Product Type: Canon digital cameras
Newest Review: ... pictures. Turn it on, hold down take photo button and less than a second later you have your picture. The screen to view pictures easily... more
My favourite camera
Canon Digital Ixus 60
Member Name: pittypomm
Canon Digital Ixus 60
Advantages: small, sturdy and good quality
Disadvantages: not sturdy enough, expensive
I bought my Ixus 60 two Februarys ago with Christmas money from family as a small take anywhere camera to make sure I didn't miss any amusing photo opportunities of my daughter. In general, I would say we are more of an SLR family. I learnt to take pictures on a battered old Praktica LTL3 and my husband has built up an extensive collection of SLRs over many years. So when the first digital SLRs which were marketed at amateur photographers came out, we snapped one up. We have since upgraded to a Canon 30D which we take on holiday and have taken some wonderful pictures. I give you this background simply so that you understand what I am using my Ixus 60 for. Not for taking artistic landscapes or perfect portraits - I use the big camera for that. I chose a small camera simply for portability.
*****Why this one?*****
Well as I have said, we already have a Canon SLR and we are very happy with it. I also know quite a few people who have various cameras in the Ixus range, going from an Ixus II to the one before mine, the Ixus 50. And they are happy with them. The only drawback people point out is the cost of the range. It tends to be on the pricey side. But having said that, it is long lasting. My friend with the Ixus II actually fell down a mountain, breaking his back in the process, with his camera in his pocket. The camera has only a small dent from the experience (my friend recovered, but has four fused vertebrae and a fair amount of scar tissue and internal metal he didn't have before). I hoped my 60 would have the same longevity and durability. So having chosen the range, we set out to find a deal. Never one to pay full price unless it's absolutely necessary, we went to a camera shop to try out the options. We decided the 60 was new enough and that we didn't need the larger screen of the 65 (you lose the viewfinder) or the many souped up newer versions with their extra (way extra) cost. So we high tailed it out of the shop and resorted to the internet. We actually purchased it from Amazon in the end, but there were millions of deals all over the place ranging in price and extra toys. It cost about £150 and we opted to get a memory card elsewhere - 2Gb for about £20. It came with a memory card so small it only fit a few pictures or 8 seconds of video. So that's £170 all in for an up and running camera. Canon's website lists the suggested retail price at £229 for camera alone.
Two days later, the camera arrived, ooh I was excited. But I had to wait - the battery needed to be charged for 18 hours before use. I was patient. I admired the sleek, silvery boxiness of my new camera. This was a plus for me, the newer more "stylish" editions have rounder lines. Give me a box anyday (no, I don't drive a Volvo, yet). And then I tried to read the instructions - but I was too over excited and I gave up.
So, the next day, I slipped the newly charged battery and giant memory card into the camera (super easy) and I was off. And no, I'm afraid I never did read the instructions. But I still have many, many excellent pictures. In fact, I've got to grips with the functions fairly easily without any need for instructions.
If you don't know anything about cameras, or taking pictures, this would still be a pretty easy camera to start with. There is a switch on the back for changing between camera, video and play modes with blindingly obvious symbols. In camera mode, it starts up in auto mode and you can literally just point and shoot. The auto focus works on a half press of the shutter and the area that it has focused on is highlighted by a green box. Or you can choose a point for it to focus on with a bit of fiddling with the settings.
***** Controls *****
There is a menu button on the back as well, next to the screen where you can quickly change the flash settings (auto, red-eye reduction or off), the macro or landscape option, iso setting (high or auto) and change from single shot to self timer mode. In the centre of this menu button is the functions button where you can change just about everything else about the picture settings. I'm not going to go into loads of detail on the technical settings, you can get all that from the canon website if you need it, but I will briefly review what I've used of the multitude of options. There are loads of preset circumstance options which I haven't really used - except when bored on a long car journey. The colour accent option which picks out one colour and makes the rest black and white hasn't lived up to much so far in my experiments and I suspect the effect could be much more easily achieved with photoshop afterwards. My sisters camera does this much better, though is more limited in the range of colours (I think it's a panosonic)
Digital Macro, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks and Underwater (camera not waterproof!). And you can manually change the settings to suit your particular scene (exposure, white balance, my colours (haven't yet worked this out), evaluate (focusing I think), processing (superfine, fine and normal - quality of picture) and picture dimensions.
I haven't so far found a picture that it didn't cope with. The 6 megapixels is plenty (don't be fooled into thinking more pixels means better) and the processing seems to be good (it uses jpg format).
***** Design and Build*****
The camera itself is nice and sturdy. And satisfyingly heavy (I know some people say lighter is better, but I personally consider too light to be distinctly disappointing.) It fits neatly in my jeans (not skinny) pocket or my bag and I haven't even scratched the screen yet (although I have dented the case - not sure how). The camera works nice and fast, perfect for catching those fleeting facial expressions or various firsts. One thing to watch with this camera is the battery life. There's no battery meter - it just tells you when it's getting very low with a panicky beep and red flashing light. This isn't really a problem, and I don't really think you need another battery, just remember to charge it up before you take it out for a whole day. The charger takes a few hours to completely charge the battery, it's easy to plug the battery into it and no parts look all that breakable to me. It only has a charging/charged indicator, red light for charging, green light for finished. Unlike my 30D battery charger which has a system of flashing lights telling you how complete the charging process is. This was a bit confusing at first, but once I realised I just had to leave it until the light went green (should have read the instructions) it was fine.
I haven't used any of the software which came with the camera so I won't comment on that, I'll just say that I haven't needed it as the SD card can just be plugged into my computer and windows software will upload the photos automatically. I would guess there is a mac equivalent.
I was really happy with my little camera. I got a good deal and had exactly what I wanted: a perfect compact for taking snapshots. Of course it wouldn't take the place of my digital SLR, but I can't carry that in my pocket, so my Ixus 60 complemented that and gave me more photographic options.
After using the ixus for about 18 months taking pictures every day, the lens started to make some slightly disturbing noises when it extended and retracted - it basically sounded like there was gravel in the mechanism. It also stopped turning on and off reliably. Now clearly this camera had taken a lot of punishment and had actually served us extremely well so we decided it was time to retire it.
As a replacement we bought the Olympus mju1030, basically for its indestructibility and it's ability to be submerged in water. The Olympus took a bit of getting used to and generally feels like a poor cousin of the old ixus. Especially for pictures taken indoors.
I still occasionally use the ixus, when it happens to be the nearest camera, and it still works reasonably well, despite the odd noises.
Summary: A fantastic compact, get a bargain before they stop selling it.
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