Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

Canon Digital IXUS 950 IS

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking a look at some of the new models in Canon’s Digital IXUS range of style compacts, and today I’ve got the latest model, the long-awaited 950 IS. I say long awaited, because many people thought it was going to be a replacement and successor for the highly popular and technically advanced IXUS 850 IS which I reviewed last October. However, while in some ways the 950 IS does improve on the 850, it is not a replacement, but rather an additional model in the same range. There are still some things the 850 can do that the 950 can’t.

/94/2546a6/f98a/4967-Canon950IS3QUART.jpg

The main improvement is the increase in resolution from 7.1 megapixels to 8.0, but something that I found surprising is that the 950 IS does not share the 850’s popular 28-105mm-equivalent, 3.8x optical zoom range. Instead the 950 has a 4x zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to 35-140mm. While there are no doubt some people who will prefer the longer telephoto setting, there are plenty of other cameras around that have a 35mm wide angle end, while a 28mm wide angle is relatively rare.

Like the rest of the Digital IXUS range, the 950 IS is an expensive camera. It is possible to find one online for £220, but you’re more likely to see it inthe high street for around £260, which is a lot of money for an 8-megapixel compact. That hardly-better-than-average zoom range means that the 950 is going to be competing with a much wider range of models than the equally pricey 850, and most of the competition costs less. Models such as the new Fujifilm FinePix A820, which is just £130, or the Kodak EasyShare Z885 which is only £135 are practically budget cameras by comparison, while the Samsung DigiMax S1050 offers 5x zoom and 10 megapixels for around £210. Even the 7MP, 5x zoom Olympus mju Digital 750 is only £210, and that’s waterproof. Even the 8MP, 5x zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 can be found for around £220. Anyone who wants both a longer zoom range and wide angle could chose either the Panasonic TZ3 (£250) or Ricoh Caplio R6 (£230) for less money.

/94/3a2b62/632b/4967-Canon950ISFRONT.jpg

Of course with a camera like the IXUS 950 IS, your money buys more than just a specification. Like the 850 IS the build quality and design is of a very high standard. The camera has a part-plastic, part-metal body which certainly isn’t as strong as the titanium-bodied IXUS 900 Ti, but the curved shape gives it an inherent rigidity. It is quite a heavy camera at 165g (minus battery or card), and measuring 90.4 x 56.5 x 26.4 mm it’s not the slimmest camera on the market, but there’s no denying that it does feel reassuringly solid in the hand. That said however, squeezing the front panel a little did elicit a very noticeable creak and it is possible to feel the panels flexing slightly. But I’ve been a little spoiled by the 900 Ti, because there is certainly nothing flimsy about the 950 IS. The battery hatch has a strong metal hinge, all the controls feel solid and well made, and even the tripod bush is metal, which is always a good sign.

Next page
comments powered by Disqus