The Good Ultracompact; solid battery life; excellent burst capabilities; low shutter lag; versatile movie mode.
The Bad Few manual controls or scene modes; inaccurate viewfinder with no diopter adjustment.
The Bottom Line Putting excellent performance in an ultracompact package, the SD300 should please photographers who don't want manual controls or plentiful scene modes.
Canon PowerShot Digital Elph
Canon PowerShot SD300 Digital Elph
Generally stellar performance figures, great battery life, and an ultracompact design will score points for the Canon PowerShot SD300 with the point-and-shoot crowd, but its lack of manual controls, limited selection of scene modes, and anemic flash put a crimp in this Digital Elph's versatility. Minimovie fans will love the ability to shoot continuous high-quality clips limited only by memory card capacity, as well as the unusual 60-frames-per-second slow-motion mode.
Canon shrank the dimensions of the 5.5-ounce PowerShot SD300 down to an ultraslim 3.4-by-2.1-by-0.83-inch package that can slip into any pocket. This Digital Elph is made even more easily pocketable by its reduced number of protrusions, starting with the hand-strap lug, which is now recessed into the body. The camera's exterior is all metal, except for plastic doors covering the battery/SD memory card slots and A/V and USB ports.
While you can operate the PowerShot SD300 with one hand, a two-handed grip makes it easier to work the zoom lever, which is concentric with the top-mounted shutter-release button. A recessed on/off button and a green power LED are the only other adornments on the top surface. The major controls are concentrated on the right side of the back panel, which is dominated by a brightness-adjustable 2-inch LCD viewfinder. A three-way sliding switch lets you select recording, movie mode, or playback, and three other buttons provide access to the three-page menu system (with shooting, setup, and customization options), display options (status info, no info, and monitor off), and print/share features.