The Canon Powershot A1300 is one of the few digital cameras with a viewfinder. This is a cheaper model and is easy to use. Key features include 16 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens. Another difference between this model and many others is that power is supplied by AA batteries. It can shoot High Definition Movies.
This camera is suitable for anyone who is looking for a simple snapshot digital camera that takes a decent picture and does not cost the earth.
As you will see from the following comparison Canon have opted to place the emphasis on picture quality rather than including some of the latest buzz features. Features such as macro mode, LCD screen size and movie resolution are all in line with what other similarly priced cameras offer.
Compared with other pocket digital cameras at this price point the Powershot A1300 has the following:
Apart from the viewfinder, the big attraction of this camera is the picture quality it offers for the price.
Megapixels and Zoom
The Powershot A1300 has 16 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 28 - 140mm in 35mm format.
You can store images on SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
This is one of the few digital cameras to run on AA batteries. It uses two batteries at a time. Two batteries are supplied with the camera to get you started.
You can shoot 720p High Definition Movies.
LCD Screen and Viewfinder
The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size. That is about standard for this type of camera. You also have the option of using a viewfinder.
The scene modes available are: Portrait, Face Self-Timer, Low Light (4.0MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter and Discreet.
For close up work you can focus from 3cm away from your subject.
Picture Quality Summary
As you might expect at this price point there are one or two areas where the Powershot A1300 does not quite match up to more expensive digital cameras. When compared against digital cameras with a similar price tag it is a different story. Overall the Powershot A1300 will give you better picture quality that most cheaper digital cameras.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
If you like your photos to have a sharp look to them you will be impressed by the first test shot. Focusing is good right the way across the shot. Most cameras find the combination of strong sunlight and reflective white surfaces hard to handle. Therefore it is not surprising to see some of the detail lost from the boats.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
A lot of this scene is quite distant to the camera. This often causes difficulty when it comes to producing a totally in focus shot. The Powershot A1300 does as well as any cheaper digital camera. Apart from the most distant area of the shot detail levels are surprisingly good.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
As with the second test shot focusing levels are above average. For a camera with this price tag you are unlikely to see much better quality than that offered by the Powershot A1300.
The quality of this shot compares well even against more expensive digital cameras. There is a very sharp look to the brickwork. Another plus point is that the levels of sharpness are maintained out towards the edges of the photo.
Moving in much closer there are no problems with focusing. The test shot was taken in cloudy conditions and the result could do with a little more colour.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
With flash turned on and the subject comfortably in range the Powershot A1300 performs very well. The amount of light is enough to lighten potentially tricky areas such as the hair without washing out colour from the rest of the shot.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
To be able to take an indoor photo without flash you will still need relatively good lighting to avoid noise creeping in and taking the edge off the definition of your photo. As long as light levels are bright enough the Powershot A1300 performs well. This opens up opportunities for window light portraits.
The macro shot is an example of where you get a bit less when you pay less. Although Canon state that the Powershot A1300 can focus from 3cm away from the subject, I struggled to get sharp focus from that close in. If you are looking for something more than simple macro snapshots you are likely to have to pay more for your digital camera.
Aside from the outdoor portrait shot colours are lively. Scenic shots are bright and colourful.
Noise as such is not a great issue even with cheaper digital cameras unless lighting levels fall or the scenes you are photographing have areas of heavy shade. What can happen though is areas with little contrast in colour such as the sky can lack a smooth look. That is not the case here. This gives the pictures taken by the Powershot A1300 a slightly sharper look.
Canon Powershot A4000 IS Rating 84/100
You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.
Read Review: Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review
Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100
If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review
Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review
Review Date: July 2012
Looking at the features on offer, apart from the viewfinder the Canon Powershot A1300 does not really stand out from the crowd. Where it is strong is when it comes to the quality of the pictures it takes. So if you are looking for a reliable picture taker with a low price tag this camera is a good choice. The big downside is the time it takes to take photos using flash. Therefore if you see yourself using flash a lot this camera is best avoided.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
94.7 x 61.7 x 29.8mm
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
The Powershot A1300 feels good in the hand. It has the classic camera shape with a rounded area on the front to help you get a good hold. As it is larger than pocket size there is enough room for a finger to be placed on the top of the camera and your thumb on the back.
Flash is positioned in the top right hand corner as you look at the camera. This positioning means you need to take a little extra care to make sure a stray finger does not block out some of the light.
LCD Screen Quality
The LCD screen is quite easy to view unless sunlight is shining directly onto it. If this does happen you can switch to using the viewfinder for composing your photos.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
When flash is not being used the Powershot A1300 performs well enough. It is not the fastest digital camera you will find, but it is not the slowest either. When flash is turned on performance is poor and it can take an age to take a couple of pictures.
Build Quality and Finish
For a cheaper digital camera quality is quite good even though it is obvious the camera is made of plastic. The review model had a matt black finish.
On the top of the camera are the on / off button, shutter button and zoom ring. On the back are buttons to shoot a movie, get help, review images and access the menu system. In the middle of these buttons is the main control areas. Here you will find controls for changing the shooting mode, deleting an image, setting flash, changing the information displayed on the LCD screen, placing the camera in macro mode, accessing camera functions and confirming a setting.