Canon PowerShot 320 HS Review

by Reads (16,048)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 6
    • Features
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Expandability
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 6.60
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Good image quality
    • Smart Auto mode is intuitive
    • Compact design makes it easy to carry anywhere
    • Macro mode was extremely fun to use
    • Wide range of creative in-camera functions
  • Cons

    • Lack of responsiveness in touchscreen
    • Video quality was mediocre
    • High ISO results in image grain and loss of detail

Revenge is mine! At least that’s what the Canon PowerShot Elph 320 HS believes when placed up against the increasingly popular smartphone cameras. Armed with Wi-Fi capabilities and a 5x zoom lens (24mm-120mm), Canon intends to show us that your current smartphone camera is no match for this handy little touchscreen point and shoot. With a street price of $199 it just might have what it takes to compete.

The 16.1 megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor paired with a DIGIC 5 images processor is the all-star of this game; this one-two punch promises to deliver better images in low light situations. With ISO settings that range from 100 to 3,200, the Elph 320 offers greater flexibility when faced with various lighting conditions. The shutter speed ranges from 15 seconds to 1/2,000 second. While that doesn’t mean much to the auto shooter, the Elph 320 will be able to respond whether photographing the landscape of northern Ireland or documenting your child’s first dance recital.

Wide Angle, 24mm

Telephoto, 120mm

Build and Design

The Canon PowerShot Elph 320 HS measures only 2.2 by 3.7 by 0.8 inches and weighs just 5.1 ounces. It is lightweight, compact and easy to slip into your purse or pocket. And for those photographers with a need for style and flair, you will enjoy the multitude of color options that include blue, red, silver or black.

With a large 3.2 inch LCD touch screen that covers nearly the entire camera, viewing your images will be a breeze. The display is bright and crisp. A viewfinder is not available, however most point and shoot users are used to not having this option.

Ergonomics and Controls
The Elph 320 is designed for two handed shooters. The 3.2 inch LCD touch screen is a double-edged sword. Although it creates a great viewing situation, it requires the photographer use both hands if they want to use the touch screen shutter option.

In fact, almost all of the controls are housed in the touch screen. While in shooting and viewing mode, the controls are located on either side of the 4:3 image. I found the touch screen to be less responsive than I desired. I struggled with selecting the intended toggle. It would skip through the options in a sporadic manner. The screen required a firm touch.

The only physical buttons were the power button, the auto/program mode, zoom control and playback button.

Menus and Modes
The vast shooting options can all be found on the camera’s touch screen menu. Depending on the options desired, they can be accessed by using the camera’s auto mode or program mode. The fun shooting options are located in the program mode.

Smart Auto: In auto mode the camera selects the aperture and shutter speed. It also chooses the correct ISO for the situation.

Program:The camera does the work for you or you can choose your settings.

Creative Functions: You choose which creative function best suits your needs. The options are portrait, smooth skin, smart shutter, fish-eye, miniature effect, toy camera effect, soft focus, monochrome, super vivid, poster effect, color accent, color swap and snow. The optional filters are vivid, neutral, sepia, black and white, positive film, lighter skin, darker skin, vivid blue, vivid green, vivid red and custom color.

Movie: A one-touch video button located on the touchscreen during the live view mode allows for video recording with the tap of a finger.

Wi-Fi: Pictures can be shared with little effort by accessing the upload option located on the touchscreen while in the image display mode.

In addition to the creative modes, the Elph 320 also allows users to manually operate their camera by adjusting the ISO, shutter speed and/or aperture.

An optical viewfinder is unavailable for the Elph 320 HS. However, 461,000 dots team up to make the 3.2 inch screen a delight to view. The LCD is large and very crisp. Even outdoors the LCD screen is relatively easy to see. In a dark room the screen looks great. Users can easily flip between the live viewing mode (to take pictures) to the image display mode (to view images already taken). Once in the display mode, you can upload your images to the social media website of your choice.

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