Canon's Digital IXUS cameras are smart and well made, and that's certainly reflected in the price. The Digital IXUS 110 IS will set you back around £270. For that, you get a 12-megapixel sensor, 4x wideangle zoom and high-definition movie mode. But is it enough?
This is a very good-looking camera. It's not the smallest compact on the market by any means, but the metal body comes in a choice of colours and is finished off with a thick, glossy lacquer. This camera's packed with the latest technology, but it's distinctly understated on the outside.
There's a three-position mode switch on the top (movies, program AE and full auto), while the back's dominated by a big, 71mm (2.8-inch) wideangle LCD. To the right of that are a multi-controller, a playback button and a menu button -- and that's it.
The screen is good, the autofocus is snappy and the face-detection software works well. Like other current Canon cameras, this one has a face self-timer mode. In this mode, you set up a group shot, start the timer and run into position. As soon as the camera recognises that a new face has appeared in the frame, it starts the timer. It even takes three shots to make sure it gets a good one.
The i-Contrast feature is supposed to lighten darker areas of the picture in high-contrast scenes, and, while it doesn't seem to have a particularly noticeable effect, it's probably worth having.