A 10-megapixel Canon PowerShot should be a safe pair of hands, right? With the A2000 IS, you get motion detection, face detection, a 6x optical zoom, image stabilisation and AA battery power that's both practical and surprisingly frugal. Throw in a 76mm (3-inch) LCD and you're not doing badly for £140 or thereabouts.
The A2000 IS is a long way from being a super-slim. If that's what you want, you should be looking at a Canon Digital IXUS instead. It's not, however, as fat as a PowerShot G10, say, or some of the older PowerShot designs, and the flat profile and rounded edges means it'll slide neatly into a jacket pocket. The extra size compared to a super-slim also makes it a good deal easier to handle.
There's not much to know, either. You've got a mode dial on the top, and buttons on the back for ISO, focus mode, flash mode, self-timer and drive mode, as well as another button for activating the face detection. White balance, EV compensation and other tweaks are carried out using Canon's usual 'Func' button, which overlays the screen with a series of easy-to-navigate menus, leaving the main menu system for general setup options.
And who needs lithium-ion batteries? Canon reckons the A2000 IS can get 240 shots out of the pair of alkalines supplied, and twice that with NiMH rechargeables.
The autofocus is fast, the zoom is quite speedy and the LCD is good. The pictures are impressively sharp too. The definition can drift off a little towards the edge of the frame, but, overall, the results are well above average for a 10-megapixel compact. Detail does tend to mush up progressively from ISO 400 upwards, but not too badly, and here, again, the Canon is rather better than average.