Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 Review - Solid Performance and Price. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 offers everything you need for a leap into smartphone photography, at an incredibly affordable price. It features a 10x optical zoom lens and a 20.1 Megapixel sensor camera.
Slim, portable design
20 Megapixel sensor
10x optical zoom
Auto mode can lead to excessive exposure
Indoors, noisy images
Video resolution 720p
Confusion is caused by scattered menu options
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is a great choice for balancing performance and features at a more affordable price. This pocket-friendly point-and shoot camera has a 24mm lens with a 10x zoom that covers almost any situation.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 was purchased by us to allow our expert reviewer to thoroughly evaluate and test it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is in a difficult spot for a camera. It costs $149.99 and is a few hundred dollars cheaper than higher-end cameras with larger image sensors or 4K video recording. The ELPH 190 packs a lot of connectivity options and an optical zoom to make even the most expensive smartphone cameras jealous. It also has a simple, but elegant design.
This camera is for you if your primary goal is to quickly take still photographs and have very few complicated options. This camera is a great choice for beginners, professionals, and those who are tech-skeptics.
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Canon has been producing cameras since the mid-2000s under the PowerShot ELPH brand. It's synonymous with point-and-shoot digital cameras. Those that have forgotten (or never knew) what these cameras feel like to hold are actually in for a bit of a treat—the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is the perfect combination of light and sturdy.
You can carry it around easily and, despite being affordable, you still feel like you have a high-end product at your fingertips. It does all this while not being bulky. It is still a little over an ounce lighter that the new iPhone XS.
The power, shutter and zoom controls are located on the top of your camera. The rear of the camera has play, video record and menu buttons. There is also a Wi-Fi button and a directional pad that allows for deeper control and navigation. Although it's not a huge number of buttons, the controls are easy to use.
You won't have to dig into the menus for most full-automatic shooting situations. This will be great news for anyone who doesn't like to spend too much time studying manuals before using their device. When you do need to dive in, however, it's a bit messy—a detail we'll cover in the software section later.
Canon eliminates all guesswork from the set-up process of the PowerShot ELPH 190. The box contains the battery and the charger. If you have a memory card, it will take less than a minute to get your camera up and running. The battery is small so buyers should expect quick charge times.
Before testing the battery, we gave it a full charge. We were extremely happy with its speed and performance. Backup batteries can be purchased by users who want to, although the MSRP for each battery is $59.99 will make it difficult.
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Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 has a 20MP sensor. It is capable of taking amazing photos under the right conditions. But if you stray from these conditions too much, image quality can take a steep nosedive.
This little camera produced some amazing results in outdoor and daylight situations, as well as scenes that have relatively low lighting.
This little camera produced some amazing results in outdoor and daylight situations, as well as scenes that have relatively low lighting. The ELPH 190 will produce stunning results if this is what you are trying to capture.
Take a walk indoors to try auto mode with no flash. You may find yourself wondering if your camera is the same one. The performance is slower and the optical image stabilizer (OIS), can only compensate for the sensor. When trying to capture moving subjects, expect a lot of noise and blurry images. These problems can be solved by using flash, however they come at a price.
We weren't too fond of the auto mode's tendency to expose photos in mixed lighting situations. This is a bad look for a camera that was designed to work in automatic mode.
Canon offers a program-shooting mode that gives users close-but not quite manual control over their photos. You can direct control light metering and exposure.
We weren't too fond of auto mode's tendency to expose photos with mixed lighting conditions.
You'll also find other options such as portrait mode, FaceSelfTimer, fish-eye effect and many more. A long exposure mode can be used with shutter speeds up to fifteen seconds. A tripod is a great option if you are willing to use it. This will allow you to get the best photo quality even under dark conditions.
Unfortunately, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 does not have video. At 1280x720 resolution, the camera can shoot mediocre video. Although the camera meets the minimum requirements to qualify for the title 'HD, it is not the resolution at which you should be shooting video right now.
Although this area is not the best, it can be forgiven. The point-and-shoot camera is not the best for keeping steady as you capture video. They are also not the most popular choice for people who value video capture. You might want to consider other options if video quality is important.
Canon may have chosen to disperse the functionality and options in order to avoid users getting overwhelmed by too many choices. While we appreciate this thought, the experience for users is not as good.
For example, the menu button gives you a variety of options depending on whether your are shooting or playing back. You can also access other shooting controls only by using the FUNC/SET buttons, which offer different options depending upon whether you're in program or auto mode.
Canon hides other camera modes within the program mode. These then change the context of the top-level menu and the options upon selection. This is quite a lot to read.
It's not difficult to use once you've mastered the layout of the menus, and how they flow. However, it is far from intuitive. The actual menu options you have access to through these menus are very simple and clear. They also come with easy-to-understand descriptions and allow users great control over the way they use their device.
It's not difficult to navigate once you've mastered the layout of the menus. However, it is far from intuitive.
For example, the Wi-Fi button allows you to send images from one camera to another, such as to a smartphone or computer. To enable the second option you will need to create an account at Canon and setup your camera using the service.
You can then choose your preferred web transfer location for services such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. You will find this connectivity in many more expensive cameras than it is with cheaper models.
Canon had a lot of work to do at this price, as we said at the beginning. The PowerShot ELPH 190 is a great value for money and a competitive option when comparing features to price. You won't find similar products if you don't have the budget.
In our testing, the closest competitor to the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 was the Sony DSC-W800. This camera competes more on price (around $90). The 10x zoom will be sacrificed for a 5x zoom. Buyers also lose access to a variety of shooting modes and connectivity options. But at around half the cost? If cost is a concern, some users might be able live with the features they lack.
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The price for performance.
We were surprised by the amount of features this tiny pocket-friendly camera offered. The camera buyer who is looking for unique features that smartphones cameras don't offer will be pleased with the results. It's a good buy for children and budget-minded shoppers who are just starting out in the world of digital cameras.