Canon Ixus 430 digicam

More cool than tool? Canon's huge-selling Ixus 400 has been given a makeover and rechristened the Ixus 430. It continues along the same vein as the older model, but has been encased in an attractively finished aluminium shell, instead of the metal and ceramic body of the 400, writes Andy Jameson.

Canon Ixus 430There's a new feature added too, in the form of a share/print button, which is rapidly becoming a standard feature on digital cameras. The button makes emailing pictures and direct printing a snip, and supports both Canon's Direct Print and PictBridge.

The DIGIC processor has also been updated providing faster shooting and better colour than the previous model. For movie buffs Canon has added a new in-camera movie-editing feature. This allows very simple editing, and is obviously not meant to replace Adobe Premiere, but is useful for deleting scenes and making space on the Compact Flash card. Movies are captured to QVGA size and the camera allows up to three minutes of recording with sound.

One of the disappointing aspects of the camera is the tiny 1.5in viewfinder screen. Other manufacturers are incorporating up to 2.5in LCDs on similar sized cameras, so why is Canon lagging behind? Worse still, the screen isn't as bright as some of its competitors and can be difficult to see in bright sunshine.

The camera is easy to use, though, with an automatic exposure system. It has a very limited manual mode - it's really about pointing and shooting, and on this level it does the job. The flash and AF is improved over the 400, with better exposure and fewer blurred shots in low light.

Picture quality is more than acceptable for a camera of this type, with excellent colour and sharpness, though there is the occasional purple fringing around areas of high contrast, where building edges and bright skies meet for example.


The Canon IXUS 430 is a fashion and lifestyle camera, rather a than an enthusiast's machine. It's attractive, easy to use and looks good next to your iPod, making it more cool than tool.

The formula is obviously working for Canon though, and the Ixus success shows no sign of abating.

Canon Ixus 430
Rating 80%
Pros — Looks, simplicity, easy to use
Cons — LCD, some fringing, price
Price £330
More info The Canon UK site

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