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).
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.
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,
|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!)|