The £185 Canon IXUS 220 HS is slim, stylish and offers many of the same advantages as the, which we're rather fond of. But why does the 220 cost around £40 more than its sibling, if the only major differences are a 5x, rather than 4x, zoom and a slightly smaller body? Is there something we're missing?
Canon's IXUS cameras tend to be slightly more expensive than other similarly equipped models -- not grossly so, but enough to make you think twice. That said, they also tend to be much easier on the eye than the majority of compact cameras on the market.
The 220 upholds both of these traditions. Its body is extremely compact, at just under 20mm thick, and it's made almost entirely of stainless steel. The camera has a modern, minimalist and well-engineered feel, yet it's highly portable and practical too.
The 220 also happens to be positioned dangerously close to the £200 mark. For that amount of money, you could buy a number of more versatile cameras, such as a compact superzoom.
Besides its appearance, the 220 is modestly equipped, with a 12.1-megapixel image sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens. On the rear is a 2.7-inch LCD display, which is very bright and clear, but smaller than the 3-inch panel you'll find on the cheaper 115. That's mainly because the 220 is smaller than the 115 as a whole.
The camera offers a reasonable number of shooting options, modes and effects, and it's fairly easy to use. A switch on the back alternates the unit between full auto and standard program modes. Within the latter mode, there are plenty of options available from the function menu, ranging from manual ISO, white balance and metering to various presets and creative filters, such as monochrome and fish-eye effects. All of these are selected via a traditional button-based interface, rather than a touchscreen system, although we wouldn't necessarily mark the camera down for that.