Excellent feature packed point-and-shoot camera

Nov 22, 2011 (Updated Nov 22, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:1080 HD video
compact
excellent battery life
wide angle
low light

Cons:poor macro focus
hard to hold small size
poor microphone/wind noise

The Bottom Line: It is cheap, has HD video, wide angle, good image quality and it's compact. Everything you want in a point-and-shoot.


I bought this camera to replace my aging Powershot A620. I have had very good luck with Canon cameras. That A620 has taken over 12k photos and videos and it is still going strong.  I paid $120 for the Elph on sale, new in the box.

This Elph 100 HS has been reliable and takes good photos, plus it has a lot of features. It is very compact and easy to carry. The camera is a true "point and shoot" camera with no manual settings. It has a wider lens than most point and shoot cameras. It also has image stabilization, which helps in some low light circumstances. The wide angle and low light abilities really make this camera stand out for such an inexpensive camera.

I have had it for about 8 months and have taken about 2k photos and videos since then. It is 12.1 megapixels and all of my pictures have been very usable for 5x7 prints. Generally, we make 4x6 and put them in albums, but the 5x7s have been nice, too.

It has quite a few features and settings. One thing I really like are the grid lines. It also has several different color settings, stitch assist and various modes for certain type of lighting which are helpful. It has some "gimmick" features that I don't use, including a fake fish eye, miniature and toy camera effects. I guess it doesn't hurt to have extras for people that do like them.

Battery life has been very good so far. I have taken 200+ photos with one charge. We went camping not long ago and I took 175 photos and 10 videos of 1-3 minutes each, all at the highest settings and it did not die. I am considering buying a longer life battery for it just as a back up.

The HD video generally looks really good for such a small camera. If you shoot your kids out in the yard or a birthday party, they are clear and usable. I did a video on a roller coaster and the camera had some trouble maintaining the image. It kind of "bends" and I never had this problem with my A620. The Elph also has a very wind sensitive microphone. Even the slightest bit of wind sounds like you are in a hurricane.

Youtube rollercoaster video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV7z7K9uoeo

It is a bit cumbersome to make it through the settings, so you need to have a bit of planning before shooting. I think Canon was trying to minimize the size and you use the same few buttons for everything so finding features quickly is difficult. Many older models had a wheel to quickly go to different shooting modes. For this camera, it takes more time.

One of my biggest complaints is the poor macro focus. My A620 was much better and my son has a Nikon L20, which was $100 and takes better macros than either Canons.

One of the positives also turns into a mild complaint -- the small size is great for portability, but it is a little difficult to hold onto. This is one camera I use the wrist strap all of the time because I have trouble grabbing it. I also tend to hold it with two hands and sometimes accidentally cover the flash with my left hand. It was very difficult to hold on the roller coaster, which I had done easily with the A620. That camera has a bit of a "grip" where the batteries go.

I definitely recommend this camera. It is easy to carry, takes good photos and videos and I think it is an excellent value.


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