February 20, 2012
- Compact, portable design
- 1080p video recording
- Very good image quality
- Small physical controls
- Slow shooting
- Below average battery life
The Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS is a pocket-size 12-megapixel digital camera with an 8x optical zoom, 1080p video recording and a fun design. It has really good photo quality and lots of shooting options for a compact camera. It does have short battery life, which can limit its use on long day trips.
The design of the Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS is quite good and is definitely a camera that you can slip into your pocket and carry around with you without any trouble. The camera has a sleek appearance and comes in five colors: blue, green, pink, purple and silver. We tested out the green model and we really liked the color and matte finish. The whole camera measures 3.8 x 2.2 x 0.9-inches (whd) and weighs about 0.3-pounds.
Canon switched up the location some of the controls on the Elph 310 HS to keep the streamlined, slim frame. For example, the menu button and shooting-mode switch are on the camera's right side, which is both unusual and clumsy. The only reason for this is probably to keep the backside of the camera from becoming too crowded. We also noticed that all of the controls on this camera are smaller than most others, so if you have big hands, you'll want to test it out first before you buy it.
For HDTV owners, you'll be happy to find a mini-HDMI output under a door also on the camera's right side. Here you can connect the camera to your HDTV via HDMI and watch HD movies that you shot with your camera. While we realize that probably most users won't use this feature, it's nice to have and doesn't usually come standard with compact cameras.
The three-inch LCD on the camera's backside looks good and is decent in direct sunlight, but it's not the best out there. The back also has a four-way navigation pad (which is very tiny) and a dedicated video record and playback buttons.
Canon includes a healthy amount of shooting options with the PowerShot Elph 310 HS. These modes are all automatic, however, so don't think you'll be doing any manual adjustments with this camera. The modes are where that switch on the camera's right side comes into play: one setting for Smart Auto and the other for everything else. The non-Smart Auto mode lets you access things like scene modes, creative effects/filters and other novelty modes. These modes also work for movies too, which some users might enjoy.
The specifications of the Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS include a 12.1-megapixel resolution, an 8x optical zoom, aperture range of f3.0-5.9, focal length of 28-224mm (35mm equivalent) and both optical and digital image stabilization. Images are shot in JPEG format and have a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000-pixels while videos are MOV files and have a 1080p full HD maximum resolution. This camera accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.
We found this camera to be a little slow in terms of shot-to-shot times, which averaged about 2.3-seconds and 3.2-seconds with and without the flash, respectively. Power on to first shot was only about just over a second, which was rather odd when compared to the above 2.3-seconds.
Image quality with the Elph 310 HS in subjective image testing yielded very good results. Outdoor shots were crisp and vibrant while low-light shots were also quite good, even at higher ISO speeds. Noise reduction and image stabilization worked quite well and produced good quality shots. In comparison to other compact cameras, this one is definitely near the top.
Full 1080p HD video quality was also good and about the same as other similar cameras. We always mention when we review these type of cameras (and this one is no exception) is to not expect much in terms of video recording. These cameras produce video that are good enough only for Internet/social media use. The zoom lens does work while recording video, but it moves at reduced speed to avoid motor noise being picked up by the built-in microphone.
Battery life with this camera is rated at 210 shots (CIPA rating), which is less than the category average. That means if you intend on using it throughout a day of sightseeing, you may run out of battery life, especially if you use the LCD display.