- Striking design, excellent LCD screen, good images
- Lack of manual control, a few plasticky design touches, lacking some functionality of advanced IXUS models
- Review Price: £220
The Canon IXUS is a sleek compact that still boasts a full specification. A 12.1MP, 1/2.3in back-illuminated CMOS sensor sits its core, and is combined with Cannon’s HS technology for improved low-light performance. Despite having a strong focus on sleek and stylish design – with a brushed-metal chassis available in five colours and just 22mm at its thickest point – the compact still features an 8x optical zoom complete with image stabilisation. The model also boasts full HD 1080p movie capture and a striking 3in, 461k-dot PureColor LCD screen.
As well as the usual Smart Auto mode for those wanting the camera to take care of settings, the IXUS 230HS also features a high-speed burst mode capable of up to 8.7 shots per second (albeit at a reduced 3MP resolution) as well as Super Slow Motion Movie mode which captures at up to 1/8th of real speed.
As is often the case with Canon IXUS compacts, the 230HS impresses in use. The interface is well laid out and make changing between settings a breeze. The slightly wedge shaped body of the camera give the body a good balance in hand and makes shooting a breeze, whilst the aforementioned large LCD occupies a pleasing amount of the rear of the camera. The choice to put the menu and mode selection buttons on the right-hand end of the camera also preserve valuable real estate on the top and rear of the camera, and thus free up space on the rest of the camera, is a wise one
The 230HS is capable of producing some excellent images. Despite featuring an 8x optical zoom fringing is kept to a minimum, with lens distortion also notable by its general absence. Colour is generally reproduced to the natural end of the scale, while a good tonal range is also displayed. The Canon HS system also aids the camera in performing well in low light conditions, with noise only really becoming an issue at ISO 800 and above.
At just over £200, the IXUS 230HS represents good value for money and is far cheaper than entry-level IXUS models once were. It performs well in use, with the only real reservations being that it’s a shame the camera doesn’t offer more advanced functionality for those wanting to have more control over their images, rather than having the camera make decisions on shooting settings for you the whole time.
The IXUS 230HS is a great compact camera and, despite possibly being at the higher end of the price range for an entry level compact, is well worth a look
Score in detail
Image Quality 9