Expert Review of Canon PowerShot A2300 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Canon, the name speaks for itself, right? Any product under the franchise name Canon, already makes do with its high expectations, similar is the case with the latest Point and Shoot Canon PowerShot A 2300. The device sports a 16 Megapixel CCD sensor alongside a 2.7 inch screen accompanied by 230k pixels. The 5x zoom that the camera flaunts has a a 28mm wide angle and a bright f2.8 maximum aperture, an improvement on the 4x zooms of the 2011 budget PowerShots. One of the key negatives of the device is that is lacks optical image stabilisation, but that you can not expect everything out of a budget device, right? Also to cover up the lack of optical image stabilisation, Canon has provided a low light stacking mode that it calls 'Digital IS'. It is not definitely certain that Canon is going to remove A2200 completely off the charts or not, when Canon PowerShot A2200 was released 14 Megapixel, 4x zoom A2200 was the slimmest A series compact yet produced, but the A2300 is slimmer and lighter still. To be completely honest Canon PowerShot A2300 is neither the least expensive nor the most basic PowerShot, that honour definitely belongs to Canon PowerShot A810, and equip it with optical viewfinder comes Canon PowerShot A1300 which is powered by a couple of AA batteries. Moving up the range, the PowerShot A2400 IS shares almost the exact same specification, but adds optical image stabilisation. The other two models are the touch-screen A3400 IS and the top of the range PowerShot A4000 IS with an 8x zoom and 3 inch LCD screen. But the PowerShot A3400 IS has more to offer than optical image stabilisation, it boasts a 3 inch touch screen.
Design and Build Quality
Every year the budget PowerShot A range seems to grow closer in design to Canon's premium IXUS range, in simple words Canon PowerShot A series is being trendified and from the front at least, it would be easy to mistake the PowerShot A2300 for an IXUS. The bold styling that used to define A series PowerShots has been gradually toned down and the front of Canon PowerShot A2300 is comparatively featureless. No two tone colour scheme, no raised or bulging handgrip, just a plain elegant expanse of silver, red, black or blue plastic with the raised Canon badge providing something for your fingers to gain a purchase on. The front surface curves gently round to the top and bottom panels and the effect resembles a bar of soap - at least if they made very slim bars of soap. The retracted lens sits flush with the front panel and the only other features here are the built-in flash and an LED AF illuminator. The back of Canon PowerShot A2300 is finished in matt black and it doesn't look quite as elegant as the front, or for that matter as the two tone A3400 IS, the raised and bevelled LCD panel gives it a slightly dated look. The control layout is functional with a four-way controller at the centre and four glossy black buttons surrounding it. There's a dedicated movie record button and alongside it a button labelled with a question mark which activates the on-screen help system. Dedicating one of the few external controls to the help system shows this device is squarely aimed and beginners and casual snappers. The two remaining buttons below the four-way controller activate playback and the the menu system.
Focus and Face Detection
Two AF modes are provided in Canon PowerShot A800 and the default Face AiAF has the job of detecting the position of faces in the frames and tracking them. The camera contains 5 AF areas compared to its predecessor’s 9. Though it doesn’t seem to lack in this section as it is quick to spot faces and it does hold on to them as well, not only when they are front facing but also when they are facing diagonal and are on a significant distance from the camera.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Canon PowerShot A2300 is equipped with a 5x optical zoom lens with a 28-140mm equivalent range. Like the earlier PowerShot A2200 it starts at a very useful 28mm wide angle but now extends a little further - 140mm compared with 112mm. With the exception of the 8x top of the range PowerShot A4000 all 2012 A Series PowerShots now sport 5x optical zooms. While the difference between 4x and 5x doesn't sound all that much, 140mm extends the zoom reach beyond the portrait capabilities of the earlier budget A Series PowerShots and enables you to get a little closer to distant action. But while 140mm is good for the zoo, or, say, indoor school sports events, it won't cut it for serious wildlife photography or stadium events, for that you'll need to set your sights higher, maybe on the 8x PowerShot A4000. The zoom extends quickly and smoothly through the range and there's a 4x digital zoom indicated on screen by an extended zoom bar. The digital zoom crops the frame and seriously degrades the image quality, but it can easily be disabled.
Screen and Menus
Canon PowerShot A2300's 2.7 inch LCD screen has 230 thousand pixels, in terms of specification this is now pretty much a known standard for budget compacts and while it obviously doesn't provide as big and clear a view as the 3 inch touch screen on the A3400 IS, it's bright and contrasty and you have to look hard to notice the slight pixellation that's visible on a screen with this resolution.
Ergonomically a door on the right of the bottom panel houses the slim NB-11L battery which provides enough power for 210 shots under CIPA (Camera Imaging Products Association) standard conditions, a little on the low side, but then it is a very small and light battery. The SD card slot sits just behind the battery.
Canon PowerShot A2300 can shoot HD quality movies at 720p resolution at 24 / 25fps depending on region. Movies are encoded using the H.264 codec at an average of 18 Megabits per second and saved as QuickTime (.mov) files. There's also a standard definition movie mode thats records 640x480 clips at 30fps.
Canon PowerShot A2300's 16 Megapixel CCD sensor produces images with 4608x3456 pixels. Images are JPEG compressed to produce files with an average size of around 3.5MB.
5x optical zoom.
Small and slim, light and sleek.
16 Megapixel Sensor.
Dedicated help button.
No optical image stabilisation.
Digital IS is not full resolution.
No optical zoom while in movie mode.
Poor High ISO noise performance.