Canon IXUS 220 HS review

April 30, 2011

Overall Rating:


Canon IXUS 220 HS

  • Star rating:



Price as Reviewed:


This affordable pocket point-and-shoot model features a range of auto functions for easy shooting

Build and handling

The IXUS 220 HS, like many other new HS models, has seen a reduction in resolution from the model it replaces. This less-populated sensor makes noise easier to control and delivers improved results.

The 220 HS’s 12.1-million-pixel sensor has 2 million pixels fewer than its predecessor, the IXUS 210, but with an output of 4000×3000 pixels it can still deliver a 10x13in print at 300ppi. The processor is Canon’s Digic 4 system which, combined with the high-sensitivity sensor, creates the HS system. This allows an ISO range of 100-3200, as well as up to ISO 6400 in low-light scene mode (at 3 million pixels).

Shooting modes are catered for by smart auto via the auto mode on the rear, which assesses the image and chooses from one of 32 modes. When switched to the camera symbol, the 220 HS offers a choice of program or a series of 24 selectable scene modes. Surprisingly, there is also a choice of three metering modes (centreweighted, evaluative and spot), and exposure compensation of ±2EV. This camera isn’t really about manual shooting, though, and is very much geared up for the point-and-shoot experience.

While the focusing offers a choice of modes, including centre and tracking, the AiAF intelligent focusing takes care of most scenes, automatically picking from nine AF points or detecting faces. There is no option for manual focus, but few people will miss it.

Despite its small size, using the 220 HS is easy thanks to the large well-spaced buttons. There are three buttons and a switch around a d-pad on the rear, a shutter with surrounding zoom switch and a power button on the top. Both start-up time and operation of the zoom are rapid, taking just over a second to start and about two seconds from wide to telephoto.

The lens gives a 5x zoom range from a nice wide 24mm for landscapes to a respectable 120mm equivalent for portraits or action with an f/2.7-5.9 aperture.

Stabilisation is lens-based, allowing you to shoot at shutter speeds up to 4EV slower handheld to avoid camera shake, and there is dynamic stabilisation for video.

Video can be captured in Full 1080p HD at 24fps, or 720p at 30fps. There is also a high-speed video that will shoot 120fps at 640×480 or 240fps at 320×240 pixels.

The camera’s textured finish makes it very tactile and it feels very solid in the hand.

  • Memory Card: SD (SDHC/SDXC compatible)
  • Output Size: 4000x3000 pixels
  • LCD: 2.7in, 230,000-dot
  • Sensor: 12.1MP, 1/2.3 back-illuminated CMOS
  • Exposure Modes: Smart auto, program, 22 scene modes
  • Weight: 141g
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion (NB-4L)220 shots
  • File Format: JPEG, MOV (Movie)
  • Lens Mount: 24-120mm (equivalent), 5x zoom
  • Metering System: Evaluative, centreweighted, spot
  • Dimensions: 92.2x55.9x19.5mm
  • Focusing Modes: AiAF (9-point/face detection), 1 point centre AF, single, continuous, tracking
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets, custom

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