Canon IXUS 200 IS Review

September 19th, 2009 111 Comments   Posted in Dirt Cheap Cameras Speicals

The Canon IXUS 200 IS is the latest touchscreen compact camera to come from the industry leader.

Canon has never had much trouble getting its range of IXUS compact cameras noticed: it has historically been among the best-looking, best-performing you can get, and the Canon IXUS 200 IS adds another string to a formidable bow.

The screen on the back isn’t only one of the largest TFTs you’ll find on a compact, but the bright 3-inch widescreen monitor is a touchscreen, the first to feature on a Canon compact.

It sits near the top of the IXUS range – below cameras such as the IXUS 980 and 990, but its 12.1 megapixel (MP) sensor raises it above the crowd.

The IXUS 200 starts in under a second and a half, and the recycle time between shots is around three seconds, which is reasonably good. Its only downfall when pitted against a stopwatch is its continuous mode.

Canon claims an unimpressive 0.8fps per second, but over the course of 10.75 seconds the IXUS 200 grabbed just seven shots, which is under 0.7fps. Again, for the money it would be nice to see a bit more pace, as the IXUS 200′s lack of speed makes it less than ideal for taking pictures of moving subjects, from uncooperative children to wildlife.

Buy the Canon Ixus 200 IS

Canon IXUS 100 IS

June 6th, 2009 15 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras
Canon IXUS 100 IS

Canon IXUS 100 IS

Canon’s Digital IXUS 100 IS (or PowerShot SD780 IS Digital ELPH as it’s known in North America) is a 12.1 Megapixel compact with a 3x optically-stabilised zoom and 2.5in screen. Announced in March 2009, it’s the successor to the IXUS 85 IS / PowerShot SD770 IS. The new model adds two extra Megapixels, HD video recording in the 720p format, an HDMI port for HD slideshows and Scene Recognition in Auto. At just 18.4mm thick, it’s also the slimmest compact in Canon’s current range.While the higher resolution and auto scene detection are key improvements to the specification, the big new addition is High Definition, both for video capture and TV output.

While Panasonic has offered HD capture and output (albeit with analogue component) for some time in its Lumix range, these are all brand new features for a Canon compact. Also new over its predecessor is Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 processor, which equips the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS with more efficient H.264 compression for movies, face detection with improved handling of profiles, and a Servo AF mode for tracking subjects in motion. It’s a powerful feature-set to find in such a small body, but the question as always is whether it can live up to the promise and deliver the goods in practice. Find out in our review where we’ll detail the new features and directly compare the image quality against key rivals.

Measuring 87x55x18mm and weighing 132g with its rechargeable battery, the new IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS is essentially the same size as its predecessor when viewed from the front, but 2mm thinner; this may not sound like a great deal written down, but in your hands, the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS really does look and feel very small and will easily slip into most shirt pockets.

Canon IXUS 870IS / PowerShot SD 880IS - rear controls

Canon’s gone for a smooth body with rounded corners and an absence of sharp edges, giving the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS an organic look that feels comfortable in your hands and never digs into your body when pocketed. At first glance there worryingly doesn’t appear much to hold onto – no ridge nor even a cross-hatched logo to prevent your right middle finger from slipping – but the body’s semi-matt finish provides surprisingly effective purchase. Your right middle finger naturally bends and rests on the front surface without slipping, while your thumb finds some grip in the tiny mode switch on the rear. You really can hold the camera quite comfortably and confidently in one hand.

Overall the stainless steel body is finished to a very high standard, feeling as good as it looks with no creaks or poor joins – and if you don’t like the black finish pictured above, Canon also offers the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS in silver, gold or red. If you’d literally like to make a splash, Canon also offers an optional WP-DC31 waterproof housing that’ll protect the camera to depths of 40m.

The IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS is powered by an NB-4L rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack which Canon claims is good for 210 shots under CIPA conditions – down from the 300 shots of its predecessor with its NB-6L pack. The battery pack can also be switched for an optional ACK-DC10 AC adapter kit for mains operation. The battery compartment also houses an SD memory card slot, and alongside the door, just off-centre, is a metal tripod thread.

Behind a small flap in the upper right corner of the camera’s rear are a combined USB and standard TV output, alongside an HDMI port. This makes the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS one of Canon’s first compacts to feature an HDMI port, allowing it to make HD slideshows on suitably-equipped HDTVs. Note the HDMI port isn’t active during composition, although you can monitor the live feed over the standard definition TV output.

The optical zoom range remains the same 3x as its predecessor, although the equivalent coverage on the IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS is fractionally wider: 33-100mm compared to 35-105mm on the IXUS 85 IS / SD770 IS. It’s worth noting though the lens on the new model is optically a little darker than its predecessor at f3.2-5.8 compared to f2.8-4.9.

Buy Canon Ixus 100IS