Canon's Ixus range continues to offer a bewildering mix of different design strands, overlapping specs and new and older models mingling together. The new 12.1-megapixel IXUS 105 seems to slot in somewhere near the bottom, looking a great deal like the older , but with a wider-ranging zoom. It's not cheap, mind, at £160 or so.
Not every IXUS camera has been a paragon of style and quality. There have been a couple of right old mingers over the years, but they do tend to be few and far between, and the IXUS 105 isn't one of them. Our review sample came in a chocolate-coloured finish so smooth and satisfying to touch that you could easily spend more time fondling the camera than taking pictures. The smooth-cornered body and flush-mounted controls are classic IXUS hallmarks, although the sloppy, grey, plastic mode switch looks and feels out of place.
The start-up time's really quick -- the 105's ready to shoot about a second after you press the power button. The zoom and autofocus speeds are average, but that's fine in a camera like this, which is designed more for style-conscious snappers than enthusiasts.
You get an optical image stabiliser, motion detection and auto ISO adjustment to reduce blur. The 4x 28mm wide-angle zoom is pretty good. There's not much distortion at the wide-angle end, although there's some chromatic aberration, and the definition falls away at full zoom.
The 105 appears to offer decent value for money when you compare it with the PowerShot A3100 IS, which is about the same price, lacks a wide-angle zoom and is, to be frank, something of a porker, relatively speaking.