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How is this Canon compared to the best point-and-shoot camera?
The Sony Alpha a6000 – Best Compact Camera for Low Light is a great choice for low light situations. Read on to see how this Canon compares. If you’re the kind of photographer who wants a camera that offers at least one impressive “wow” feature that you can show off to your friends and family, the Canon ELPH 360 probably isn’t the camera for you. As my Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS review shows, this point-and-shoot camera has plenty of really strong features, but nothing with this camera will elicit the oohs and aahs you may be seeking. When you’re ready for more, find the best digital camera with our extensive list.
Then again, perhaps the ELPH 360 does have one impressive feature: A low starting price. Although the ELPH 360 is only a few dollars away from matching the sub-$200 starting price of some of its predecessors, such as is shown in a Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS, the PowerShot ELPH 360 still provides value at its starting price, thanks to a 12X optical zoom lens, a lack of shutter lag, and a camera body that measures just 0.9 inches in thickness.
Summary: The extremely thin Canon PowerShot 360 follows in the footsteps of past ELPH models, offering a host of solid features in an easy-to-use design at a desirable price point.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A quick as lightning camera available at a budget price point.
Price: $199 from Amazon
Available: January 2016
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The Canon ELPH 360 is a basic-looking digital camera, unlike the Canon EOS 90D and the Canon EOS 80D, offering a solid-colored body with no trim colors. Because this model is designed as a basic, easy-to-use camera, it doesn’t have many buttons, allowing it to have a clean-looking design. For a model with more options, check out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II.
You will have to work through the camera’s menus to make the majority of changes to the ELPH 360’s settings, thanks to the minimal number of buttons in the camera’s design. Because this camera has such small buttons, it can be uncomfortable to use them. And you may make mistakes when pressing the edges of the four-way button because it’s so small.
Related: Take a look at the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 review
It measures only 0.9 inches in thickness, which can make it a little tough to hold steady. But it will fit into a pocket easily.
Because the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is such a thin camera, having a 12X optical zoom lens is a nice feature that’s not always available on thin, point-and-shoot cameras. For example, a Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS shows this older camera has only a 5X optical zoom lens. The significant digital zoom lens truly makes a difference when trying to capture decent pictures of subjects at a distance. Pair the zooming feature with the Optical Image Stabilizer feature, and you’re on your way to taking sharp, clear photos of distant targets.
The Canon 360 doesn’t include a viewfinder, so you’ll need to use the LCD screen to frame all photos. Canon gave the PowerShot ELPH 360 a 3.0-inch screen (measured diagonally) of above-average quality with 461,000 pixels of resolution. It would’ve been helpful to have a touch screen LCD for the inexperienced photographers at which Canon has aimed the ELPH 360, but this camera’s display screen has no touch or tilting capabilities. Moreover, its 3-inch LCD screen size may be disappointing to some since it’s not tiltable like that of the Nikon Coolpix B500, and it’ll have to substitute for the lack of a viewfinder.
You’ll find both a USB port and an HDMI port with the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS.
Canon squeezed 20.2 megapixels onto a 1/2.3-inch image sensor with the ELPH 360 HS, meaning this model has more resolution than many inexpensive cameras. For example, a Canon PowerShot ELPH 320 HS shows that an older camera has 16.1MP of resolution. But the ELPH 360’s image sensor is very small in terms of physical size, equal to the older ELPH 320, which limits the overall image quality of the ELPH 360.
The small image sensor’s problems are noticeable primarily in poor lighting conditions. If you’re shooting outdoors with plenty of light, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 will produce pleasing images that are sharply focused and vibrantly colored. As with most entry-level cameras, Canon did not include any ability to shoot in the RAW image format with this model — JPEG only. By using its CMOS Sensor with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor together, this camera overall takes good quality photos, especially in low lighting conditions.
Related: Read our Canon PowerShot G3 X review
One of the reasons this camera can perform quickly in adequate outdoor lighting is because of the above-average autofocus feature Canon provided. When the light in the scene is strong, the PowerShot ELPH 360’s autofocus mechanism is fast and accurate, especially compared to other point-and-shoot cameras. This camera uses a max aperture of f/3.6 (W) and f/7.0 (T) and a shutter speed of 1-1/2000 sec. Regarding the number of recording pixels per aspect ratio, for large still images, this camera has 5184 x 2912 for 16:9, 5184 x 3456 for 3:2, and 5184 x 3888 for 4:3, and 3888 x 3888 for 1:1.
As with most cameras with a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor, the PowerShot ELPH 360 struggles in its low-light photography. You’ll be limited to a maximum ISO setting of 3200 with this model, and the noise becomes a problem with images once you set the ISO to 800 or 1600.
The camera’s recording speeds slow considerably when you’re forced to use the flash, and you may notice some photos with shadows in the corners when using the tiny flash that’s embedded in the corner of the front of the camera. Unfortunately, you cannot add an external flash to the ELPH 360.
Movie recording with the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 is easy, thanks to the dedicated recording button on the back of the camera. You can record videos in full HD resolution. Note that this camera uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards for storage.
One of the biggest problems with the Canon ELPH 360 is its below-average battery life. You’ll receive less than 200 shots per charge, in large part because Canon had to shrink the battery for this camera to maintain its slim profile. Poor battery life is a common problem for really thin point-and-shoot cameras.
Canon did give the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS a separate battery charger, meaning you can charge the battery outside the camera. So if you choose to purchase a second battery to combat this model’s poor battery lifespan, you can be charging one battery in the included charger, while using the second battery with the camera.
Although Canon gave the PowerShot 360 HS built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity, both features will drain the battery quickly, which makes it tough to use these features regularly unless you want to purchase a second battery.
Versus other models on our best point-and-shoot digital camera list, the Canon PowerShot 360 doesn’t offer a standout feature … other than an impressive price. It does have quite a few solid features that make this a good value among budget-priced models. The ELPH 360 HS just missed making our best digital camera under the $200 list, but the ELPH 350 did make that list. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS is nearly identical to the newer ELPH 360. So if you’re looking to save a bit of money, take a look at the ELPH 350 in our above-mentioned sub-$200 list. But if you’re looking for a slight improvement in performance speed over that model, the newer Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS will deliver.