Canon ELPH 100 HS for Family Photos Review

Is the Canon ELPH 100 HS a good point and shoot camera for taking family pictures of the kids and events? Let’s walk through it.

Undefeated Daddy’s Canon ELPH 100 Review

The Canon ELPH 100 HS gets good reviews almost across the board. On Amazon, there are hundreds of reviews averaging out to a 4 1/2 star rating. Online, there are no shortage of professional camera reviewers proclaiming that the ELPH 100 is a good camera for family pictures and the like.

The camera’s specifications are nice as well. It has 12.1 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom and it also records in 1080p HD. If you aren’t familiar with the terms, here is your crash course on camera specifications for dads and moms.

  • Megapixels = How many tiny dots a picture is made up of. Just like the megahertz of computer processors did, this specification has become a terrible way to compare cameras. Back in the day, more megapixels meant a better picture because that meant that more data was being captured. These days, megapixels still measure how many tiny dots make up your picture, but what it doesn’t measure is how good those dots are at representing what you actually saw. So, you can have a lot of megapixels and still get a crappy photo if those megapixels don’t do a good job.
  • Optical Zoom = How much your camera can zoom in on an image by adjusting the lens. Just like a telescope magnifies what you can see by bending light through curved glass, your camera can do the same and zoom in. A higher number is more zoom.
  • Digital Zoom = Do not confuse optical zoom (good, legit) with digital zoom (lame, scam). Digital zoom is nothing more than taking the same picture, but then cropping it for you. Just like cropping on the computer, this does not give you a better, closer picture, it cuts off the sides and tops to make what is left seem bigger by comparison. You should probably just turn the digital zoom off on your camera.
  • 1080p video = There are several different kinds of high-definition video. One of them is 1080p which means that there are 1080 lines of video drawn on your screen all at once (progressive) versus 1080i (interlaced) where half of the lines are drawn on the screen each time. You mind can’t see it directly, but p usually provides better quality. However, just like megapixels, what really matters is how good each one of those lines is recorded.

O.K. moving on.

Is the Canon ELPH 100 HS a good camera for parents?

A good digital camera is a great gift for new parents. There is no better way to catch all of those precious moments as baby grows into toddler and then child.

The best cameras out there are DSLR cameras, which are the bigger ones with interchangeable lenses like the pros use. However, these cameras are bigger and heavier and if you are already packing a diaper bag or backpack full of kid stuff, it can be tempting to leave behind, especially on “normal” type trips. However, this is when all kinds of great moments happen.

So, a small point and shoot camera is a nice thing to have.

The ELPH has small down. It’s about as big as my cell phone, only a little bit thicker. Unfortunately, that is about all it has going for it.

The HS part of this camera is supposed to provide higher quality images under low light conditions, like this picture shows. But, here’s the thing. I can’t get a picture like that one on the right in bright, fully lit conditions. If you zoom the ELPH HS 100 images at all, you’ll notice them starting to get grainy like that picture in the middle.

Canon ELPH 100 Sample picture

The grainy photos are agrevated by the auto-focus which is supposed to detect what you want to focus on (like faces) and then focus there. This system focused on the wrong thing in at LEAST 50 percent of the pictures I took. Unless your kids are sitting there looking right into the camera (posing) there is a very good chance that your picture will be focused on the wrong thing. I want a point and shoot camera that takes pictures of my kids while they are doing LIFE, not when they are still life. You can turn the auto-detect focus off, but it doesn’t really matter, because even perfectly focused photos on this camera turn out very noisy. (Those specks you see in that middle picture is referred to as noise.)

At this point, this camera is worthless to me. I want quality shots of my kids, not fuzzy or noisy ones. This camera is probably fine if your idea of looking at pictures is showing them on your phone, but don’t even think of cropping or zooming these photos to print or show on computer screen.

Lest you think that I’m either a Canon bigot or that my standards are too high, let me tell you that my DSLR is a Canon, and I love it. And, the point and shoot camera pictures that I am comparing the ELPH pictures to is an 8-year old Sony 5 megapixels point and shoot camera. Both of which take very clear pictures. I need the flash in low-light, but at least they turn out good then. The ELPH pictures aren’t good enough with or without the flash.

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