Canon IXUS gets reborn

canon ixus 300 hs 1a

The Canon IXUS 300HS, taken with my Canon EOS 5D. It feels good to take a nice product shot.

Canon’s wildly popular IXUS range has been stuck in a rut for several years in terms of design and features. Was I glad when they recently announced that they’d be launching the IXUS 300HS/IXY 30 with the same 10MP sensor from the S90 camera. The latter is the mediocre attempt to counter the wild success of the Panasonic LX-3 (which sports a much better zoom lens, but weaker image sensor) and the price has dropped quickly in recent months (whereas other strong models hardly see price drops).

But back to the 300 HS, which sports an incredibly sexy update to the iconic IXUS design – this time inspired by sports cars like the Ferrari instead of the endless recycling of the original industrial look with sharp edges.

original ixus The original 1996 film-based IXUS.

Yes, the 300 HS is a fingerprint magnet and some people might think the glossy coating is a bit too beng. And some of its small parts are really quite plasticky (eg. zoom dial and back scrolling wheel).

Yet if you hold one in your hands, believe you me, you’ll like it. The fun and sleek look grows on you quickly and this camera has all the necessary features – HD video, strong low light performance with a 28mm zoom lens that offers f2.0 at that focal length, 16:9 native sensor and great Canon image colors. And phew, it’s 10MP instead of some 15MP monster, meaning the image noise will be well controlled.

So after being torn between the red and white design (dammit, I love the yellow the most but it’s not in Singapore), I chose Ferrari Red. This is to replace Goy’s aging IXUS. It’s a bit pricey at $599, but there aren’t any nicer cameras in its class.

And I do like the designer pouch too (which is a little too tight for the camera though).

Check out the Japanese print ads below. I wish they used them in SG, but they didn’t.