Canon Powershot SD1300 IS Review
KISS. Keep it simple stupid. And that's what Canon did with the Powershot SD1300IS. The SD1300IS is a slim, stylish, little camera that will catch your eye the first time you see it. It has a metallic blue body, but you can get it in a variety of colors: black, green, pink, brown or silver. It's lightweight, and sleek, and you can easily slip it into any pocket.
The controls and layout are simple, and there's not a lot going on, so you won't be confused. On the top of the camera, we have your on/off button, and to the right, the shutter release button with the zoom lever surrounding it. Zooming was very smooth, and we had no problems with it. What's missing from this camera is a mode dial. Rather, there's a mode switch in the top right of the back with 3 options to choose from: smart auto, still and video. There's no optical viewfinder, but shooting with the LCD was enough for our needs.
In the back panel, you'll find the 2.7 inch LCD screen with the usual controls in the back. It's not as big as some LCDs (3 inches), but it's a pretty solid LCD that can be seen in a wide angle. As mentioned, in the top right of the back is the mode switch. To the left of this button is the playback button, which you use to view images. If you press it while the camera is shutdown, the camera will turn off but the lens won't extend. To turn the camera off, you can press the playback button too. Below the playback button is a 4-way navigation controller, and below that the display and menu buttons. Pressing the display button goes through all the display options, while pressing Menu gives you access to the setup options.
The selection of the different modes is also simplified. It's clear Canon made this camera for those who weren't technical-saavy, or who just want to take photos without dealing with settings. There's the Smart Auto mode, which is basically intelligent auto mode. But it doesn't pick a scene mode, like most implementations. Rather, it analyzes the current scene, and picks 1 of 18 presets. It also chooses the right exposure. If you want a bit more control, there's program mode, where you can adjust and fine-tune the exposure, as well as ISO, white balance, metering, image size, and EV compensation. You still can't adjust the aperture or shutter speed though. Using program mode, you can choose from any of the scene modes available such as portrait, pets, kids, indoor, underwater, and night snapshot. Lastly, there's movie mode, which is used for video recording.
The lens is fairly average, and doesn't have a very long zoom range. It features a 4 X optical zoom, and the range is 28mm to 110mm, good, but nothing mindblowing. There is image stabilization in the lens to compensate for camera shaking. During our tests, we saw some blurring in the corners at wide angle, and some barrel distortion. At full telephoto, there was very little distortion, and good sharpness. Overall, not a bad lens at this price.
The image quality is pretty good. Colors look great, and not too over-saturated. Red and blues are a bit over-saturated, while yellows a bit under-saturated, but not to a huge degree. Hue accuracy is relatively solid. Noise handling is good at the low ISO, but when you hit 400, some details are softened. When using ISO 800 and above, our photos displayed a lot of luminance noise. But surprisingly, details are still there in high ISO's. Overall, the SD1300 IS is better than the average point & shoot in noise handling.
If you're interested in making prints, here's what you need to know. ISO 100 and below shots will make good 13 X 19 prints. For 200, lower the size to 11 X 14 inches. For ISO 400, stick with 8.5 X 11. For ISO 800, stick with 5 X 7. And For ISO 1600, you can get good quality prints at 4 X 6. For a camera less than $200, the SD1300IS met our expectations. We didn't expect to get a decent 4 X 6 print in ISO 1600.
The performance isn't that bad either. Power on to the first shot is a pretty good 1.41 seconds. Shot to shot is 2.7 seconds with no flash, and 4.9 seconds with the flash. Shutter lag in bright light is .51 seconds, and .71 seconds in dim lighting. Continuous shooting speeds is below average, clocking in at .6 frames per seconds, so you definitely can't use this camera for shooting fast action shots like moving pets/kids. Stick with portraits, still objects, and landscapes -- this is what the SD1300IS does best.
Video quality is okay, but you can't use the optical zoom when video recording, which would've been great. There's also no HD video capture. It captures video at 640 X 480 resolution at 30 fps.
It's worth repeating: the SD1300IS is a simple camera that's perfect for people that want a fun, little camera that makes shooting shots easy, and stress-free. Most people just use intelligent auto mode, and let the camera do the work. Everything, from the lack of many buttons, the straightforward menu system, and the inability to change aperture/shutter speed is designed for the person who wants simplicity.
- 12.1 megapixels CCD
- 4 X optical zoom
- Lens with range of 28 - 112 mm
- 2.7 in LCD display
- 80-1600 ISO
- 4.9 ounces
- Battery life rated at 240 shots
- Small, and lightweight
- Very beginner friendly
- Optical image stabilization
- Easy and fun to use
- Solid image quality
- Very inexpensive
- Bad low light shooting performance
- Bad when shooting into sun
- No HD video
The Canon SD1300IS, though inexpensive doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, and is a solid, inexpensive camera for families. It's easy and fun to use, and does a great job of removing any complications, so you can just focus on a fun shooting experience.
It doesn't perform well in low light shooting, but for most people, that shouldn't be a huge issue since it's not a common occurrence. At less than $200, it's a steal in our opinion.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
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|Amazon||$169.00 (Cheapest Price)|
Prices last updated on: Mon, 22 May 2017 08:26:23 PDT