The 2.1 megapixel Digital Ixus has an on/off button, a shutter button incorporated into a zoom control switch, and a series of five buttons below a bright 1.5in LCD screen. The zoom control and shutter release buttons are well sized and comfortably positioned for a camera with such a small form factor, although the five control buttons below the LCD screen could present a problem for people with big fingers.
The Ixus is set to automatic exposure mode by default, while manual mode allows you to set white balance, image size (up to 1600x1200) and quality. Files are saved as JPEGs with no TIFF option; however, SuperFine provides more than adequate quality for a camera of this type. Black and white or StitchAssist (panorama) modes are also available.
The record/play switch, positioned at the back of the camera just below the shutter button, gives instant control over operation. You can also quickly delete images in both playback and record mode with a couple of button selections.
Image quality is impressive, with accurate colour saturation. However, images in low light seem to be a little underexposed. The Lithium-Ion battery performs well, and is good for 70 exposures with occasional LCD use. Unfortunately, the kit doesn't include an AC adapter, and non-USB computers will need a card reader to download images as the Digital Ixus supports USB transfers only.
Bundled software includes Photo Stitch and Adobe's PhotoDeluxe 3.0 (Windows and Mac) together with TWAIN drivers and Canon's own ZoomBrowser EX 2.2 application. If you are used to mounting your camera on the desktop as a pseudo drive, you may find the Canon solution a little restrictive.
If you don't need three-megapixel resolution and don't have the hands of a blacksmith, the Digital Ixus should be near the top of your list.
Phone: (02) 9805 2000