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New Canon IXUS 55!
My wife finally succumbed to the allure of digital, so on the weekend we went shopping for a compact digital camera for her. She said that she loves taking pictures but didn't want the hassle of mucking around on the computer to get prints. I told her about photo kiosks and how you can even drop off your memory card - just like you do with a roll of film, and she was sold! Big Grin

Anyway, I did some quick research on the web, and I tell you - shopping for a compact digital camera ain't easy. I was leaning towards either a Olympus Stylus/Mju (all weather) or a Panasonic (for image stabilisation), but the Canon IXUS and Sony W range also caught my eye. In the end, my wife didn't like the pannys at all, and the Sonys were slightly out of the price range, so it was down to the Olumpus Mju 700 or the Canon IXUS 55 (which incidentally, were both on sale and at the same price).

After a bit of a play she fell in love with the Canon (it's sooo cute!) so we bought it, along with a 1G SD card.

My initial thoughts - the construction is top notch, heavier than the Olympus, but the metal casing feels more durable. 2.5 inch screen has a anti-glare on it, and it gains up well in low light. These days compact cameras seem to be forgoing the optical viewfinder in lieu of a larger LCD screen, but they managed to fit one (albeit tiny) on the IXUS 55. I think this is pretty cool because if battery life is a concern, one could turn the screen off to save power. Image quality seems good, and I've always liked the warm colour balance of the flash on the Canons - I find Nikons very bluish. In terms of operation, everything is very quick from focussing, to shutter lag, to shooting intervals, to browsing through pics. One thing that has always irked me about compact cameras is the sluggishness, but I found this one refreshingly quick - even after getting used to a DSLR.

There are some pretty neat touches as well which really add to the cool factor. When you are in playback mode, it uses the orientation sensor while viewing pics so that if you tip it on the side, the viewed image rotates as well! I amused myself for 10 minutes with this feature... Big Grin When moving between images as well, there's a nice fade in effect.

As far as cons go, all I can say at this stage is that there aren't any manual controls, such as aperture/shutter priority or manual metering. There's no adjustment for the amount of sharpening so you have to go with what they give you. Also, to go from auto (wife mode) to "P/manual" mode (where you get to choose ISO, set focus points, etc.), you need to go via the menus. I would have liked it on a dial or something for convenience. I find the scene modes are also hidden away behind menus, although I suppose it's not something that I'd use.

In the end, I'm pretty glad she chose the Canon because I thought it was the better pick... I'm certainly looking forward to going on shoots together with the wife... Big Grin

Good on you. The Ixus is a great line; my first 'real' camera was the original APS version (called 'Elph' in North America) as was my first digital camera. They've come a long way since then! My S400 is almost exactly the same size as my film copy, and takes CF cards. They're still beautifully built. I've never bought a plastic-bodied camera, because these two spoilt me right from the start.

My mother bought a Style (Mju) to match her SLR, and wanted to know why the more expensive camera didn't have the range of features that the compact did. Forget controls; she meant the alarm clock. The mind boggles. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
I went through this last year with my wife, she was also stuck between teh Olympus and Canon, she went the olympus route because it was a little larger and fit her hands with arthritis better.

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