In keeping with the fashion-conscious IXUS ethos, the Canon IXUS 125 HS is contained within a svelte metal body with colour options of red, turquoise, lime green, pink or silver.

Measuring just 93 x 57 x 20mm and weighing in at 135g ready to shoot, this is a camera that comfortably fits in a shirt pocket or clutch bag, ready for any occasion.

However, its compact dimensions combined with large 3-inch screen mean there's no space for a thumb grip, so shooting one-handed is a risky affair if not wearing the wrist strap.

Canon IXUS 125 HS review

Build quality has always been a strong aspect of the Canon IXUS range, and the 125 HS is no exception.

The metal housing feels solid and ready to survive everyday abuse, while a flexible rubber flap protects the HDMI and USB outputs.

Buttons are where you would expect to find them and include a large, dedicated video record button.

Canon IXUS 125 HS review

The rear panel controls are also recessed into the body, which protects them but makes the smaller buttons difficult to press without using a thumbnail.

Canon has maintained the same menu style and layout used in previous IXUS models such as the Canon IXUS 230 HS and Canon IXUS 1100 HS. This gives the user a clear and simple interface for controlling the camera's options and settings.

The 3-inch PureColor II G LCD is another element common to other IXUS family members. Its resolution of 460,000 dots is about average for this class of camera, and it's clear enough to be a good image preview display.

Canon IXUS 125 HS review

In Live View mode, the screen has excellent viewing angles. And while it is quite reflective, there's enough brightness and contrast for easy use under harsh lighting.

Because this is an entry-level compact camera targeted for point and shoot users, shooting options are somewhat limited. There are no options for manual control, and even traditional scene modes have been omitted from the features list.

Instead, the photographer is given the option of choosing between either a programmable auto mode or the full Smart Auto option that offers automatic scene detection and selects the most appropriate settings for each shot.