Back in February I was invited along to Canon’s launch event for its “Spring Collection”, in which the company unveiled a range of new A-series and IXUS models, including this little beauty, the new Digital IXUS 70. This 7.1-megapixel model is replacing the IXUS 60 launched last year as the entry level model in Canon’s five-model Digital IXUS range.
Measuring just 85.9 x 53.5 x 19.4mm and weighing only 125g minus battery and card, the IXUS 70 is distinctly ultra-compact in style and usage. Its direct competition consists of high-fashion models such as the Casio Exilim EX-S770 (£160), the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80 (£175), the Fuji FinePix Z5fd (£179), the new Nikon Coolpix S200 (£179) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 (£234). The IXUS 70 costs around £179, so it’s on a par with most of its rivals, making that Panasonic look a little overpriced.
The IXUS 70 has, to say the least, a striking design. Apparently modelled after the original IXUS APS film camera, its shape is a very minimalist plain rectangle, with the lens, the monitor screen and all the rear panel controls mounted smoothly flush with the body. People to whom I showed the camera while I was testing it were divided pretty evenly between those who though it looked cool and stylish, and those who thought it was ugly and boring, which just goes to show that there’s no pleasing everyone. Personally I really like the way it looks, but to be fair the design does cause one or two minor problems. For one thing, trying to operate the controls in the dark is very difficult, because their flat shape makes them almost impossible to find by touch. Another troublesome design feature which has, I suspect, only been included for its cosmetic effect, is the optical viewfinder. A decent optical viewfinder is a real advantage, especially when bright sunlight makes your monitor screen difficult to use, but the viewfinder on the IXUS 70 is so small and fiddly that it’s pretty much useless.