The IXUS series is Canon’s stylish line-up of compact cameras. These are easy to use, feature-packed and deliver unmatched performance in their category.
Joining the bandwagon is the 12.1-megapixel Canon IXUS 310 HS with a touch screen interface.
Design and Build Quality
The Canon IXUS 310 HS is designed to impress. The camera is not very sleek, and fortunately, has no sharp edges. The hand grip portion is nicely contoured to enhance visual appeal. The front outer panel is metal while the rest of the outer body is constructed with polycarbonate. The touch screen LCD covers the entire back panel barring a small strip on the right side for a grooved thumb grip that houses the playback button. The top panel has three controls—power button, shooting mode selector switch, and the shutter release button zoom lever unit. The lens has a two-segment construction and it does not protrude from the body when the camera is turned off. The IXUS 300 HS has a metal tripod mount and the plastic battery chamber/card slot door appears better than those of most compacts including the IXUS 220 HS.
The 12.1 megapixel IXUS 310 HS uses a 1/2.3 inch Type (4.62 x 6.16 mm) back-illuminated CMOS sensor for imaging. This camera features the HS system, consisting of a high sensitivity sensor and Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor, believed to produce sharp, noise-free images with natural looking colours even under low light situation and without using flash. The camera features a 24–105mm equivalent lens with lens-shift type (optical) image stabilisation.
The lens provides an aperture range of f/2.8–8 at the wide-angle end and f/5.6–8 at the telephoto end. In the normal mode, the lens focuses from 3cm to infinity at the wide-angle end, and from 40 cm to infinity at the telephoto end. In the macro mode, the camera can focus from 3 to 50 cm at the wide-angle end. AF modes available are Single, Servo AF/Servo AE, and Touch AF. AF frame options are Face AiAF and Fixed frame. Metering modes available are Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, and Spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-EV increments. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 125 to 3200. Shutter speed can be varied from 15 to 1/1600 sec. The built-in flash has a range of 50 cm to 5.0 m at the wide-angle end and 50 cm to 2.0 m at the telephoto end, though Canon does not specify at what ISO sensitivity the flash provides this range. Flash modes available are Auto, On, Slow Synchro, and Off. White balance options are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Custom.
The IXUS 310 HS provides a wide range of shooting modes including Auto, P, Tv, Av, Movie Digest, Portrait, Kids and Pets, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Creative Light Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, iFrame Movie, and Super Slow Motion Movie. The Movie Digest mode captures a short movie along with still images so that you can join them in the form of a documentary. The iFrame Movie mode records movies that can be edited with Apple iFrame software. The camera features a maximum shooting speed of 8.2 frames per second in high-speed burst mode. Still images are recorded in JPEG format with maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels while movies are recorded in MOV format with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The camera uses a 3.2-inch, 461,000-dot TFT colour touch panel LCD. It does not feature internal memory and uses an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card, MMC, /MMCplus/HC MMCplus for external storage. The IXUS 310 HS is powered by an NB-6L Li-ion battery pack. It weighs approximately 185 g including battery and memory card, and has dimensions of 100.6 x 55.4 x 25.0 mm.
We have expressed our displeasure with touch screen interface on digital cameras in the past. But the Canon IXUS 310 HS has somehow impressed us with the fast response to touch. This makes navigation effortless, though the basic flaw of dirt and grime on the LCD still remains a concern. With just enough room for your thumb on the back panel, the camera feels precariously slippery. So we advise you to always keep the wrist strap attached while using this camera. The interface is quite intuitive with easily identifiable icons.
The Canon IXUS 310 HS upheld the superior performance of its predecessors on our test bench. AF was fast and accurate even in low light and images were sharp. We observed slight darkening of corners at the wide-angle end with the lens wide open. But if we compare this to most compact camera lenses, it was minimal. Prominent flare and chromatic aberration were observed at the wide-angle end at the widest aperture, along with blue and purple fringing. Barrel distortion was observed almost throughout the zoom range (till about 100mm).
The IXUS 300 HS reproduced colours accurately. White Balance performed excellently except under incandescent light (which is not always consistent). Native print size of the images was 10 x 13.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 16.66 percent of the screen size, ISO 3200 appeared noisy. When observed at 25 percent, slight noise was seen at ISO 1600 also. Enlarged to 33.33 percent, ISO 800 also appeared slightly noisy, but not visible unless you look very closely.
Value for Money
The Canon IXUS 310 HS retails at a recommended retail price of Rs.20,995. At this price, the camera seems slightly expensive.
+ Stylish design
+ Responsive touch screen
+ Excellent performance
+ Impressive features
– Touch screen prone to get dirty
– No RAW mode
– No well-defined grip
– High Price
Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features 16/20
Noise Control 5/5
Extra Features 5/5
Value for Money 6/10
Grand Total 82/100
For those who are looking for a compact and stylish digital camera that can deliver superior images and feature priority modes, the Canon IXUS 300 HS is a good buy. But if you have sweaty hands, then you might not be impressed with the touch screen interface. However, this does not prevent the camera from bagging a Best Buy tag for the overall performance