Canon has long had a knack for designing great-looking cameras -- the IXUS 115 HS being a prime example. But there would be little point in forking out £145 for a handsome snapper if the photos themselves were an ugly, pixellated mess. Thankfully, the 115's photos match its good looks.
Canon's IXUS line has always been about design. The 115 is no exception, marrying simplicity and sophistication with several varieties of aplomb.
The solid metal body is available in blue, grey and pink, as well as the classic IXUS silvery-gold colour. The body is slim but not as compact or lightweight as that of some previous models. This may, in part, be due to the sizeable, 3-inch LCD screen on the device's rear. It's not touch-sensitive in any way -- navigation is carried out via a traditional five-way pad -- but it's an exceptionally high-quality display nonetheless.
On the front of the 115, the 4x zoom lens housing sits almost entirely flush with the camera's body when retracted, with the shiny silver ring raised barely a millimetre above the rest of the surface. The top edge hosts just three controls -- a shutter-release button surrounded by a zoom lever, a power button and a switch that alternates the camera between full auto mode and standard operation.
There's a fairly decent variety of shooting options available, including a 1:1 ratio setting, three different metering modes, a generous assortment of genuinely useful and arty effects, and 1080p high-definition video capture.
Canon's even made room on the 115's uncluttered surface for a dedicated video-record button and an HDMI-output socket.