Digital Elph


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Digital Elph
Manufacturer Canon
Page By Dean
Page Type Nov 13, 2002 / Nov 13, 2002
Object ID 9226
Hits 1414
Ultra Compact
Price (street) US$399
Also known as PowerShot S230 Digital Elph
Max resolution 2048 x 1536
Low resolution 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Effective pixels 3.14 million
Sensor photosites 3.34 million
Sensor size 1/2.7 "
Sensor type CCD
Colour filter array G-R-G-B
Sensor manufacturer Unknown
ISO rating Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
Zoom wide (W) 35 mm
Zoom tele (T) 70 mm (2 x)
Digital zoom Yes, 3.2 x
Auto Focus Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto focus accuracy TTL, 9 AF areas selectable
Normal focus range 47 cm
Macro focus range 10 cm
White balance override Yes - 6 positions & manual preset
Aperture range F2.8 - F4.0
Min shutter 15 sec
Max shutter 1/1500 sec
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash guide no. 3.0 m (9.8 ft) 0 m
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, Fill-in, Anti-red-eye, Off
Focal length multiplier
Exposure compensation -2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV steps
Metering Evaluative, Spot
Aperture priority No
Shutter priority No
Lens thread None
Continuous Drive Yes, 2 fps, max 12 images
Movie Clips Yes, max 14/44/118 sec, audio
Tripod mount Yes
Self-timer 2 or 10 sec
Storage types Compact Flash (Type I)
Microdrive compatible No
Storage included 16 MB CompactFlash
Uncompressed format No
Compressed format JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Quality Levels Super-Fine Fine, Normal
Playback zoom Yes
Video out Yes
Serial No
Battery / Charger Yes
Battery Canon Lithium-Ion & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 250 g (8.8 oz)
Dimensions 87 x 57 x 27 mm (3.4 x 2.2 x 1.1 in)
Notes Full manual exposure mode, Movies up to 3 mins with fast CF cards


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Dean - Nov 13, 2002 5:19 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I wanted to let everyone know about this awesome little camera that Canon recently released. I've been using a Canon S-100 for the past 16 months and I love it. The pics that I've posted are all taken with the S-100 which is a 2.1 megapixel camera and now imagine how much nicer the pics of the S-230 will be since they are taken in the 3 megapixel range. Also, I paid 500 bucks for my S-100 and now you can get this camera, a much improved upgraded version for under $400.
Amazing. This camera is perfect for backpacking. Small and light. I carry an extra battery and carry two 128 mb cards and I can shoot tons of pics.

Update Aug 24, 2004: I've retired this little camera and now use the Canon G-3 exclusively. However, even the G-3 is just about 2 years old and will probably get replaced sometime next year.

Update: Nov 20, 2005 I bought another Elph but one that is more uptown. It is the S 410 and it goes with me everywhere. I still use my G3 but it has to share time now. The 410 is half the weight but its pics are not as good as the G3's simply because you have to hold a small camera rock solid still to pick up a good quality image.

Deb - Feb 17, 2004 4:56 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I've been lugging around the Canon Elph S-300 for 2 1/2 years. All photos I have posted were taken with this camera. It has taken a beating while hanging from a harness on multipitch crack climbs, dropped in a chock bag, frozen in snow on San Jacinto, and sea spray splashed while out to sea.

My major complaint with this camera is that the battery can not handle cold temps. I've learned to keep an extra battery in close skin contact if I'm going to be out in the cold all day or over night.

Also any super zoomed in shots will always be fuzzy; great for close-ups though.

Never use the video function, eats up too much memory.

All in all, the S-300 is a fantastic camera to carry into the wilds for a couple of days.

flechenbones - Jul 23, 2004 5:18 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
This is a great camera. I resisted digital cameras for a long time, and I still use my clunky SLRs but less and less. I find I don't want to carry them and then you miss important shots. This camera (S230) is fantastic because it is tiny, lightweight, and easy to carry anywhere. It is also packed with features, including a nice macro setting that takes surprisingly good shots.

Battery life is short so carry an extra - particularly if your trip is long and you will be away from sockets to plug in the recharger.

The new version (S500) of the digital elph has a 3x optical zoom and 5 megapixels. I will probably upgrade as the S230 is limited to a 2x optical zoom.

Scott M. - Aug 18, 2004 10:19 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I'm now using my 410 for almost all my photography while climbing or hiking and leave the good old SLR at home (sorry Nikon). I bought this one after having another camera which was my first digital. A guide in the Sierra recommended this one from his own day in - day out experience and I've not been disappointed. Deb is right about the battery. Keep it warm but battery life is good. I got a little GPS case that fits on my sternum strap to keep it protected and so far so good. Features are easy to use and the software with it is also easy to use. I've found the stitching function to be quite good, too. The movie feature makes for some nice effects during climbing but get a 256mb CF card or greater if you are going to shoot many of these.

nartreb - Oct 4, 2004 4:07 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I've been using my Powershot s100 since February 2001.

The small size & weight turned me from a hiker to a hiker-who-always-brings-a-camera to a hiker-who's-starting-to-consider-himself-a-photographer.
I hardly have to slow down to take a photo - just pull the camera from a front pocket, point, and shoot.

I still use the ZoomBrowser software that came with it - quite easy to use & organize, with useful import & export functions.

My biggest criticism is cold-weather battery life (and unreliable battery-strength indicator). In winter I keep the camera underneath my main insulation layer, plus I keep a spare battery against my skin to swap in when the first battery fades. Down to about fifteen degrees fahrenheit I can keep switching batteries (they revive once warm) to keep the camera going, but once the mercury gets lower than that I only get a few minutes of shooting.

Other than that, the only thing wrong with my S-100 is that it's really whetted my appetite for more: more pixels, and especially a better zoom. As soon as I have some cash, I'm gonna look for an SLR digital camera to buy so I can attach a real zoom lens.

Oh, and never drop your backpack onto rocks while the camera is in an outside pocket. You can crack the LCD display that way, which makes it kind of hard to do things like change the flash mode.

jschellberg - Oct 27, 2004 1:20 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I have had the Powershot S330 Elph for about 2 years now and I haven't regreted buying it even once. I have taken over 3000 pictures with it and it is still going strong. The rechargable battery is great for keeping the battery costs low. Functionality is excellent and I find it very intuitive and easy to use. The accompanying programs, mainly photostich is incredible. It is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and weights a decent amount but nothing I really ever notice (newer models are much smaller and lighter). It fits nicely into any pocket making it quick to get out if you need to take a quick picture. The only things I would is increasing the resolution (it is only 2.something megapixel) and the delay I sometimes get when you are in lowlight situations. Oh yeah the buffer size of this particular model is rather small making movie taking time pretty short. I know that Canon resolved this in the s440. All in all I am extremely impressed.

Alpinist - Apr 11, 2005 3:55 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I just picked up the Powershot SD500 Digital Elph - 7.1M pixels. This is one sweet camera! I bought the 1GB SD card to give me plenty of storage space. Total cost was $540. I took over 100 shots while climbing Mt Hood at high resolution, along with some video clips and only used 130MB out of 1GB capacity. The camera takes beautiful photos, and it's easy to use. The 2" LCD screen provides a very clear image. The slide show feature let's you review all of the photos you've captured on the LCD screen. The SD500 is really a gem.

Here are the full specifications.

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