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on 18 July 2012
I was looking for a new compact to carry with me most of the time. The one thing I insist on is having an optical viewfinder. I refuse to buy a camera without one. This straight away limits the choices as it seems manufacturers or intent on cutting corners and getting rid of them.

Most of the cameras that have them or at the top end of the compact price range such as the Fujifilm X10 or canon G12 which are very nice cameras but more than I want to spend at this time. Thankfully it seems canon are still listening to their customers and produced this simple point and shoot camera which a has one.

Now with a camera in this price range I wasn't expecting miracles but so far I've been pleasantly surprised.

Though made of plastic (what else would you expect at this price point?) it still feels sturdy and good in the hand. It reminds me a bit of my old Olympus MJU 2 one of the best 35mm compacts in my opinion.

It has enough settings to make it usable in most circumstances and in P mode will remember most of your settings when switched off. For instance I like to have flash turned off and just put it on when I need it.

I'm generally happy with the quality of the photographs. Yes there's some noise as the ISO creeps up and 16 megapixel is overkill for a camera like this and could have been kept to 12 like its predecessor. Mostly I use it outdoors in decent light and limit the ISO to 100 wherever possible.

One thing to be aware of this camera doesn't have proper image stabilisation but has a mode setting for use in certain circumstances. They confusingly call it digital image stabilisation'. I assume this simply means it increases the iso and alters the aperture and combines several photos to get the fastest speed possible.

The viewfinder (my main reason for buying this model) is small but usable and 100 times better than not having one at all.

The face detection seems fast and the menu and settings simple and easy to find.

Some people seem to see using AA batteries as a negative but to me it's a positive. I've been using rechargeable NI-MH batteries and they seem to last a reasonable time and if the rechargeable ones do run out at least you can get some normal batteries and still use the camera.

I've not used the movie mode much yet but it seem pretty good from what I can tell so far.

I think the help button (while it may be of use to some people) once you know the cameras functions is a bit of a waste of a button that could have been used or something else or maybe they could put the movie button there as where it is its quite easy to press by accident.

Overall in some ways this is a better camera than I expected for the price. That's not to say it couldn't be improved though so if canon or listening here's some of my suggestions for the next model in this range:

*Add proper image stabilisation. You have it in other cameras around this price so there's no excuse for not putting it in. (I knocked the one star off for this)
*Make the viewfinder a bit bigger (if possible) I see this as the main selling point for this camera so why not make the most of it.
*Reduce the pixel count to maybe 12MP (or even less) to reduce noise. When will manufactures learn small compacts with small censors don't need this many pixels.
*(One for me:) Make it weather/shower proof! Like the old Olympus MJU cameras were. Something I can't find in any digital compact so far (unless I've missed one). It doesn't need full waterproofing for diving etc just give me a camera I can use it in the rain!

With this I'm sure they would have a real winner on their hands.
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on 12 April 2013
Like many others I bought this camera for two simple reasons, I did not really need a new camera but anted a "back -up and a neat lightweight to carry in my pocket. The two simple reasons were that it has a magic addition long since forgotten on budget cameras and in my mind essential "A VIEWFINDER". It is simply a glass aperture but it does zoom in conjunction with the lens and shows almost all of the scene you are shooting. My gripe about this is it does not have a line across it showing the 16.9view for when you are doing video in that format. Another reason I bought it is that I like Canon ( I bought a super one in January from here) and this one uses conventional AA batteries so no need to worry if yours runs out, somewhere in your vicinity if you think ahead there will be a place to buy AA batteries but not Canon batteries.
I ws torn between the new one (A1400) a\nd this one and then discovered the only thing the new one has over this is an Eco mode which switches off the screen to save batteries, you can actually switch off the screen by hand on this one.
I shot loads of pictures and video almost expecting them to be rubbish and my goodness was I surprised... yes I was indeed.
Video is superb, it shoots in 720p and that is sufficent for anyone really especially if you edit on a small PC or laptop. The top version of 1080p is far too power hungry for AA batteries unless they are everlasitng ones. If you have edited video on a laptop of PC you wil also know that 1080 format is so large and uses so much memory you'll need a quad core machine to do it with ease. The sound for the video is great and clear but you cannot zoom during video unless it is digital which I would not advise, which is like most budget video cameras, but nothing cheap about the quality it is a stunning picture and no buffering either..
As for the still pictures, as this camera uses a CCD not a CMOS sensor it cannot be totally compared to the more expensive and professional models but havng seaid that I was impressed at the picture quality when I got the hang of it and set it to "Programme mode" not "Auto", it also has "Smart" scene modes for all purposes amany digital filters to have fun with.
Flash is adjustable in power not a pop up one it sits where it is which is good as it does not mean you have to move your fingers to let it pop up. The one thing I ask and to many other budget camera makers too "Why on earth make the resolution 16 megapixels on this essentially a beginner's camera ?" I would have liked to see 12 megapixels which in my view is plenty to be able to crop and print. I doubt if the beginners who would buy this would need sixteen million pixels and they wil soon find their SD card filled up and their memory on their laptops with this high volume of pixels. If you view the full PC screen full crop of a picture at the hundred percent pixel count of sixteen million th epicture is not as sharp as one wouldlike to see, a bit fuzzy at the edges of some objects depedning upon how brigh tit is. If you view it at fifty percent of zoom (eight megapixels) it is great. I have now set my camera to a resolution of eight megapixels, it uploads the pictures quicker onto the PC and edits on the screen of my PC are quicker and I have great images. One thing to point out in connection with the CCD sensor as opposed to CMOS, it does not register detail in shadows or very dull light as well. If you shoot in interiors with little light you will not get as brilliant shot as you would with good lighting. All pictures out of this benefit from post editing, which is common with many cameras and I can say with honesty I have produced some first class images with this little beauty.. in good lighting conditions (incl. flash) and even the less good one were made good with editing.. Grab it quickly before it sells out or maybe some other maker may geton the bandwagon and produce a camera with once always used viewfinder... what a crime to stop putting it.on cameras, and have all these demented arm wavers ruining their shots.. Love the camera and will use it a lot.
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on 18 August 2014
Unable to recommend this camera. Bought it last year as a replacement for a trusty old canon that had been damaged. This one developed a lens error fault within a few weeks of purchase and amazon quickly replaced it. However the second camera developed the same fault only a few weeks out of its year long warranty and that is when canons customer service failed miserably. I emailed and asked if they would repair at no cost as this was the second camera I had received with the same fault and they declined to help and denied this is a 'known fault'. They then emailed me a list of authorised repairers...none of whom would touch this model (I wonder why?). When I pointed this out they said I should send it to their repair centre and they would assess it. Having done this, they said it would cost approx. £50 to repair but no mention of any additional warranty...clearly not worth doing. Having declined their offer they then insisted on returning the camera with an enclosed letter suggesting I would be invoiced for the cost of postage. Not good enough Canon....my next camera will not be one of yours!
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on 18 January 2013
This camera will not shake the world but its worth the price for light weight and compactness.
Ideal for those first time digital camera buyers, or those with a little more experience,
who prefer to have a viewfinder.
There is no real manual control over shutter or aperture apart from Prog.
All other scenes are available via selection of appropriate icon.
There is a Live icon which more or less represents the Auto on other digital cameras.
Simple to use. Compact enough to slip into a pocket or a handbag.
The size of the viewfinder is okay for those without spectacles but if you wear specs may be unable to construct your scene without falling back on the LCD screen. Nevertheless I bought it on spec and so far results have been reasonable - I was not expecting it to provide the resolution of DSLR or CSC COMPACT or similar camera.
Although not yet having enlarged any pictures above postcard size to me they seem reasonable considering I purchased this at sale price .
I suspect that if enlarged to A4 or above there may be disappointment but that remains to be seen.
If however you are satisfied with postcard size photos then.
as stated, resolution seems very reasonable.
A serious professional may not, however, agree.
But so far I have no regrets in purchasing this camera despite the annoyance I have to removed my specs when using the viewfinder.
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on 12 August 2013
I bought this camera as a replacement for an A1200 which was damaged beyond repair after falling downstairs, hitting every step on the way down!

This is my "holiday" camera, for those occasions when photography is secondary to other activities. My criteria were that it had to have a viewfinder, use AA batteries, reasonable optical zoom range & be cheap enough not to worry about damaging or losing it.

Compared to the A1200, on paper it looks better - 16MP versus 14.1, 5x rather than 4x optical zoom. The usefulness of the higher sensitivity sensor is debatable, as the limitation on picture quality at this price level is the lens rather than the sensor. The increased zoom range is a plus point. Digital zoom, as on most cameras, is best forgotten - too much noise, even in bright sunlight, for it to be of any real use.

First impressions were not favourable - it's obviously a much cheaper camera. Compared with the A1200 it lacks AV-out & DC-in sockets, a safety lock on the battery/card compartment &, most glaringly, a mode dial. Closer inspection showed that the "face set" & "display" buttons have been replaced by a "video" button & a totally useless "help" button. Initial set-up revealed the absence of a choice of start-up screen & sounds.

So far, not so good. However, in use it proves to be more than adequate. The lack of a mode dial is compensated for by much better laid out menus - on balance, for the limited range of options I use, I'd say it's easier to use.

Picture quality is on a par with the A1200 &, in absolute terms, adequate. For viewing on-screen or printing at 5" x 7" it's perfectly acceptable - print much bigger than that & the deficiencies will begin to show. I've only used it in good lighting conditions, so I can't comment on its low-light performance, nor can I comment on functions such as face recognition - I have the ability to recognise a face without needing assistance from a camera!

This review may not sound very enthusiastic, but that's partly down to the fact that I'm comparing it to its predecessor. Taken on its own merits it's a reasonable little camera with a combination of features that it's difficult to find elsewhere. As a second (or maybe third) camera for the "serious" photographer or as an only camera for anyone who just wants a simple "point & shoot" camera with the convenience of a viewfinder & AA batteries it's a good buy.

Only four stars, though, because of the picture quality, which could be better, & the very poor manual.
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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2013
This is a very good "point & shoot" camera suitable for technophobes and has what is fast becoming very rare on a compact camera - an optical viewfinder as well as an LCD screen. The optical viewfinder is VERY useful in strong sunshine which makes the LCD screen hard to see and tracks with the optical zooming only which is bit of a minus point as my Sony Cybershot 600 viewfinder would also track the digital zoom as well but hey ho I guess you can't have everything. Optical zoom is 5X from 28mm-140mm (35mm camera equivalent) with 4X digital zoom.

The camera is pretty uncluttered with just two buttons on the top.. on/off & the shutter button, with the zoom in/out function as a rocker switch around the shutter button.

Image quality is very good and shots are overall correctly exposed. However, my friend has the earlier A1100 and that model has a selector switch on the top for selecting various modes such as portrait, mountain scenery, fireworks, beach etc, whereas this model has the function buried away in a menu, but is easily accessed by pressing one of the buttons by the side of the LCD screen. I guess this saves on production costs as it does away with the switch. However, the menu system is pretty intuitive and well thought out overall.

My only gripe is that this camera seems to be very picky on what type of batteries (2X AA) it works with. It works perfectly with NiMH rechargeables - BUT ONLY it seems with the "long life" NiMH batteries that retain their charge for a long time. When I put ordinary 2500mAH NiMH rechargeables which had come straight out of the charger, the camera would either not power up giving a couple of flashes of one of the green LEDs around the viewfinder, or display the message "replace batteries" in an otherwise blank view finder and would not power up - or if it did power up, the red "batteries low" icon would immediately flash on the LCD screen. I checked the batteries in a battery checker and the needle went past the green showing the batteries were fully charged, but this camera would not play ball with them. But when I inserted a pair of "long life" NIMH batteries, no problem at all! Weird! So the camera loses one star for that.

Overall, you get a lot of camera for not a lot of money with the A1300 and it's so easy to use. Just set it in auto mode and then point & shoot. But make sure you buy "long life" NiMH rechargeable batteries to use in the camera.
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on 30 April 2014
Apart from an initial noisy operation (which since second turn on has disappeared), the only thing crippling this great little point- shoot - and be damned, is me.
Just taken some portraits of family pet and some small garden flowers and the balance is every bit as good as the camera it replaces.
Great to have a view finder (Initially worried that it was purely a window - but does show zoom)
The 1300 is tactile and sensibly weighted for a 16st neophyte. Additional kudos to Amazon /seller mine came with a 4gb memory stick which is enough to get started.
Prior to the 495 had been a Sony Zeiss junky on their budget compacts. (Still have a working 3 mp DSP 71) but managed to break a couple of subsequent models...)
If you need a simple, intuitive camera (yes- I am simple and unintuitive so the cap fits me) I would thoroughly recommend this at just under £70 and am looking forward to experimenting further..
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on 30 October 2012
I purchased this camera after my other camera which I had for four years went wrong (NOT A Canon) I was worried this one would not live up to my old ones performance. What a surprise this camera is FABULOUS!! Took it to the pub to record my sons band that was playing not expecting it to really be any good because of the loudness but it came out absolutely great. I never would have expected such a small lightweight thing to be able to record to that level, the still photos are great too, both close and far came out great and the zoom is great too a lovely smooth action. AN ABSOLUTE FIRST CLASS ALL ROUND CAMERA - would definitely reccomend to anyone!!!!*****
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on 7 December 2012
I purchased this little gem mostly because of the great reviews from previous buyers and I'm not in the least disappointed. I am a semi-pro videographer and I have a Sony Bloggie that I always carry in order to capture those occasional moments in HD quality. However, the Bloggie is a fine camera but the lack of a viewfinder has become a REAL pain as its impossible to see what's going on in any kind of sunlight situation. This has resulted in many ruined or missed opportunities. This is all solved now thanks to this remarkable piece of kit. The quality of the video and stills is high, the speed and ease of operation is brilliant, the battery life very good and the size, weight and build quality excellent. Sure, the viewfinder is small and you have to juggle your eye a bit to use it OK but its way better than no viewfinder at all. I think this camera is a must have and frankly, if I lost this one I wouldn't hesitate to replace it immediately. Nuf said.
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on 28 October 2012
Wanting a compact camera which uses AA batteries, I bought this to replace another make that didn't produce photos of an even reasonable quality. Looking at the reviews, the Canon A1300 appeared to be a better option and the addition of a viewfinder seemed an added bonus as it can be difficult to see a screen clearly in bright sunlight.

I am very satisfied with the sharpness and colour quality of photos. I think it's important to follow the instructions and to focus the camera properly before taking a picture, but this is easy to do. I find the camera generally quick to respond and so less likely to miss a shot. The zoom function is excellent and framing a picture to exact size is also easily and accurately achieved. Overall it's a good solid camera which takes quality photos and I am very pleased with my purchase.
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