The new, 12.1-megapixel Digital IXUS 200 IS resides near the top of Canon's Digital IXUS range. Only the Digital IXUS 980 IS and seem to sit above it, although it's hard to see what they've got that the newcomer hasn't. Available for around £255, the 200 gives you a 5x extra-wideangle zoom, a high-definition movie mode and a touchscreen interface. What more could you ask for?
Practically all compact-camera makers seem to have adopted similar 12-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch sensors now. The 200's delivers good, strong colours and details at low ISOs, but the definition drops off quickly as you increase the sensitivity. Even as early as ISO 200, fine detail begins to turn hazy.
The 24-120mm zoom is handy. The difference between a 24mm wideangle zoom and the more common 28mm sort may not sound much, but it's worth having. The 200's lens performs pretty well, too, producing good edge sharpness and quite crisp images at full zoom.
The 200 is by no means the smallest compact on the market, and its curved edges and design details aren't particularly pretty. But it feels like a solid and well-made little camera, and the touchscreen interface gives the back a clean, fuss-free look.
The touchscreen interface is pretty good. Three big icons down the right-hand side control the shooting mode, flash mode and EV compensation. You adjust the EV by dragging left or right across an exposure bar that appears when you tap the relevant icon.
You tap on the main part of the screen to start the touch-autofocus mode. The camera locks onto the subject you've selected and tracks it around if either it or the camera moves. It's quite quick in use and it tracks subjects well, so it's not just a novelty.