June 6, 2013
- Sturdy, metal body
- 8x zoom
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Above average image quality
- Slow shooting speeds
- Below average video
The Canon PowerShot Elph 130 IS has an 8x optical zoom lens, a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and built-in Wi-Fi. It takes images of very good overall quality but has slow shooting speeds. High-definition video recording is also limited to only 720p resolution.
The Canon PowerShot Elph 130 IS measures 3.8 x 2.2 x 0.8-inches (wdh) and weighs almost 5-ounces. Some may still call it small, but it's more on the intermediate size. We did like the metal exterior, which means its sturdy and more substantial than plastic bodies. It comes in three colors: gray, red and silver.
On the camera's backside, there is a four-way navigation pad, several buttons (including a dedicated video record button) and a switch to go between Automatic and Program modes. The navigation pad doubles has controls for the flash, brightness and macro mode, but these are disabled when you are in Automatic mode. There are no full manual or aperture/shutter priority modes. The top just has the on/off button and the zoom/shutter release.
To the left of the rear controls, there is a large, 3-inch LCD display. It has a 460k-dot resolution, which is lower than more expensive cameras, but on the Elph 130 IS, it looks sharp and bright.
The memory cards supported by this Canon camera include SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. There is a mini-USB port and Canon also includes a wall charger for the rechargeable battery, which means you can use spare batteries with this camera to keep shooting. This is a good thing because other similar cameras require the batteries to be charged inside the camera, which can end your "shooting spree".
One of the selling points of the Elph 130 IS is the built-in Wi-Fi, which lets you send images right to your smart phone or tablet. This is done by using the free Canon CameraWindow application available for iOS and Android devices. In addition to transferring photos, you can directly print to a supported Wi-Fi printer.
Another feature that uses the Elph 130's Wi-Fi is the social media connectivity. You can directly post videos or images to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You first must configure the camera using the included PC or Mac software but after that, it's completely cordless.
When it comes to performance, the Elph 130 IS isn't the fastest camera on the market by any means. It took a tad more than 2 long seconds to power on and take the first picture and then another 2.5 seconds between shots, which is way too long. Shutter lag is better at only around 0.2-seconds.
In subjective image testing, we found this point-and-shoot camera to take better than average quality images. We did notice at higher ISO settings, a significant amount of noise was visible. Colors looked vibrant and accurate, especially skin tones. For the sub $200 price tag, the Elph 130 IS definitely delivers on image quality.
Video quality, on the other hand, is slightly below average. First off, Canon limits you to 720p and not full 1080p HD but not only that, in normal lightning situations videos have a lot of noise. Videos are only good in well-lit, outdoor situations.