The performance of the ELPH 300 HS is good in some respects, average in others. Startup time is practically instantaneous, which is extremely useful when you want to take advantage of a picture taking opportunity that suddenly becomes available. Shot-to-shot time is not particularly snappy, at about three seconds, but adequate. Using the flash adds about another second. Menu operations are very responsive.
I found the ELPH 300 HS to be very reliable in acquiring focus and shooting. Even under low light, using the auto focus assist lamp, the camera was able to lock focus in almost all instances.
With regard to focus speed, lab tests show fairly good performance scores. Shutter lag, when pre-focused (when the shutter is pressed halfway down), was negligible at 0.01 second. Auto focus acquisition, the time it takes between pressing the shutter and taking the shot, was 0.48 second, the slowest in the sample group but in the middle of the pack compared to all point-and-shoot cameras. Continuous shooting tested at a relatively quick 3.5 frames per second for the first three seconds, but slowed down thereafter. However, the ELPH 300 HS can shoot a very quick 8 frames per second in high speed burst mode, though image size is limited to 3 megapixels.
Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||0.01|
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS||0.01|
|Kodak EasyShare M590||0.03|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.05|
AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||0.19|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||0.26|
|Kodak EasyShare M590||0.30|
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS||0.48|
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS||3||3.5|
|Fujifilm FinePix Z800EXR||4||1.6|
|Nikon Coolpix S8000||10||1.2|
|Kodak EasyShare M590||3||1.0|
*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera's fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). "Frames" notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.
As far as battery life is concerned, Canon claims its NP-4L lithium ion battery can deliver up to 220 shots per charge, which seems reasonably accurate based on my experience with the camera. This is an average battery life for a small point and shoot camera, but if you plan to take a lot of movies or shoot all day, it would be worth investing in a backup battery.
The ELPH 300 HS has a versatile 5x optical zoom lens with a focal length that ranges from a very wide 24mm through a useful 120mm (35mm film camera equivalent). This is somewhat longer compared to other cameras of a similar size.
I was pleased with the lens performance of the ELPH 300 HS. The lens was consistently sharp throughout the frame and even at maximum zoom. I noticed no vignetting and minimal chromatic aberration (purple fringing). There was some barrel distortion at extreme wide angle, but this is understandable considering the wideness of the lens.
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