For a sub-$200 ultracompact camera, the SD1300 IS' photo quality is very good. Representative of its class, subjects noticeably soften from noise reduction above ISO 200. Give this camera plenty of light and your results should be great. Indoors without a flash or in dim lighting and details will be softer and noise more visible. Despite details getting softer, though, they're not smeared beyond recognition--even at higher ISOs. Its color consistency is very good up to ISO 800, too; above that and there is some shifting and yellow blotching.
Canon has renamed its High ISO mode to Low Light to help alleviate some people's confusion about the setting. The mode captures 3.5-megapixel photos at ISOs from 400 to 6,400. This image was taken at ISO 3,200 in very dark conditions. It's grainy and there's visible yellow blotching in the darker areas, but at least you'll capture something if that's all you're after.
Barrel distortion is minimal at the camera's widest lens position (top). There is no pincushion distortion when the lens is fully extended (bottom). Sharpness is excellent in the center and is fairly consistent edge to edge as well.
Purple fringing is a problem for most point-and-shoot cameras, but some produce less than others. The SD1300, however, produces more than others and depending on the size or your prints, it can ruin your photos. In high-contrast scenes like this it's visible in prints larger than 4x6 inches.
The SD1300's color performance is excellent. Colors are generally accurate, bright, and vibrant. Exposure is good, but as typical with compact cameras, highlights tend to blow out. Canon's i-Contrast feature does help bring out shadow detail, though. White balance is also good, but Auto leans toward warm indoors.