The Ixus 200 IS measures 99.9 x 53.4 x 22.9mm and weighs around 180g with battery and card. Its brushed metal body is nicely contoured and the camera looks and feels classy. A shame then, that Canon hides the USB and mini HDMI ports behind flimsy plastic lugs, and the battery/card flap doesn’t inspire much confidence when it comes to longevity either.
Looks the part, but interfacing protection lacks finesse
There are just three operating modes – Auto, Scene and Movie, which are selected by a small slider on the top. The power switch is a small triangular button but, thankfully, the shutter button is a conventional size and shape. In addition to the usual multi-control rocker, there’s a control dial, which can be used for scrolling through menus or images.
Switch on is fast – around one second. And if you select the Auto mode, Canon’s Smart Auto system will do everything for you, using scene detection and face detection technologies. If you want to be more adventurous, you can opt for one of 20 shooting modes, which include program, portrait, panorama and beach.
Being a touch-controlled camera, this interface needs closer examination. If you set the Ixus 200 IS in Auto mode, you can use the touch screen to switch the flash on or off, or operate the touch focus system. The latter works like this: if you want to focus on say, a face, simply touch the face on the LCD screen and four small white pointers lock onto it. If the face moves across the frame, the AF system continuously tracks it – this works very well.
In Program mode, the touch technology also allows you to adjust exposure compensation using a numerical scale running along the bottom of the screen. You can change the compensation level by either tapping a figure – the scale runs from -2 to +2 EV in 1/3 step increments – or running your finger along the scale.
In Auto mode, only a handful of menu functions are accessible from the touschscreen
It’s a neat system. Touch control can also be used for selecting shooting modes, and you do this by scrolling through three screens, each showing six icons. Tap an icon once to select a mode and then a second time to confirm your choice, and it’s done.
Next page: Sample Shots
I got one for Christmas - grey import from America so a lot less then the uk rrp
We have had a lot of snow and the snow mode it offers is excellent took a fantastic photo of my wife and son just by pointing the camera at them - don't really need a viewfinder just experiment with the settings!
Overall I'm very impressed with the camera
No viewfinder ..
.. won't buy!
Bought an Ixus without viewfinder and it's hopeless on bright days when there's all that snow about - also hopeless when you're in the hills trying to quickly line up a summit photo in a force 9 gale !
Viewfinders and Pocket Lint
Just to fuel the viewfinder discussion...
I've owned two Canon pocket cameras over the past 8 years, models S200 and SD600. The optical viewfinders on both quickly collect pocket lint and obscure the small viewing hole. I'll admit, I'm pretty rough on my cameras, carrying them in my jeans pocket pretty much every day. Nonetheless, it seems to be a consistent design flaw ("under engineered feature?") on the models I have owned. Perhaps they've revised this since the mid-2000s models, but I doubt. And honestly, I don't think they expect anyone but "old people" to be using viewfinders these days. Personally, I wouldn't miss it if it were gone.
The underwhelming specs sound about like what I'm used to in a Canon pocket camera. But they have treated me well. I'll be keeping this one in mind for when my old SD600 finally bites the dust (it's close!).
The problem with compacts when you can't see the image is that due to the way people hold them, usually at arms length but not level with the eye, it's very easy to tilt them up or down.
A set of eyes will also do the same job. I'd have said that on a bright day with plenty of snow about focussing it would be more of a problem than pointing it in the right direction. I'd get used to missing viewfinders - they're a thing of the past on compacts.