Kudos to Canon for introducing the new manual 'Long Exposure' mode on the IXUS 330, it allows you to manually select exposures of up to 15 seconds. This mode is specifically designed for taking night exposures. Note that the IXUS 330 automatically enables a 'dark frame subtraction' noise reduction feature for exposures longer than 1.3 seconds. Overall the IXUS 330's ability to capture night scenes is excellent (much better than we would expect from an ultra-compact).
|"Long Exposure" - ISO 50, 8 seconds, F2.8|
|"Long Exposure" - ISO 50, 15 seconds, F2.8 (some 'black pits' elsewhere in the image)|
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Just like the IXUS 300 the IXUS 330 doesn't suffer from any pincushion distortion at telephoto, but does have approximately 1.1% barrel distortion at full wide angle. This is in line with what we would expect of an ultra-compact digital camera lens.
|Barrel Distortion, 1.1% @ wide angle||Pincushion Distortion, 0% @ telephoto|
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
Even when shooting in extreme situations where we would expect severe chromatic aberrations (such as the sample below) we didn't see anything to severe. Using our standard chromatic aberration test shot we were able to generate a very slight fringing effect although this appears to have been amplified by blooming.
|Very limited purple fringing in every day shots (image @ max aperture F2.7)|
|Our now standard chromatic aberration test shot - visible chromatic aberrations.|
Overall Image Quality / Specific Issues
Last years IXUS 300 delivered very good image quality, although images did have a tendency to look a little flat (low contrast) with slightly under saturated colours. No such complaints here, it looks as though Canon has listened to owners and reviewers alike, the 330's images have both good contrast, good dynamic range and good colour saturation. Indeed, the IXUS 330 delivers some of the most colourful images (without being over the top) of any camera at this level. If you want even more 'zing' you can always choose the 'Vivid' Photo Effect option. Noise also appears to be lower, ISO 50 images have a clean almost noise free appearance without sacrificing resolution.
About the only thing I could find wrong with the IXUS 330's images were the occasional yellow / blue moiré patterns which appeared in image detail approaching the camera's Nyquist frequency.