Canon ixus 1000 hs

Despite coming in at nearly 300 quid, the Canon IXUS 1000 HS is predominantly a point of click camera. There's no PASM dial (a switch near the power button lets you toggle between Video, Program and Auto mode) and again, you have to dig into the menus to adjust ISO and white balance.

Despite its power and high sensitivity, the IXUS 1000 HS can never pass as an SLR replacement compact or back-up. Apart from the limited manual controls, the design is sometimes seriously compromised. The camera manages to feel crude and also fussy at the same time.

Having accidentally activated Stitch Assist, for example, it took ages to work out how to deactivate it (it's classed a creative effect). And more experienced users will soon tire of having to keep delving into the menus or manipulating the rear wheel just to adjust basic exposure settings. It's just grating on a camera costing this much.

If the design and ergonomics are a let-down, the actual camera performance is much better. The lens is great, and even at full 10x zoom, Canon's Image Stabilization technology does a great job of keeping everything sharp. You certainly need IS, as there's no proper hand grip and the camera's shiny surface makes it feel quite slippery.

The IXUS 1000 HS is reasonably fast, too. Start-up is 2 seconds max, and it can fire off 3.7 frames per second. HD video, meanwhile, is recorded at 24 frames per second. Indeed, HD is the saving grace of this otherwise rather unremarkable Canon compact camera, as we'll see later.