Canon launches its new low-light-capable HS system with the ten-million-pixel IXUS 300 HS

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Canon IXUS 300 HS

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Canon IXUS 300 HS review


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Canon IXUS 300 HS review – Introduction

Short dynamic range and poor performance in low-light conditions are two of the most obvious downsides to shooting with a compact camera. With this in mind, Canon has shifted its emphasis from a high pixel count to images with less noise and more detail in its latest compact camera, the IXUS 300 HS.

We might deduce that the HS stands for high speed/sensitivity, but Canon tells me that it doesn’t stand for anything. In much the same way as Canon has reduced the number of pixels in its PowerShot series – the G11 has ten million pixels, while its G10 predecessor has 14.7 million – the 300 HS has 4.1 million fewer pixels than the IXUS 210, Canon’s highest pixel-count IXUS compact camera.

Canon’s new Ixus 300 HS has DIGIC 4 processing and a high-sensitivity, back-illuminated CMOS sensor. When these are combined with the same size sensor as previous IXUS models, lower noise levels should be ensured. The wide and bright lens has an effective focal range of 28-105mm and an aperture of f/2 at 28mm (effective), through to f/8 with several aperture settings in between.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Build and Handling
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Our verdict
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  • Ron Graves

    I recently bought an SX30 and, despite some reviews claiming excessive chromatic aberration, I’m just not seeing it, which suggests it’s not present in all cameras (or that it was improved during the production run). Noise at ISO400, though, I could live without but, to be fair, it’s not intrusive unless you’re looking for it.

    IS is excellent, too, even at maximum zoom, but a neckpod, which I have but didn’t use, would be even better.

    I bought this for its huge zoom range – affording a similar lens for my DSLR was never going to happen – and I’m quite happy with the results. Not delirious – at maximum zoom there is some colour bleaching/over-exposure, but nothing that can’t be put right in Photoshop – other than that it performs excellently and at all focal lengths except maximum the lens performs faultlessly which, frankly, I wasn’t expecting.

    Image quality is fine. Not as good as my Oly E420 and Zuiko 70-300, but given the huge convenience of such a camera, I’m not complaining – the pics are perfectly fine viewed at full screen (slightly less so at full size, about A2, about which I care not at all).

    Yes, as has been mentioned, writing the image to memory is slow, which isn’t a major problem (and that’s with a Class 10 card). I can live with that. A far greater potential problem – shutter lag – is mercifully absent.