Canon PowerShot A1300 Digital Camera Review$119.99
Ease of Use
- Automatic Features
- Buttons & Dials
- Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
- Instruction Manual
The top spot on the directional pad controls shooting mode, and swaps between fully automatic and everything else. This is a partial scene selecting auto mode, so the software automatically adapts to macro shooting conditions if necessary. While using auto, it's still possible to adjust flash, self-timer, and a few other settings. That's nice for moderately experienced users, we just hope that flexibility advantage doesn't scare off beginners.
Buttons & Dials
All buttons are large and legible. Aside from the shutter release and power buttons, the most important key will be "Func. / Set," which is located in the center of the directional pad and brings up the convenient quick menu. There's also a dedicated video hotkey, a dedicated button for in-camera help, a playback button, and a button to access the main menu.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
Scene modes are lumped in the picture effects, and available from the same position on the quick menu that's used to select Program mode. It's the sort of system that's "so simple it's confusing," but should become second-nature soon enough. There are plenty of useful scene modes, including Digital Image Stabilization, Face Self-Timer, Low Light, Fish-eye Effect, and more.
Canon's current menu systems are excellent and translate well to the A1300. The interface is evenly split between the quick menu and the main menu. The former is a fast, efficient way to adjust important shooting variables on the fly; the latter is a slightly slower but more comprehensive menu for adjusting details. The quick menu is painlessly operated with the directional pad, while the main menu is navigated with a combination of the directional pad plus the zoom lever for swapping tabs. We love this menu system.
On the other hand, the printed "Getting Started" guide that's included in the box is far too vague to be of much use. Even copying the digital version of the full manual included on a CD-ROM didn't provide us with all the answers we were looking for.