The Ixus 50 sees Canon edging up the specification without wildly inflating the price to produce a beautiful, simple camera with a bit more clout.
The 5Mp CCD (charge-coupled device) is a whole lot of imaging chip - a distinct improvement on past models. This stares out at the world through a larger lens than Canon has sometimes employed, which shows in the clarity of the images it captures.
These you view on a 2in LCD screen at the back of the camera - pretty much as big as Canon could squeeze on. The LCD is clear and responsive and has good visibility even under direct sunlight. There's also an optical viewfinder, but this, disappointingly, shows you only part of the picture frame.
By keeping the functionality down, Canon ensures the menus are tidy and effective. There are eight pre-set shooting modes (including Macro, Night, Kids and Animals, and Indoor) as well as manual control over white balance and aperture and a range of My Colours functions that emphasise or mute certain colours.
Canon's customary nine-point autofocus system makes for smooth shooting. Colours are vivid, even without optional boosting. While image clarity is sometimes slightly poor on close examination, the Ixus certainly takes smart enough snaps.
The optical zoom is a rather average 3x and the memory card's capacity a meagre 16MB. There are voice memo and movie functions, but you'll need a larger SD card for the latter. Canon has tried to make printing and sharing pictures as easy as possible, so the Ixus 50 fits well into the digital lifestyle.
Canon keeps it simple, effective and good-looking. For happy snapping in style at a decent price, you could do far worse than this nice little number.
Canon Ixus 50
Phone: 1800 021 167
Specifications: 5Mp CCD; 3x optical zoom; f/2.8-f/4.9; 2in LCD screen; ISO 50-400; rechargeable li-ion battery with charger; 86x53x20mm, 130g.