HOME / PRINT
Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS
Another compact camera — the Canon IXUS 100 IS — joins the rat race of tiny ultra compacts that try to pack as many attractive features, while cutting back on a few integral ones. We got our hands on this smooth-skinned critter, and here's what we think of it...
To start off, the IXUS 100 IS is both tiny and light, measuring 87.0 x 54.5 x 18.4 mm and weighing just 115-grams, placing amongst the most portable ultra compacts out there. The camera's sleek body's covered in smooth, silver powder finish plastic, with sandwiched black plastic in the middle. Its slim exterior hasn't a single edge jutting out, and well burrowed buttons, ensuring that it slides in and out of your pocket with ease.
The top side of the camera cradles the shutter button, around which is a slim zoom toggle ring. Besides it sits a tiny power button. On the facing side of the camera there's the HDMI/USB connector flap, placed at the top left corner. Below it is a three-way toggle switch that helps select between Auto, Scene and Video modes. The preview, function, display and menu buttons are placed around it, along with a 4-way navigation pad. Besides it is the camera's 2.5-inch LCD screen.
Right above the LCD screen rests an extremely tiny optical viewfinder. Since it's to small to serve any practical use, all it's there for is to boost the spec sheet.
With a great finish, a well designed, portable body, decent button placement, and an overall great feel to it, the IXUS 100 IS boasts of great build quality. Does it do equally well where features are concerned? We'll just have to find out...
The Canon IXUS 100 IS has a really tiny list of modes. While it does support pictures of up to 12.1 megapixels (which is commendable), supports HD video (1280x720 @ 30 FPS), it falls short in areas such as optical zoom (only 3x, but that's forgivable considering the size of the camera), and its shortage of basic modes (which, on the other hand, is NOT forgivable) sours the deal ever further.
It's not all bad though, and the camera makes up for its drawbacks by scoring high where performance is concerned. To begin with, its auto-white balance is spot-on, and color reproduction is vivid. Where it stands out though, is the detail level of the shots - the IXUS 100 IS took much more detailed shots than almost all of the compacts we've reviewed in a while, which is respectable!
The camera performs decently where its ISO sensitivity is concerned too. Shots were usable up to ISO 400, which is commendable for an ultra compact.
The down side is that there's no night mode dedicated to taking shots without flash. The camera's Night Snapshot is only good for taking pictures at well-lit places at night. Dimly lit shots, that would make decent pictures on other ultra compacts, come out extremely under-exposed.
There's no dedicated macro mode either, but the Program Auto mode lets you set your camera to macro. The results are impressive and high on detail.
In spite of good build quality and better-than-average performance, the Canon IXUS 100 IS lacks an impressive feature-list by honing some of the fewest scene modes I've seen in an ultra compact. Even its manual functionality is limited to a Program Auto mode that's very limiting; so with really few scene modes and limited manual functionality, it makes it hard to recommend this camera to either enthusiasts (since they'd like more manual functionality) or the casual photographer (since they'd want more scene modes). As it stands, if you're a casual photographer who wants high quality shots, but doesn't mind the handicap of limited modes, the IXUS 100 IS might just fit the bill. Its MRP is Rs. 15,995.