Canon IXUS 310 HS review

Full review: Compact camera with touchscreen, HD video and low-light shooting

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A high-quality compact with touchscreen and great video

When we reviewed the Canon IXUS 300 HS we were disappointed with the low resolution of the LCD screen. Well, it looks like Canon has taken notes because the new IXUS 310 HS comes with a huge 3.2inch touchscreen LCD with an impressive 461,000 dot resolution. Let's see what else Canon has improved for the new model...

Canon always come up trumps with the aesthetics of its IXUS range and the IXUS 310 HS is testament to this: sleek, stylish and a little bit sexy too, with it's full metal body giving it an expensive look and feel. At 100.6 x 55.4 x 25.0 mm, the camera is small but not tiny or ultra slim and as a result it is comfortable to hold and at 185g feels reassuringly weighty in the hand.

The back of the camera is dominated by the huge 3.2inch LCD (it's just the LCD and play button on the back). Virtually all controls have been regulated to the touch-screen display (although there is a handy switch for Auto on the top panel). Users will find they quickly get to grips with how to access all the different setting and controls through the intuitive touchscreen interface, which we are happy to report is both precise and responsive, so it's not frustrating like some touchscreens can be.

Canon IXUS 310 HS: Features

As well as the touchscreen interface, speed is a major feature in the Canon IXUS 310 HS, which is capable of shooting 3.4 shots per second at full 12.1MP resolution and at a 8.2 shots per sec at 3MP. This really is very fast and will make the camera appeal to sports fans. It's just a shame the 4.4x optical zoom isn't longer, to further heighten this appeal, but you can't have it all for a street price of £250, right? The Super Slow Motion Movie mode allows you to slow down movement up to 1/8th of the real speed, which a fun function to use.

We were really impressed with the quality of movies produced by the Canon IXUS 310 HS. Full HD (1080p) format recording is of very high quality with very impressive stereo sound. The camera is also equipped with Dynamic IS, which worked a treat when we tested the camera on a boat when the sea was a little choppy.

Smart Auto is another great plus point of the Canon IXUS 310 HS, where the camera chooses from 32 different scenes and allows you to pretty much shoot only thinking of composition and be rewarded with perfect exposed shots. The camera has a plethora of scene modes and also some fun effects including Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, and Toy Camera Effect.

Canon IXUS 310 HS: Image Quality

Although the Canon IXUS 310 HS lens might not be as long as we'd like, the 24mm f/2.0 is wonderfully bright and allows for great low-light shots, as well as images captured with a high shutter speed. Noise is kept to a minimum: barely visible up to ISO 400 and as with most compact cameras of this range, the quality drops after ISO 800. Overall, the Canon IXUS 310 HS produced impressive quality images: the optical IS does a great job of reducing blur (there was none in our test pictures), images are crisp, skin tones are flattering and colours are punchy but not unrealistically so.

The touchscreen might not be for everyone, bu this is high quality compact camera offer high speed shooting, responsive touchscreen interface and great quality video. A fantastic little point and shoot.

Canon IXUS 310 HS price: £220-£280 online

Canon IXUS 310 HS launch date: Out now, link Canon

Canon IXUS 310 HS Specifications

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS, 12.1MP
  • Lens::4.3 – 18.8 mm, 4.4x optical zoom
  • Screen: Screen (size and res): 3.2inch, 461,000 dots
  • Viewfinder:Digital
  • Stabilisation: Lens shift-type
  • Video: 1920x1080 24fps
  • Storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HCMMCplus
  • Battery: 180 shots (4x AA)
  • Connections: USB, HDMI mini, A/V out
  • Dimensions/Weight: 100.6 x 55.4 x 25mm, 185g