Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon IXUS 850 IS

 

Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here

 

 

There are times when carrying an SLR is impractical (and in some cases dangerous) so I have always liked to have a small camera with me. The IXUS is the latest in a long line and is probably the best one so far (though I still regret parting with the Rich GR1).

 

The main selling point of the 850 is the wide-angle capability. Most compacts only go to the equivalent of a 35mm lens but the IXUS does a 28mm equivalent. I take most of my shots there, and if someone develops a compact that starts at 24mm I'll buy it! Normally I'm using this camera indoors or in a tight space and I want wider than I can get. The camera gives a bit of barrel distortion out wide but fortunately I don't shoot architecture so it doesn't matter much.

 

Though the lens is the important bit, this camera does have many other good features. The lens has a fairly wide aperture and the camera does fairly well at high ISO. This means that indoor shots are possible without flash, and the image stabilisation also helps when the subjects are not moving. I've also found the face detecting auto focus very useful.

 

Perhaps the most useful accessory ever is the waterproof housing. This is a quality piece of kit capable of serious diving use, and that means I'm perfectly happy using it on the beach, in a swimming pool, walking in the rain etc. I get pictures that otherwise would not be possible as shown on this page.

 

 

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Nigel Atkinson