Canon IXUS 230 HS review

A slim 8x zoom compact with high sensitivity sensor

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Editor's Choice


  • Excellent image quality, even at high ISOs
  • Slim metal body
  • High quality 8x zoom lens
  • Responsive autofocus
  • Good value for money


  • Menu button oddly positioned
  • Limited exposure control
  • 8.7fps shooting limited to 3MP resolution

Canon's IXUS range has long been synonymous with stylishly designed compact metal-bodied cameras, such as the IXUS 310 HS, IXUS 220 HS and IXUS 115 HS. The latest line of IXUS cameras, including this Canon IXUS 230 HS and the more expensive Canon IXUS 1100 HS, sport Canon's HS technology, which uses a high-sensitivity 12.1MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor and the latest DIGIC 4 image processing engine to improve the quality achieved at high sensitivities.

This technology should enable pictures to be taken in low lighting conditions, retaining the original atmosphere of the scene, without bleaching the ambient light with flash.

The DIGIC 4 processor on the Canon IXUS 230 HS also has a feature called iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space), which analyses the scene to best set up the exposure and focusing, slightly in advance of the picture being taken. The idea with this technology is that it should provide a more responsive experience for the photographer.

The Smart Auto mode takes this further by automatically selecting the appropriate scene program for the conditions.

Canon ixus 230 hs

Fast action can be captured on the Canon IXUS 230 HS with either the high-speed Burst mode, which can take 3MP shots at a rate of up to 8.7fps, or the Super Slow Motion Movie feature. Videos can be recorded at frame rates up to 240fps and played back at 30fps, albeit at reduced resolution.

The main show-stopping feature is the 8x zoom lens with optical image stabilisation, which is an improvement over the 5x zoom lens fitted to this camera's predecessor, the Canon IXUS 220 HS.

Canon ixus 230 hs

The lens has an aperture range of f/3.0-5.9, which is quite respectable for a slim compact with a large zoom range. Its optical image stabilisation, which is useful for stills, also works continuously during video recording to help reduce the shakiness of handheld movies.

Video recording is possible in 720p high definition at 30fps. The movie files are saved in the popular iFrame format, which should make the camera as friendly for Apple computers as PC systems, because no conversion should be necessary to import the files into iMovie.

Canon ixus 230 hs

The current trend for creative effects in compact cameras hasn't passed Canon by. Several effects can be chosen, including ones that recreate the look of shooting with a toy camera, a fisheye lens or a tilt-shift lens. Other more conventional effects, including monochrome and super-vivid, are also available to choose from.

The Canon IXUS 230HS is available for around £230, which seems good value with all the specifications considered.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyIXUS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Wink Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, QuickTime MOV
Weight (Approximate)140 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height56.8 mm
Width95.8 mm
Depth22.1 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 40 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model230 HS
Product NameIXUS 230 HS Compact Camera
Product LineIXUS
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5270B006
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With an 8x zoom lens, Full HD and the low-light skills of the HS System, the fashionably slim IXUS 230 HS is the perfect partner for nights out. Smart Auto lets you focus on living life to the full.

Package Contents
  • IXUS 230 HS Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-4L
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year