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Canon Digital IXUS i zoom review: Canon IXUS i zoom

The 5-megapixel IXUS i zoom comes with a handy base station that enables users to easily recharge the camera and connect it to a printer or TV.

Penelope White
4 min read

Fashion and functionality unite with the introduction of the Canon IXUS i zoom. Ultra-chic and super compact, the 5-megapixel mini digital camera combines speed, image quality and simplicity with a sophisticated perpetual curve design that guarantees to capture the true essence of the digital lifestyle. Design
With its perpetual curve design and uncluttered exterior the Digital IXUS i zoom is not only simple to use but super stylish. Measuring 96.1 x 45.1 x 23.9mm and weighing 105g, the i zoom is a superbly slim line camera that allows for easy portability whilst still packing an impressive 5-megapixel resolution into its pocket sized packaging.


Canon Digital IXUS i zoom

The Good

Both sexy and practical. Includes a remote control for viewing photos on your TV. Comes in four fashionable colours.

The Bad

Lacks a traditional viewfinder. No direct I/O port.

The Bottom Line

Iif you're looking for a camera that looks hot and still takes great photos, then the stylish Canon IXUS i zoom is your ultimate digital accessory.

Elegantly crafted with a seemingly weightless metallic body, the i zoom is available in four eye catching finishes including: Jet (black), Sahara (gold), Cranberry (red) and Ultra (violet); giving even the most fashion conscious photographer the option to personalise the camera according to their personality.

Whilst it's often assumed that bigger cameras have more mass, thus making them easier to use, the i zoom User Interface is straightforward and uncomplicated particularly due to larger animated menu icons and limited external controls. Located at the top of the camera is the on/off button as well as a shutter release control. Located on the back of the camera alongside the LCD screen is a mode switch, allowing for easy movement between Playback, Movie and Still photo mode, a Print/Share button, allowing for direct camera to printer output, a Function set for screen menu activation, as well as a four way controller pad that doubles as a zoom control once the cameras digital zoom function is enabled. Although some users prefer to have a separate zoom toggle, we found the feature to be practical and quite responsive (allowing up to 10x digital magnification) considering the limited space.

The i zoom is an easy to use point and shoot camera. Focus and exposure are automatically set after pressing the shutter button halfway, and an audible beep confirms the camera is ready to capture the shot. Unlike most digital cameras, the IXUS does not come with a traditional optical viewfinder; however its 1.8" TFT LCD screen with 118,000 pixels is surprisingly sufficient considering its diminutive size.

The i zoom has a 2.4x optical zoom lens, which when switched off, automatically retracts and is covered, which protecs the components from scratches and fingerprints, further reinforcing the camera's pocket friendly design.

The i zoom itself has no built in I/O port, and instead comes complete with a multi-purpose docking station. Similar in size to the IXUS, the dock is equipped with USB, A/V out and D/C in ports, as well as a range of functions guaranteeing fast and convenient battery charging, printing and downloading of images.

Whilst we first thought the dock to be an unwarranted accessory, the range of functions it performs as well as the easy connectivity to television and home cinema systems made it a useful addition. Also included as an added extra is an infrared wireless controller which allowed slideshow and playback operations to be facilitated remotely. It is useful to note that the i zoom supports USB 2.0 for high speed transfer of images. In addition, backward compatibility with the earlier USB 1.1 connection means that you will have little trouble sharing your photographs with family and friends.

For those with a creative digital flair, the i zoom features 16 shooting modes including seven pre-defined scene modes designed to improve every photographic situation. The user selections include Auto and Manual shooting settings as well as specific 'Scene Modes' such as Portrait, Landscape, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night, Snapshot and Macro. 'My Colours' is a fun addition to the feature set, allowing direct manipulation of colour in real time for both still images and movies, as well as the 'Stitch Assist' feature that combines multiple photos into a single panoramic image. Finally, movie mode allows up to 1GB or 60 minutes of recording.

Canon includes a 16MB MultiMediaCard packaged with the camera but this won't suffice even the most novice of users. We suggest that if you want to take more than a couple of pictures at any time or intend on using the movie mode, you will definitely need a larger card.

Renowned for its precision and enhanced image quality, the i zoom builds upon Canons proprietary DIGIC II image processing chip, combining its sophisticated exterior with precision performance. We were generally surprised at how fast common user tasks such as camera startup, auto focus and playback were. It was also pleasing to note that the colour output of photos tested in both day and night conditions were quite accurate too.