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Canon IXUS 860 IS review




  • Recommended by TR
Canon IXUS 860 IS


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For those of us who celebrate the miracle of western consumerism, the festive season of Christmas is fast approaching, and judging by the number of requests for advice that I'm getting from readers, most people are already deciding what presents they'd like to give (and receive). Digital cameras are always a popular choice as Christmas presents (they're so easy to wrap!) so I think I can safely say that this Canon IXUS 860 IS will certainly be appearing in plenty of Christmas stockings this year.

The 860 IS is an 8.0-megapixel compact camera featuring a high quality 3.8x image-stabilised zoom lens with a wide-angle end equivalent to 28mm, and a large high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor. Like most of Canon's Digital IXUS range it is a fairly expensive product, selling on the high street for around £240, or from online retailers from a little over £200. It's a lot of money for an 8MP compact camera, especially when there are models as good as last week's Casio EX-S880 available for under £140, so what's so special about the 860 IS that justifies such a high price?

As with most of the Digital IXUS range, the initial impression of the 860 IS is very positive. It is very attractively styled, and is surprisingly heavy for such a small camera, weighing a hefty 155g despite measuring only 92.6 x 58.8 x 25.9mm. This feeling of density lends it an air of unmistakeable quality, and it certainly feels expensive, always a useful feature for a Christmas present. Build quality is, typically for Canon, of a very high standard, with a body shell that is mostly metal. The only real weak point is the card/battery hatch, which is a bit flimsy, with a rather loose plastic hinge. The camera is only available in the flat semi-matt silver finish of my review sample, but you can get it with either a black lens surround or the chrome version shown here.


February 11, 2009, 8:47 pm

Bought this camera in January 2008. Always looked after it in the case and never dropped it. Had the lens fail on this camera 3 times and had it repaired 3 times. Could not get a replacement. Thought I was on a good wicket when I bought this camera, but obviously not.

David Bate

October 29, 2009, 11:51 pm

Bought mine 1 year ago.It has developed serious focussing problems in all lighting conditions and I have returned it to my UK supplier under their 2-year warranty. It has been sent on to Canon for repair but I don't have much confidence that the repair will be permanent as I have read of other owners with the same problem. Have advised the supplier that if it fails again after repair I will be seeking a full refund or replacement with the later updated 870 is model. Will report back!


October 9, 2010, 11:20 am

Bought in September 2008, and it has been faultless - a great little camera for travel. Good lens, tough body, small size, fast switch on. The capacity to do some basic manipulation of images (Vivid, Sepia etc) in-camera is fun.

David Bate

October 23, 2010, 2:05 am

Reporting back a year after the focus problems with my 860is and have to say that this gem of a compact has behaved perfectly ever since the repair. I have 2 other more versatile, but bulky, long-zoom cameras but this one lives permanently in my car ready for that once-only chance shot!

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