The Canon IXUS 125 HS's image quality is very good, especially given that cramming so many pixels onto a small 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.

Canon's efforts aren't quite perfect, however. There are small issues with a lack of fine detail in some shots, and the diminutive body size may frustrate less dextrous users.

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.

We liked

Canon's blend of good picture quality, a brand new sensor and processing chip make for a satisfying mix. Plus a highly effective autofocus and exposure metering sit in such an attractive, solid design.

We disliked

Image quality isn't quite enough to take the Canon IXUS 125 HS to the top of its class, and the omission of manual controls and scene modes restrict creative control.

Final verdict

It can be difficult to pack good optical performance, extensive features and practical usability into a camera as small as the Canon IXUS 125 HS. But Canon has indeed provided a compelling blend of attractive compactness, high image quality and enough features to satisfy its target market.

Featuring Canon's latest sensor and processing technologies, and producing high image quality in such a compact form, makes the Canon IXUS 125 HS an appealing package.

However, since it costs around £230/$360 and doesn't quite match the image quality of some of the class leaders, the Canon IXUS 125 HS falls slightly short of the value for money now offered by some established IXUS models.

Consequently we can't quite award the Canon IXUS 125 HS top marks, but this is still a very capable camera and is unlikely to disappoint.