On Tuesday, Canon released the long awaited PowerShot Elph 340 HS camera, which arrived on Fry's Electronics shelves this afternoon. This particular camera was said to be the point-and-shoot of all point-and-shoots. Instead, you may just want to point something at it and shoot it. It is the biggest letdown from a company that has always been the greatest manufacturer of digital cameras.
2013's PowerShot Elph 330 HS was a complete winner--it took 12.1MP pictures (which is still more than enough, unless you are going to be printing huge posters of every picture). It took 1080p videos with full stereo sound. Pictures in low-lit situations looked great, considering the 330 HS wasn't a DSLR camera. You would think the 340 HS would improve on an already great camera, right?
The 16.0MP camera takes great pictures where there is a lot of lighting. However, the darker it gets, the worse the picture looks, no matter what ISO setting you are at. In fact, some of our pictures came out very grainy. We thought the 1080p videos would possibly make up for this. Unfortunately, Canon decided that it's consumers would rather have mono sound than stereo sound. What was Cannon thinking when they changed this? You would love to be a fly on the wall at their marketing meetings.
When it all comes down to it, paying $200 for a camera that is no better than a camera you get on high-end smartphones such as the iPhone 5S and Galaxy Note 3 just isn't worth it. Canon knows that smartphones have taken away a huge share of the digital camera market. They need to offer an alternative to the smartphone camera. When it comes to the PowerShot Elph 340 HS, Canon missed a major opportunity.