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Canon IXUS 100 IS Digital Camera Review
canon090526.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 

How Canon have managed to pack 12.1 megapixels in to what is essentially one of the more stylish and ultra-compact units available on the current market may remain a mystery to the less technically astute, but fortunately it does not matter.

All one really needs to know is that the IXUS 100 IS is not only an attractive little unit – not to mention the slimmest model available in the IXUS range - but it’s intelligent as well.

The internal DiG!c 4 image processor helps reduce processing time while delivering higher image quality and Canon’s intelligent auto mode combines scene, face, and motion detection with noise reduction to make point-and-shoot operation easier and more reliable than ever before, which is exactly what consumers want to hear.

Literally switch to auto mode where both faces and a variety of scenes such as macro, sunset, backlit etc. are automatically detected, and trust that the 100 IS will adjust to one of its 18 optimised preset settings best-suited for the given situation without any user instruction.

Canon’s TruCapture technology also includes an optical image stabiliser which helps to ensure images remain in focus by reducing the effect of camera shake seen mainly when shooting without flash in low light or at full zoom.

Face and blink detection combine with auto red-eye correct to offer what Canon describe as ‘perfect people shots’ and for the most part this seems fairly accurate although red-eye is rarely eliminated 100 percent of the time, as with most compact cameras.

Face self-timer is a clever bonus feature likely to be utilised regularly that allows users to compose their friends/family etc. in frame, place the camera down or on a tripod and then join in the picture themselves. This is possible as the self-timer will not begin to count down until the 100 IS detects a new face in the scene.

Is it also possible to set the camera to take only one shot once you have entered the frame or up to 10 shots if you would like to try a variety of facial expressions etc.

Blink detection sounds a warning signal when or if it detects that a subject’s eyes are closed in such situations although again, this didn’t prove successful on all occasions but certainly most.

Users do need to remember to enable the function via the menu however if intending to utilise it along with features such as blink detection, digital zoom and iContrast, which will lift the exposure in shadowed areas of an image to balance the final overall exposure.

The IXUS 100 IS reproduces skin tones fairly accurately particularly when slow synchro flash is selected and across the board, images are clear, bright and properly exposed.

Auto focus works very well and quite quickly and the AF assist illuminator makes taking shots in dark or low-lit environments easy. Even in a pitch-black room, the illuminator throws out its orange light and quickly focuses on the centre point of the composition ensuring that correct focus is achieved.

The illuminator lamp will stay lit until the shutter is fired and therefore will double well as a torch or guide light if ever required!

The IXUS 100 IS is capable of taking the place of a camcorder given its ability to record high definition widescreen ratio movies in 1280x720 format at some 30 frames per second, while still being able to operate the three times optical zoom toggle.

A HDMI port is housed on the top right-hand corner of the 100 IS’s back from where users can connect to a HDMI compatible television and enjoy an enhanced viewing experience for previewing their images and movies.

The cord to enable HDMI viewing is not included in the boxed kit however so for those not wanting to make an additional purchase, regular viewing of images and movies can be done via the supplied USB cable, if at a slightly lesser quality.

The IXUS 100 IS is available in four contemporary colours: silver, black, red and what Canon call ‘gold’ which is closer to bronze in reality, but either way makes for an interesting and unique option.

The body is genuinely comfortable to handle being well-sized to sit naturally in the palm of your hand and having smooth, curved ‘corners’ that while seemingly subtle, actually make a significant difference in overall handling and to accentuate the slim-lined design of the 100 IS.

The three times optical zoom lens tucks neatly into the body when not in use meaning the entire face of the 100 IS is flush apart from the tiny zoom toggle that pokes its nose out from in front of the shutter along the top edge.medal-gold-r.jpg

In fact, so stream-lined is this unit that in some cases it almost becomes a fault: the power and shutter buttons are completely flush against the 100 IS’s edge, along with each of the function and menu buttons on the back, making them that little bit harder to operate for the unfamiliar user given the additional pressure required to depress them to an active state.

Overall, the IXUS 100 IS is equally as fashionable and portable as it is capable of producing quality photographs. It’s extremely user-friendly and ideal for the style-conscious snapper who relies on the ease of point-and-shoot operation while still demanding a degree of image quality that cheaper models simply cannot produce.


Appearance rating 4.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3 stars
Value for money 3.5 stars
RRP (AUD) $449
Effective Pixels 12.1 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 6 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 33mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 100mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 4000 ×3000
Shooting Modes 20 Scene options
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 30cm - infinity
Aperture Range f/3.2 - 9.0 (W), f/5.8 - 16 (T)
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 3cm - 50cm, Digital Macro: 3cm - 10cm
Shutter Speeds 15s - 1/1500s
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto6, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.5 inch Pure Color LCD II monitor with wide viewing angle
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto Focus, Auto Exposure, White Balance, Flash Exposure, Auto Red-Eye correction, FaceSelf-Timer3 Blink Detection
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto , Daylight , Cloudy , Tungsten , Fluorescent , Fluorescent H , Custom
Self Timer Yes, 10 sec or 2 sec delay, custom, FaceSelf-Timer
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes, PAL or NTSC selectable
Storage Type SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus card, HC MMCplus card
Storage Included [Mb] -
Image / Audio Formats JPEG Compression (EXIF 2.2 Compliant), MOV (Image Data: H.264; Audio Data: Linear PCM monaural)
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B compatible), HDMI (mini-connector)
Power Source Optional, AC adapter kit ACK-DC10
Battery Options Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery NB-4L
Dimensions (W) 87.0 x (H) 54.5 x (D) 18.4 mm
Weight 115g
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