The Canon IXUS 1000 HS is a fast shooting compact offering full 1080p movie recording
The Canon IXUS 1000HS is one of a growing number of long zoom compacts offering high def video and an ability to perform well in low light. Packing so much functionality into a smallish frame is bound to raise questions about areas of compromise.
Canon IXUS 1000 HS Review – Features
The 10x zoom is optically stabilized, meaning lesser reliance on increasing the 125-3200 ISO range to compensate. A full 1920 x 1080 high def video mode is also present in either 24fps or 30fps modes, with the zoom active while recording, as well as a 3″ LCD screen at the 230k dot resolution. There aren’t any manual controls to speak of, outside of the usual ISO, white balance and flash overrides, which is slightly surprising as close rival compact the Panasonic TZ10 has full aperture and shutter control. There are a whole host of scene modes to utilize and a fair few colour filter modes as well, with a 6fps burst mode coming as an extra benefit of the High Sensitivity sensor. Although it offers similar technology to the Powershot S95, and the same resolution, the sensor is smaller at 1/2.3″ as opposed to 1/1.7″.
Canon IXUS 1000 HS Review – Design
Although the name may carry the IXUS prefix the design is more akin to the Powershot models, with a far more industrial size and shape when compared to the usually ultra-thin, metal cased offerings. The front panel, which comes in a variety of shades, does have an attractive glossy finish, although the rear is a dull silver. Few buttons spoil the looks of the 1000HS, especially as the LCD dominates the back, with only a dedicated movie record, D-pad/thumb wheel, playback and menu button to offer functionality. On top is a standard shutter release and spring loaded zoom control, although both the mode switch and on/off button look a few years behind the rest of the camera design-wise. The chunky, blocky exterior certainly dates the camera somewhat, and could do with a few rounded edges rather than such severe angles.
Canon IXUS 1000 HS Review – Handling
The design also effects the functionality, as the mode switch often misses the center, program mode due to the close proximity of the functions. The on/off switch, although relatively recessed, became active a number of times during transport which could lead to damage to the camera lens. Both the shutter release and zoom control work perfectly well, and the magnification is easy to temper during video recording. The D-pad/thumbwheel isn’t labeled making accessing the shortcuts annoyingly hit-and-miss at times, but it otherwise does its job to a perfectly acceptable level.
Canon IXUS 1000 HS Review – Image Quality
Image quality is hampered by a sluggish autofocus system that, in spite of the High Sensitivity sensor, has plenty of issues in low light. At the top end of the zoom the wait is annoyingly long and led to plenty of missed opportunities. When shooting there’s a number of conflicting colour issues transpiring, more than likely due to some lopsided post-processing. For the most part tones are quite muted and miss some vibrancy in blues and greens although the amount of saturation present, seemingly added by the camera after shooting, results in some quite unnatural-looking snaps. Noise is perfectly well managed, even being better than expected at the 3200 mark, and the video mode is a touch dull and noisy but manages not to pick up audio when the camera is zooming.
Canon IXUS 1000 HS Review – Value
The £350 price tag offers another point of contention as the surrounding competition, such as the Panasonic TZ10 and Sony HX5, offer far more for the money and take better images. It’s difficult to recommend this camera taking this into account, as only a severe price drop would make it an attractive prospect.