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Canon PowerShot A1300 Overview

Posted: 03/08/2012

The Canon PowerShot A1300 is aimed at the photographer who really must save every penny, but isn't satisfied with just their smartphone camera. What it presents is basically the same as the more expensive PowerShot A2300 model, but with a thicker body to accomodate standard AA batteries rather than a proprietary battery pack, plus the addition of a real-image optical viewfinder. For those differences, the net result is a camera that's 20% cheaper, and allows quite a bit more shooting time without changing batteries, at least if you're using cells with a high energy density.

Unfortunately, the A2300 itself makes a tradeoff that may be too much for many, and the A1300 makes that same tradeoff. There's no optical image stabilization, despite a relatively limited ISO sensitivity range and a fairly dim optical zoom lens.

The Canon A1300's lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal range from a useful 28mm wide angle to a moderate 140mm telephoto. Maximum aperture falls from f/2.8 at wide angle to a decidedly dim f/6.9 at telephoto, and that will likely make the lack of stabilization a step too far for many purposes. There is, of course, digital image stabilization, but there's only so much to be saved by raising ISO sensitivity and noise levels in an attempt to raise your shutter speed and freeze motion.

Images and video are recorded using a 16 megapixel CCD image sensor. The ISO sensitivity range is fairly narrow, though, encompassing everything from ISO 100 to 1,600 equivalents. The maximum image dimensions are 4,608 x 3,456 pixels, and movies can be recorded at up to 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution, with a rate of 25 frames per second for high-def video, or 30 frames per second for standard-def.

On the rear panel of the Canon PowerShot A1300 a 2.7-inch LCD panel with 230,000 dot resolution. That equates to about a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) array, with each pixel comprised of separate red, green, and blue dots.

Images and movies are saved on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDXC and SDHC types. Power comes courtesy of two AA batteries, and the A1300 has a rated battery life of 500 shots, when using the 2,500mAh NB-3AH cells that come in packs of four under the NB4-300 model number. Switching off the LCD more than doubles this to 1,100 shots, showing the hunger of the LCD display's backlight. Connectivity includes USB 2.0 High Speed data, and a NTSC / PAL standard-def video output.

The Canon A1300 ships from April 2012 in the US market, in two different colors: black, or silver.