Canon IXUS 95 IS review
Review Date : Tue, 7 Jul 2009
Author : Mike Lowe
With 10megapixels, Smart Auto mode and image stabilisation, is the Canon IXUS 95 IS the ultimate entry level compact? The What Digital Camera Canon IXUS 95 IS review takes a look...
|Pros:||Excellent auto flash, good macro mode, viewfinder, well exposed images, easy to use, Smart Auto, Image Stabilisation|
|Cons:||No full manual mode or focus, viewfinder is approximate to view, ISO 1600 is noisy, limited lens range (wider and longer would be an improvement)|
The Canon IXUS 95 IS is a 10megapixel compact with image stabilisation (IS) - the latest in line from Canon's successful entry level range. Picking up where the Canon IXUS 90 IS left off, the Canon IXUS 95 IS incorporates a Smart Auto mode to align itself with other manufacturers' ‘intelligent Auto' equivalents. What Digital Camera reviews the IXUS 95 IS to see how it fares as an entry level compact...
Canon IXUS 95 IS review - Features
The Canon IXUS 95 IS is an entry level compact camera - but a well-equipped one with all the point-and-shoot options you are likely to need to take decent snaps every time. The 95 model takes benefit of a new layout over the previous IXUS 90 IS which incorporates Smart Auto mode, a setting to provide optimum settings whatever the conditions.
As the ‘IS' name suggests, the IXUS 95 packs Image Stabilisation to help keep your images sharp. Modes vary from Auto - including Programme Auto (P) options to allow for some manual adjustments for ISO and White Balance - to Smart Auto and Movie Mode. The latter isn't high definition recording however, instead opting for a VGA (640x480) resolution at 30 frames per second. On the back the IXUS 95 IS sports a 230,000 dot 2.5in LCD screen, which views well through multiple angles; be that in line with your eye level, or more creatively above the head or from chest height for example.
The IXUS 95 IS covers a 3x optical zoom 35-105mm (35mm equiv.) range - which would benefit from a wider angle and longer zoom, but this is reasonably unfounded in entry level models from a number of manufacturers. Where there are subtle lackings such as this however, small improvements - such as the inclusion of a viewfinder - offer ideal reprise. Whilst the viewfinder is only an approximation of actual view (it isn't electronic and doesn't take view exactly from the lens), it's an excellent way to frame your shots as best as you're likely to ever need from a compact. After using the IXUS 95 you may well find yourself trying to raise other compacts to your eye - even if they don't have a viewfinder!
Canon IXUS 95 IS review - Design
The Canon IXUS 95 IS reforms the classically retro, ‘boxy' design of IXUS cameras of old, instead opting for smoothed edges in a compact, slim-line design available in some quirky shades - choose from dark gray, blue, pink, green, light gray or orange. It's quite an overhaul for Canon's IXUS range, and certainly makes the 95 look much more up to date.
It's often the small things the IXUS 95 offers that make the big, notable difference too: the battery flap on the bottom has a small clip which has to be pulled out before it will open - perfect protection from tight-fitting pockets causing the battery to come flying out. Also the presence of a viewfinder is a rarity on many a compact camera, something that the IXUS 95 IS goes one step further in including. Whilst it's not electronic, nor does it provide any display information, the viewfinder is a good way to gauge reasonably accurate framing at your preference. Very useful in bright sunlight, or just if you prefer to work that way. If you choose to display nothing on the LCD screen this can save considerable battery life too. Even the flash, whilst small, is well placed to the left side, meaning flailing fingers will not get in its way during use.
In use the IXUS 95 IS's in-camera menus are of a simple and colourful design, and you wont find yourself digging too deep for basic functions. When shooting in Auto mode (Smart Auto takes over all the controls) a simple click of the Function button on the back brings up a list of adjustments - from here it's possible to change ISO, White Balance, Colours, Metering, Drive and Image Size using the d-pad on the rear of the camera. Playback, Display and Menu each have their own buttons too - all clearly marked and easy to understand.
If you're hunting down an entry level compact camera, then the Canon IXUS 95 IS could well be just what you're looking for. With Smart Auto mode for shooting top notch images in all conditions, the exposures are always on form and the auto flash is one of very few to accurately expose and fill-in (even in daylight) with no faffing around whatsoever. Plus the IXUS 95 has some small and mighty-fine details such as its viewfinder and well-encased li-ion battery that make it all the more pleasurable to use. Never an effort, always a pleasure - the IXUS 95 IS wont let you down. Of the few pernickety complaints to be made is that the lens range could perhaps be both wider and longer - but then other Canon compacts offer such options if you're willing to pump a little more cash into the budget. All in all, a mighty fine entry level compact with a price to reflect that's benefitted from an overhaul in its physical design to appeal to the masses. The IXUS's curvy edges and swanky colours are likely to be seen in many hand-or-manbags across the country. The Canon IXUS 95 IS is a thoroughly recommended little gem of a compact camera.