Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS Digital Camera Review
April 1st, 2010
The Canon Powershot SD1300 IS is the successor to the PowerShot SD1200 IS from 2009. Canon designed the SD1300 IS to appeal to those who are looking for an affordable stylish compact camera that offers point-and-shoot simplicity, and that is easy to bring along by fitting easily in a purse or pocket.
With features such as a 4x optical zoom lens with built-in optical image stabilizer (IS), advanced face detection technology, DIGIC 4 image processor, and a large 2.7-inch LCD, the Canon SD1300 IS seems to offer good value for the money.
We have now had the opportunity to review the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. To see how the camera performed, check out our Canon SD1300 IS sample image gallery, along with the findings and conclusions from our review. We begin by providing a general overview of the SD1300 IS, and then present more of the details. You can use the navigation menu found under the product image below to jump to a specific section of the review.
Canon SD1300 IS Overview: The PowerShot SD1300 IS incorporates a 4x optical wide angle zoom lens with built-in Optical Image Stabilization (IS) technology, which offers photographer's the ability to capture images with extra versatility, while minimizing image blur. The camera's image stabilizer system uses sophisticated gyroscopic sensors to detect vertical and horizontal movements, then moves the lens accordingly to compensate, which aids in maintaining stability and focus when using the telephoto capabilities of the camera or under lower light conditions.
The Canon SD1300 IS incorporates a 12 Megapixel sensor with Canons DIGIC 4 processor delivering fast response times and natural colour reproduction. DIGIC 4 also takes care of difficult lighting conditions with i-Contrast a technology which prevents highlight blowout, while retaining shadow detail.
For carefree shooting the PowerShot SD1300 IS includes Smart Auto and Easy modes with Scene Detection Technology. By analyzing people, distance, brightness and colour in the scene, the camera automatically selects one of 18 scene variables to optimize settings for the best results - freeing the user to concentrate on picture taking, while the camera takes care of the technical details.
The camera can also shoot VGA movies with sound, so users can film action as well as shooting beautiful stills. Framing and reviewing shots is simple too, thanks to a large 2.7 inch high resolution 230K LCD with wide viewing angle and 5 levels of brightness adjustment.
This technology includes Auto Red-Eye Correction, Face Detection AF/AE/FE, and Face Self-Timer a feature that is great for group shots and self-portraits as the camera waits until it detects a new face in the frame before taking the shot.
Faces can also be detected if they are at an angle to the camera so that the correct focus and exposure can be achieved without subjects facing the camera directly.
Powershot SD1300 IS (IXUS 105) Major Features:
The camera ships with: Lithium-ion Battery Pack NB-6L, Battery Charger CB-2LY, USB interface cable, AV cable, wrist strap and Canon's software suite.
The Canon PowerShot
SD1300 IS digital camera is available now for an estimated selling price
of $249.99 Canadian or $199.99 in the US. Check real
time street prices in Canada.
The Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS offers a very compact design with a comfortable hold. With 12-megapixel resolution and a proven 4x zoom lens (28-112mm equivalent in 35mm terms), the SD1300IS is geared towards general family and travel photography.
Taking into account that the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS offers an attractive price point, current SLR users might also find the SD1300 IS as a nice complement to their existing camera, one that you are more likely to take with you for a night out on the town or simply for capturing those unexpected opportunities.
The Canon SD1300 IS offers a good solution for capturing landscapes or larger group shots of people with its 28mm wide-angle lens coverage, providing a broader field of view compared to many point and shoot cameras which begin around 35mm.
Although the camera does not offer much in the way of manual exposure control (Shutter priority, Aperture Priority and Manual are not available), the Canon SD1300 IS does offer quite a few features, including a number of Scene modes, exposure compensation, White Balance presets (incl. Custom), ISO control and an enhanced information display with histogram in playback mode.
The main camera controls are found on the back of the PowerShot SD1300 IS. A sliding switch allows you select the desired shooting mode from three available options: Auto, Flexible Auto, and Movie.
The camera offers the convenience of a basic 'green' Auto mode (Smart AUTO) for care free picture taking, and a total of 15 user selectable shooting modes.
In Smart AUTO mode the Canon SD1300 IS selects the proper settings based on the scene at hand. Press lightly on the shutter release button and the camera displays an icon (on the top right of the LCD screen) for the scene it has determined. The SD1300 IS automatically focuses and selects from one of 18 predefined optimum settings to match the subject brightness and colour.
Movie Mode: The Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS offers the ability to shoot movies at 640 x 480 resolution. You can record movie clips up to 4GB in size or 1 hour in length. Three resolution levels are available: 640 x 480 30fps, 640 x 480 LP (takes up half the memory space of 640 x 480 standard) and 320 x 240.
During movie recording, the optical zoom on the Canon SD1300 IS is disabled and only the digital zoom can be used. The mechanical movement noise of the optical zoom would otherwise get picked up by the cameras built-in microphone. +/-2 stop exposure compensation in 1/3 step increments is available to darken or brighten the movie depending on lighting conditions. White Balance can also be manually adjusted in movie mode.
Pressing the MENU button
accesses the cameras menu settings highlighted further below.
A large playback button is conveniently located on the back of the Canon
To access the 'Scene' shooting modes and the override exposure features available on the Canon Powershot SD1300 IS, slide the camera's mode switch to 'Flexible Auto' mode , and then press the FUNC.SET button.
By selecting 'Face Self-Timer' mode (highlighted in middle image above) and then pushing the display button on the back of the camera, the additional 'Scene' modes become available. The options include; Low Light, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, and Long Shutter.
A memory card does not come supplied with the camera, and will be an added purchase. The good news is that these are inexpensive in today's market. We would recommend a 2GB SD card as a minimum, and a 4GB card would provide enough space for lots of images and movies as well.
The interface connection for the Canon Powershot SD1300 IS can be found on the side of the camera behind a small rubber hinged door towards the top. The USB cable and the Audio/Video cable share the same camera connection plug.
Both a USB interface cable and an Audio / Video connection cable come supplied with the camera. (PAL/NTSC supported) The USB cable can also be used to connect the PowerShot SD1300 IS to a Pictbridge compatible printer for easy direct printing without the need of a computer.
Supplied in the Box:
Canon NB-6L Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger CB-2LY (plugs directly into wall for North America, comes with wall socket connection cord for Europe and other countries), USB cable IFC-400PCU, Audi/Video cable AVC-DC400, Canon Solutions Image Browser Software, Quick Start Guide, Instruction manual included on CD, Wrist strap.
We were very pleased with the performance of the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS in our tests. The camera powers up responsively, and the comfortably positioned zoom lever surrounding the shutter button makes framing images a simple step.
The 4x image stabilized zoom lens incorporated into the Canon SD1300 IS provides good image quality capabilities. Edge to edge image detail is quite good although some corner softness can also be noticed. Center area sharpness was however generally very good for this class. Some Chromatic Aberrations (colour fringes around strong highlight areas) were also noticed in a few of our tests, although this is fairly common to entry level point and shoots.
If you are not regularly printing larger than 8" x 10" prints, the lens quality from the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS should be very acceptable to most users. We did observe some barrel distortion (curvature) when shooting close-up's at wide angle, although once again this is fairly common with cameras in this category.
The optical image stabilizer lens technology did a good job during our tests, offering up to 3 steps compensation, allowing us to hand hold the camera under lower light conditions and get blur free images were normally a tripod would have been required.
The 2.7-inch 230,000 dot resolution LCD monitor offers easy composition and playback capabilities. The cameras menu system is easy to read and navigate on the screen, and colours are vibrantly displayed. The brightness of the monitor can be adjusted in 5 steps depending on viewing conditions.
The LCD monitor does not feature any advanced coatings like some higher end monitors, so viewing the screen under very bright conditions can be more difficult. The simply solution is to point and shoot in the general direction of your subject and then playback the shot while shielding the monitor to see if you got what you want.
More and more of the new digital cameras now provide HD movie recording ability, although the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS being a fairly entry level model does not offer this feature. The camera's video recording abilities are limited to 640 x 480 (30 frame per second) AVI movies. So if you are big on video capabilities there are other cameras you should look at. Check out the similar Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS camera with 4x zoom which offers 720P HD movie recording.
Overall we found the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS performed well in terms of image quality for its class. The 12 megapixel sensor offers good image quality from 80 to 200 ISO, with digital noise (grain like effect) becoming more noticeable from there on.
The PowerShot SD1300 IS does deliver 'usable' image quality even at 800 ISO depending upon conditions, as seen in the candle shot in our Canon SD1300 IS digital camera sample image gallery. The camera does experience approximately 0.6 sec shutter lag (the time from when you press the shutter button to the time the camera takes the picture), so a little forethought and anticipation is required to capture the exact movement.
are looking for a value priced take anywhere type of compact camera with
good wide angle zoom, offering solid performance, while delivering sharp
and vibrant images under most conditions, we would definitely recommend
the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS as a good solution.