July 08, 2012

New Camera Addition to the Family!

After about 3-4 years of complaining about my DSLRs, I finally bought myself a point and shoot camera!

Most people who know me, know that I have disliked P&S cameras for quite some time now because of their lack of manual capabilities. Thank goodness that technology has advanced since then enough for me to finally be content with buying one.

This here is the Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS. Canon you say? I know, I know, I have been a loyal Nikon fan for years, but I think Canon has some excellent specs and even aesthetics when it comes to their compact cameras.

I bought this because well, next week I'm going to this music festival in Toronto and they don't allow SLR cameras. I mean, that's good because I would cry if I damaged any of my SLRs, plus it's a bitch to lug around! I've been wanting a nice, small, compact, but with good specs camera for quite some time now and I've hesitated over choosing either a new accessory for the SLR or a new camera. This time, I finally went with the latter.

Here's the down-low for any of you photo nerds out there:

( photo taken from Best Buy.ca )

Canon's new HS System (high sensitivity) series is part of their new technology that claims to take good low-lighting photos or as they say, "No more dark photos". Basically, they've finally added the ISO 3200 settings to their cameras, which allows for better low-light setting photos. What is ISO you say? Basically it deals with the camera's sensitivity to picking up light. So, the higher the ISO, the better the camera is at picking up light, ergo no more dark, grainy photos. Granted that though, the higher the sensitivity, the more susceptible you are to grains or noise in the photos.

Having ISO 3200 was also a big factor for me to select this camera. My newest of the 2 DSLRs that I own have that ability as well, which also factored in me choosing it.

Another big factor was its aperture settings. The current lenses I have on both my SLRs' biggest f-stop is 3.5, which isn't even that great! Makes it tough for macro shots. This camera's biggest one is f2.7, which is fantastic! It definitely makes a big deal already and it shows.

Another deciding factor about this camera were the color choices (I originally wanted red, but no dice) and even the shooting mode effects! My D3100 has the ability to add effects to photos AFTER they're taken, but this camera lets you SHOOT with the effects applied! AMAZING. I don't have a smart phone with crazy photo filter apps, so this is a big deal to me and it's quite cool. A few of the cool modes include:

Miniature Effect, Toy Camera, Color Select and Fisheye

Others include: soft skin, poster effect, swap color, B&W, etc., and there's even a slow-mo video effect too! so cool.

The camera also has a 24mm wide angle lens (which is fantastic) and has 5x optical zoom. Optical zoom in my opinion is a waste of a feature, but hey, people use it. It is also 16.1 Mega Pixels, which is a bit ridiculous, but it'll be good if I ever decide to print any photos.

It also shoots 1080p HD video, which is nice, but again, I dont even shoot video on my D3100, so it's ridiculous for me.

It also has built in WI-FI! Which means I can upload photos to Facebook or Twitter, to a smart phone or even a computer! It's definitely useful technology and Im curious to try it out.

Its userface is extremely easy to get and I have pretty much gotten to know the gist of this camera in under a half hour (then again, i wouldnt call myself a beginner *cough*) It gives you the chance to shoot in Auto Mode or (what I will call) Manual Mode. The above photo shows my settings for the Manual Mode. I can adjust exposure, macro, resolution, flash settings, ISO settings, white balance and color modes. There's also the option to get rid of the distracting settings that take up the sides of the screen (the Disp. button)

OH! And it's touch screen! And the strap comes with this little stylus you can use if you're conscious about fingerprints or are just having a hard time with the touch effects. Pretty neat!

The Pitfalls
Alright, there are definitely some things I don't like about this camera and it may or may not be relevant to you.

I dislike that I cannot set the aperture or shutter speed settings, but I assume you never really could (unless you have one of those compact SLR cameras like the Nikon 1, even then I'm not sure) The basic exposure settings (-1, 0, +1, +2, etc) are never really enough for me.

Another thing I don't really have too much control with in the focus. Although there is this feature where you can touch a point on the screen to have focused in the photo, the focus still doesn't seem to do so properly. For example, on Macro mode, I am looking for a pretty shallow depth of field (extreme focus on an item in the foreground, with the background blurred out), the camera may be locked on to what I want it to focus on, but even with the biggest aperture capability being f2.7, it doesn't blur the way I want it. This is merely something simple that I can probably fix over time and figure out.

I also must complain about the ridiculous amount of MegaPixels! You must think I'm crazy, but honestly, unless you intend to print your photos out into 8" x 10" or bigger sized photos, you don't need all those unnecessary pixels! It's a very common misconception that the more = better. If you're going to be posting your photos on Facebook or even on your beauty blogs or any other blogs alike, you never really need anything more than 5MP! Your photos most likely get re-sized because they're too big and that reduces the pixels, so that alone should tell you that you dont need so many!

These are photos I took with a 3.2MP camera, back in 2004. I didn't have them on the highest resolution of 3.2MP either and they still came out nice enough for 4" x 6" photographs!

Another little things that bothers me is that every now and then, the flash will turn on when I was turned it off. It would be nice if the camera would keep the settings saved. I am not a fan of flash at all, so I rarely use it.

Lastly, although touch screen is the future, I still miss having manual buttons to scroll through photos. This is merely preference, but having to slide my finger over the screen really bothers me. I may be using the stylus then ;)

This is a great beginner camera and a good camera for those intermediate photo hobbyists (like me) that still want to have a little bit of a manual feel in a compact form. It's light-weight and pretty slim compared to my old Olympus 3.2MP camera from 2004. I also adore the color and the overall feel of the camera. I like the wi-fi capabilities and I feel like I paid a decent enough sum of money for this. I would definitely recommend this to any one

Where I bought it: Best Buy
Price Paid: $289.99 $229.99 CDN on sale!

Overall Rating: 4/5

I've been thinking of sharing my photography paraphernalia soon. Hopefully that won't bore any one. I now have about 8 cameras (both digital and manual) in my collection (:


  1. I would be very interested in a post about all your photography things. I'm definitely considering buying a DSLR, and I could use some help ;)

    I only have a Canon Ixus right now, which I've always been satisfied with as a point and shoot camera, but I really want to upgrade my photography.

    1. Okay good! I will definitely make a post about it then :D ...some day (hopefully soon)

      Ah, I know what you mean :3



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