Canon has a compact camera with wide appeal in the shape of its PowerShot SX150 IS. It's a camera that anyone can tailor to their shooting ability, offering as it does an impressive blend of automatic and manual features, supplemented by a set of fun Creative Filters.

Handling is excellent, and although performance isn't class-leading in some areas, the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS produces sharp, natural (but vivid) pictures that are very pleasing.

The 720p HD videos from the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS are equally as good, with excellent sharpness, smoothness and a good level of noise control.

The built-in stereo microphones do pick up some motor noise, though. However, the addition of a dedicated movie record button enables you to react faster to shooting opportunities, and puts paid to one of the common criticisms of its predecessor, too.

We liked

The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS is easy to use, with enough manual control to keep discerning photographers happy. You get a lot of genuinely useful picture-taking technology for your money, rather than an abundance of marketing-driven gimmicks.

We disliked

The occasionally fiddly command wheel/control pad isn't a deal-breaker by any means, but it can be irksome. Despite the sprightly autofocus pick-up, shot-to-shot times are disappointingly sluggish.

Final verdict

Although the new features the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS offers aren't substantial enough to tempt the majority of SX130 users to upgrade, those photographers looking for DSLR-like controls in a compact body that costs under £200 should seriously consider this PowerShot. Its size, versatile zoom and reliance on AA battery power makes the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS a serious contender as one of the best travel compact cameras available today.