Canon’s stylish 14.1-million-pixel IXUS 210 has a huge 3.5in touchscreen and a host of great features
At around the same size as a mobile phone, the IXUS 210 is light and fits comfortably in a trouser pocket. Although the touchscreen is slower to use than buttons, my fears regarding its sensitivity proved unfounded. Only a slight touch is required to press the large virtual buttons, and navigating the settings is simple as Canon has kept the number of options on any one screen to a minimum.
The camera’s touch properties are at their best when using the Touch AF feature. This allows the focus area to be selected by simply touching it on the screen. In face-detection mode, touching a point on the screen enables focus tracking of that object, which is useful for following moving subjects. In all, focusing the IXUS 210 is fast and accurate, particularly in single AF point mode.
There are some interesting Smart Shutter modes on the IXUS 210. The Wink Self-Timer starts the camera’s self-timer once it detects an eye blinking at the camera, which is useful for self-portraits. However, the Smile Shutter is my favourite. When set to this mode, the IXUS 210 automatically takes an image when it detects a smiling face in front of it. I was surprised at just how well this feature works.
With centreweighted and spot metering, as well as EV compensation and ISO sensitivity adjustment, there are plenty of manual-exposure options for those who want more from their compact camera.
For the most part, I found that I used the IXUS 210 in its evaluative metering mode. The results were excellent, with images bright and well exposed. The camera also selected sensible exposure settings when given more awkward backlit scenes. Nearly all the images I took would make good prints without further adjustment.
Colours look bright and natural with the My Colour settings turned off, but with 11 different colour style settings, plus a custom setting, it is possible to achieve most colour effects in-camera. I found the Vivid option to be particularly good for bright and bold holiday snapshots.
Given that the camera’s sensor has 14.1 million pixels, noise is well controlled. When viewing images at 100%, noise is noticeable even at ISO 200, but as most people won’t regularly be making huge prints from a compact camera, it shouldn’t be an issue. In-camera noise reduction causes images to have a smudged effect, especially at ISO 1600, although once again this will only be an issue when making prints at around A4 in size.
Images from the Canon IXUS 210 are well exposed with pleasing colours