Canon AF systems are always very good, and the IXUS 65 is no exception. Regardless of the lighting conditions its nine-point AiAF system focused quickly and accurately, even in total darkness thanks to an AF illuminator, although the range of this was limited to about two metres. The flash is good too, with a range of 3.5m and excellent frame coverage at wide angle.
One concern however is the camera’s limited battery duration, since at only 760mAh the Lithium-ion cell is quite small by recent standards. Canon claims only 160 shots on a full charge, and this seems to be about right. I got just over 140 shots on a first charge with a new battery, but Li-ion cells do improve after a few cycles.
I found only one real problem with the IXUS 65, and it’s one that I wouldn’t have expected from a camera like this, especially from Canon. Unfortunately the picture quality is quite poor under any but the ideal circumstances. I found that shots suffered from a number of faults, including chromatic aberration, purple fringes, corner blurring, wide-angle spherical distortion, frequent over exposure and very bad image noise at settings as low as 200 ISO, all of which rather shoots down the argument about the innate superiority of 6MP compact sensors.
This is a pity, because I really wanted to like this camera. It has style, performance, build quality, value for money and the solid reputation of the Canon brand name, however its very poor photographic performance lets it down badly.
The Canon IXUS 65 is a potentially lovely little camera which could have been one of the best pocket compacts on the market, with great build quality, stunning performance, attractive but functional styling and good value for money, but sadly it is let down by a number of major image quality issues, especially high-ISO image noise.