Images are generally impressive. Colours look sharp and accurate, even at the Ixus' lowest ISO settings. There isn't any noise until you reach ISO 200, but even this is just a light covering of slightly off-colour splotches that's barely evident on computer displays and won't show on prints. It's much the same at ISO 400, with a just-about-detectable increase that still won't hash up your hard copies. Noise becomes more noticable at ISO 800 resulting in the loss of a little detail, and adding a little grain to prints.
To our surprise darker colours started to become washed out at this point. However, a reasonable amount of shadow detail still remained. At the camera's highest sensitivity setting, ISO 1600, most fine detail is obscured by noise, and a lot of shadow detail is lost. Rather than a fine grain, the noise is larger and causes a blotchy appearance. It's probably a good idea to stay below ISO 1600 if you plan on making prints and below ISO 800 if you plan to make prints larger than about 10 x 8 inches.
Canon's Ixus 950 IS offers great performance, good image quality and solid image stabilisation, with the convenience of face detection, which seemed to work quite well - better than we expected, truth be told. On the downside, the quality of images at ISO 1600 is a little poor and there is no manual exposure control, plus the on/off button is a little awkward to switch on, though the flipside of that is that it will never get activated by accident. Overall though, the Ixus 950 IS has just about everything you could possibly ask for in a compact camera all contained in a very stylish, durable three-tone metal casing.
Canon Ixus 950 IS compact digital camera
Not being picky but
'This simple feature can make such a difference if you're remotely serious about photography. If the sun's high and bright in the sky or simply reflecting off snow-covered slopes, the ability to actually see the LCD monitor can be critical in framing a shot.'
Now maybe you understand why an optical viewfinder is so important ! I rarely rely on the lcd monitor to frame the shot, I regard it as something that is useful to review the pic and only use it for framing when the viewfinder is impractical.
Small optics and 8.5 MPix
The ixus series has, at least since the 6MPix the problem that the sharpness limitation does not come from the lack of pixels, but from the small optics.
I have a 6MPix model, and even in the best shooting conditions the sharpes edges have at least 3-4 pixels width.
There's no point buying 8MPix if you finally get more pixels but not more information...
$ to £ conversion again
Well nearly amazon.com has it at $386.38. Would the UK consumers in the room please bend over.
What about shutter lag?
Hmmm? Is it slow as a slow thing to AF and take a picture? Thats a big minus on the older models.