The Canon IXUS 230 HS is a slim, funky-coloured digital compact camera boasting an 8x optical zoom, 12.1 megapixels on a back-illuminated sensor using HS technology, a 3-inch LCD screen and DIGIC IV processor. The colour of the camera was sufficiently funky that when removing the camera from its new plastic packaging, I thought that there was another layer of shrink wrapped plastic on the camera to protect it. Apparently not, and that was just the colour of the camera.
The IXUS 230 HS is available in green, silver, purple, blue, pink or black, and comes with all the usual bells and whistles one tends to expect in the current crop of point and shoot cameras like Full HD video recording.
While the majority of new point-and-shoot cameras have begun to integrate touchscreens, the IXUS 230 HS has chosen to skip it unfortunately – at its price point, it’s not terribly difficult to understand why. As such, the interface is somewhat clunky to navigate around, the limited number of buttons in combination with the amount of real estate available for buttons don’t really help in this regard either. Again, it’s unlikely that buyers for cameras at this pricepoint will be expecting an interface that would put a certain Cupertino-based company to shame – and certainly if you use the IXUS 230 HS as a true point-and-shoot camera, there isn’t much navigation to be done in the first place.
The IXUS 230 HS comes with ISO settings from 100 through to 3200, and image quality is excellent all the way up to 800, after which noise starts to creep in. A minor issue if you aren’t a pixel peeper, which you probably aren’t if you use a compact snapper! The range provided by the lens is also respectable, with good reach of up to 224mm (without digital zoom), and on the other end of the spectrum, managing to focus on things even 1cm away in Macro mode. All in all, this is a pretty respectably performing camera that you can easily slip into your tote or pocket when you are on your way to the next outing or club party.