The Canon IXUS 240 HS is a stylish, pocket camera. It has 16 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens. Looking at the features on offer there are two that stand out as big attractions. These are Wi-Fi connectivity and a touch control LCD screen. In addition the IXUS 240 HS is able to shoot High Definition Movies. It can also create slow motion movie clips.
Compared with other pocket digital cameras at this price point the IXUS 240 HS has the following:
If you would like a small, touch controlled digital camera, but you also care deeply about picture quality then you are likely to find the IXUS 240 HS a good choice. When it comes to the quality of the pictures it takes it is up there with the best cameras in this category. If you like the idea of transmitting pictures by Wi-Fi that is also likely to be a big attraction as there are very few digital cameras offering this feature.
Megapixels and Zoom
The IXUS 240 HS has 16 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 24 - 120mm in 35mm format.
This is one feature that makes the IXUS 240 HS stand out against the competition. Very few digital cameras offer the ability to transfer photos by Wi-Fi. You need to set up details of where you want to transfer images to using the menu system. Once that has been done transfer is very easy.
You can use SD, SDHC or SDXC cards to store images.
As with the vast majority of the latest digital cameras power is supplied by a lithium ion battery. Canon estimates you should be able to take up to 170 shots between charges. Both a battery and a charger are supplied as standard.
You can shoot Full High Definition Movies. This is the highest definition currently available for a digital camera. Canon have included Image Stabilisation for movies as well as still images. This should give your video clips a smoother look.
You can also shoot short movie clips that can be played back in slow motion.
The LCD screen is 3.2 inches in size.
Canon have equipped the IXUS 240 HS with the following preset shooting modes: Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), High-speed Burst (4.0MP), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (4.0MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Snow and Long Shutter.
For close up work the camera can focus from 3cm away from your subject.
Picture Quality Summary
Picture quality compares very well against other pocket cameras. The pictures this camera takes are in sharp focus and there is an additional touch of quality over and above what I am used to seeing from this type of camera.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
The main point that stands out from this picture is the edge to edge sharpness. There is a small loss of detail in the lightest areas of the shot, but this is unlikely to be much of an issue unless you are looking at full size images.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
That extra quality mentioned in the summary comes into play with this shot. When a lens is zoomed out completely many digital cameras struggle to produce a really sharp shot. That is not the case here and the end result is a shot that has a much greater degree of sharpness throughout the picture. As with other Canon digital cameras if you enlarge the image to full size on a computer screen or make an exceptionally large print you are likely to see some evidence of purple fringing at the edges of light objects.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
This is another above average shot. The biggest difference between this and similar shots taken with other small pocket cameras is the way sharpness is maintained as you move away from the centre of the photo.
Once again the IXUS 240 HS does very well when it comes to overall picture sharpness. The brickwork on the building has a greater degree of clarity than you normally see. As in the second test shot there is a small amount of purple fringing showing if you enlarge the image to full size.
Almost every digital camera is capable of producing sharp looking portraits when you are a few feet away from your subject. The IXUS 240 HS has no problems with this shot. If you are looking to take a lot of shots of friends and family from relatively close in this camera is a good choice.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
When you take photographs using flash there are three main factors to look out for. The first is that there is enough light, the second is that the light is spread evenly away from the centre and the third is the light is not so strong that it washes colour out of the picture. The IXUS 240 HS does well on all counts. There is just about the right amount of light and it reaches out into the corners of the shot.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
You will need good light if you want to take portrait or any other type of photograph indoors without using flash. The IXUS 240 HS is as good as any small snapshot camera in these conditions.
For a small compact digital camera the quality of the macro mode is very impressive. You can get close into your subject and sharpness is about as good as you can hope for with this type of digital camera. Backgrounds have a pleasing blur to them with your main subject standing out from the background.
Canon digital cameras seem to be able to produce particularly vibrant colours. Together with the brightness in the pictures this makes a particularly appealing combination.
Noise levels are not an issue with the IXUS 240 HS as long as you are taking pictures in reasonable light. If you decide to increase ISO levels to around 800 or 1600 or if you are taking shots in lowlight then you will see some noise in your pictures. This is the same with any pocket camera.
Sony DSC TX55 Rating 85/100
If the touch screen was perfect then the Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 would be a truly outstanding digital camera. As it is picture quality is hard to beat for such a small camera. Style and design is very impressive and the features on offer give you more or less everything you are likely to want in a point and shoot pocket camera and a bit more on top. It can be very hard to find the perfect touch screen so if touch control is important to you then this camera is well worth a place on your short list.
Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review
Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100
Panasonic offers some excellent digital cameras and can normally be replied upon to produce crystal clear photos. As with previous reviews of cameras in the FX part of the range the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX90 just does not match up to those usual high standards. Focusing is softer than it should be and you are likely to see the results of this even with relatively small sized prints.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review
Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX70 Review
Review Date: May 2012
The Canon IXUS 240 HS is one of the better touch controlled digital cameras when it comes to picture quality. For this type of digital camera it has a good set of features although there are one or two current buzz features missing. The touch sensitive screen can be a bit awkward to use, but you are likely to get used to the way it is set up over time. This is also only likely to be an issue if you find yourself wanting to make a lot of changes to settings. All in all a very good camera, but there are a few points to consider to make sure it is the right camera for you.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
93.5 x 56.8 x 20.8mm
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
It is easy enough to take a hold of the camera. Although the screen takes up almost all the room on the back there is still enough room to squeeze your thumb so that you can hold everything steady.
The flash is situated in the top corner. This means that you will need to take care when using the flash as it is very easy for a finger to stray over the flash unit and block out some of the light.
LCD Screen Quality
The LCD screen is very easy to view.
Touch Control Quality
To my mind the set up of the menu system and functions is not as good as other brands offer. It can be tricky to select the option that you want to use. Main functions such as the self timer and selecting macro mode are split out from the menu itself into a separate section. Options are squeezed in and can run into each other a little. This can make it frustrating to select the option you want if you are using your fingers rather than a stylus.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
Shutter response times when flash is turned off are slightly on the slow side. If you are using flash times become much slower. This is an issue with Canon digital cameras in general.
Design, Build Quality and Finish
Canon do produce stylish digital cameras. This one is no exception. The black model used for review had an attractive matt finish. The build quality appears to be good.
As this is a touch controlled camera there are very few buttons and dials to get used to. On the top of the camera is a switch to select the shooting mode, an on/off button, a ring to control zoom and the shutter button sat inside the zoom ring. On the back of the camera is a single button for reviewing photos.