Canon PwerShot ELPH 320 HS: Conclusion

November 29, 2012 by Laura Hicks Reads (12,982)
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


In a world where uploading images to the world wide web can be done with a tap of a finger, point and shoot cameras would be as extinct as the dinosaurs if not for the emergence of wifi capabilities. The Canon Elph 320 HS has emerged from the ashes of former point and shoots with gusto. Because it is wireless, you can use Canon’s iMAGE GATEWAY software to instantly upload images to Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

The face identification is an amazing tool for such a small device. It can also come in handy when organizing your digital images. You can set the camera to detect up to 12 different faces. In addition, the Elph 320 can recognize scenes and react intuitively to the environment. For example, when photographing a sleeping baby the camera will disengage the flash and adjust the exposure accordingly. In a backlit situation while photographing a person against a beautiful blue sky, the camera will adjust the exposure on the face while retaining the blues of the brilliant sky.

For point and shooters this combination equals bliss, especially when this bliss comes in a stylish camera that will easily fit into a pocket or a purse.

As a professional photographer for the last 10 years I was skeptical that this camera could perform anywhere close to my expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the Elph 320’s Smart Auto function. The highly intuitive nature of the camera was a huge bonus for me. It really did a lot of the thinking. I enjoyed the instinctive scene recognition and realized this could come in handy in casual situations such as a night on the town with friends, my child’s classroom awards ceremony or Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt’s. But, what really fed my creativity was the Elph’s ability to spontaneous switch into macro mode. I am infatuated with macro photography. I am especially infatuated with a camera that weighs only ounces, can fit into my pocket and can take some pretty amazing macro images.

The biggest drawback for me was the lack of responsiveness and sensitivity in the touchscreen. No matter how hard I tried I was unable to regulate the pressure of my touch to the screen. It became more evident the longer I dabbled in the program and menu modes. As my frustration built I found myself using the auto mode more than I normally would.

No, this camera will never replace my DSLR, and I will not get rid of my smart phone. This camera is designed for those casual photographers who don’t want to determine the settings for every image. It is designed for those that enjoy having fun with their images and like editing them in-camera. It is designed for those people who want a point and shoot that can handle itself in a multitude of situations with grace and speed. It is designed for those that crave more zoom than their smart phone could ever give them. It is designed for those that love to post their pictures on social media sites.

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