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Design

You'll need to click on the image above to be able to read the actual measurements, suffice to say it's small.. Yes I know I keep harping on about how small it is, but that's the whole point of this camera. It is tiny and you have to say Kudos to Canon for being able to pack so much technology into such a small (yet robust) package. Design is neat and simple, very IXUS (or Elph depending on your neck of the woods). The case material is stainless steel which means as soon as you pick it up it's got that cold, solid feeling.

Canon make a big thing out of their pocket cameras having flat surfaces, this is an important point, it means that you don't accidentally knock anything off, it's easier to carry and store, plus it tends to look cool (always important). One thing inherited from the older PowerShot range and welcome on the IXUS is the automatic lens cover which flips closed just as the lens retracts to protect the glass.. Just makes me wonder why other manufacturers don't do the same thing (instead we get a bit of plastic dangling on a piece of string.. lovely).

The image on the right should give a fairly good impression of how small the IXUS / Elph really is, if you've already got a digital camera, pop the CF card out and compare it to this image. The IXUS is just 15 mm (0.6") taller than the card that fits in it... How much smaller can they possibly get?

In the palm of your hand

Literally... Grip shown here on the left is between your thumb and middle finger (well in my case anyway).. I'm actually not gripping it correctly in this image, top of my thumb should be on the raised dots (but I gripped like this so you can see it better). Despite its small size it does feel fairly stable in one hand and it's perfectly possible to shoot one handed (although not if the shake warning icon is showing). The supplied wrist strap is good but I'd have liked the little sliding buckle as found on the S20, otherwise there's a chance of the strap slipping off.


Rear LCD Display

Well, smaller.. But then you'd expect that on such a tiny camera. Having said that the 1.5" display on the IXUS is perfectly usable, bright and clear with that lovely non-reflective coating which Canon like so much (and so do your buyers).

All the rear-of-camera controls are aligned below the LCD for easy correlation between what's happening on the screen and what you're pressing... Sounds silly but having to use buttons that are too far away from the LCD to alter settings on-screen can prove awkward. No such problems here.

The LCD doesn't have any brightness adjustments, because of that nice non-reflective coating it doesn't really need them.


Viewfinder

Standard small viewfinder, no dioptric adjustment with the normal slightly limited field of view (I calculated it to be about 87% though it's not stated in any Canon specifications).

The view through the viewfinder gives you a targeted AF / metering bracket area, placing your main subject between these brackets will ensure proper focus and metering, you can use a half-press of the shutter release to lock focus before recomposing the scene and pressing the shutter release fully.

There aren't any parallax correction lines for taking close up shots which can end up skewed slightly down/left.

Rear light indicator shows the status of:

Top: Green Steady Focus lock, good light, ready to shoot
Top: Green Blinking Camera Busy / Accessing CF Card
Top: Red Steady Flash charged, will be used for next shot
Top: Red Blinking Possibility of camera shake due to low light
Bottom: Orange Steady Macro mode focusing


Battery Compartment / Battery

The Digital IXUS is the first Canon pocket camera to use Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries (NB-1L). This tiny battery pack outputs 3.7V @ 680mAh and weighs just 29g (1oz). Supplied with the camera is one battery pack and charger (below) which takes around 2 hours for a full charge. Interestingly Canon have also gone with Lithium-Ion on the EOS-D30 and one of their recently announced DV camcorders so I'm sure we can expect to see lots more Lithium-Ion powered devices from them.

The small rubber grommet on in the battery compartment door is for the optional AC adapter / dummy battery arrangement.

This is the European CB-2LE which has a cord connector on the top and sits flat, the CB-2L (US) looks identical but is vertically orientated with an integrated plug.

Luckily both chargers are rated as AC 100-240V (50/60 Hz) which means traveling with either charger simply means having the correct power socket converters.

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