When it comes to compact cameras, there's a Canon model to suit all tastes. Divided into the IXUS (or PowerShot ELPH in the US) and PowerShot ranges, the former is best for point-and-shoot use, while - generally speaking - the latter is best for more demanding users seeking higher-end features, and in some cases, manual control.
However, it's not as clear-cut as that: some of the low-end PowerShot models are less significant than some IXUS models, plus a number of the latest high-end IXUS models offer manual controls and settings that blur the boundaries between the two ranges.
In the US, the IXUS range is known as the PowerShot ELPH series - confirming that, in some cases, the camera's name won't always dictate its ability.
Here are some of Canon's best compact cameras, arranged in current market price order.
Canon IXUS 125 HS/Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS
Price: £135/AU$200/US$150, 16.1MP, 1080p video
The Canon IXUS 125 HS's image quality is very good, especially given that cramming so many pixels onto a small 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor could have potential pitfalls. These are successfully minimised by the HS system and Digic 5 processing engine, which succeed in the goal of producing high image quality in difficult conditions.
It's important to note that those who may occasionally want to experiment with manual settings should look elsewhere. This is strictly a point and shoot camera aimed at those who want to snap and go, and it does this well.
Read our Canon IXUS 125 HS review
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
Price: £210/AU$300/US$230, 12MP, 1080p video
Sporting a 20x zoom lens offering an angle of view equivalent to a 25-500mm lens on a 35mm camera, the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS should be very well equipped for those who wish to travel light. A 12MP rear-illuminated CMOS sensor, coupled with the latest Digic 5 image processor, enables this compact camera to take great quality images, even in low light. The image stabiliser system will also help with taming camera shake when shooting at low shutter speeds.
Full HD video can be recorded and output via the built-in HDMI interface and global positioning information can be recorded for sharing on image and video sharing websites. Advanced photographers will also appreciate the inclusion of manual exposure options, whereas a wide range of automatic shooting options are also included for those who are less technically inclined.
Read the Canon SX260 HS review
Canon IXUS 510 HS/Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS
The Canon IXUS 510 HS (known as the Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS in the US) offers an enormous amount to the casual photographer. The ability to upload images to social networks using the camera's integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi is useful for those who don't want to travel with a laptop in tow. Alternatively, being able to send images to an iPad - which could be loaded with an image editing app - is a good way of processing and sending shots.
Lest we forget, there's a Canon compact camera underneath all the tech niceties, with an impressive 12x optical zoom (28-336mm in 35mm terms), a 10.1 megapixel sensor and Canon's much-vaunted High Sensitivity (HS) System for better performance in low light.
Read the Canon IXUS 510 HS review
Canon PowerShot D20
Price: £260/AU$330/US$290, 12.1MP, 1080p HD video
Canon's rough-and-ready PowerShot provides a good range of beginner-friendly photography features, as well as advanced camera technologies. Along with intuitive point-and-shoot modes, there's a selection of underwater shooting options to make aquatic photo capturing a stress-free experience. Some handling issues – both underwater and on dry land - take a bit of the shine off this camera's overall performance. But what this compact lacks in speed, it makes up for in image quality.
The build quality and ability of this camera to produce consistently well-exposed, detailed images can't be faulted, and additional features such as built-in GPS and Full HD video mode broaden the Canon D20's appeal. It's got a lot to offer, but if you're after an everyday rugged all-rounder camera, some similarly priced rivals may offer a more comprehensive package.
Read our Canon PowerShot D20 review
Canon PowerShot S110
Price: £370/AU$480/US$450, 12.1MP, 1080p video
Aimed squarely at the serious photography enthusiast, the Canon PowerShot S110 aspires to build on the success of its original ancestor - the pioneering Canon S90. It boasts a freshly designed high-sensitivity 12.1MP 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, Digic 5 processor, 0.2 second autofocus acquisition, a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, raw shooting, ISO 80-12800 range and Wi-Fi, among other features.
With plenty to appeal to beginners and more advanced enthusiasts alike, the Canon S110's inclusion of Wi-Fi connectivity adds to its potential attractiveness to tech-savvy photographers too, even if it is tricky to set up.
Read our Canon PowerShot S110 review
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Price: £380/AU$590/US$450, 12.1MP, 1080p video
The Canon PowerShot SX50 is a bridge camera with a 50x optical zoom that covers the equivalent of 24-1200mm. This is a phenomenal zoom range that most DSLR users can only dream of, or perhaps look to achieve at huge expense. On top of this, it also boasts a 100x digital zoom, raw shooting and the same Digic 5 processor we've seen in Canon's top DSLRs.
What bridge cameras such as the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS offer is fantastic flexibility in a smaller, lighter and cheaper package than a DSLR. The trade-off is a smaller sensor and the impossibility of changing lenses. For anybody looking to purchase a bridge camera, the Canon SX50 is easily one of the best options currently available on the market.
Read the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review
Canon PowerShot G15
Price: £440/AU$560/US$500, 12.1MP, 1080p HD video
At first glance, the Canon G15 looks pretty similar to the Canon G12, but there are a few significant differences. The most notable of these is the stacked or overlapping mode dial and exposure compensation dials on the top, and a new f/1.8 lens with 5x zoom.
Canon has manufactured a high quality compact camera in the shape of the Canon G15. It is capable of producing great images with bags of detail, good punchy colours and pleasing shallow depth of field effects.
Read our Canon G15 review
Canon Powershot G1 X
Price: £500/AU$700/US$700, 14.3MP, 1080p HD video
Although the zoom range is limited when compared to other Canon G-series cameras, the trump card of the Canon G1 X is its unusually large sensor. A larger sensor has more surface area to receive light, improving image quality at high sensitivities and boosting dynamic range. Interestingly, Canon has opted to stick with the 4:3 aspect ratio, rather than 3:2 as most APS-C sensors are, even though the sensor in the G1 X is roughly the same height as APS-C format.
In order to make the most of what the sensor can offer, Canon has equipped the G1 X with the latest Digic 5 processor, which promises better control over noise at high ISO sensitivities, faster operation and smoother 1080p video recording.
The 4x zoom lens provides an angle of view equivalent to a 28-122mm lens on a 35mm camera, and the usual array of direct controls found on G-series cameras should make manual operation a pleasure.
Read our Canon G1 X review