canon ixus 105 is

The question of megapixels is increasingly tricky - the Panasonic FS30 offers two more than the 105's 12.1MP.

The Ixus 105 turns out 4,000 x 3,000 images at its best quality setting, which is plenty for most print sizes, as well as giving it a theoretical advantage at higher ISOs, as the less-crowded sensor generates less noise.

canon ixus 105
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In truth, the two cameras are surprisingly similar towards the top of their ISO ranges.

Like the Ixus 95, the 105 has a maximum ISO of 1600, and although this setting sees some heavy-handed noise reduction softening the image somewhat we were still pleasantly surprised to note that pictures were usable as long as you resist the urge to crop into them.

canon ixus 105
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Indeed, image quality at ISO 1600 is so good it's a little surprising to see the 105 avoiding tacking on an ISO 3200 option.

Image quality was otherwise everything we expect from Canon.

Zoomed in, the 4x optical zoom lens loses a little sharpness in the corners, but our shots were otherwise well-defined.

The lens is a fast f/2.8 when zoomed out (it's a 28mm-112mm lens in 35mm terms), and even wide open is good and sharp, with our test pics showing the bare minimum of chromatic aberrations.

canon ixus 105
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Of course, setting the lens to wide open is rather hit and miss - the Ixus 105 doesn't offer much in the way of manual controls.

You can choose your own ISO, white balance and metering modes, but there's no way of setting shutter speed or aperture before you shoot.

And while the 9-point autofocus acquitted itself well during our tests, you can't choose a zone yourself.

canon ixus 105
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Start-up time in particular is very good, with the 105 going from off to ready to shoot in just 1.22 seconds.

However, there's not a huge amount of headroom available for those who want to shoot moving targets. Shot-to-shot time was lacklustre at a shade over 3.5 seconds, and while Canon claims the Ixus 105 can shoot at 0.9fps in continuous mode, our tests against a stopwatch put it at 0.38fps.