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Canon Digital IXUS 75 review: Canon Digital IXUS 75

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The IXUS 75 goes some way to redeeming itself with its all-important focus assist lamp, often omitted on budget cameras, for helping the autofocus work its mojo in low light.

The self-timer is also well-thought out, allowing you to set your own interval up to 10 seconds, or opt for 15 or 30 seconds of face-aching grins.



Performance
Start up time is near instantaneous. Autofocus is very fast even in low light, thanks to the assist lamp. It does tend to pick the nearest subject, so you may prefer to turn it off and use the centre-weighted focus option instead. This will turn off face detection, though.

The 3x zoom lens is a pretty standard feature on many digital compacts

The IXUS 75 will capture images about 1.5 seconds apart without flash, and takes just over two seconds with flash. In bright shooting conditions, shutter lag is 0.5 seconds and just under in one second in dim conditions.

Continuous shooting mode is less impressive, failing to top 1.5 frames per second even at lower resolutions. In burst mode, the IXUS 75 happily continued snapping until the memory card was full.

Image quality
Exposure is excellent, and colours are accurately reproduced. There is some vivid purple fringing in high contrast areas but this is the only problem in picture quality. Metering and white balance are both excellent.

The real ace up the IXUS 75's sleeve is its high ISO performance. This is frequently where compacts fall down. By contrast, the IXUS 75 employs excellent noise reduction and clever sharpening. Noise is inevitably visible at high ISOs, but even at 1,600 pictures are acceptable.

The video mode offers a maximum of VGA resolution (640x480 pixels) at 30fps. Only mono audio is available, and the optical zoom cannot be used when filming. The footage does look good though, thanks to Canon's use of MJPEG format, which compresses video less than other MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 formats. This does mean that videos eat up more memory than usual.

Conclusion
It's hard to dislike the IXUS 75, despite its paucity of features. The excellent picture quality, big screen and smart styling easily cancel any misgivings about the otherwise average megapixel and zoom specs.

The real question is whether the IXUS 75 competes on price with similarly-specced cameras such as the Pentax Optio M30 or Nikon S200, both of which weigh in at a significantly cheaper price point. While it might appear that you're paying a premium for IXUS styling, you get your money's worth with that screen and superior pictures.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday

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