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Canon Ixus 200 IS review

Ben Pitt
18 Nov 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
254
inc VAT

Image quality isn't the best, but the touchscreen, wide-angle lens, HD video mode and HDMI output justify the high price.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (24-120mm equivalent), 130g

The Ixus 200 IS is Canon's first touchscreen camera, and it's a joy to behold. The metal lozenge shell - available in purple, bronze, blue or silver - and contoured buttons bring to mind a luxury car.

It's just as slick to use as it is to look at. Some touchscreen interfaces are unresponsive, but this 3in widescreen posed no such problems. It also facilitates a one-touch spot focus mode, which automatically tracks moving subjects. Buttons will always be better for some tasks, though, so we're delighted that there's a clutch of them to the right of the screen. They're quite small and fiddly but the wheel that encircles the five-way pad is particularly useful for dialling in settings.

The touchscreen isn't the only notable feature. The 5x zoom starts at an unusually wide-angle 24mm, a real boon for vistas and group photos. So too is the 720p HD video mode, which gave fantastic results in bright light and reasonable quality in gloomier conditions. Videos and photos looked superb on an HD TV via the HDMI socket.

In still-image tests, the autofocus and auto exposure proved outstandingly reliable, capturing attractive shots time after time. However, the 12-megapixel sensor captured no more detail than the two 10-megapixel cameras we reviewed this month. In fact, details were often a little softer, particularly in low light where noise reduction disguised noise but also discarded lots of detail. It's a more aggressive approach than that of previous Canon compact cameras, but the results are arguably more appealing if you're printing small pictures or scaling shots down to post on the web.

Fujifilm's F200EXR has the same resolution and zoom range but takes significantly better pictures in challenging conditions. However, the Ixus 200 IS's images are far from disappointing, and its HD video and HDMI socket are distinct advantages. If you don't mind paying a premium for these features, it's an excellent choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
CCD effective megapixels12.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent24-120mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution4,000x3,000
Maximum movie resolution1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; QuickTime (AVC)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory suppliednone
Battery type3.5V 1,000mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)240 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI
Body materialaluminium
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight130g
Size53x100x23mm

Buying Information

Price£254
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.canon.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlsdynamic range
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus5cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer