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Good: Wonderful pictures in nearly any conditions as well as great warranty service, that was unfortunately necessary when lens stuck at full zoom. The size is
Bad: It is super fragile. I am rather careful with almost everything I own, however, the camera 'turned on' and extended lens while in small camera case. Luckily explained this to tech dept. at Canon... and they agreed that it should have had a safety mechanism to stop it from doing this, because it jammed the zoom mechanism. Replaced free... but still has no safety mechanism to prevent this.
Comment: Unfortunately, this wonderful camera is marred with one main fault, it is designed to have some of the best optics for its truly small size, this is wonderful, however, the engineering of the mechanical components no longer meets the high standards that Canons have been known for in the past. I am satisfied with Canon's warrantee service, but it should be sturdier, given the price... and... it is a waste of a great design - optics, sensors, and software are all superb - however, the mechanical side of this device has been left as a seeming afterthought. It is a true shame. I still love my IXUS 230 HS, but I am very, very careful with it.
Comment: Was unlucky to get a terrible example of this camera. First impressions good. Took great shots indoors, much brighter than my previous panasonic. Unfortunately outdoors there was terrible corner softness on wide angle and lots of chromatic aberation. Results were closer to a mobile phone than the panasonic. Was also very noisy on video when zooming. Reading some forums I found that they are built in two places. China and Japan.
Very few people had problems with Japanese one but people with Chinese ones often had quality issues. I took it back to store I bought it from and got it exchanged for another. This time it was (luckily - I didn't check) made in Japan. Quality of the 2nd example is very good. No softness or chromatic aberation (there is some in high contrast scenes but its not that noticable) issues.
Pictures are now very good with nice colours and decent sharpness. Very easy camera to use and full auto seems to produce the best results overall but nice to have a few other scene modes and adjustable ISO/metering modes etc.
Video is good. Zooming is noisy on video but at least you can do it. Can't on all cameras.
The HS system on this camera is great for speed but also for low light quality. It really is a cut above other compacts here although we're not quite talking SLR quality. The flash will still be needed in very dark situations.
Indoor daylight or indoor well lit room will be possible with no flash though. Overall I'm impressed with the 2nd example, so if you are disatisfied with this camera chances are you have a dud.
*NOTE, for best deal if you're will buy the Canon IXUS 230 HS, I suggest you have to check before you decide at
Hope my review helpful.
Comment: Before I got my hands on a (digital point-and-shoot) camera, I tried not to comment on the ongoing issues of the recommended camera for consumers in general. Even though some understanding of the knowledge in Physics, especially related to optics and computer science, would be helpful to give relevant suggestions, you will never know what you will find out unless you do the experiment (or let others do the experiment); science is modeled to describe how the nature behaves after all. Without hands-on experience, there would be a lot of questions of mine remain unanswered; those doubts were what kept me from giving comment as I did not want to give any answer based on half-truth. Certainly, my background knowledge in Physics/ Mathematics coupled with ongoing research does help a lot to learn from the hands-on experience I got.
From the integrated camera of smartphone to the highest-end point-and-shoot camera, high-definition video recording has become increasingly common. Some of users may buy other types of digital camera, such as DSLR, CSC, etc. to take photographs of higher quality. Frankly speaking, users need to have certain level of manual handling or technical knowledge (albeit not much) to operate DSLR or CSC cameras in order to take full advantages of them. On the other hand, smartphone and point-and-shoot cameras are mainly designed for photograph taking with one-click (or few-clicks) away. Higher-end point-and-shoot cameras often offer more customized options to take photograph of better results, other the default “auto” options. As the main functionality of a point-and-shoot camera is to take still image, digital cameras or smartphones are often not regarded as the camcorder, which is designed mainly for video recording purposes for the consumers. In this review, I shall examine whether Canon Ixus 230 HS (Powershot Elph 310 HS) can truly be regarded as a good video-recording device.
High-definition video is a term to describe the video of certain minimum resolution, which is usually 1280 × 720 pixels with progressive scan (commonly known as 720p) or 1920 × 1080 pixels with progressive scan (commonly known as 1080p), with the aspect ratio of 16/9. The truth is that most theatrically-released films are shot with different aspect ratios, which are usually wider than 16/9. For example, 720p video with the aspect ratio of 2.35 means that the resolution is approximately 1280 × 545 pixels, which have fewer pixels than the videos of the aspect ratio of 16/9; 1080p video with the aspect ratio of 2.35 means that the resolution is approximately 1920 × 817 pixels. There are also videos of aspect ratios which are “taller”. For example, 720p video with the aspect ratio of 4/3 means that the resolution is 960 × 720 pixels; 1080p video with the aspect ratio of 4/3 means that the resolution is 1440 × 1080 pixels. In short, whenever the different aspect ratio (wider or taller) is used, the resolution is always fewer than the aspect ratio of 16/9.
The video resolution describes the maximum graphic information that the video can hold. When it comes to video-recording, there are other factors that would affect the quality of the videos. From the smartphone, to lower-end point-and-shoot camera, to higher-end point-and-shoot camera, saying that it is capable of doing HD-recording is merely saying the video resolution, which is perhaps the only thing in common among different recording devices. How would the camera react with different lighting conditions? How much details (of graphic information) the camera can capture? How close the perceptional colors of the captured video are compared with the real objects? How is the ease of use of the camera? Clearly, the logo of “HD” left a lot of questions remain unanswered, which justifies different price point and performance.
The reviews made by the editors of CNET UK, TechRadar, and StevesDigicam have answered much of these questions. To me, personally at least, all I need to do is to verify their reports. Those main factors that would affect the eventual image quality include but are not limited to the amount of light signal that can be captured, the percentage of noise, performance under low lightning, etc. In the brief period I used/ tested this camera, I found that the advantages as being pointed out by those reviews are largely true. In short, I like:
1. Large numbers of colors which are available in the camera allow more truthful/ realistic photograph.
2. Not only the camera can capture/ filter adequate level of light, the noise is being kept at low-level. Noise at low percentage is really pleasing.
3. Superzoom is the term used to describe the zoom lens with unconventionally large zoom factor, typically more than 5×. By having the zoom factor of 8×, I would say that this camera definitely falls into the category of having superzoom.
4. Canon Ixus 230 HS automatically adjusts the ambient light/ flash according to the lighting condition, which works very well. In one occasion, I used it to take a photo of sunset, when the sky was brighter than land; when I tried to focus on the sky, the color around the land was darker (having more noise); when I tried to focus on the land, it adjusted the ambient light/ flash to increase the brightness of the eventual taken photograph.
5. It allows me that take photograph at different aspect ratio. The advertised 12.1 MP is referring to the maximum resolution at the aspect ratio of 4/ 3. Personally, I preferred to take photograph at the aspect ratio of 16/ 9, which is the aspect ratio of my screen of the desktop PC. Taking photograph at different aspect ratio would result in the drop of the resolution. I used the largest resolution available for the aspect ratio of 16/ 9, which is 4000 × 2248 pixels. (it’s not exactly 16/ 9)
6. When the picture taken was displayed at full size, the “noise” can be seen much in low-lighting area; generally, it can be seen as a picture made of large number of square pixels. It looks “continuous” at the resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. In other words, the optical system and image sensor has enough resolving power to record still image/ video at 1080p. I usually compressed the image to the resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels for archival.
7. Video-recording process can be seen as the camera is taking 24 images every second at the resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, assuming the camera is set to record video at 1080p, 24 fps. It’s a good way to test the quality of the images taken by this camera. I’m generally satisfied with the image quality.
There are several things which the users may need to beware of:
1. High-definition video recording consumes a lot more of energy compared with the capturing of still images. In addition to taking images, image processor and software need to compress and encode the video to be stored in the memory card. The writing process requires memory card of higher speed. If you use SDHC memory card, you will need at least class 4 for 720p video and class 6 for 1080p video. The video-encoding process is resource-intensive. H.264 (video codec) is known for its high compression level while retaining high perceptional quality, at the expense of processing power (of CPU/ GPU). Its algorithm is much more complex compared with MPEG 2. H.264 has 18 profiles. This camera uses Baseline Profile (BP), which is relatively simpler compared with Main Profile (MP) or High Profile (HP) but still much more complex than MPEG2. The H.264 High Profile and VC-1 Advanced Profile have been mandated as the supported video codecs for Blu-ray players; H.264 Baseline Profile is more commonly found for below-standard or standard definition streaming videos (such as YouTube). If H.264 Main Profile (MP) were used, the video file may be smaller but such a small device may not have enough energy/ processing power to encode the video. The user may choose to re-encode the video to further compress the video while retaining the video quality. To preserve energy, I usually record video at 720p, 30 fps. I first encode the source video into H.264 Main Profile then VC-1 Main Profile. I use Handbrake to encode the video at constant quality (RF 20), main profile, MKV (file container), and 23.976 fps; I encode the video of H. 264 main profile using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 at VC-1 Main Profile, VBR Unconstrained, 2Mbps, frame per rate (source), Complex (Video Complexity), 2 B-Frame, Adaptive Motion Match Method and Adaptive Motion Vector Cost. Due to the limitation of hardware and resource-intensiveness of the video encoding process, I typically only encode the video of the maximum length of ten minutes. MKVToolNix allows video files that use MKV (file container) to be split and merged, in addition to adding and removal of audio/ video/ subtitle track. Before encoding the video/ audio, I extract video/ audio track into separate files using MKVToolNix. Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 uses WMV (file container) by default. The VC-1 video file in WMV (file container) can be “transported” to AVI (file container) using Format Factory (by selecting ‘Copy’ for video codec). MKVToolNix cannot read WMV but it can read AVI. I also use Format Factory to compress the audio track losslessly at FLAC.
2. The video-encoding process may be a little more complex to many people, which may take time to understand and do it successfully. Unless you know someone who can do it for you, video-encoding process allows you keep your precious memory not just on still images but also high-definition videos at smaller file size (reduced cost).
3. This camera may do a good job at filtering the noise from the image but not from the audio files. Anyway, the audio track is always engineered for the theatrical release. For a home video, this camera would record unwanted/ unpleasant sound. If you can withstand noises of sound, this camera may be a good choice for home-used video recording device. Basically, it not only amplified the signals (sound) but also the noises (sound). Canon may need to pay more attention to audio engineering.
My review is far from exhaustive and is just for reference purposes only. After all said and done, the best way to understand it may be to try it yourself!
In a separate blog post, I also wrote about why I chose a point-and-shoot camera instead of other options. The blog post is at http://thljcl.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/so-i-choose-a-point-and-shoot-camera/
Comment: Great little snapper
Good: Looks great
Bad: exposure compensation
Comment: Lovely point and shoot, thinking about getting an SLR though.....
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