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Canon have this to say about the camera:
"With 3.2 Megapixels, the superbly styled Digital IXUS 30 is perfect for detailed prints up to A4 size. A new UA (ultra-high refractive index aspherical) lens offers outstanding image fidelity in an incredibly petite form, making this one of the smallest Digital IXUS cameras with a 3x optical zoom."
You can find more information on their website.
The Camera: It's
very compact and made out of silver metal.
Size Comparison: Compared to a Pentax PC-550 35mm automatic.
Specifications / Features:
Average box contents
- a larger memory card and a case would have been nice. It's nice to see
a printed manual.
Battery usage: Up to 140 images with the LCD screen on and 400 images with the screen off according to Canon - this is very good considering the small size of the Lithium-Ion rechargable battery, which is rated at 760mAh. Battery life seemed very good.
Menu Options / Modes: The camera mode is selected using the Play/Movie/Photo switch top right.
Photo mode/menu: The menu button brings up the menu screen as shown on the right below:
Screen / LCD display in photo mode: (shown on the left) The screen is a good resolution, and updates smoothly - the colours appear accurate. There is no live histogram available and the screen is clear and the text and menus are easy to read. Optical Viewfinder: The electronic viewfinder is a bit small for me as I wear glasses - although on this size of camera, it's quite rare to get an optical viewfinder.
options are: AiAF, Self-timer, AF-assist beam, Digital Zoom, Review, Date
Stamp, Long shutter, Stitch assist.
Setup menu options: (shown on the right, above) Mute, Volume, LCD Brightness, Power saving, Date/Time, Clock Display, Format, File No reset, Auto rotate, Language, Video system.
Theme options let you customise the start-up image, sound, and other camera sounds.
Movie options are: Standard, Fast Frame Rate, and Compact - In standard further options are: White Balance, Effect, Frame rate (30 or 15fps), Size (640x480 or 320x240).
Playback (Review) mode/menu: The menu button brings up the menu screen as shown on the right, below:
Playback mode: Scrolling through the photos is quick. The zoom is fairly quick up to 10x.
Playback menu options: Protect, Rotate, Sound memo, Erase all, Slide Show, Print Order, Transfer order.
Picture Size / Quality: The camera takes the following size pictures, and the following number of images will fit on the 16mb memory provided with the camera:
You can fit a small number of images on the 16mb memory card - a larger memory card is definitely recommended, unless you want to use the lower image sizes / higher compression options in order to fit more pictures in memory. There is a good choice of image sizes, and there is a very good choice regarding image compression.
A larger memory card is relatively cheap, and highly recommended, I would recommend at a bare minimum a 128mb or 256mb memory card, and preferably a 512mb memory card, or larger, especially considering the relatively low prices - the larger the memory card, the more photos you will be able to take. If you are likely to go on holiday then the largest memory card you can afford would definitely be worth investing in, as you don't always know when you will next be at a computer. Listed below are links to memory cards that will work with the Canon Digital IXUS 30:
128mb SD memory card
Speed: The camera is very quick to switch on and take photos - however the camera can occassionally 'hunt' for the focus in darker indoor conditions. The screen updates are quick and smooth (in good light). The playback mode is also fairly quick. Playback mode allows you to zoom as close as 10x - this seems quick. The camera has a very quick continuous shooting mode (2.8fps). The camera shutter response seemed quicker than normal when pre-focused (although slightly slower than the Casio Exilim EX-S100).
Ease of use: The camera is easy to use, although the camera does have a lot of options and features. The controls on the back of the camera are fairly easy to use - the menus are responsive and easy to read. The camera is ultra-compact, although not as small as the Pentax Optio S series, and not as thin as others. The menus are also easy to use once you get used to them, and the options are big enough and easy enough to see clearly. The modes are easy to access, quick and simple - there's a fully automatic mode as well as various scene modes for simple point and shoot operation.
Ergonomics and Buttons: (Feel, placement, labels, etc) The buttons are fairly easy to use, and they are in a good position. There seems to be the right amount of buttons. The buttons feel okay, the shutter release is quite decent. The buttons are labelled fairly well. I thought the camera felt good ergonomically despite the cameras small size, the camera felt solidly built. I especially like the zoom control on the IXUS series cameras - however the design seems fairly conservative compared the the Olympus Mju Mini or the Casio Exilim EX-S100.
Image Quality: Here are some sample photos/video(s) taken in various settings, such as Inside, Noise, Outside, Zoom, Macro, Movie to demonstrate the quality of pictures taken and also show different features of the camera. Larger versions of these photos, plus more photos are available in the new gallery!
Inside: The camera has good colour. It has a fairly powerful flash, although don't expect too much, as it struggled with the indoor photo above which was taken from the other side of the room. The camera did a good job at focusing the majority of the time, thanks to it's focus-assist lamp. Red-eye didn't seem to be a problem. Images had fairly high noise, especially when left on automatic, although it wasn't too bad.
Noise: Noise is generally a bad thing - it removes detail, and gives a grainy effect over the image. With digital cameras noise can be a real problem as digital camera noise is often made out of blue, red or green dots. As the ISO setting increases, pictures tend to have more noise. Noise is most noticeable in dark areas of photos. The camera has an Automatic mode for ISO levels, and manual ISO settings (ISO50, 100, 200, and 400) - below you'll find the noise test image, plus actual pixel crops from the image taken at different ISO settings.
Noise levels appear low at ISO50. At ISO100 noise is just visible, and at ISO200 noise becomes more noticable and in my test photos it was acceptable, at ISO400 noise seems high - but not terrible.
Outside, the camera had very good colour, with good contrast and saturation. There was good detail, although images were slightly soft. Noise seemed quite low. I didn't notice jpeg artefacts in the images.
Zoom: This camera has a 3x optical zoom lens and a built in 4x digital zoom - in the case of this camera the digital zoom basically takes a smaller area of the photo and enlarges it using software blurring the image so that it is not pixellated. Generally it's best to avoid using digital zoom as it degrades the quality of the image and, often, better results can be obtained by using a photo package such as Adobe Photoshop. I've included examples below to show what the zoom is capable of.
Lens noise and zoom: The lens is quite loud. The lens is quick at going from wide to telephoto - there are 6 steps between wide and telephoto. This gives you good control on how you frame your subject.
Other Image Quality issues: Purple fringing was slightly more evident than I would have hoped for.
Macro: To use this camera in macro mode, you switch to macro mode - you can use the macro mode at wide angle, all the way to telephoto. You can use the flash in macro mode. The camera can be roughly as close as 4cm away from the subject from the front of the lens in Macro mode.
The macro mode is very good - the camera does a good job of toning down the flash (as long as you leave ISO on auto), and colours and detail are good.
- 320x240 - 30fps / 15fps (with 11khz / 8bps mono sound) - you can't use
the optical zoom / digital zoom with sound. The movie is recorded as an
.AVI file. Length is only limited by the memory card size. The quality
of the movie(s) is good - the VGA mode is also good, 30fps is also good.
The movie mode is further enhanced with a 60 frames per second movie mode
Summary: The Canon Digital IXUS 30 is a very compact 3 megapixel digital camera, with a 3x optical zoom lens, and a 2" screen. The IXUS 30 offers very speedy performance, good image quality, excellent video modes, and a very good macro mode. The camera is excellent value for money for an ultra compact camera and should consistantly produce good results. The camera's only weaknesses are: a weak flash, some purple fringing, slightly soft images, and lack of more advanced controls.
I would recommend the Canon Digital IXUS 30 to anyone looking for a fast and easy to use ultra compact digital camera - the small size is especially useful if you want a camera that will easily fit into any pocket or purse that you may have, especially if it means you're more likely to take the camera with you as you're more likely to get the photo you want.
This camera almost recieved the Highly Recommended rating, however I feel that the camera is unnecessarily limited in controls, meaning that more advanced photographers may find themselves feeling limited by the camera. (Especially if compared to the slimmer, and more stylish Casio Exilim EX-S100)
What I like:
What I don't like:
Remember to have a look at the test photos in the new gallery.