Canon Ixus 65 digital camera - FIRST LOOK review

3.5 out of 5
£300

For

Large screen, ISO High setting

Against

Screen not as crisp as it could have been, controls are a bit squashed

Canon has launched three new Ixus models as a part of its 2006 Spring Collection, but the Ixus 65 stands out from the crowd as it’s the first canon camera to be geared towards the “gadget” crowd. So has Canon got it right? Pocket-lint was given a chance to get a first look at the new model.

The first thing you notice is that Canon are keen to emphasis the design of the camera even more than usual. The model comes in a brushed silver and ebony black and the company is keen to point out that the curving design on the top of the model looks like a samurai sword.

It’s all in an attempt to appeal to that gadget fan rather than the traditional photographer and shows Canon is starting to look to Sony and its iconic T series cameras as the competition rather than models from more traditional camera makers such as Olympus.

Aside from the design the main crux of this camera isn’t the 6 megapixel sensor, the 3x optical zoom, the 16 shooting modes or the fact that this model features the company’s DIGIC II processor or a 9-point AiAF for improved results.

It is the large 3-inch 173k colour LCD screen on the back of the camera. It is so big in comparison to the model that the accompanying controls have all but been squeezed out.

Instead, and this is where the gadget element comes in, Canon has adopted a scroll wheel similar to Apple’s iPod whereby the button you are pressing is highlighted on the screen.

Scroll your figure around the four-point circle and the image on the screen is displayed. It’s a pretty neat feature and we couldn’t help but think whether this is what the rumoured iPod video would be like when it gets launched.

But the controls aren't the only thing to have been squeezed. Canon, in keenness to maximise the screen, but not the size of the camera, has on the Ixus 65 lost the optical viewfinder - a first we were told.

With no optical viewfinder, it is a shame then that Canon has only opted for 172,000 pixels rather than a 262,000 pixel screen as you certainly notice the difference on a screen this size. Mobile phones like the Sharp 903 and some of Sony Ericsson’s models have a lot to answer for when it comes to raising the bar.

Unlike the company’s new Ixus 800IS the Ixus 65 doesn’t come with image stabilising, which is a shame because we would have thought that a “gadget” user rather than someone who is a rather competent photographer would have benefited more from the feature.

When we questioned Canon on this, a spokesman said the “Image stabilising feature, which is new to the Ixus range was reserved for the flagship model - i.e., the 800IS”.

Finally the Digital Ixus 65 incorporates an ISO 800 setting to help facilitate flash-free shooting indoors and minimise the effects of camera shake. A new High ISO Auto setting automatically sets exposure using the higher range of ISO sensitivities and in our brief first look this seemed to work effective. It certainly means you could take those sneaky party shots without blinding everyone in the process.

Verdict

Unfortunately we weren't able to take any images away with us for further inspection however we were able to print the image out for a closer look.

On the surface the image quality seems perfectly adequate and judging by the results good enough to recommend.

On a first look, the camera isn't perfect, but does looks promising.