Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS 12.1 MP Wi-Fi Enabled CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom 24mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full HD Video (Silver)

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  1. Richard L. Steiner says:
    121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Next Generation, March 22, 2013
    By 
    Richard L. Steiner (OREGON United States) –
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    This review is from: Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS 12.1 MP Wi-Fi Enabled CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom 24mm Wide-Angle Lens and 1080p Full HD Video (Silver) (Electronics)

    I have just finished taking my new Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS camera through a lengthy shakedown cruise. I have learned a number of things about it and will share my findings as clearly as I can.

    You should know that I have far more digital cameras than one person should own. My experience with them over the years has given me some degree of confidence in what I say about the Canon ELPH 330HS. This is my second Canon camera. I also own a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS which is similar in several ways.

    I am an avid amateur travel photographer and my remarks are influenced by using my cameras extensively for that purpose.

    I hope the following observations will help you make a decision about the Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS.

    Pros:

    * The camera is quite small and a true pocket dweller.
    * Mine is silver in color and it looks great.
    * It takes excellent pictures with the AUTO setting, but there are many options for those who think they can do better manually.
    * It has an extensive of list of shooting modes for every situation.
    * It has face recognition along with blink and smile shooting features.
    * The low light capacity of the camera is outstanding.
    * 12.1 megapixels put a lot of detail in the pictures.
    * The 10x optical zoom is plenty and the anti-shake feature keeps them crisp.
    * The image stabilization feature works very well and it is automatic.
    * Close-up shots are beautiful.
    * The WiFi feature is outstanding technology and that makes this camera special.
    * I use the WiFi in my ELPH 330 HS for wirelessly transferring photos to both iOS devices and PC computers. That is amazing.
    * The camera stores images on SD memory cards so pictures can be shared with a computer that way too.
    * Using the WiFi one can also upload photos directly to social networks or email.
    * I used the free Apple app Camera Window to connect with my iPod 5g and it worked better than the Canon suggestions found in the DVD instruction manual.
    * Paring with a PC computer is a bit tricky, but it can be done by ordinary mortals.
    * The display window on the camera is large and bright.
    * The 330HS movies are excellent and there are a number of shooting options available.
    * There is even full HD video in stereo sound available.
    * The fit and finish are very good and that means this is a solid high quality camera.

    Cons:

    * Setting up the WiFi feature is not all that easy even though some of it is automatic.
    * WiFi photo transfer is somewhat slow, but no problem.
    * The camera controls are not made for large fingers.
    * I miss the manual shooting mode wheel–poking around on screen based options is too slow to be useful if scenes, locations and objects change rapidly.
    * The instruction manual on the provided DVD is confusing for setting up WiFi.
    * The Hybrid movie feature is strange and seems to have limited purpose.
    * I have yet to determine what the body of this camera is made of. It seems very light in weight which suggests plastic, but maybe aluminum.
    * One can get bogged down and confused by the myriad of options available and it is difficult to find the way back out of unwanted settings. There is a way to re-set everything just in case.

    That is about all of the first impression information I can offer. I plan to carry my new ELPH 330 HS to Europe later in the spring and hope to take advantage of the WiFi features for sending photos back home to friends and relatives while I am traveling abroad.

    UPDATE:

    I have just returned from two weeks in Great Britain and almost 700 photos taken with my Canon ELPH 330 HS and I was very satisfied with the how it performed. This little camera did everything I asked of it. Transferring all of those pictures to my iPad and to my Windows 7 laptop via WiFi was a perfect addition to the many other features. I am even more impressed with this camera after putting it to a very rigorous test. I bumped the camera around a lot on our trip and without a case on it. I even dropped it once and it kept on ticking. As a travel camera it is the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned.

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  2. Carls Jr. says:
    68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Not as stellar as I dreamed it would be – picture quality in low light and wifi connections (updated May 2013), March 16, 2013
    By 
    Carls Jr. (Madison, WI) –

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    UPDATED MAY 7, 2013:

    I just have to chime in again on this post after almost 2 months of usage. I have bumped this camera rating to 4 of 5 stars (from 3/5). The more and more we use this camera, the more we are impressed with the pictures that it takes. We’ve really been pushing the camera in its macro shots, different focus points, etc. and we have been increasingly more impressed. One thing you can’t get hung up on is looking at the photos on the back of the camera. They always look really dark and under exposed, but by the time you get them on a computer or go to do any processing, it really has produced a great looking picture. The 10x zoom has been very handy for us as well.

    I still think my below gripes are valid (and I’ve left them unchanged) and the low light action isn’t as good as I’d hoped, but still works just as good as our phones if not better in low light.

    Do I think that a very good camera phone like the S4 or iphone 5 would match this still “all around” (indoors and outdoors)??? Perhaps the S4 given the pixel density, but I think that the color reproduction on this camera would still be better than the phones. We’ve taken thousands of pictures with it by now and most of them come out pretty spectacular. That said, the S4 does have some unique camera modes that this camera just can’t handle.

    Overall, we like this camera and use it frequently.

    ______________________________

    We just received this camera last night and we took about 200 photos in varying light conditions as well as a few videos. Our hope was to get a camera that would be better in low light than our Samsung GS3 and GS2 phones. We were also looking for something to be able to hand to someone to take a picture of us, as handing someone your phone usually ends up with blurry pictures and/or potential for a dropped phone! (or if they run off with your life!) Our phones take pictures indoors that usually result in blurry pictures of our daughter and dog, we hoped that a dedicated point and shoot would remedy this issues for us. The last P/S we owned was purchased 5+ years ago and its just too slow to take any quality pictures anymore….so we finally wanted to upgrade. Finally, we HAVE to have a good WiFi connection and features with this camera so we can easily move and share photos. That’s the biggest reason why we don’t whip out our DSLR very often because of the hassle of transferring cards and photos manually….its a hassle.

    So, let’s get started. There definitely are goods and “mehs” with this camera, hence the “it’s okay” rating of 3 stars.

    #1. Low Light photography —> This was one of our biggest concerns in a new camera. I would say that this camera is barely above the quality of our cell phones. The megapixel count is higher, but the overall noise in the photos are about equivalent. We tried the auto modes as well as manually adjusting the ISO and metering. Nothing seemed to improve the situation over the “auto” mode. There was less blurring with the 330HS over our phones in similar photos, but overall this problem was not fixed by purchasing this camera. Disappointing to say the least. However, the shutter speed and timing is quite fast for a point and shoot. It is on par with our phones for speed of taking photos. I would say though that the burst modes on our phones are superior to this camera.

    #2. Normal light photography (indoors and outdoors) —> I found that this camera did a very good job with color reproduction in normal light conditions or outdoor photography. The colors were less blued and yellowed than from our phones. Like most cameras, if it can’t perform here, it might as well not be sold. So I wasn’t “impressed” by this to say the least.

    #3. Video capture at 1080 —–> I thought this too was adequate. I could not tell a difference between our phones (which do a really good job with video) and the 330HS. The 330HS does have better video stabilization and obviously a zoom, which are nice touches that will keep us using this camera for videos for sure. We also have a Canon video camcorder HD and the quality exceeds that camcorder in my opinion with handling less favorable light conditions. The stereo sound is also good from the 330HS on video recording.

    #4. Flash —–> It appears to us that the flash is not “even”. The bottom of our photos appear brighter than the tops. We will see if this is just the LED bulb reaching some sort of usable state and I’ll report back.

    #5. Menu system —-> Its nice there are physical buttons on this camera and the menus seem fairly intuitive once you figure out the modes. The manual really has nothing in there about the menus and structures. The manual is pretty much completely written for WiFi connections…..speaking of which….

    #6. WiFi connectivity (part 1 – connect to phone) —-> This…

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  3. Peter Parker "webizen" says:
    43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Disappointing, March 31, 2013
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I bought the ELPH 330 to replace a Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 that was ‘appropriated’ by a family member. I quite liked the 310, and the other ELPH models that we’ve owned previously (SD100, SD200, SD400). To give this review some context, I also have a Canon PowerShot S5, a GoPro Hero, and various film cameras dating back to an Olympus OM-1 and a Rollei 35. While Canons may not always be the ‘best’ cameras on the market, I’ve become used to the Canon menu system, and my collection of accessories are compatible with my previous ELPHs. So I assumed the ELPH 330 would be a satisfying addition to my photographic arsenal.

    Alas, I was sadly disappointed. What’s wrong with it? In a word, the user interface. It has regressed significantly compared to the 310. The biggest shortcoming is the all-important ‘5-way’ controller (the up, down, left, right, and the central FUNC/SET buttons). On the 310, the 5-way was slightly raised above the body of the camera, making it possible to position one’s thumb on the desired portion of the controller by touch alone. On the 330, the buttons are completely flush with the body. This may sound like a small detail, but I’ve found this design change makes it much harder to operate the 330. I’ve found it tricky to register my thumb over the 5-way without looking, and I don’t have terribly big hands. The tiny FUNC/SET button in the center of the cluster is actually recessed just a bit, which is terrible from an ergonomic perspective. One needs a tiny thumb to reliably click on the FUNC/SET button. In the short time I’ve had the 330, I’ve accidentally activated the wrong button numerous times.

    The second failing of the 330’s UI is the bizarre slide switch. Canon has taken what was a great step forward on the 310 UI and totally trashed it on the 330. On the 310, the slide switch selected between AUTO or MANUAL modes of operation. The former was great for taking quick’n easy point-and-shoot tourist snapshots. When the photographer wanted more ‘creative control’, a simple flip of the switch put the camera into manual mode. User could then choose from a large variety (too many) of special shooting modes (portrait, nighttime, backlit, sports…), adjust ISO, override shutter speed, etc. This arrangement was extremely versatile and I’ve come to love it.

    On the ELPH 330, the slide switch now activates a glitzy new Canon feature: photos plus a Movie Digest. When you slide the switch to the ‘up’ position, the camera takes a still photo in Auto mode AND a 3-second movie clip captured immediately before every still photo is taken. It then composes a daily sequence of these clips, all concatenated together. So if you were to shoot 60 pictures on a given day, you’ll end up with 60 still photos, plus a 3-minute long movie containing the ‘live action’ as you composed each shot. With the switch ‘down’, the Movie Digest feature is turned off and the camera operates in whatever mode is chosen from the Record Mode menu (not necessarily Auto mode).

    The side effects of this fancy Digest feature are non-trivial. First, the camera goes dormant for a few seconds after the shutter is pushed, while the captured movie clip is compressed and concatenated onto the daily movie file. During this interval, the green ‘camera busy’ light is flashing. This means you can’t take another photo until the movie processing is completed. No rapid-fire picture taking when in Digest mode. Perhaps more important is the potential impact on battery life. When the 330 is in this mode, it’s capturing video continuously. It doesn’t know when you’re going to trip the shutter, so it constantly records video into an internal 3-second buffer memory, which is then saved to the SD card after each click of the shutter. I haven’t yet measured the impact on battery life but continuous video capture and storage will surely shorten run time.

    Fortunately, the ELPH 330 still has both Automatic and Manual picture modes, but you now have to make a trip down into the menu system to select one or the other. The slide switch, which occupies a fair bit of the limited real estate on the back of the camera, is totally wasted (unless one becomes enamoured with the Movie Digest mode). I’m astounded that Canon would deem this feature so important that it qualified for ‘top billing’ with a dedicated mode switch. Perhaps there is a big demand for this feature in Japan, but I can do without it.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the improvements in the 330. The longer telephoto (10x, vs 8x in the 310) is a small but welcome enhancement. Likewise, the wide angle is a little wider (24 vs 28mm). I haven’t yet mastered the WiFi features. Canon’s user manual describing them meets their usual standard for convoluted & confusing…

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