Canon Ixus 265 HS review

14 Sep 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
149
inc VAT

The Canon Ixus 265 HS is a likeable camera at an attractive price, but the smart design is its only stand-out feature

Specifications

Sensor resolution: 16 megapixels, Sensor size: 1/2.3in, Viewfinder: None, LCD screen: 3in (461,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 12x (25-300mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/20-39, Weight: 146g, Size (HxWxD): 59x100x23mm

We don't think we've ever seen an ugly Ixus camera, and the Ixus 265 HS is no exception. Its metal shell is sleek and gently curved, and comes in a choice of black, silver, purple or pink finishes. At 23mm, it's impressively slim considering there's a 12x zoom on board. There's only room for a few buttons, and apparently no space for or any kind of grip on the front or back to hold onto. We recommend using the supplied wrist strap to avoid mishaps.

Wi-Fi is built in, along with NFC for easier connection to compatible Android devices. NFC didn't make things that much easier, though. Holding the camera and our Nexus 4 phone together made the Canon app launch on the phone, but we still had to jump through various hoops to establish the Wi-Fi connection and get the two devices talking to each other. The camera can only remember settings for one device, so we had to delete the profile each time we wanted to switch between using a smartphone and tablet. The app's remote viewfinder mode includes control over the flash, self-timer and zoom – enough for a group self-portrait. Photo transfers are on-demand only and managed via the app, but it works well enough. It's also possible to keep a GPS log in the app and use the data to geo-tag photos retrospectively.

Canon Ixus 265 HS back

There's a switch beside the shutter button with three shooting modes. One is called Hybrid Auto, which captures a short video to accompany each photo. These are then strung together into a single video, but in practice you just get a compilation of wobbly camerawork, zooming and focusing. Another mode is called Creative Shot. It captures three exposures and saves six images with a range of crops and creative effects applied. The remaining switch position is assigned to Auto mode by default, but also includes access to various scene presets and a Program mode with conventional photographic controls.

These controls are reasonably quick to access via the Func Set button, and anyone who has owned a Canon compact camera in the last decade should feel instantly at home. Performance was quick at 1.1s between shots in normal use. Continuous mode ran at 2.1fps – much slower than the 10fps modes offered elsewhere, but this one has the advantage of continuing for as long as the button is held down, so it's not all over in less than a second.

Canon Ixus 265 HS top

Video quality had its ups and downs. Outdoor clips were outstanding, with pin-sharp details, natural colours and responsive autofocus. Low-light clips displayed a multi-coloured blizzard of noise – it doesn't look like any noise reduction is applied to videos.

Canon Ixus 265 HS Image Quality

Our photo tests told a similar story, with much better results outdoors than in. Photos taken in low light looked OK when resized to fit a computer screen, but rival cameras fared better. The 265 HS excelled for detail in bright conditions at the wide end of the zoom, although there was still some evidence of noise, especially in skin textures. Focus deteriorated slightly towards the long end of the zoom – the Nikon S6800 gave better results, as did various compact cameras with bigger zoom ranges.

^ There's plenty of sharp detail in this wide-angle shot – 1/160s, f/3.6, ISO 100, 25mm (equivalent)

^ And lots of crisp detail in the middle of the zoom range, too – 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 140mm (equivalent)

^ Fine details aren't quite as sharp at the long end of the zoom, with blooming around highlights and chromatic aberrations towards the edges of the frame – 1/160s, f/7, ISO 320, 300mm (equivalent)

^ This low-light shot is passable at modest viewing sizes but doesn't stand up to scrutiny – 1/10s, f/4.5, ISO 1600, 44mm (equivalent)

There's nothing much wrong with the Ixus 265 HS, and at £150 it should appeal to casual snappers looking for something to complement their smartphone camera. However, we think it's worth spending more on the Sony WX350

Hardware
Sensor resolution 16 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3in
Focal length multiplier 5.56x
Viewfinder None
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage N/A
LCD screen 3in (461,000 dots)
Articulated No
Touchscreen No
Orientation sensor Yes
Photo file formats JPEG
Maximum photo resolution 4,608x3,456
Photo aspect ratios 4:3
Video compression format MP4 (AVC) at up to 30Mbit/s
Video resolutions 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps, VGA at 30fps
Slow motion video modes N/A
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality) 18m 45s
Controls
Exposure modes Auto
Shutter speed range Auto
ISO speed range 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation EV +/-2
White balance Auto, 5 presets, manual
Auto-focus modes Multi/face detect, centre, tracking
Metering modes Multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modes Auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes Single, continuous, self-timer
Lens
Optical stabilisation Yes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths) 12x (25-300mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele) f/3.6-7
35mm-equivalent aperture f/20-39
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus (wide) 1cm
Closest macro focus (tele) Not stated
Physical
Card slot SDXC
Memory supplied None
Battery type Li-ion
Connectivity USB, AV, Micro HDMI
Wireless Wi-Fi, NFC
GPS No
Hotshoe No
Body material Aluminium
Accessories None
Weight 146g
Size (HxWxD) 59x100x23mm
Buying information
Warranty One-year RTB
Price including VAT £149
Supplier www.johnlewis.com
Details www.canon.co.uk
Part code 9345B007AA