National Gadgets Examiner Rating: D
Although Best Buy previously claimed the Canon PowerShot Elp 340 HS would not be in stores until Friday, this column called and confirmed that as of Wednesday afternoon, the retail chain is officially offering the long-awaited camera. Our suggestion: Stay away! Stay far, far away! This camera is an insult to not only Canon, but to a fading digital camera market that is being eroded by smartphone 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.
There is some better news for Canon: their new higher-end PowerShot SX700 HS camera appears to be a winner. Stick to this column for a review very soon!