Monday, March 4, 2013

Canon PowerShot 330 HS Hands-On Review & Sample Images

Canon PowerShot 330 HS Hands-On Review & Sample Images

The new but familiar-looking Canon ELPH 330 HS.

Canon's latest upgrades to its digital PowerShot point and shoot lineup includes the ELPH 330 HS, a tiny 12.1 megapixel mid-range camera with a 10x optical zoom and a 24mm wide lens.  With an upgraded Digic 5 processor, a 461k-dot 3" LCD and, most notably, built in WiFi, the 330 HS definitely packs a lot into its small frame.

Canon ELPH 330 HS Sample Images
Point and Shoot?  Yes!  They still take better pics more quickly than your smartphone.  Canon ELPH 330 HS, f/3.0 at 1/320 sec, ISO 400, auto mode.

Point and Shoot?

While the proliferation of smartphone cameras has decimated the point and shoot digital camera market in general, point and shoots still offer more control and deliver better image quality than iPhones and Samsung Galaxy's.  This is most noticeable when zooming, using a flash, and shooting at higher ISO's. 

Canon ELPH 330 HS Sample Images
The ELPH 330 HS zoomed at almost 10x.  f/5.6 at 1/320 sec., ISO 80, in auto mode.
Indeed, the growth of the high end point and shoot market, such as Canon's PowerShot S Series (the S110 is the latest version), is directly correlated to the shortcomings of smartphone photography.  At the same time, mid-range point and shoots such as Canon's 330 HS are improving and offering more features in order to compete. 

Program Mode

The ELPH 330 HS offers some manual control through its Program Auto mode, such as setting ISO and exposure compensation (EV).  It is also very easy to switch into various scene modes, especially if you are familiar with Canon's best in class user interface. 

Canon ELPH 330 HS Sample Images
Add caption
Canon ELPH 330 HS Sample Images
The Empire State Building, zoomed in 10x from the same position as above.  f/6.9 at 1/200 sec., ISO 80.
At the same time, the elimination of "landscape" modes in favor of an "infinity" focusing mode that does not raise the aperture particularly high is somewhat perplexing.  Similarly, a "sports" mode comes near the end of the various optional scene modes; in days past landscape and sports fell just after portraits and flowers as the most easily accessible--and most frequently used--modes).
Canon ELPH 330 HS Sample Images
More zoom:  at 10x optical zoom.  f/6.9 at 1/100 sec., ISO 500.

The Canon ELPH 330 HS comes with a 10x optical zoom with a maximum aperture ranging from f/3 to f/6.9.  The included Digic 5 processor allows for an ISO range of 80-6400, as well as a burst mode of 6.2 frames per second (not available in Program mode).

ISO Comparisons

Canon ELPH 330 HS ISO Test
The Canon ELPH 330 HS at ISO 1600:  Decent image quality in low light.

Canon ELPH 330 HS ISO Test
The Canon ELPH 330 HS at ISO 3200:  More noise, but still respectable, especially compared to smartphones.

Canon ELPH 330 HS ISO Test
The Canon ELPH 330 HS at ISO 6400:  You don't want to shoot here if you can avoid it, but--again--still much, much better than your iPhone!

Wireless / WiFi

The biggest upgrade is the included and improved wireless connectivity, which allows you to connect the camera to your smartphone or home computer and to transfer files wirelessly.  This, of course, lets you shoot better photos than your smartphone might otherwise and to upload them to various social networking sites through your smartphone.  Yes, it's a somewhat duplicative process, but if image quality is important, mid-range point and shoots still deliver better photos than what a smartphone alone can offer.


While the ELPH 330 HS may not warrant an upgrade from more recent Canon offerings, if you don't already have a mid-range point and shoot and are wondering whether there is still a place for such cameras, definitely consider the Canon ELPH 330 HS.  With 10x optical zoom, some manual control over the camera, broad ISO capabilities, and included WiFi, the 330 HS offers great features from a dependable company in a tiny package. 

1 comment:

  1. It’s never too late to improve your information and your contents inspire me.