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Canon have this to say about the camera:
"With supreme quality and designer chic, the 7.1 Megapixel Digital IXUS 700 epitomises Canon's commitment to excellence; combining spearhead technologies to put more than just style within your reach."
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 Lomo LCA-1 35mm film camera - a medium/compact sized compact 35mm film camera.
Specifications / Features:
Decent box contents, although with the camera's 32mb of memory, you will need to buy a larger memory card.
Battery usage: Up to 160 pictures with the supplied battery. Battery life seemed average, and the figure for the included battery is about average for a compact digital camera.
Menu Options / Modes: The camera mode is selected using the rotating dial.
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 resolution with 118,000 pixels is about average, although it updates smoothly and the colours appear accurate. There is a live histogram available, the screen is clear and the text and menus are easy to read. Optical Viewfinder: Quite typically the optical viewfinder is quite small.
Function Menu options are (in manual mode): Manual / Digital Macro / My Colours, Exposure, Auto White Balance (inc custom), ISO, Effect (Vivid, Neutral, Low sharpening, Sepia, Black and White), Compression, Image Size.
Photo menu options are: AiAF, Self-Timer, AF-Assist beam, Digital Zoom, Review, Date Stamp (postcard), Long shutter, Stitch Assist.
Scene modes available (Above left): Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater (with optional underwater kit), Indoor, Kids and Pets, Night snapshot
My Colours (Colour swap shown above): Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Colour Accent (select a colour to keep, leaving the rest of the picture black and white), Colour swap (swap one dominant colour in the picture, such as the McDonald's red, and replace it with another colour or your choice, such as blue as shown in the picture above), Custom colour (+ or - Red/Green/Blue/Skin tone).
Setup menu options: Mute, Volume, LCD Brightness, Power saving, Date/Time, Clock display, Format, File no. reset, Auto rotate, Language, Video. Theme options (start up image, sound, operation sound, self timer sound, shutter sound etc).
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 quick up to 10x. Playback mode displays photo settings, exposure compensation, date and time, as well as a histogram.
Playback menu options: Protect, Rotate, Sound memo, Erase all, Slide show, Print order.
Picture Size / Quality: The camera takes the following size pictures, and the following number of images will fit on the 32mb memory provided with the camera:
You can fit a small number of images on the built in memory - 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 a good choice regarding image compression.
A larger memory card is relatively cheap, and highly recommended, I would recommend at a bare minimum a 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 700:
Find the latest
prices for SD memory cards at Amazon.co.uk: 128mb: £9.99,
1gb (1000mb): £38.99.
Speed: The camera is very quick to switch on and take photos - the focus assist lamp helps the camera focus in darker indoor conditions, low light focusing on the IXUS 700 seemed quicker than the Sony W7. The screen updates are quick and smooth (in good light). The playback mode is also quick. Playback mode allows you to zoom as close as 10x. The camera shutter response seemed very quick when pre-focused - and shot to shot time was also noticably quick. The flash recharge time also seemed quick.
Ease of use: The camera is very 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 function / menu buttons may initially confuse although once you realise the menu button is more of a setup menu, it becomes easier to understand. The camera is compact and fits very easily into trouser pockets. The menus are also easy to use, and the options are big enough and easy enough to see clearly. The modes are easy to access, quick and simple - there's a basic mode for simple point and shoot operation, as well as scene modes to help beginners.
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 quite good ergonomically. There isn't much in the way of a hand grip, and the "Perpetual curve" may mean it's easier to drop the camera. The zoom control seemed decent. The USB/AV cover fits very flushly into the body, unfortunately this makes it quite difficult to open.
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 Canon Digital IXUS 700 Sample Photo Gallery!
Inside: The camera has good colour - It took a good "Heather and Flower" photo. It has a decent flash, and copes well with group photos. The camera did a good job at focusing the majority of the time. Red-eye didn't seem to be huge a problem, although it was noticable in these photos.
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, 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 / 100, although some is still visible. At ISO200 noise becomes more noticable but is still acceptable, at ISO400 and above noise seems high and detail is being lost due to noise reduction. In the full size version of the ISO400 test version it's possible to see random black dots caused by noise.
Outside, again the camera had very good colour, with good contrast and saturation. There was good detail, although some images were slightly soft. Noise seemed fairly well controlled. I didn't notice jpeg artefacts in the images. The Canon Digital IXUS 700 did a better job of the shops photo compared to the Sony Cybershot W7 (both photos were taken at the same time). Purple fringing is quite noticable.
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 3x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom is capable of.
Exposure / Metering on the photos of the clock towers seems good, leaving the main subject (the clock tower) correctly exposed, however it has resulted in some burnt out highlights / burnt out sky.
Lens noise and zoom: The lens is fairly quiet. The lens is quick at going from wide to telephoto - there are about 6 steps between wide and telephoto! This gives you good control on how you frame your subject.
Other Image Quality issues: I did notice purple fringing in some photos, i.e. the clock tower photos. Purple fringing is fairly low, however it would be nice if there was less.
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 5cm away from the subject from the front of the lens.
The macro mode is good - colour and detail is good, and the camera allows you to get close to the subject. Images did seem a bit soft - and benefitted from sharpening. The custom white balance meant this picture turned out better than the same photo taken with the Sony W7.
Movie: 640 x 480, 30/15fps 320 x 240, 60*/30/15fps (* upto 1 minute) unlimited length videos with sound can be recorded. The movie is recorded as an .AVI file. Unfortunately you can't use the optical zoom whilst recording videos. The quality of the movie(s) is quite good, colour is good, the camera also does a good job in low-light. The frame rate is good.
Summary: The 7
megapixel Canon Digital IXUS 700 is a very good digital camera. The easy
to use camera is capable of very good results, although there is some
purple fringing and images are slightly soft. The camera gives you a lot
of options, such as 'my colours', scene modes, custom white balance etc,
and would be best suited to beginners - as the more advanced may find
themselves frustrated by the lack of manual controls. The macro mode is
good. The camera is good value for money at around £275. I would
recommend this camera to someone looking for a quick, high resolution,
highly pocketable digital camera, as I was very happy with the camera,
however I would recommend you have a look at the cheaper Fuji
FinePix F10 as well.
What I like:
What I don't like:
Remember to have a look at the test photos in the new gallery.