The 300 HS is a superb little camera. In terms of what you should be prepared to spend on a compact it's at the top end - its £300 price tag puts it nearly in the sights of budget DSLRs.
We're real fans of the 300 HS's looks - the matte black finish, while perhaps a little prone to scratches, is really eye-catching. We also like our test images - the 300 HS resolves plenty of detail.
The lens, while a tad soft when zoomed in does a good job and there's plenty of flexibility in terms of features. The manual mode, while not fully realised, is nonetheless useful, and will prove itself to beginners looking for a decent camera to grow into.
We're not wild about the 300 HS's telephoto performance, but as long as you steer clear of massive enlargements you're unlikely to encounter any of its serious weak spots.
The lack of iconography on the back of the camera is initially daunting: there's nothing to even suggest pressing the jog-dial in any direction even does anything. Once you get the hang of it, though, there's nothing to stop you reaching the 300 HS's features double-quick.
But if you're after a compact that will last, the 300 HS is future-proof as they come, thanks to great low light performance, excellent build-quality, and its ability to turn out technically great images.