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Canon IXUS 200 IS Digital Camera Review

canon091015.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker

 

Canon’s IXUS 200 IS is a striking compact camera for a number of immediately obvious reasons beginning with its size. This lightweight 130g unit has the tiny dimensions of 99.9 (W) x 53.4 (D) x 22.9mm (H) - not including the protrusion of the two-tiered lens – and on first glance, seems to resemble a mobile phone more than anything else.

It will easily slip into your pant or shirt pocket and its long, slim body rests comfortably in hand, particularly when not in use, making the 200 IS the perfect little camera to discreetly carry around with you at all times.

It’s fair to suggest that’s the reason Canon markets this particular unit at what they call ‘social photographers’ and rightly so. The 200 IS could easily be carried most places and used in any situation where a mobile phone could be too.

Not to mention the attractive yet simple stylings of the 200 IS that users would be happy to parade. Available in either silver, blue, pink or brown this unit hosts some conventional buttons and controls in slightly less conventional ways and its back is almost entirely swallowed by a huge 3 inch LCD, which also happens to be touch operated.

As they say though, beauty is only skin-deep, so how does the 200 IS actually perform? Is there much substance beneath the flashy stylings and eye-grabbing design?

In a nutshell, yes. The optical image stabiliser helps deliver crisp images across the board and the 5x optical zoom lens (plus 4x digital) helps users get up close and personal with subjects fairly easily. Some sharpness is lost at full digital zoom however, but that is not uncommon for compacts in general.

The Digic 4 processor coupled with 12.1 megapixels helps to produce a fairly high standard of image quality although results do seem to vary somewhat with the 200 IS.

Often, images are pin sharp, vibrant and well exposed, particularly outdoors under natural lighting conditions, while indoors and under lower light conditions image noise become more obvious and some heavy in-camera processing results in a loss of detail and sharpness.

The 24mm wide angle lens is certainly a welcomed feature with the majority of compacts extending only to 28mm. The 200 IS will allow you to pack a lot into your pictures as a result and with touch operated focus and AF tracking abilities, you can select your point of focus and the 200 IS will hold it even as/if the subject moves around within frame.

HD video with sound is available sized at 720p (the smaller of the two HD options available) and while a HDMI output to connect the 200 IS to your other digital audio/visual sources (TV, PC, video game consoles etc.) is present on the camera body, the relevant cable to utilise the function is not included in the boxed kit. Could you spare it Canon?

Unlike when shooting stills and only three quarters of the LCD is used to display the composition (leaving the other quarter black in two sections, one either side of the preview) the entire 3 inch screen is utilised when shooting HD video.

Clips produced are great for use on the web, especially on sites such as YouTube and MySpace etc., although footage does tend to suffer from what is best described as a layer of semi-translucent static.

The scrolling process during image playback is virtually identical to the finger slide required to use Apple’s iPhone and as such, those already familiar with this process should gratefully find operating the 200 IS somewhat old hat.

The combination of both physical buttons and touch screen operation is likely to suit those who may not be willing to make the jump to a fully touch operated camera. No need to be ashamed however, Canon itself waited quite a while to venture into this area of the market.

In many cases, there are multiple ways of achieving the same result, whether that be scrolling and zooming in playback, deleting images, firing the shutter, controlling flash function or setting shooting mode, which only gives the user more options.

For the less technologically savvy, it’s probably best to stick to a camera that concentrates on the single use of either physical buttons or touch screen operation, while the younger generation and those who enjoy gadgets and gizmos are likely to thoroughly enjoy the inclusion of both and the ability to swap between the two as seen fit.

A function all users will utilise is intelligent auto mode in which the 200 IS ‘reads’ the current scene then determines and sets the settings to those likely to produce the best results. It automatically detects faces along with any one of 22 possible scene modes including landscape, macro, portrait, backlit etc. to best ensure high quality images are captured.
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No manual controls are available on the 200 IS but program mode is provided, which works similarly to auto, although scene modes must be set manually in this case and they include options such as night snapshot, kids and pets, foliage, aquarium, colour accent and stitch assist etc.

As a complete package, the IXUS 200 IS is a stylish point-and-shooter that produces good results overall and has one of the most responsive touch screens currently available.

For those with good dexterity and the ability to multi-task, the combination of physical buttons and touch screen operation will delight. For the rest of you, it may well be worth persisting with what can initially be the slightly awkward controlling of the IXUS 200 IS as once this minor hurdle is jumped, all of the other abilities of this attractive unit truly come to light.

 

Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 3 stars
Image quality
3.5 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 4 stars
Value for money 3.5 stars
RRP (AUD) $599
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 12.1 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 6 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 24mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 120mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 5x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 4000 x 3000
Shooting Modes Intelligent Auto (with Scene Detection), P, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Sunset, Creative Light Effect, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Beach, Aquarium, Foliage, Snow, ISO 3200, Digital Macro, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Stitch Assist, Movie (Standard, Colour Accent, Colour Swap)
Face Detection Yes, and Blink Detection
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 50cm - infinity (W), 90cm - infinity (T)
Aperture Range f/2.8 - 8.0 (W), f/5.9 - 8.0 (T)
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 5cm - 50cm
Shutter Speeds Auto, 15 - 1/3000 sec.
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto6, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600
LCD Monitor Wide 3.0 inch Pure Colour LCD II Touch screen with wide viewing angle (approx 230,000 dots) 16:9 aspect ratio. Touch panel with brightness adjustment (5 levels)
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, on, off, Auto Red Eye Correction, Red Eye Reduction, Face Detect, Slow Synchro, FE Lock
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
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 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Connectivity USB 2.0 High-speed
Power Source AC adapter kit ACK-DC40
Battery Options Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L
Dimensions 99.9 x 53.4 x 22.9 mm (ex. Protruding parts)
Weight Approx 130g

 

 


 

 
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