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The IXUS 310 HS Camera

The IXUS 310 HS / ELPH 500 HS shares the exact same ‘choc-ice’ styling of earlier wide-screen IXUS / ELPH models, and our brown review sample made the analogy more fitting. It’s likewise available in gold, silver and pink. At 185 grams including the card and battery it’s no lightweight, but fits comfortably in your hand and jacket, if not being quite shirt-pocket sized. Unlike the Sony Cyber-shot TX10 you cannot take it in the water and at the time of writing there was no underwater housing available – at least not from Canon anyway.

The IXUS 310 HS / ELPH 500 HS continues the trend for Canon touch-screen compacts to shun physical controls. There’s an on/off button and a two-position mode turn on the leading panel and a playback button on the back; aside from the big round shutter release button and its zoom collar that’s it for physical controls.

The rear panel is used up nearly completely by the display, with a little ridged panel on the right which provides an extremely efficient thumb rest – this is a comfortable camera to hold and run. With a 16:9 aspect ratio, the screen is ideally suited to HD video recording, although black upright bars appear down the side for still shooting in the native 4:3 component ratio. The absence of a video ‘mode’ (you press a record display icon to begin shooting video in any stills mode) means you have to frame up your shot in 4:3, the camera then changing to the 16:9 view when tape-recording starts. If you discover you’re shooting more video than stills you will most likely set the component still photo ratio to 16:9, however you have to keep in mind to switch it back unless you’re happy with 16:9 stills with a cropped resolution of 4000 x 2248, or just over 8 Megapixels.

To look at, the screen is a joy. With 460k pixels, images look clear and crisp and the viewing angle is nice and large both horizontally and vertically, so even when held above your head you can quickly make up shots. The touch-screen does not feel as responsive as a few of the earlier touch-screen IXUS designs I have actually examined however. I had to push quite firmly for the display to react and flicking through menu options didn’t have the same natural feel as it does on my iPhone for example. The touch functions are enhanced by tap controls throughout playback and I personally discovered it a great deal easier to tap the side of the camera to advance playback as opposed to swiping the display.

Touch-icon controls are organized in the black upright disrobe either side of the screen. These include shooting mode, video recording, flash and self-timer controls in addition to Canon’s quick-access ‘Func’ menu. Exactly what’s consisted of below is completely customisable so you could configure the display to consist of pretty much anything you want as long as there’s room, and if it gets a bit cluttered there’s a display icon that makes it all disappear.

The built-in flash has a maximum estimated range of 5 metres which is quite generous, it’s additionally quick to reuse, especially when shooting close subjects when the power is instantly decreased. Less outstanding is thetThe IXUS 310 HS / ELPH 500 HS’s battery life – around 180 shots from the fully charged NB-6L Lithium Ion battery.

The integrated battery and card compartment is found behind a door on the underside of the camera and takes SD (HC and XC variants) and MMC (MMCplus and HCMMCplus variations) cards. Another door on the right side of the camera opens to expose mini HDMI and A/V / USB out ports.

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