Canon Ixus 220 HS review
1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (24-120mm equivalent), 141g
After being bowled over by the budget Canon Ixus 115 HS, we were keen to see what treats lie in store further up the latest Ixus range.
The 220 HS costs around £40 more but there's surprisingly little difference in the two cameras' specifications. The zoom range has increased from 4x to 5x, extending further in both directions to include an impressively wide-angle 24mm (equivalent) field of view. However, the screen has shrunk from 3in to 2.7in. This may seem perverse in a pricier model, but while we usually prefer a bigger screen, in this case the 220 HS's display is a better fit for its ultra-compact body. The 115 HS's 3in screen left barely enough room for its buttons, leading to a cramped layout. Thankfully, the 220 HS has no such problems. We wouldn't call its buttons spacious – and we'd prefer them to be raised a little to make them easier to locate by feel alone – but they didn't pose an obstacle to speedy use.
Sadly, the same can't be said for this camera's overall performance. It was quick enough to switch on and shoot, taking 2.2 seconds, but 2.8 seconds between shots is disappointing at this price. It might not bother most people but those who like to take a handful of shots to insure against camera shake or facial grimaces will find it frustrating. Switching to continuous mode provided a viable workaround, though, rattling off shots at 2.2fps in our standard, controlled tests, and at up to 3.4fps in bright conditions.
There's no shortage of interesting features among the scene presets. Highlights include an 8x slow-motion video capture mode, albeit at a blocky 320x240 resolution, plus various creative filters such as Miniature Effect, which blurs the top and bottom of the frame to imitate the shallow depth of field that comes with macro photography.
We're less taken by the Movie Digest mode, which captures a few seconds of VGA video from just before each photo is taken and strings them together into a single video file. The result resembled the kind of videos you get when you accidentally get a video camera's Record and Pause modes muddled up, except with fast-paced cuts to further disorient the viewer.