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Conclusion - Pros

  • Good resolution, fairly sharp images, hardly any chromatic aberrations
  • White balance works well, presets are good
  • Ultra-compact size, light weight
  • Sleek stainless steel body, stylish looks
  • Superb build quality (the best along with Olympus's E-10)
  • Very quick operation, good buffering excellent start-up and shot-to-shot times
  • Automatic lens cover
  • Good range of movie clip options, now with audio
  • Sharp, bright, LCD with anti-reflective coating
  • AF assist lamp
  • Stitch assist mode
  • Excellent lithium-ion battery & supplied charger
  • USB connectivity


Conclusion - Cons

  • Colours can sometimes seem a little dull (under saturated)
  • "Flat" images may frustrate some users, require digital darkroom work (a contrast setting would have been useful)
  • Poor macro ability
  • Flash doesn't have the power or the cover
  • Edge positioned tripod mount (at least it's metal!)
  • Poor battery life
  • Auto White balance doesn't work well in artificial light
  • Despite a lower price than last years Digital IXUS the 300 is a little pricey in this years market


Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Canon Digital IXUS 300 (S300 ELPH): (2 megapixel ultra-compact)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 10
Features 7
Image quality 8
Lens / CCD combination 8.5
Ease of use 8
Value for money 6

Whatever you may think of this camera the first impression you get when you handle it is "cool", design wise Canon have sunk their venerable knowledge of building highly appealing ultra-compact cameras into the IXUS 300, it's stainless steel body, that ultra-fast extending lens with the automatic cover and its crisp, bright LCD.. All in all it's a quality package and feels far more "camera like" than a lot of other digital cameras which do leave you with the "computer peripheral" feeling.

The IXUS 300 is certainly the type of camera which you're more likely to HAVE WITH YOU when you need to take that crucial shot, you can slip it into your jacket pocket without a second thought and the new 3x lens will give you a good range of focal lengths.

Image quality wise I have no quibbles with the IXUS 300, Canon have managed to squeeze a lot of quality and experience into this little package, for most people the IXUS 300 will deliver all they'll need from a digital camera.

Canon's real problem here is the price. There are plenty of other digital cameras around for $600, I'm sure that they are betting on the IXUS 300's size and design to justify it's higher price but at just $100 more you can pick up one of the best 3 megapixel 3x zoom digital cameras around, and lest we forget Yashica's S3 is just around the corner...

Recommended
(but pricey)

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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