I purchased this camera about two weeks ago and have been putting it through a daily pace of photographic assignments. First of all, let's get my biases out of the way. I've been an avid amateur photographer for over thirty years and have always loved doing it my way; that is figuring out f-stops, shutter speeds, light meters, bracketing exposures...the whole nine yards, both in filmand digital.
But I needed a fairly basic point and shoot following a recent trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL, so when I got back, I purchased the Canon Elph 180 and saved my digital SLR for the more serious stuff. So let's get down to facts:
The Canon 180 is a good starter camera for the person who just wants to simply take pictures, which is what it does. 80 percent of the images I took were of good to excellent quality.
15 percent were slightly or greatly out of focus, either due to me being to close for the autofocus to work or from slow shutter speeds. Once I learned to back off and zoom in to frame the picture,
the autofocus did its job fine. Some of the images were a little undersaturated, but any good photo imaging program can remedy that. The 5 percent were low light shots that were grainy due to the
high ISO speeds, probably some camera noise, some jpeg compression, and low light conditions.
Often times when zooming in, like close-ups of flowers and small objects, I noticed the image in the viewfinder moves quite a bit with the slightest bit of camera movement, which makes it hard to frame a shot. I don't know if something like image stabilization would help in this situation, but seeing this is a beginner's camera, I'm a little puzzled why Canon didn't incorporate this into the 180.
Also an aperture priority/shutter priority setting vs. the Program mode would have been nice.
Canon, don't be so chintzy. Make the box a little bigger and enclose a REAL instruction manual instead of having to download it off the internet. If you're home with your camera, fine. But if you're on the
Appalachian Trail, hiking, and you need to refresh your memory, it's hard to deal with a pdf file while
lugging your 80 pound backpack in the backcountry. Yeah, you can say, "Print it and take it with you." but who wants to mess with a bunch of stapled together pages vs. a nice compact manual. 'Nuff said!
The Canon 180 is a good starter camera for those who want to take just family and vacation pictures. It's not exactly "perfektion und qualitat" and it won't make you the next Ansel Adams, but for the
average person who just wants good shots, the 180 will fit the bill.