On one end of the camera is a raised plastic section separate from the main body of the case. I was curious about this at first, since it looks like it ought to come off. However all it does is provide an arty cover for a bright blue indicator lamp that flashes when the wireless link is active. It’s completely unnecessary and adds nearly 1cm to the length of the camera, but I guess it looks sort of cool. Maybe.
In terms of operational performance, the Wireless maintains the very high standards set by the rest of the IXUS range. Its AiAF autofocus system is one of the fastest and most accurate I’ve seen, and it works equally well in low light conditions. In continuous shooting mode at full resolution and the highest quality setting it can fire off five frames in just under four seconds, and appears to be able to keep this pace up until the memory card is full, which is a very impressive performance. Most cameras need to pause to write to the memory card, but the IXUS just keeps shooting.
The control system is very similar to that on most Canon compacts, with most frequently used options being adjusted via the function button rather than the main menu.
The camera has two main shooting modes; automatic, in which everything apart from image size and quality is taken out of your hands, and manual, in which exposure compensation, which balance, ISO and metering mode can be altered. As well as these, there is a choice of six scene modes, including Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach and Fireworks, plus two colour saturation settings, low sharpening, sepia and monochrome.
Other functions such as flash mode, macro mode, self timer and continuous shooting are set as secondary functions on the D-pad. Unusually, ISO setting is also adjusted by cycling through the different settings by pressing up on the D-pad. When the camera is in manual mode there is no automatic ISO setting, so be sure to remember what you have it set to.