Canon's Digital IXUS range has been the benchmark for luxury ultra-compacts for a decade. It may not be the market leader at this moment, but Canon is never far from the top, and keeps itself up there by continuously updating its camera range. One of the latest new models is this, the IXUS 105. It is an entry-level model, second from bottom of the IXUS range. It is a 12.1-megapixel camera with a 4x zoom lens, a 2.7-inch 230k monitor and optical image stabilisation. It is currently selling for around £160 on the high street.
If that specification sounds vaguely familiar it's probably because the IXUS 105 shares most of its features with another recent addition to the range, the more expensive IXUS 120 IS. It shares the same sensor, lens and monitor screen, but the cheaper IXUS 105 is lacking a few of the more advanced features, particularly HD video recording. This in turn means it's very similar to the IXUS 110 IS. Although the IXUS 105 lacks the “IS” suffix from its name it does still have the same optical image stabilisation system as Canon's other compacts.
The IXUS 105 also lacks some of the elegant design and top-notch build quality that typifies the rest of the Canon range. The body is mostly aluminium with chrome and plastic trim, but it doesn't feel quite as sturdy as some of its more expensive siblings. The battery hatch has a rather flimsy plastic hinge, the tripod bush is made of plastic, and the three-position slider switch for mode selection also feels a bit cheap. In terms of overall handling it's not bad, but the rounded shape and smooth finish do make it a bit slippery and the position of the rear panel controls doesn't leave much room to grip the camera.