With an incredibly compact body and stylish design, is the Canon IXUS 220 HS from Canon the perfect compact? The Canon IXUS 220 HS review finds out...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon IXUS 220 HS

Image Quality:90%
Overall score:90%


  • Great styling, excellent build and punchy images


  • No manual modes


Canon IXUS 220 HS Review


Price as reviewed:


The IXUS line of compacts has proved very successful for Canon, with the first iconic models appearing in the late 90s. Things have moved on since then, and with the Canon IXUS 220 HS, Canon hope to appeal to a whole new generation.

Canon IXUS 220 HS features:

The Canon IXUS 220 HS features a 12.1Mp back-illuminated CMOS sensor, designed to deliver a better level of performance under low-light conditions, reducing noise and there’s a solid ISO range, running from 100-3200.

Considering it’s diminutive size, it packs a very versatile 5x optical zoom in, ranging from 24-120mm. The wide-angle coverage allows you to fit plenty in the frame and is great for landscapes or group shots, where the Canon IXUS 220 HS is more likely to be pressed into action. Another key point is the fact that this lens also sports an optical Image Stabilizer to counteract camera shake.

If you want to grab some video footage of friends and family, then you can do in full HD at 1080p – all in stereo sound and with the benefit of Dynamic IS – minimising wobble and shake during capture. There’s also the Movie Digest mode that captures up to 4 seconds of footage at a time before joining your clips together.

At the rear, the Canon IXUS 220 HS has a 2.7in screen, and while you may be surprised to hear that the Canon IXUS 220 HS doesn’t have the now obligatory 3in screen, any bigger, and the overall size of the camera would have been compromised, though a slightly higher resolution than the 230k dots would have been nice.

Canon IXUS 220 HS design:

The design of the Canon 220 HS is typical IXUS – sleek and sophisticated. It’s a very nice looking piece of kit that’s bound to get admiring glances, and with a width of only 19.5mm, it’ll fit easily in your pocket. The stainless steel body adds to the overall quality feel of the camera, while the light textured feel of our black-finished sample adds a very pleasing tactile feel that provides a reassuring grip when held.

Canon IXUS 220 HS performance:

The Canon IXUS 220 HS is an incredibly easy camera to pick-up and start shooting with. At the rear, there’s a choice between Auto and Program, with the Auto mode using the Smart Auto features to detect and select the correct scene mode for the shot. Program mode provides you with more control, allowing you to determine settings such as ISO, White Balance and metering. You can also select one of the 32 scene modes on offer if you prefer.

AF performance is very good for a compact of this class, locking on with ease and rarely hunting, if at all and the focus-tracking AF mode works well, though don’t expect too much from it. There’s also Face AiAF, prioritising the face of your subject in the shot, though to flick between these three AF modes, you have to dive into the main menu – there’s not a shortcut offered.

Though the rear screen isn’t the largest or the highest resolution, it does the job, allowing you to assess detail after you’ve taken the shot, and compose with relative ease.

Canon IXUS 220 HS image quality:

Results from the Canon IXUS 220 HS were very good – there is bags of detail resolved from the 12.1MP sensor, while colours are bright and punchy, but without being over the top. Metering didn’t encounter any problems either, delivering nicely exposed images across the board. Noise handling was strong too, keeping artefacts in images at high ISOs down to a minimum.

Canon IXUS 220 HS verdict:

If you’re in the market for a stylish, well-made compact camera that delivers the goods when it comes to images, then you’re not going to go far wrong with the Canon IXUS 220 HS. It’s a lovely little camera that performs very well for those looking for a high-end point-and-shoot compact.


Sensor:1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS CCD, 12.1MP effective
Lens:24-120mm f/2.7-5.9
LCD:2.7in LCD TFT, 230,000 dots
File Formats:JPEG, MOV
Shutter Speeds:15-1/2000sec
Exposure Modes:Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), Program
Metering System:Evaluative, Centre-weighted, Spot
ISO Range:Auto, 100-3200
White Balance:Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Flash Modes:Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, Slow Synchro
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
Connectivity:USB 2.0, mini HDM
Dimensions:92.2 x 55.9 x 19.5mm
Weight:Approx. 141g with Battery and SD Memory Card