The Canon IXUS 300 HS sports a standard 10 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 3.8x zoom lens. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 125 to 3200 with decent increments which allow for a good range to work with. Moreover, Canon claims its HS system allows for low-light photography without the need of a tripod.
The first thing to strike you about the IXUS 300 is its build. It’s very sturdy with a matte finish that ensures it won’t slip out of your hands. There are hardly any glossy plastic panels on the camera except for the buttons and the panels covering the USB and HDMI ports. The design itself is very stylish, sleek and resembles the form factor of other IXUS cameras.
Trading usability for space, this IXUS doesn’t feature a large dial to choose the shooting mode. A slider on the top allows you to select between movie, picture and auto shooting modes and there’s a dedicated playback button. Aperture and shutter priority controls are also available, but there is no manual focus. Canon has manual focus on some of its IXUS models but this one surprisingly doesn’t given its premium price.
Image quality is decent but it isn’t the best you’ll find on a point and shoot camera. At low ISO settings, there’s close to no grain but sharpness leaves a lot to be desired. The flash isn’t very strong either, but on the upside, the battery life is impressive. Focusing takes slightly longer than on most cameras. Exposure metering also doesn’t work as flawlessly as we’d expect it to. Images turn out brighter than expected, especially those taken in well-lit outdoor situations. More limited lighting works in its favour with photos ending up better exposed.
Low light performance is pretty good overall. Video quality is good and the camera can record clips at 60 fps in slow motion mode. It looks great but the video resolution has to be cut down to just 320x240. Optical zooming is possible while shooting clips although the zoom isn’t very smooth, and there’s some juddering present too.