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The Online Knowledge Magazine

Canon PowerShot Elph S400

The Elph S400 digital camera packs a lot of power and features into a small package. Measuring only 3.4 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches (87 x 57 x 27.8 mm) you can keep this camera in your inside jacket pocket or purse and always be ready for a quick snap. This camera is simple to use and at 4 megapixels, flash, and 3x optical zoom, the images are excellent.

The camera offers four different shooting modes:

Automatic - Pretty much point and shoot. Flash settings allow for automatic, on, off, or red-eye reduction. A self-timer mode allows for those classic family portraits.

Manual - You can adjust exposure, white balance, shutter speed settings, and photo effects such as Black & White.

Stitch Assist makes it easy to take a series of overlapping photos that can be stitched together, using the included software, to create wide panoramic images.

Movie mode turns this small camera into a video recorder with the built-in microphone recording the audio. You can record up to 3 minutes of one clip, or until your memory card fills up.

CompactFlash Type I cards are used for storage and a 32 MB card is included. I recommend buying the highest capacity you can afford to avoid having to worrying about managing your images. With a 256 MB card, you can store 123 images at the highest resolution settings, and 2,720 at the lowest.

Reviewing images is achieved by a switch from record mode. You can advance through the pictures using the directional pad buttons. A little less obvious is the use of the zoom lever to digitally zoom into images. Zooming out shows image "thumbnails" making it quicker to find a particular image. Another cool function is the ability to record a voice memo while reviewing your images. Good when a picture might need some explaining.

The Slideshow mode will automatically advance through your pictures on the 1.5 LCD screen, or using the included cable, watch the show on your television for all to enjoy. A sensor in the camera records if the picture was taken in landscape or portrait orientation, and automatically rotates it upon playback so you won't have to tilt your head or the camera.

Image transfer is accomplished via the included USB cable. Even though Windows XP doesn't need and special software for this, the camera comes with its own software to transfer, organize, edit, and touch up images.

The camera is powered by a proprietary battery which is included, along with a battery charger which is about the same size of the camera and has a flip out plug that goes right into a wall outlet. The battery needs to be removed from the camera to charge. There is no battery gauge on the camera, only a low battery indicator which only gives you a few more pictures once displayed. I recommend getting a spare battery as well.

After spending all that money for the camera outfit, you would expect a case to be included but it isn't. To keep the camera small, get one sized for the camera. Get an extra case to hold the charger.

This camera is great for beginners to digital photography as well as experienced users wanting a small camera with a lot of features.

Buy it at Amazon

PowerShot S400 Elph
List Price $499

5 stars

Review by
Greg Renza

Ofoto, A Kodak Company