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Movie Clips

The "big addition" to the IXUS v is the ability to shoot short movie clips. You can select from one of three resolutions: 160 x 120, 320 x 240 and 640 x 480, all are recorded with audio at 11 Khz and saved as an AVI file (Motion JPEG codec). The amount of time you can record in each resolution will differ depending on the content, under our tests this is how it worked out:

  • 640 x 480, 20 fps, max 7 - 15 seconds
  • 320 x 240, 20 fps, max 10 - 30 seconds
  • 160 x 120, 20 fps, max 30 seconds

The four (amateur, I admit) samples below will help to give you an impression of the quality / size of each type of clip. Note that (to me at least) 640 x 480 looks like interpolated 320 x 240.

320 x 240, 20 fps, 10 secs, 370 KB/s, 3795 KB
320 x 240, 20 fps, 5.4 secs, 276 KB/s, 1491 KB
640 x 480, 20 fps, 3.3 secs, 1112 KB/s, 3671 KB
160 x 120, 20 fps, 19.3 secs, 122 KB/s, 2349 KB

It's a shame the IXUS v isn't more "video" capable, it would have been nice to be able to take video clips longer than 30 seconds...


Macro (a little closer) focus mode

The macro focus mode on the IXUS v should really be named "a little closer" as it's not really anything like a macro mode, about as close as you can possibly get is 9 cm across the frame (zoom at the full wide position), which isn't really a macro mode.


Low Light Focus

In a new addition to our reviews we'll now be measuring the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away. Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus.

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), if the subject were less easy to focus upon then you would need more light.

  • Canon Digital IXUS v best low light focus: <0.5 EV *

Because of the IXUS v's focus assist lamp it can focus in almost complete darkness up to a distance of about 5 m (16 ft).


Internal Flash

The internal flash on the Digital IXUS v seems to be identical to that found on last years Digital IXUS, obviously limited by free space it doesn't really have the power to live up to its specified 3.5 m (11.5 ft) range. However, kudos to Canon for fixing the blue cast problem the old Digital IXUS had with skin tones, colours are far warmer and more accurate on the IXUS v.

Skin tone test, much better performance, colour accurate, no cast, even the wall colour is correct. Shame. This is our wide-angle wall shot test, we're just 2 m (6.6 ft) away from the wall here and the flash just doesn't have the power or cover to cope. Colour chart flash exposure. Good exposure, accurate colours without any noticeable cast.


Stitch Assist mode

The Digital IXUS v features two Photo Stitch modes, one from left to right and another from right to left. Just as I commented in the original Digital IXUS review I would really have liked to have seen a vertical and/or square stitch modes too.

When using the PhotoStitch mode the camera displays the last quarter of the previous image to help alignment of the next frame, to ensure proper matching of the stitched images the camera locks exposure and white balance to the first exposure.

The Digital IXUS 300 also comes with Canon's own Photo Stitch software (both Windows & Mac), although it's relatively good it's no match for my personal favourite stitching software, PanaView Image Assembler. The panorama below was produced using PanaView Image Assembler from five images taken by the Digital IXUS v in Stitch Assist mode (you can grab the originals here: one, two, three, four and five)

Click on the image above for a 'half-size' 2226 x 519 image or cliick here for the full size (978 KB) 4452 x 1037 stitch (4.6 Megapixels!)
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