The Canon IXUS 75 is a slimline digital camera. It should fit easily into a pocket. The IXUS 75 has seven megapixels and a three times optical zoom lens. One of the attractions of the camera is likely to be its extra large, three inch LCD screen. A screen of this size does help when lining up shots and it also makes it easier to read the menu.
91.6 x 56.8 x 19.6mm
A number of the cameras I have reviewed recently have left me very disappointed when it comes to picture quality. Therefore it makes more than a pleasant change to take a look at a set of test photos and struggle to come up with anything bad to say. In fact there are a number of positives.
Outdoors the camera is as good as any pocket sized camera I have reviewed recently. In all three photos sharpness levels are better than I am accustomed to seeing. There is very little fall off towards the edges apart from on the right hand side of the second and third river views photos where the scenes become somewhat distant for the camera to focus sharply. I really like the way contrast is handled. Darker areas of the shots show up well, while there is very little loss of detail in the lighter areas.
The dedicated test for colours underlines the fact that this camera manages to balance its colours very well. All the primary colours are strong without being overpowering.
In line with a number of other digital cameras the IXUS 75 has built in face detection software. Although it is hard to judge just how much difference this makes I must say the focusing in the outdoor portrait shot is spot on. This is especially true of the eyes and the eyes are the most important feature in a portrait. In terms of colours there is a delicate feel to the shot. The colours contribute to this by their softness.
The IXUS 75 seems to be equally at home indoors in poorer light. The indoor portrait shot is particularly pleasing. It produces a very bright picture compared with other cameras and focusing is very good indeed. Unlike other cameras that manage to produce a bright indoor portrait this camera does not do it at the expense of colour and there is still plenty of colour showing in the face. In my test at least the camera also managed to avoid red eye.
In even lower lighting conditions the IXUS 75 still manages to focus without a problem. The light cast by the flash unit is evenly dispersed leading to a photo that has good brightness levels throughout.
With pocket sized digital cameras I never expect to see great macro shots. If I do I consider it to be a bit of a bonus. This is another area where the IXUS 75 beats the competition. My macro test shot was very sharp and again the camera managed to produce a very bright photo. There is also no colour caste showing as you find with some models.
As with many other cameras pushing the ISO settings up makes it tough for the camera. You may wish to do this in lowlight when you are outside of the range of the flash. At ISO 400 the photo starts to show signs of noise and therefore deterioration in quality. The noise levels are not excessive, but they are worth noting. At the top setting of ISO 1600 noise is a considerable problem and it is hardly worth taking a photo at this setting.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times
One thing I feel could be improved is the shutter delay times when the flash is being used. Without the flash the camera has no real problem in this area. A single photo took 0.33 seconds and five photos took 7.72 seconds. With the flash on times increased to 1.07 for a single photo and 21.62 seconds for five photos.
You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.
The length of the 3x optical zoom lens can be increased when shooting at lower resolutions by using a feature called safety zoom. This increases the capacity of the zoom by 1.9x The lens has a focal length equivalent to 35 - 105mm in 35mm format. The maximum aperture is f/2.8 wide and f/4.9 tele. For close up shots the camera can focus from 3cm away from the subject.
The 3" LCD monitor is made up of around 230,000 pixels.
Flash works up to a maximum range of 3.5m (wide) and 2m (tele). The flash modes available are on, off and automatic. You can also turn on red eye reduction and slow synchro. To boost the power of the flash you could buy the Canon High Power Flash Unit HF-DC1.
There are a range of predefined scene modes. These help the camera to select the optimum settings for each shot. These are Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium and Underwater. There is also a stitch assist mode to help you stitch together panoramic type shots.
The camera also has a number of colour options available. These are Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red and Custom Color. You can also use Color Accent and Color Swap. Color accent picks out a single colour in a photo while changing the remainder of the shot to black and white.
Other features allow you to add 60 seconds of voice memo, fix red eye in a shot, use the self timer or continuous shooting (maximum of 1.7 frames per second until the memory card is full).
A number of more advanced options include metering (Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, Spot), exposure compensation (+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments), ISO sensitivity (AUTO, High ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600) and white balance (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom). Although shutter speeds are set automatically by the camera you can select long shutter mode to increase the maximum shutter speed from 1 second to 15 seconds. The fastest shutter speed the camera is capable of is 1/1500 seconds.
This camera has a comprehensive set of movie features available. To start with there are standard TV quality movies. These can be shot at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels and at a top speed of 30 frames per second. Sound can be captured and zoom can be used during recording. The duration of each movie can be a maximum of 4GB of storage or one hour.
The second type of movie allows you to take a short clip of a maximum of one minute. This type of movie has a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 and a top speed of 60 frames per second. The advantage of this type of movie is that it can be played back in slow motion. It can then be used to analyse golf swings and tennis serves etc.
The final type of movie is a time lapse movie. This type of movie is often used to plot the path of clouds as they move across the sky or a flower opening. The camera takes single shots at predefined intervals.
All the necessary cables and software to connect the IXUS 75 to a computer, television set and compatible printer are included in the box.
If you are interested in underwater photography you may be interested to know there is a waterproof case available (WP-DC14). This is waterproof to a depth of 40m.
Ease of Use
There are easier to use cameras out there. Although this one is not that difficult to get to grips with, especially if you are using basic, automatic functions. Part of the reason this camera is that bit harder to pick up is because it has a few extra features than other similar cameras. In my view it is well worth sticking with though.
You can pick up the Canon IXUS 75 for around £195. Other cameras with similar specifications include Pentax Optio S7 (£105), Olympus FE-240 (£155) and the Sony DSC T10 (£175).
This IXUS is slimmer than I remember previous models. It has dimensions of 91.6 x 56.8 x 19.6mm. It has a silver front with a black lens unit. The back of the camera is black. The front dips down towards the top and bottom taking any harshness out of the design.
Power is supplied by a lithium ion battery. Both a battery and charger are supplied as standard. Canon estimates you should be able to take around 210 shots in between charges.
A 32mb SD card is supplied with the camera as standard. I was able to take 18 shots before the card was full. This is enough to give the camera a quick test run. The IXUS 75 is also compatible with SDHC cards.
Click here to save money on SD cards.
Points I like:
Indoor (lowlight) photos
Where it is not so hot:
Slow shutter response with flash
Having reviewed a number of cameras recently that I was decidedly unimpressed with it comes as something of a relief to look at the test photos I took with the Canon IXUS 75. In almost all areas this camera is comfortably above average and in many areas it is far in advance of the competition. I know that you can buy similar cameras at a cheaper price, but this one is worth the extra money. Recommended.
Canon IXUS 75 Front View
Canon IXUS 75 Back View
Canon IXUS 75 Top View
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