With quick focus and processing speeds, the Canon IXUS 150 feels slick and pleasant to use, with no waiting around for the screen to clear before you can take another photo. Colours produced on-screen and in the final images are representative and true to life, with vibrant and bright hues.
For the most part the Canon 150 creates well balanced exposures and meters correctly. Any under- or over-exposure that occurs can be controlled easily with the exposure compensation setting.
As usual with the IXUS range we were impressed with the macro mode, which works really well, allowing you to get pretty close to your subjects and capture fine details.
There are seven white balance modes on the Canon IXUS 150, but I found that the auto white balance did a decent job at judging most scenes, especially when outdoors. Images came out a little cooler when shooting indoors, but that was easily fixed by switching to one of the three indoor lighting modes, or the custom white balance option, when appropriate.
Sensitivity on the IXUS 150 ranges from ISO 100-3200 (although it's only manually adjustable up to ISO 1600). There's significant noise at ISO 1600 and above when viewing the images at normal printing size, but shooting in good light at ISO 800 or below should keep it to a minimum unless you're viewing the images at 100%. For trickier lighting situations the camera does show some levels of noise at ISO 400, but it's still a pretty decent performance.
Coming with the standard IXUS set of filters, the Canon IXUS 150 renders them well, with Toy Camera and Vivid producing especially interesting images. There are no options for post-processing in the camera, but it does show a preview before you shoot with the art filters, which makes it relatively easy to pick the one you want.
The Canon IXUS 150 produces no noticeable distortion or fringing. The small amount of chromatic aberration found on some images when viewed at 100% isn't likely to be something that would be noticeable when printing at A4 size or below.
Optical zoom performance from the compact is pretty good, with the Optical IS keeping the screen steady while you compose your shot. ZoomPlus digital zoom takes this up to 16x and a Combined digital zoom can reach up to 32x, but it's pretty noisy at its full range, and works best when shooting at 16x or below.
I'm pretty impressed with the Canon IXUS 150 - for the price point, you definitely get a reasonable amount for your money. With Canon's track record of developing quality compacts, the 150 slots neatly into the IXUS range, offering the option of a budget camera without loss of quality in images.
For people who are new to digital cameras, the Canon IXUS 150 should be a good introduction - it's easy to use while still producing great photos and allowing a little room for creativity.
People looking for a few extra features should consider the Nikon Coolpix S3600 - which costs slightly more but comes with 20 million pixels and the ability to retouch on camera. Alternatively, the Panasonic DMC-SZ8 offers 12x optical zoom, Wi-Fi capabilities and a bigger LCD screen.
As always, the IXUS range has produced another quality compact, allowing users to experiment while still producing impressive images. Durable, lightweight and with decent battery life, the Canon IXUS 150 is a pretty good pocket-sized camera.
It would have been good to see a larger screen on the compact camera, as the bevelled edges do make it feel a little small. We'd also like to see a few more fun art filters, and innovative options like social media integration.
A great camera for a novice user, the Canon IXUS 150 is an excellent choice if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive camera that can still produce quality images. There are enough functions to keep most people happy, while the on-screen help system will enable new users to navigate their way around the camera with ease.