Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Review

Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 review
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 is available in purple, silver, or black camera bodies. Canon

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The Bottom Line

When you're shopping for a digital camera in the $200 price range, you know that you're going to have to settle for some average or even below average features. These basic point and shoot cameras simply don't have top-shelf shooting options or image quality. And if you're hoping my Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 review shows a model that is able to completely overcome these common limitations, you're going to be disappointed.

However, that doesn't mean the PowerShot ELPH 360 is a bad camera -- far from it. The ELPH 360 may not offer the greatest feature set, but it's a camera that will outperform most of the other models at its price point. It's a camera that has a lot of good features, even if it doesn't really have one great feature that will stand out from the crowd. The PowerShot 360 is a versatile camera that will work nicely in a variety of situations, while offering a very reasonable price point.

If you already own the ELPH 350 from the previous year, you probably aren't going to have much desire to "upgrade" to the ELPH 360. Canon didn't give the PowerShot ELPH 360 many differences from the previous version. In fact, if you were looking at the two cameras side by side -- with the brand names hidden -- you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. 


  • Resolution: 20.2 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 12X
  • LCD: 3.0-inch, 461,000 pixels
  • Maximum image size: 5184 x 3888 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 3.92 x 2.28 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 4.59 ounces (without battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: 1/2.3-inch CMOS
  • Movie mode: Full HD 1080p


  • Camera has faster operational performance than similarly priced models
  • Image quality surpasses other cameras in this price range
  • Small camera that's easy to fit in a pocket
  • 12X optical zoom lens is a nice feature in a thin camera
  • Good price point


  • Low light image quality suffers with ISO setting limit of 3200
  • Small, embedded flash doesn't provide great image quality
  • Toggle switch used to select some shooting modes is an odd design function
  • No touch screen
  • Battery life is below average

Image Quality

At 20.2 megapixels of resolution, the Canon PowerShot ELPH HS 360 outperforms most cameras at its price point. Unfortunately, the ELPH 360 doesn't have a larger image sensor (in physical size) than most low priced cameras, which means that its ability to create high-quality photographs that can match more expensive models is limited. This Canon point and shoot camera features a 1/2.3-inch image sensor, which is the smallest image sensor you'll find in today's digital cameras.

Although the ELPH 360's image quality is pretty good when you're shooting in outdoor conditions where the sunlight provides the light for the scene, if you're forced to shoot in low light situations indoors, you're going to notice a drop in the quality of your photographs. The PowerShot 360 doesn't allow for an ISO setting higher than 3200, which means that you're going to have to end up using the flash quite a bit indoors.

Unfortunately, because Canon gave the ELPH 360 such a small embedded flash, it doesn't provide a lot of light to the scene, resulting in hit and miss image quality.


Surprisingly for a digital camera at a low price point, the PowerShot ELPH 360 actually works pretty fast when the lighting is good. You won't suffer from significant shutter lag issues with this camera when shooting in adequate lighting conditions, which means you can capture those photos of fast moving pets and children without having to worry about them moving out of the frame before the camera can capture the image. Shot to shot delays are minimal too, unless you're using the flash. This camera has extremely high performance levels versus other models at a similar price point. The ELPH 360's performance slows considerably when using the flash, though.

As is common with thin cameras, the Canon ELPH 360 is extremely easy to use. It has a minimal number of buttons, which means you won't have to worry about controlling the camera manually. Canon has designed this model as a fully automatic, point and shoot camera.

You will have access to a number of fun special effect features with the PowerShot 360. You do have to use a combination of moving a toggle switch and changing on-screen menus to make use of the special effect features, which can be a little confusing at first. 


At 0.9 inches in thickness, the PowerShot ELPH 360 will fit easily in a pocket or purse, making it a good complement to a more expensive DSLR that is difficult to carry without a camera bag. You can take this camera with you in locations where a large camera bag simply isn't practical.

For a thin camera, having a 12X optical zoom lens in the ELPH 360 is a very nice feature. It wasn't too many years ago that having a 10X or 15X optical zoom in a large camera was common, and thin cameras were limited to a 3X or 5X zoom. The PowerShot 360's 12X zoom gives this camera some nice versatility, allowing it to have success in multiple shooting situations.

The Canon ELPH 360's LCD screen is sharp and bright, again ranking it slightly ahead of other $200 cameras. However, it is not a touch screen display, which can greatly simplify the operation of a camera for inexperienced photographers who may be more familiar with operating a smartphone.

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