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Canon Digital IXUS 70 and IXUS 75: Classy compact cameras

Take snapshots with style using Canon's new Digital IXUS 70 and IXUS 75, which combine the classic circle-on-box IXUS styling with some fancy new features

Canon announced 43 new products this morning, firing them out at the imaging world like tennis balls from a SuperCoach tennis ball machine. After fending off a couple of network-ready auto-duplexing all-in-one laser printers with our swanky graphite racquet, Crave faced a barrage of compact cameras -- including the Digital IXUS 70 and IXUS 75. At this point we dropped our racquet, snatched the cameras out of the air and scarpered off the court.

The IXUS 70 (£250, pictured top and centre) and IXUS 75 (£270, pictured bottom) replace the IXUS 60 and IXUS 65 respectively. Compared to the older models, the new cameras offer an increased image resolution of 7.1 megapixels and a two-tone, black-circle-on-silver-box design that harks back to the original film-based IXUS. Canon has also revived its iconic camera-dangling-down-naked-back imagery to promote the new designs (if you're more into modern minimalism and taking photos while clothed, the IXUS 70 also comes in silver on silver).

The main difference between the IXUS 70 and the slightly more expensive IXUS 75 is the LCD on the back. The IXUS 70 has a 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD, leaving room for an optical viewfinder, whereas the IXUS 75 has a bigger 76mm (3-inch) LCD and no viewfinder. In the stereotypical nutshell, if you're going to slide the camera into the back pocket of your designer jeans and take photos of your mates when you're out clubbing, you want the IXUS 75. If you plan to pop it into your bag so you can take photos of the kids on the beach during your summer holiday, go for the IXUS 70, because if the sun does actually shine, you'll find the optical viewfinder more useful than a bigger LCD.

Both cameras have a face-detection algorithm that finds the faces in the frame and automatically optimises the focus and exposure (this can be turned off when you're photographing flowers or trees). They also offer sensitivities up to 1600 for taking photos without flash in the aforementioned nightclub. On the maybe-not-essential-but-nevertheless-cool list is the automatic rotation of images in playback mode. If you turn the camera round so the LCD is in portrait mode, the image rotates as well. There's also a time-lapse movie mode for producing nature-documentary style clips of flowers unfolding or clouds boiling across the sky. -ML

Update: Full reviews of the Canon Digital IXUS 70 and IXUS 75 are now live.