Low and slow: low-light and slow-mo shooting from Canon’s IXUS 300 HS

Canon has made an interesting move for its latest release – the Canon IXUS 300 HS – reducing its maximum resolution from previous models from 14mp to 10mp.

So what’s the reason? Well, the HS in the high-end compact camera’s name stands for ‘high sensitivity’, and the camera maker claims that its 10mp CMOS sensor, combined with fast DIGIC 4 processing, will perform better in ‘challenging’ situations – that is, low-light conditions or high-speed shooting. Canon did a similar thing with its PowerShot G10 to much the same ends.

Generally, higher resolution images are grainier in low-light conditions, so this seems like a sensible move, and as you really only need such high resolutions if you’re enlarging images, for the average user this is unlikely to be a problem.

And offering a full-resolution shooting mode of ISP 3200, rising to ISO 6400 if you’re happy to accept a 2.5mp resolution, it looks like being a good choice if you often take shots on nights out.

So what else does the Canon IXUS 300 HS offer for its admittedly high £379 price tag? The high-end compact has a 3.8x optical zoom, and is capable of capturing 720p HD footage or 240fps super-slow-motion video – great for action shots, whether it’s the kids jumping into the pool on holiday or friends throwing shapes at a party.

The lens’ wide maximum aperture (f2.0) and manually controlled iris will offer greater control over depth of field, a useful facility for taking portraits and macro shots. The IXUS 300 HS also boasts Canon’s acclaimed Image Stabilizer, allowing the user to take longer exposures with minimal blurring.

There are some fun effects to be had too – such as fish eye lens and Miniature Effect, which makes subjects appear like miniature-scale models (sometimes called tilt-shift photography. For examples that have been digitally manipulated check out this site ).

The Canon IXUS 300 HS will be available in silver and black, while Jessops will be exclusively stocking a white model and John Lewis a red version.