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Canon IXUS 210 review: Canon IXUS 210

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The Good 5x extra-wide-angle zoom range; large, high-quality display; good touchscreen interface.

The Bad Poor lens performance; mushy detail rendition; no zooming in 720p movie mode.

The Bottom Line The Canon IXUS 210 looks good and handles well, but its picture quality is weak by any standards, let alone for a camera in this price bracket. It's alright if you don't blow the pictures up too much or zoom in too far, but you'd have to be pretty forgiving to put up with that

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The Canon IXUS 210's blend of style, sophistication and smart picture-taking technology should appeal to quality-conscious photographers who don't want to spend half their time with their noses in the manual. This 14.1-megapixel compact camera comes with a large touchscreen interface and a 5x zoom too, which is why you'll have to pay around £250 to get your hands on it.

Smooth porker
The 210 offers Canon's traditional IXUS build quality. It's porky compared to some of the other models in the range, but its smooth contours mean it should still slip into your pocket quite easily.

The 5x zoom isn't very good. There's plenty of distortion in this shot and a serious fall-off in sharpness towards the edge of the picture. Detail at ISO 80 or ISO 100 isn't bad, but it's visibly softer at ISO 200 and goes downhill from there (click image to enlarge)

The 210 is particularly versatile, thanks to its 5x, extra-wide-angle, 24-120mm zoom, and the 88mm (3.5-inch) touchscreen on the back looks especially smart. The display takes up the whole width of the camera, leaving no room for any knobs or buttons. It doesn't need them, though, making do with a simple slider switch on the top for choosing the movie, program-auto-exposure or full-auto-exposure modes.

The interface works very well. The 210 has a 16:9 display, which means there are black bars at the sides when you're shooting stills, but Canon's used these areas to house the touch-sensitive icons that adjust the camera settings. The size and 461,000-pixel resolution of the display mean that the image doesn't feel cramped. The display comes into its own when you're shooting 16:9, 720p, high-definition movies.

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