Another small and stylish IXUS, but is there anything new? The What Digital Camera Canon IXUS 105 review finds out
Canon’s IXUS line has long been a favourite with both the style-conscious and those wanting a reliable standard of image quality, and its newest additions continue to fit plenty of functionality into a small package. The IXUS 105 may be positioned towards the lower end of the range, with a modest asking price of around £115, but for the cash-strapped casual user it may offer all that’s required.
The sensor offers an effective 12.1MP, and is fronted by a 28-112mm lens claimed to give around three extra EV stops of usable shutter speed. Canon’s Scene Detection technology features within its Smart Auto Mode, which serves to automatically recognise scenes and capture them accordingly, while Motion Detection technology is said to adjust the camera’s sensitivity to an appropriate level for the image being shot.
Face Detection is also on hand, which is claimed to detect up to 35 faces in a single frame, before the camera adjusts exposure, focus, white balance and flash to suit. There’s also movie recording which works in conjunction with a YouTube upload facility, although the camera only records up to a maximum VGA resolution (640×480 pixels).
Turning the camera around reveals a 2.7in LCD screen, which is fitted with Canon’s PureColour II technology for a wide viewing angle and accurate colour rendition, although there’s no sign of a viewfinder, the inclusion of which would necessitate a smaller LCD (or larger body). Buttons are large and clearly labelled, and fit flush with the body, but, as we may expect at this price, there’s no backlighting for use in darker conditions.
Canon’s L-shaped menu system is easy to navigate and all options are clearly displayed, and as the model is pitched at a basic level there aren’t too many options to confuse the user. Even so, it’s welcome to see a custom white balance mode and four separate image stabilisation options, which would certainly be omitted on many similar cameras.
It only takes around a second or so for the camera to fully power up, and powering down time is equally swift. Focusing speed is admirable, and, thanks to the camera’s willingness to deploy the AF assist light, this pace continues in low light. Sadly, even with a fast SDHC card there’s a slight delay between image capture and preview, but for general snapshots this shouldn’t be too great a problem. During the test, the only time it seemed to impede capture was while shooting continuously, which, while indeed continuous, was awkward and slow to use, and not exactly fit for capturing action.
Overall image quality from the IXUS 105 is good. Aside from an occasional overexposure, metering is fairly consistent, although, unlike with many other cameras which are led to underexpose by bright skies and other highlight details, the camera has a tendency to record the main subject faithfully at the expense of highlight detail. This tends to be the preferable option for many situations, although exposure compensation is on hand for when it isn’t.
As with any compact pitched at this level, noise reduction mars finer details on all sensitivities, although detail at lower sensitivities is more than reasonable. This detail is maintained very well to the edges and corners of the frame, while control over distortion at the 28mm end is equally impressive. The only other notable issues regards white balance, which does very well even under artificial lighting but sometimes errs on the cold side outdoors, and images can also appear a little flat and lacking in contrast on the default Standard Picture Style setting. Otherwise, a good performance.
The wideangle lens of the Canon IXUS 105 is a bonus at this price and performance-wise there’s little fault, but the small LCD screen and lack of HD functionality are a little disappointing, and elsewhere there’s nothing particularly new or groundbreaking. At such a reasonable asking price this is perhaps only to be expected, and so the Canon IXUS 105 may just be the answer for those who simply want an inexpensive point-and-shoot with all the basics in place.