Canon Digital Ixus 60 review

Price when reviewed

As the current defender of the digital compact camera category on the A List, the Ixus 60 has its work cut out against the cheaper rivals on test here. At £170, the Ixus’ 2,816 x 2,112 resolution and 3x optical zoom are nothing out of the ordinary.

Canon Digital Ixus 60 review

Neither is the 2.5in TFT, which wowed us when we first saw it. In fact, the 173,000-pixel display is beaten by the Acer and BenQ with their 230,000-pixel TFTs. However, it’s still relatively easy to detect camera shake and check focus and, as a bonus, Canon still finds room for a tiny optical viewfinder.

While there are no aperture- or shutter-priority modes, there are 11 scene presets, which optimise settings for common situations. The colour accent and swap modes are retained, if buried away. Sharpness, contrast and saturation settings are also hidden too deeply for our liking, and there’s no live histogram or continuous focusing mode.

However, there’s plenty to like about the Ixus 60. It’s superbly built (excusing the slightly flimsy plastic battery/SD card door) and is small enough to carry everywhere – though there are lighter and slimmer choices. There are plenty of nice touches like the orientation sensor, which rotates images when you turn the camera in your hands, as well as the brilliant continuous mode, which can shoot at full quality at 2.1fps.

The Ixus 60’s 3x Canon zoom lens might be tiny, but it’s still great quality. Images were super sharp, only becoming slightly soft in the corners, and that’s only when looking closely at 100%.

Outdoors, the Canon proved it’s the king of sub-£200 compacts, producing near-perfect exposures every time with great resolution and no noise or chromatic aberrations, except in extreme contrast scenes. Accurate colours and perfect saturation make up for any fringing.

Indoors, the auto white balance couldn’t keep up with the Nikon’s and more noise was evident than we’d expected. However, images were sharp and had excellent detail. With the flash switched on, images had better white balance and noise completely disappeared. Noise wasn’t a problem in our night shot either, which did show excellent white balance.

And, for macro shots, few cameras can match the Canon for closeness. Movies were great too – VGA clips can be shot at 30fps and, unlike others, the Ixus supports digital zooming. Average audio quality was our only gripe.

Overall, the shortcomings are far outweighed by the benefits and, even at this price, the Ixus 60 offers superb value and quality in a pocketable format.

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