Beginner digital camera Digital Ixus i

This is a sexy little camera. The Ixus i is not much bigger than a small pack of cigarettes and is avail-able in a range of colours that includes Classic Bronze and Piano Black.

The Ixus’s 4Mp CCD produces some very decent images, despite working with a relatively small lens. Colours are bright and realistic and the device responds fairly promptly to the shutter button.

Whether it’s dealing with bright sunlight on the beach or flashing neon at midnight on the strip, the Ixus provides a mode to achieve the best results. Both the manual and long shutter modes offer white balance settings, ISO variation and shutter speed control. There’s a macro mode for close-ups, a stitch assist setting which helps you line up multiple shots of panoramas, and an intelligent autofocus function.

However, the slimline profile has its drawbacks. There’s no optical viewfinder, although some people haven’t used one of these since the digital revolution. More grave is the lack of optical zoom. This restricts the Ixus’s use to a happy-snappy casual camera, because the more digital zoom you use, the more pixellated the picture becomes.

The camera’s 32MB will store 26 high-resolution shots at 2272x1704 and many more low-quality ones. You can cram in 85 seconds of bright, clear sound and video — or over three minutes at lower quality. Expansion is possible with a Secure Digital memory card. The rechargeable battery is fairly long-lived but don’t leave the charger at home if you’re away for the entire season.

The Ixus’s pictures are like its chassis: great to look at, with good attention to detail and some engaging colours. Another plus point is the video, which is as vibrant as the stills.

In brief: Canon Digital Ixus i
The stylish and well-built Ixus i can store a healthy number of great-looking images and has a decent set of functions for a beginner camera, but is let down by the absence of a viewfinder or optical zoom.
Price: $649
Vendor: Canon
Phone: (02) 9805 2000

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