Canon Digital Ixus 70 compact camera
Review Apple has the iPod - Canon has the Ixus. And like Apple, Canon is continually revising and refreshing its Ixus brand. So, is the Digital Ixus 70 a case of a radical product overhaul or just the same chocolates in a different box?
First impressions are that the Ixus 70 isn't the most exciting camera to look at. It’s basically a rectangular slab finished in brushed aluminium and black. Now, don’t get us wrong, it’s not ugly by any stretch of the imagination. Unlike some digital cameras, you wouldn’t want to hide it from your friends. Its design tells you that this is a solid, reliable camera – a sort of Ford Mondeo for the camera market.
Canon's Digital Ixus 70: the Ford Mondeo of cameras?
The Ixus 70 is pretty compact (85.9 x 53.5 x 19.4mm) and light (125g), so when you’re about to leave home, it’s not a case of having to stuff a brick into your bag or pocket.
At the side is a compartment for battery and memory card (SD/SDHC). Round the back, there's a 2.5in LCD screen comprising 230,000 pixels. Also at the rear is a speaker, a mode switch, for selecting camera, movie or playback, and the standard circular controller for setting the flash mode, ISO, macro and delete/drive/timer. A display button lets you change the... er... display mode, and there’s a menu button too.
"That sounds very interesting - I'll have to give it a go."
In fact I did, I stuck the firmware onto a card and although it's a bit fiddly (the raw files are in a peculiar Canon-specific format), it's very interesting. Flash sync at 1/1600th of a second, minute-long exposures, and focus bracketing (thus allowing for huge depth of field, if you stack the photos) in a camera costing pennies!
The lack of Wide-angle isn't a Canon compact thing- I have an IXUS 850 and that has a 28mm-equivalent lens.
Thanks for the photos - it's good to be able to look into the refurbished Rotunda and see what they've done to it!
It's our policy here at The Register Hardware, that if a product is available to purchase, then it is eligible for review it. Regardless of whether it's the very latest in that particular range or not.
Five by five
"With open-source firmware loaded via SD-card this camera can do things like 65-second exposures down to 1/10,000 second as well as generate RAW images"
That sounds very interesting - I'll have to give it a go. My main concern with the Ixus is that it feels as if the software has been deliberately crippled so that the camera doesn't overshadow the rest of Canon's range. Physically it feels pretty solid and it's an excellent pocket size, but the almost total lack of manual controls bothers me - that, and the .jpg processing, which is smeary at higher ISOs. Hopefully with .raw this can be turned off.