Canon’s IXUS series is synonymous with simplicity combined with good image quality and small footprint. The new entrant from the IXUS label, the 220 HS, is a
12-megapixel ultra compact camera providing 5x optical zoom. It boasts Full HD (1080p) movie recording and superior performance with a highsensitivity sensor and Digic 4 processor.
Design and Build Quality
Guaranteed to turn heads, all IXUS cameras feature sleek and stylish designs without compromising
functionality and ease of use, and the 220 HS is no exception. The outer body is made of stainless steel and it feels sturdy. Even the tripod mount is made of metal, which is welcome though the camera is not very heavy. The lens has a three-segment construction and it retreats fully into the body. Like in most compact cameras, the plastic battery/memory card chamber door
appears very flimsy. Unlike film cameras, digital cameras consume lot of power for operation, necessitating frequent recharging of battery. So it would be wise for camera manufacturers to pay
some extra attention to this seemingly irrelevant component.
The 12.1-megapixel Canon IXUS 220 HS uses a 1/2.3-inch Type (6.16 x 4.62 mm) back-illuminated CMOS sensor for imaging. Combining the output of this sensor with the latest Digic 4 processing,
the HS (high-sensitivity) system is believed to produce comparatively less noise even in low light. The camera features a 24–120mm f/2.7–5.9 lens with optical image stabilisation. The wide f/2.7 aperture at the wide-end, along with the IS will help to reduce blur caused due to camera shake. In
normal mode, the lens focuses from 3 cm to infinity at the wide-angle end and from 90 cm to infinity at the telephoto end, while in macro mode, it focuses from 3 to 50 cm at the wide-angle end.
Focus modes are Single and Servo AF/ Servo AE. The AF frame can be altered between Face AiAF, Tracking AF, and Centre. Metering modes are Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, and Spot.
Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-step increments. Shutter speeds range from 15 to 1/2000 sec and ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 3200. White Balance options
are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Custom. The built-in flash has a range of 50cm to 3.5m at the wide-angle end and 90cm to 2.0m at the telephoto end. Though
Canon has not specified the conditions for achieving this range, we believe it is at ISO 100.
The shooting modes of the camera include Auto, Program, Movie Digest, Portrait, Kids and Pets, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist, and Super Slow Motion Movie. The new Movie Digest mode records a short movie along with every still image you capture in a day and play them back continuously like a single movie. The camera can capture continuous frames at a maximum speed of eight frames per second. It accepts an SD/SDHC/ SDXC/MMC flash memory module for external storage. Still images are recorded in JPEG format at a maximum
resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels while movies are recorded in MOV format at a maximum quality of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The camera has a Hi-Speed USB interface along with an HDMI output
port. The 220 HS uses a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot TFT colour LCD.
The Canon IXUS 220 HS is powered by a Li-ion battery pack NB-4L (supplied). It weighs approximately 141 g including battery and memory card and has dimensions of 92.2 x 55.9 x 19.5 mm.
The Canon IXUS 220 HS is sleek and stylish and can fit easily in your pocket. The buttons are large and easy to use. The camera lacks a well-defined hand grip and the all-metal outer shell is slippery. So it would be wise to have the wrist strap attached and latched on to your hand while using the camera. The menus are user-friendly and experienced users of Canon compacts would feel at home navigating through the various settings.
The IXUS series of cameras have been established in the market as high-performing point-and-shoot cameras. The 220 HS is no different as its performance indicates. The camera focused fast and accurately even in low light situations. Images were tack sharp at the centre, but we observed slight deterioration in sharpness towards the periphery. Being a point-and shoot camera,
the IXUS 220 HS sets the apertureshutter speed combination automatically. So we had to do all
the tests on whatever aperture or shutter speed the camera set for the scene. Slight darkening of
corners was observed at the wideangle end with the camera choosing the widest aperture of f/2.7, but
not much as to be of concern. In the test for flare and chromatic aberration, the camera chose f/8
for the scene. Prominent flare was observed even at this narrow aperture along with purple fringing.
Barrel distortion was observed till 60 mm with pincushion showing up from 114 mm onwards.
White Balance was more or less accurate with the camera handling Daylight and Fluorescent light
extremely well. For incandescent light, the pre-set mode performed very well, but Auto White Balance faltered. Native print size of the images was 10 x 13.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 16.67 percent of the screen size, ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 seemed to lack contrast, but we did not observe noise. When
observed at 25 percent screen size, the images showed slight noise at ISO 1600 and 3200. At 50 percent screen size, we did not observe any change in noise characteristics. Images were
usable throughout the ISO range. If the situation demands, you can safely pump the ISO up to ISO 1600 without bothering too much about noise.
Value for Money
The Canon IXUS 220 HS retails at an MRP of Rs.14,995. This seems to me as competitive pricing though the camera does not feature priority modes or special features.
The Canon IXUS 220 HS is a highperforming compact point-and-shoot camera and can be a great tool for the casual photographer who does not want to meddle with too many settings but cannot compromise on image quality. It deserves nothing less than a Best Buy tag.
Effective Pixels : Approx 12.1 million pixels CMOS
Imaging Processor : DIGIC 4
Lens : 24 – 120mm f/2.7–8
Focusing Range : 3cm – infinity (W), 90cm – infinity (T)
Macro : 3 – 50cm (W)
Image Stabilizer : Lens Shift Type
LCD Monitor : 2.7 inch, approx. 230,000-dot TFT
colour with wide viewing angle
Focus Control : Autofocus: Single, Servo AF /
System Servo AE
AF Frame : Face AiAF, Tracking AF, Centre
Metering System : Evaluative, Centre-weighted
ISO Speed : Auto, ISO 100–3200
White Balance : Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten,
Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Shutter Speed : 15 – 1/2000 sec.
Flash Modes : Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Off
Flash Range : 50cm – 3.5m (W), 90cm – 2.0m (T)
Shooting Modes : Auto, P, Movie Digest, Portrait,
Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, High
speed Burst, Best Image Selection,
Handheld Night Scene, Low
Light, Fish-eye effect, Miniature
effect, Toy Camera Effect,
Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster
Effect, Colour Accent, Colour
Swap, Beach, Underwater, Foliage,
Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter,
Stitch Assist, Super Slow
Recording Media : SD/MMC card
Max. Image Size : 4000 x 2248 pixels
Max. Movie Quality : 1920 x 1080 pixels (24fps)
Interface : Hi-Speed USB
Power Source : Li-ion Battery Pack NB-4L
Dimensions : 92.2 x 55.9 x 19.5mm
Weight : Approx. 141g
(including battery and memory card)
+ Excellent Build , + Very good noise control, + Easy to use
– Slippery body, – No priority modes
Design and Build Quality 18/20
Key Features 16/20
Noise Control 5/5
Extra Features 4/5
Value for Money 8/10
Grand Total 83/100