Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS review: Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS

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The Good Design and finish; simple operation; inclusion of an optical viewfinder.

The Bad Zoom range; mediocre lens quality; expensive compared to rivals.

The Bottom Line Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the IXUS 95 IS is that it's a competent range-filler -- a routine but worthwhile update to a popular, lower-priced strand in the IXUS range. It's a lovely thing to look at and use, but despite the sheen of technology the results are average

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6.5 Overall

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The Digital IXUS 95 may be pretty, and it may be a Canon, but if you've got around £180 to spend and all you ask is a 10-megapixel sensor and a 3x zoom, it'd take you a week just to read through the list of candidates. So should the IXUS 95 be anywhere near the top?

You can't argue with the looks. Canon's designers are near the top of their game with this one. It's not flashy, necessarily, but it does look beautiful, whichever colour you choose. It feels good too, and round the back there's a conventional set of directional controllers rather than the spinning dial used on more upmarket models. It's one bit of cost-cutting that's more than welcome, since the controls are much easier to use as a result.

And look, there's even an optical viewfinder. Admittedly, it's tiny and slightly distorted, but it's worth having on days so bright you can't see the LCD properly, and it's a useful feature to have on a camera that might be used by digital first-timers. Let's face it, this is not a camera for photo experts. It's a classy little compact for people who want to grab snaps of all the important little moments in their lives without having to swallow a dictionary.

It's only a 3x zoom and it's not even at its widest setting, so where did all this barrel distortion come from? The 95's lens is weak in specs and performance (click image to enlarge)

It talks the part, too, with better-than-ever face-detection, a face self-timer which waits for you to get in the shot and then takes the picture, and automatic scene-mode detection, which works out what the camera's pointed at and adjusts the settings automatically.

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