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Canon PowerShot A1300 Digital Camera Review$119.99
Physical handling of the camera isn't bad. The oversized battery compartment makes for a thicker right hand grip than most compacts offer. This counteracts the undesirably slippery surface of the body, and makes for a relatively stable shooting experience. The viewfinder is also readily accessible, regardless of hand position, and this is a real advantage that separates the A1300 from competitors, including the rest of the A-series itself.
Sadly the buttons can be a pain. Although the layout is smart and simple, the buttons themselves are flat and set well into the body paneling. As a result, they can be difficult to actually press, and it is especially difficult to differentiate between positions on the directional pad.
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.
On the top panel, the shutter release is large, obvious, and easily distinguished from the power button, even by touch. The release has excellent tactile feedback, and we have no complaints about it. The zoom lever surrounding the shutter is functional, but feels very cheap.
The 2.7-inch display on the rear panel is of low quality. The viewing angle is narrow and the preview cannot be relied upon to display an image similar to the final shot. The onscreen display is also prone to lens flares, as well as flickering under non-natural light.
A rarity for this price range, the A1300 comes with an optical viewfinder. This certainly isn't the highest quality implementation we've ever seen, but it zooms in along with the lens, and coverage is moderately close to the final image. We're just happy to have the option at all.
The A1300 is only capable of "digital" image stabilization, which simply increases shutter speed to reduce motion blur. Maximum resolution is also reduced in this mode, therefore we do not test it. For effective image stabilization, check out the slightly more expensive Canon A2400 IS, or last year's Samsung PL120.