Solid Performer, Excellent Output
Purchased this to replace Ixus 100 IS (which I also found to be a great compact). ISO performance is good to 800 and as good as you would expect above. The 14x zoom range is useful (especially compared to the 3x of the 100 IS) whilst retaining a compact portable form. The 3" screen is detailed enough and I like the ratio of the screen which is great fo movie shooting. Though the autofocus can take its time in certain specific circumstances, generally the 1080p movie results are fantastic and with the inclusion of mini HDMI out can be easily viewed on your TV. The inclusion of full manual control allows for enhanced creativity and the user interface is straight forward and will be familiar to previous Canon compact owners, though I did have to refer to the manual twice regarding more specific options. Photos can be taken in 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 which is a great compositional tool, and there are a plethora of different modes to play around with (miniature effect is quite fun).
Overall this is a fantastic camera, it gets 4.5 simply because there will always be a slightly better model 6 months down the line (but such is life). It has been suggested by some that the auto pop up of the flash on start up is annoying. This may be true if you only have one hand, I however have both and can hold the flash down whilst powering up to avoid the problem, and anyway the further the flash and the sensor are apart the better.
Auto white balance is not perfect but even my 5D MKII doesn't always get it right. Continuous drive could be faster if i was to be picky.