Canon IXUS 220 HS compact digital camera

Canon IXUS 220 HS review: A slim compact camera with a good image sensor, great for everyday use

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (4)
  • Buy Now 3
Canon Australia Pty Ltd IXUS 220 HS
  • Canon Australia Pty Ltd IXUS 220 HS
  • Canon Australia Pty Ltd IXUS 220 HS
  • Canon Australia Pty Ltd IXUS 220 HS
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)

Pros

  • Slim design
  • Well built
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • Shutter button sometimes feels too soft
  • Tracking focus wasn't always accurate

Bottom Line

The Canon IXUS 220 HS is perfect for anyone who wants a small camera that can be carried easily in a pocket. It's an automatic camera, yet it's capable of capturing clear and vibrant images, even in low-light conditions.

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The Canon IXUS 220 HS is a 12-megapixel compact that's slim, well built and easy to use. It doesn't have a lot of manual features, so it's a true point-and-shoot camera, but you can fiddle with the ISO speed, focus mode, white balance and colour output if you dare.

Sitting in front of the 12-megapixel CMOS sensor is a retractable 5x optical zoom lens with a range of 24-120mm. It's a wide lens that's especially suitable for landscape photography, and it's zoom also makes it suitable for portraits and for shooting any subject that isn't too far away. It also does a decent job of capturing macro images, as it allows you to get in close to your subjects (about 1.5cm away).

Even though it's a largely automatic camera, its CMOS sensor didn't perform too badly when exposing images in very sunny conditions, although it did occasionally blow highlights. We found its image clarity to be high even when we viewed photos at their native 4000x3000 resolution, but there was a slight drop in sharpness.

There is minimal noise for a compact camera and colours look vibrant. Even at ISO 1600, images didn't suffer from too much noise or discolouration — its performance is similar to that of the Nikon S9100, which also uses a CMOS sensor (but it's a different class of camera thanks to its bigger zoom lens). You can view the IXUS 220 HS' images on a big-screen TV or even crop them a little without having to put up with blemishes and discolouration. The lens doesn't exhibit any noticeable chromatic aberration, but there is some noticeable distortion at the widest angle.

The focusing performance of the camera is decent; it has central focus, face priority and motion tracking, and these are selectable if you use program mode. Tracking mode worked well in relatively close situations, but it was hit-and-miss when focusing on objects in the distance — the focus point would jump to similar looking objects as the camera moved. In full automatic mode, the camera selects the type of focus automatically. It also selects a scene mode depending on the type of scene you are trying to shoot.

There are 24 different scene modes to choose from, including miniature and fish-eye effects, colour effects, panorama stitching and slow-motion video recording. You can select any of these by hitting the function button on the rear of the camera when you are in Program mode. A lot of fun can be had with these modes (especially the slow-motion video mode, which records at up to 240fps).

The overall speed of the camera is swift enough so that there is barely a one-second delay between shots, and we also didn't experience any shutter lag. We're not too fond of the shutter button. It feels a little too soft and it's sometimes difficult to tell whether you've pressed it halfway. We think it could stand to be a little stiffer and have a more distinct two-step feel. It's nowhere near as bad as the shutter on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W570. The rest of the controls are adequate, and you can even press the play button when the camera is switched off to instantly view the photos on your SD card. The screen is sharp and bright, but as is the case with most compact camera screens, it can be hard to see in the middle of a bright and sunny day.

A dedicated video button allows you to shoot movies at a Full HD resolution of 1920x1080, and the fact you don't have to change modes makes this very handy. However, you'll want to keep the camera as steady as possible when shooting movies because movements will make the video look jerky. This is par for the course for most of the compact cameras we have seen. The camera auto-focuses in video mode, which is handy when zooming; you won't want to zoom too much though as it will wreak havoc on the audio recording — not only will you be able to hear the zoom operation, the audio will also sound muffled during the operation. In saying that, it's a good little compact with which to shoot video at a concert or any other type of event that you want to commemorate.

The key aspects of this camera are its thin frame, which makes it very easy to carry in a pants pocket, and its image quality, which is clear and vibrant. It has a retail price of $319, but if you're after a good quality, slim, automatic camera, then it's worth considering.

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Lizelle Levengood

2.0

1

Pros
Slow motion video ans 'creative' modes.
Cons
Distortion in portrait and macro mode
• • •

Frustrated out of my mind with this camera.Bad distortion on the portrait and macro modes. Also, the images look clear on screen, but as soon as you upload them they are fuzzy. I've set the shutter speed to its fastest to try and compensate. On Macro it messes around with a wide angle that ends up bending straight lines. Is this just me? I feel that it shouldn't be necessary to have to zoom to compensate for lens issues, because as soon as you zoom you start loosing image quality. I work with miniatures and need to photograph them, which it does okay at, but don't try to take a decent portrait shot of someone because their faces distort. I find it frustrating and pointless having a camera that is unreliable. What you're shooting is not what you get in the end. That said, it's most reliable setting is the toy camera one, and the miniature setting is cute. A good camera for a teen who will use it for a field trip and some facebook photos. Hoping to return it to the shop and hopefully get something else.

dan yin

3.5

2

Pros
the video button
Cons
focus in video
• • •

It just cannot hold the focus in video mode. It goes out for no reason at all

Wolf

4.5

3

Pros
real 'true HD' video
Cons
don't need to spend tausends
• • •

I needed a small video cam that dose ‘true HD’ at 1920x1080p. This little thing does it very well. It records in blocks of about 10 Min (about 2.5Gig). The still images are as mentioned, except the focal length is different on my camera, 4.3-21.5 mm, which is usual seen on compact cameras.

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