Canon IXUS 970

Canon‘s new compact digital camera – the IXUS 970 – looks the business, and with good reason. It is one of the most impressive (and powerful) that they have ever built. In fact, it is so high quality; it should well be able to compete with your old SLR (though possibly not your brand-new SLR with the fancy lens).

The blurb from Canon states:
With a powerful 5x zoom lens, the Digital IXUS 970 IS is well equipped and intelligent, but never compromises on style. Its compact body is packed with features including an enhanced optical Image Stabilizer.

What about how it actually works though? Well, with 10.0 megapixels I hope you’re also happy to fork out for a large memory card; otherwise you might as well not bother. Nonetheless, the 5x zoom works really well, with no distortion and enhanced optical IS technology.

To cover the other features of the camera, it has red-eye correction, face detection technology (to cancel out blur and artefacts), motion detecting (as previous), DIGIC III processor (that apparently makes your photographs much more life-like) and finally eighteen different shooting modes. Should you get bored you can of course switch to sepia, black and white, sunset mode, night mode, macro mode and many others.

As with all modern cameras, Canon hasn’t just thought of how the camera functions – the form is also important. The hand-held edge curves toward your hand, giving you a decently sized surface to hold onto. The Multi Control Dial is apparently quick and simple. Those who grew up with the technology shouldn’t have a problem with it; others might find it a little fiddly.

The 2.5″ PureColor LCD II is extremely high quality
– one could almost say top of the range. The viewing angle is wide, there’s good contrast between the colours and thanks to the anti-glare you’ll even be able to view it in full light. None of this ‘I can’t see what’s going on!’ anymore.

Finally, in case you’re thinking ‘well my camera does all of this’, does your camera include a movie option such as Long Play? The idea behind this is that you can be extremely arty and capture a gradual scene such as a sunrise and then play it back. An impressive feature indeed. Whether you’ll actually be using it for anything beyond the first novelty go is another matter…

If you’ve taken a look at the sample images, you’ll see that they are of course extremely high quality. This is one of the few cases though where the marketing is true. Things have moved on so far from my lowly 2.0 megapixel digital camera that when I saw the Canon in action I just thought that I had one. The only concern I had was the low-light imaging quality, but even that was covered with the 4-stop advantage.

Overall, if you want a camera that is quite flexible for pictures of various types then you won’t go too far wrong with the Canon. It is quite stylish and slick, and reasonably easy to use. As long as you’re happy with the outlay of about £279 (seems average for about this level of camera) and the price of a decent SD card then you should be taking great photographs in no time.

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