Canon's latest IXUS HS model combines both stylish design with a strong specification, but how does it shape up on the testing bench? Our Canon IXUS 115 HS review finds out...
Design and Performance
Canon IXUS 115 HS review – Design
As is often the case with IXUS cameras, the IXUS 115 HS is eye-catchingly designed. The body is markedly slim and sleek, measuring just under 20mm at its thickest point. The body has a brushed metal finish that is not only pleasing to the eye, but is also comfortable in the hand.
This impressive design extends to every feature of the camera’s body. The top of the camera features a button to flick between auto and program shooting modes, an on/off switch and shutter release and zoom slider, all of which sit flush to the camera’s body. The 3in LCD screen takes up the majority of the real estate on the rear of the camera, and this creates quite a striking scene. The space remaining houses a dedicated video record button, menu and playback buttons, as well as a centrally located d-pad for controlling the various shooting functions.
As is the case with most Canon IXUS models, the menu system on the IXUS 115 HS is pleasingly designed and is simple to negotiate. Function modes appear along the side of the LCD screen so as not to intrude on composition, while other menu features are easy to locate.
Canon IXUS 115 HS review – Performance
Thankfully with the IXUS 115 HS it’s not a case of style over substance, as the model performs well in use. Start-up time is minimal, as is shutdown, while the dedicated video record button provides quick access to the camera’s HD record functionality.
Despite measuring 3in in size, it’s disappointing that the LCD screen on the camera’s rear only boasts a resolution of just 230k-dots. Whilst a higher-resolution screen would no doubt push up the cost of the camera, the lower-end resolution is noticeable in use.
The AF system of the IXUS 115 HS is pleasingly zippy, easily as fast as equivalent compacts, and is accurate to boot. A range of focus options is also available, including an impressively accurate face detection system, so the user will always have an option to suit.
While the model boasts of 32 ‘scene modes’, a lot of these are more of the novelty variety, for example the fish-eye filter, with more conventional shooting modes far fewer. While these scene modes perform well enough, and will be more than adequate for the casual shooter, it’s a shame that shutter and aperture priority don’t feature, let alone full manual control.