens that got you impressed. Something that did something new and exciting.

He could've picked an 70D. The dual pixel af is exciting technology that seems to work. The Pentax K3 for it's AA filter. Or an Olympus stylus 1 . An solid performing bridge with great viewfinder. A7 the full frame mirror less. 2013 was an great year full of exciting new products. And yet he picks the sl1 that is just an blend of unexciting outdated parts in another new sauce.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (3 months ago)

Taken out of context, yes, I can see how people could be misled, but DPR did explain their intentions clearly in the articles.

I'm sure Shawn Barnett chose the SL1 because he was impressed by it, but there are many things that one could be impressed by besides technological innovations, like for example convenience, or how a camera handles in real-life, everyday shooting. We're all different, and noone can speak for everyone.

70D, K-3, Stylus 1 and A7 are all impressive and innovative in their own ways, but exciting, new features don't necessarily translate into a better user experience. And I guess that was the main purpose of the "gear of the year" articles, to choose gear that the staff members actually had lived with for a while, and enjoyed using. That would naturally exclude any cameras that the person in question hadn't tested personally.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

I think Shawn Barnett was impressed by the cheque he got with the sl1. There is nothing impressive with the SL1. Dslr's are technology. In 1 year the 18mp canon got beat by the 16mp sony. After 3 years sony had released 3 new sensors that outperform the d7000 sensor. In that time frame canon did what. Add some AF sensors?.

And yet still every time they say great image quality. They are behind everyone so how can it even score mediocre image quality.

If a company is so lazy that they made no improvements in 4 years why give them any positive award. You can give them an most dissapointing award but no "gear of the year".

0 upvotes
kecajkerugo
By kecajkerugo (3 months ago)

such cameras are nearly pointless....cell phones can easily do the same or almost nearly the same job....and the real life proofs that (they cannot zoom such long ..yet but anything else can be done with phones). Quality (subjective) is there too...yes pixel pip lovers will not agree but most of the photos from these devices will be shown on-line. Even on a HD TV screen the will look really good when taken in adequate/moderate light. Controls on such cameras will be obviously better than on a phone but that is important to very narrow group of people.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

Which camera phone has 10x+ zoom?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

"Which camera phone has 10x+ zoom?"

Samsung S4 Zoom. It even has brighter apertures, f/3.1-f/6.3, on the sensor of the same size.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Nick Collingridge
By Nick Collingridge (3 months ago)

Your use case does not match mine. Don't project your prejudices onto everyone else. I very happily use a Canon Ixus 255HS which takes great pictures, and only use my smartphone for the occasional picture when I don't have my Ixus with me. My smartphone is handy but it does NOT replace my Ixus.

1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

peevee. the s4 zoom is an F2.8-5.9.
So the difference is even bigger.ow and it's 23mm wide too.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (3 months ago)

The Canon 3XX cameras with the HS sensor and 24mm widest angle are quite good cameras for price. Easy to carry and really nice when a model can run CHDK. I use the simple but useful Raw, SuperFine JPEG and histogram. Wish Canon would work on battery life. Usually don't say that, as I carry spares, but battery life is a weak link on this series of cameras.

1 upvote
noflashplease
By noflashplease (3 months ago)

I don't see a lot of positive buzz coming from these press releases? Maybe we should all step back and realize that these cameras aren't for enthusiasts or even well informed consumers. These are just retail units to stock the shelves of bricks and mortar retailers. So, it doesn't matter if a single forum poster buys one of these things as long as the retailers are stocking up.

Of course, the real story here is that the smartphone has driven camera manufacturers back to the megapixel wars, adding in a ridiculous zoom competition. It's all about the specs, and not the meaningful specifications, but the ones that appeal to impulse buyers.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (3 months ago)

Lens cap lenses think the apertures on these cameras are ridiculous.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

But they don't have to have a focusing motor. ;-) Pinhole zooms must be supercheap. ;-)

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (3 months ago)

Canon knows that sensor size and aperture mean absolutely nothing to vast majority of consumers.

4 upvotes
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (3 months ago)

Editor: your description of the 340HS says "25-200mm". This should read 25-300mm.
Last year's model, the 330HS, was the compact to beat, with very sharp lens and great low light capability for a $200 camera. At least on paper, the 340HS looks like a step in the wrong direction.

2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (3 months ago)

Olympus XZ-10 is now $199, with f1.8-2.5 lens.

But this certainly looks diffractiontastic ;)

5 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (3 months ago)

except the XZ-10 is nearly 50% thicker, wider, taller, and 50% heavier than the 330HS.. perhaps .. design decisions that most people that use a P&S don't know diffraction if it beats them over the head?

0 upvotes
Babya
By Babya (3 months ago)

Looks like there's no stitch-assist mode on these (it has disappeared from several 2013 Powershot models already).

I expect to see a SX280 successor maybe next month.

The SX600 has a similar focal length to the Coolpix S9200.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (3 months ago)

Let’s see, f/7 on a 1/2.3"-type sensor. Where are the equivalence hounds when you need them?

8 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

It's just terrible.
Canon has made it so obvious no one is even bothered to do the math

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (3 months ago)

They are probably completely in the dark here.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

We are out of multiplication table. ;-)
Something like f/40? ;-)

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

The 340HS is so small and thin that it really should be compared to 4-5x zoom cameras of a year or two ago. It's no bigger than an ELPH 100HS for example. And while the 300mm end is a depressing f7.0, the 120mm end of the ELPH 100HS was f5.9. Surely this camera will be no slower than that at only 40% of it's zoom range.

Comment edited 7 seconds after posting
1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

Are you defending this pathetic excuse of a new camera.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

You'd find ANY compact of this class pathetic. What's better in the true ultracompact category?

2 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (3 months ago)

"You'd find ANY compact of this class pathetic. What's better in the true ultracompact category?"

My 3-year-old Elph 500 HS, because it's 24mm equivalent and f/2 at the wide end.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

Canon's own S100. Olu XZ-10. Fuji XF1.

1 upvote
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (3 months ago)

An S100 is not an ultracompact. Don't know about the other two.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

The fujifilm xf-1 fits in my jeans. I don't care if it's bigger it actually takes acceptable pictures. And it's cheaper too these days.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (3 months ago)

What's an ISOCELL sensor? Different material or just different arrangement like BSI?

1 upvote
Martin87
By Martin87 (3 months ago)

F7.0 at the long end. You call that an upgrade to last year's models????!!!!

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

Last years models are f6.9. Same difference. The sad part is the starting aperture at wide angle, as people will most definitely be using the wide end indoors.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

F7.0 at the long end.

That's is the slowest maximum aperture i've ever seen.
combine that with an 1/2.3 inch 16mp sensor.
so all images are softened by diffraction and noise is an serious problem
review done no need for anymore attention.

Asking $249 for this is a plain joke. You can get an S110 XF-1 and other great compacts for that money

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

You can get a ELPH 330HS (last years version) for about $100. The price will fall fast.

1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

Great so anyone that get's persuaded by the big numbers on the box will lose a lot of money in months.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

What camera won't they lose money on?

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (3 months ago)

These models that can use the CDHK are quite good in their way.

1 upvote
B1ackhat
By B1ackhat (3 months ago)

Capable of taking fantastic pictures ... at the beach.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

We have the ELPH 330HS and it has surprised me how good it does indoor, despite a slow aperture. It does very usable ISO 1600. Outdoors, the pictures are as good as I've ever seen from 1/2.3" cameras.

That said, these are even slower than the 330HS. At least that had a f3.0 wide end.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

And it's capable of that nice grainy selfie cheapbook(facebook) look.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (3 months ago)

Obviously they didn't target you with this camera, let it go.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (3 months ago)

They omitted the most important spec from this announcement.

F3.6-F7.0 and F3.8-F6.9! That is just absurd with a tiny sensor and 16 megapixels.

7 upvotes
Joseph Mama
By Joseph Mama (3 months ago)

Wow, that is terrible! Significant downgrade from what currently exists.

3 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (3 months ago)

Plenty of megapixels and plenty of f's. To the average punter this is one powerful camera. I am sure it will do Canon no harm at the cash registers.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

f/7 on 1/2.3" sensor? But that is WAY beyond diffraction limit on 16 mpix, they might as well use some ancient 1 mpix sensor with that lens.

1 upvote
Total comments: 56