Why I love the Ixus 220 (Elph 300)

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I have no bounds to Canon and I use many brands. But I just dig this little silver gadget so I have to give out my recommendations on it.

Chassis
Not plastic but slim steel body that just makes the build quality so much better. Rubber details and big screen with moderate resolution. Fits nicely in your front pocket.

Shutter 1/25, iso 1600, low light 3 megapixels mode. Click to enlarge original foto.

Low-light capabilities
The Ixus 220 HS – What does HS stand for? Some authors claims “high speed”, some “high sensitivity”. The Digic 4 processor is also found in more expensive models as the S90 and G12. Images look great up to iso 800, and you can crank it up to 3200, where the noise is still low. With the low-light mode, you will gain even better quality, but the resolution drops to 3 mpx. This is still acceptable for prints (postcards size at least). With the optical stabilizer, you can alllow the shutter down to 1/4 or 1/8 th second. This blog even calls it the best low light camera.
The Digic-4 also gives a better dynamic range, so you will get more details in very bright parts on the image, eg sunny days.

Getting a wider view. Taken 40 minutes past midtnight, no midnight sun.

Getting a wider view. Taken 40 minutes past midtnight. And sorry, no midnight sun.

The lens
A generous wide angle of 24mm is really something extra. You’ll be able to cover significally more in small spaces, and the shots get dynamic lines and expressiveness. The barrel distortion is low, much better than expected. The optical image stabilizer gives you less blurry images in low light and less shake when recording video. It does take more battery, so it can be set to “shot only” to safe power between the shots.

Miniature mode
The miniature mode captures a time lapse in 5, 10 or 20 times faster than normal speed, and adding color saturation and a fake tilt-shift/dof effect. Strangely, this effect will give a strong impressive of a miniature world.

High speed mode
You problably know the effect from science TV or movies. It used to be found only on very expensice cameras. The silver camera offers 240 frames pr second, wich is 10 times more than classic cinema. Everything is captured 8 times faster, then played back you get a serious slow motion effects. Down side is the resulution drops dramatically down to 320×240 pixels, wich is similar to a small Youtube window.

Eye Fi support
As I described in my wireless workflow, the Eye Fi card can be very practical out shooting.
The Ixus has a few basic features for the card, signalising network and transfer status.

Video features
Full HD 1080P movie in such small camera – Wow! Who would have tought for a consumer pocket camera. I think this qualifies for an alternative to the Go Pro and the Contour HD sports camera. Not as solid, and not with as sharp fiex lens, but better texture and dynamic range than the Go Pro if you ask me. I love to attach it under my Wind Dragon RC airplane. I’m also happy you can now zoom optically while filming, a long missed feature.

Cons

  • The lens does distort and blur the image a bit, especially in the edges.
  • The battery doesn’t last long. It’s highly recommended to get a second.

To sum up, this is the perfect toy camera for me at the moment. It should be brought everywhere, perhaps togheter with a mini tripod for those neat time lapses.

My posts featuring the camera:
http://retromcsmart.com/2011/07/20/oldest-gas-station-in-norway/
http://retromcsmart.com/2011/07/27/free-hugs-day-4-and-5-images/

The latest 220 HS images om Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/powershot_elph_300_hs/

Full review (PC World):
http://www.pcworld.in/product/review/canon-ixus-220-hs-50482011/full_review

11 responses to “Why I love the Ixus 220 (Elph 300)

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  3. I agree, this little camera won me over.
    This is a keeper.

    But do you know if it’s possible to use the time lapse feature without the miniature mode activated?

    • Hi Fred, and thanks for the comment. The CHDK (Canon hardware developer kit) can safely reboot the camera from memory card and give you tons of extra features, like manual control, raw images and programmeable time lapse. I am using this on the G9, but this is yet not available for the 220. You can watch this page: chdk.wikia.com/wiki/ELPH300
      Forcing the shutter to be pressed continously and using sequence mode might work too. I will try it today.

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