The Canon IXUS 1000 HS has generally good performance. It starts up and is ready to shoot in a little under four seconds, which is a little on the slow side, and shuts down again in about the same. The shot-to-shot time in single-shot mode is approximately two seconds, which is reasonably quick, but the continuous shooting mode is very quick at approximately 2fps. There is also an AF continuous shooting mode which shoots a frame every 1.2 seconds.
The autofocus system is a little slower than I'd expect from a Canon camera, but it is very reliable and works very well in low light, having no trouble at all shooting an a dimly lit gig. It has a good AF assist lamp with a range of several metres, but it does take a moment to activate.
The IXUS range has always been know for its superior image quality, and the 1000 HS is no exception. The lens is very good, with excellent overall sharpness and producing virtually no wide-angle optical distortion, although there is quite visible chromatic aberration toward the corners of the frame. The sensor produces exceptional detail, and colour rendition is excellent. Dynamic range is quite limited at the extremes of contrast, but closer to the mid-range it is much better, producing great results in decent lighting.
Canon seems to have made some major advances in noise control recently; its recent compacts have produced excellent results at higher ISO settings, and the 1000 HS is a prime example, producing printable images at up to 1600 ISO. Even the maximum 3200 ISO setting produces good colour and exposure, and would be useful for smaller applications such as email and websites.
The IXUS 1000 HS represents exactly the sort of design philosophy the digital camera industry needs to take it forward. Rather than just squeezing in ever more pointless megapixels, Canon has instead concentrated on new sensor and processor technology, and on giving its cameras genuinely useful features such as good low-light performance, a versatile high-quality lens and advanced scene recognition technology that actually helps to take better pictures. The 1000 HS has some of the best high-ISO results of any current compact camera, as well as excellent interface design and superior build quality. It's not perfect, and that 150-shot battery life is definitely an issue, but the IXUS 1000 HS is one of the best all-round compact cameras on the market, and a fitting way to mark the first decade of digital IXUS cameras.
The Canon Digital IXUS 1000 HS is possibly the best all-round digital compact on the market. It looks great, is solidly well made, handles extremely well and is loaded with advanced features. Image stabilisation is superb, and full HD video with stereo sound is a bonus. Performance is above average and image quality is very good, especially at higher ISO settings. The only drawback is the limited 150-shot duration of its smaller battery.