Canon has launched three new IXUS models, but can the mid-range offering, the IXUS 90, deliver the goods? We get snapping to find out.
The Canon IXUS 90 is a 10-megapixel digital camera that comes with the now almost standard 3x optical zoom, a plethora of scene modes (19 in fact) and the promise of Image Stabilising technology.
The camera, roughly the size of a pack of playing cards and sporting a retro angular design comes in a metal case, is thick, solid and weighty in the hand. It oozes quality and decent build rather than something flaky and cheap.
On the back, proceedings are dominated by a 3-inch LCD screen that is clear, crisp, but not touch-enabled.
Instead functions are accessed via the control panel to the right of the screen and Canon has put some effort into making these look stylish and rather retro - fitting in with the camera's angular design.
Central to the controls is a scroll wheel that allows you to access the secondary menus just as scene modes, scrolling through pictures in playback and accessing functions like colour swap.
The dial, which also doubles as a d-pad, doesn't have any text on it, instead preferring to display the information on the screen in a very large and clear style. As you move the dial the image changes on screen. Stopping the scrolling selects the mode you require and it's as easy as that.
If scrolling isn't your style, Canon has offered all the usual quick fire options such as flash, ISO, delete, etc, on a range of buttons.
In the box you get a rather pathetic 32MB SD card, something that at the camera's highest settings will give you a mere six pictures. Why, when memory is now so cheap, (Amazon is listing 1GB for around £10) camera companies haven't moved to include more in the box is beyond us.
In-use and the camera is quick to respond. The large screen helps you see what you are snapping clearly, while still having space for all the relevant information to be displayed. Features such as the focus checker, that shows you whether or not your picture is in focus, really helps if you are trying to get good snaps without really knowing what you are doing.
The Canon Ixus 90 comes with a barrage of tech including anti red-eye, face detection and image stabilising and in our tests so far all work as described.
Picture quality is good, with a good balance of colours.
Grumbles? Not many. The included SD card in the box is something you might as well forget from the get go, it's not even worth giving it to an old auntie. We also noted that the card was slow to access images on playback, something that can be remedied by opting for an SDHC card with some oomph.
The Canon IXUS 90 IS isn't a showstopper by any means, not really breaking the boundaries or offering anything that we haven't seen before.
What the IXUS 90 is, however, is a solid, well-built camera that will give you good pictures.
It's Canon doing what they do best, just don't expect any fanfare.
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