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Towards the end of last year I wrote a review a gushing review on my Ixus 100is. Imagine my disappointment then when a few months later an accident with a water bottle leaking in my bag left my camera unusable! Luckily I'd taken out an extended warranty on the camera and took it back to Currys who offered me an exchange with no quibbles. Although I didn't have to pay anything this camera retails at £129.99.
As I really loved my old Ixus 100is I had initially hoped to replace it with the same model. However it turned out that Currys no longer sold this model as it was an older one. I therefore decided to go for the newer version they had - the Ixus 130, after having done some research online prior to visiting the store.
One thing I really liked about my old camera was that fact that it was so sleek and slim. It meant that I didn't have to think twice about taking this out with me. Well, I was amazed to see that Canon have shaved off another 2mm had managed to make the Ixus 130is even slimmer at a mere 17.8 mm! However despite it's sleekness it appears well-built.
The model is available in 4 different colours: Pink, Orange, Black and Silver. I found the pink and orange to be a bit too garish and the silver to be a little boring so I opted for the black. This colour, along with the cameras smoothed edges results in a sleek and stylish finish. The Ixus 130is has a slightly bigger screen compared to its predecessor coming in at 2.7". This does mean that the camera is slightly longer length-wise than the previous model but I think it's a good price to pay as the larger screen makes viewing photos so much better and it gives me a good idea of whether the photo I have taken is a good one or needs to be retaken.
The other buttons on the back of the camera are standard for most cameras - a dial, which allows you to move back and forward between photos, set the flash on or off, erase photos and scroll through the various menu options, which I will describe in more detail later in the review. I have found the dials to be just the right size for me (I have fairly small hands) but I can see it being a bit fiddly for those with larger digits, so it may be worth testing this out in store before purchasing.
Rather disappointingly the Ixus 130is does not have an optical viewfinder. Now, you're probably thinking "Why do you want a viewfinder when you've got such a large screen?!" However, there are times when I find it easier to take pictures through the viewfinder rather than using the screen, particularly under bright light. The lack of viewfinder seems to be the case with most new cameras, as most of the models that I researched did not have one.
Just as with my Ixus 100is, the 130is also has a rather fiddly A/V port where you put in the USB cord to download your pictures. It requires a bit of forcing to get open and I am always scared that I will rip it right off! Once open it just hangs on a piece of plastic string and doesn't quite open far enough so that you have to force it back a little. I generally tend to feel quite nervous when trying to open this and usually try to avoid doing so. Luckily my laptop has a SD reader so the memory card can be slotted directly into it. The battery and memory card compartment are at the bottom of the camera and this simply slides to open, which is considerably less fiddly than the A/V port opening.
The Ixus 130is has an impressive 14.1 megapixels, which is slightly higher than the previous one. Most cameras on sale these days have megapixels in the 10-14 range, though this isn't really an important requirement for me as I believe the megapixel count is only really important if you're going to be blowing up your pictures to poster size or if you want to crop them without losing too much detail. However, I just want to print standard 6x4 photos and perhaps at a push 7x5 so I didn't pay too much attention to this. In fact to save space on my memory card I reduce the number of megapixels down to 9 megapixels and the photos still come out great. If I compare the photos taken at 9 megapixels with those of my very old Sony Cybershot, which had 5.1 megapixels, I can't really tell the difference!
The camera also has a 4x optical zoom. This is an improvement on the previous model and I find that when taking scenic pictures I can zoom in closer and get a better shot. The design of the optical zoom is completely different from the previous model. Whereas before, the zoom was operated by a lever at the top of the camera, which had to be pushed to zoom in an out, this has been replaced by a small raised button which is slided back and forth to operate. Although still easy to operate I preferred the older version as for some reason I found that more intuitive.
That's enough about appearances... what's it like taking photos? I'm not one to trawl through manuals before using an item, preferring to test it out myself first to see if I can get it going. In this regard the camera is exceptionally user friendly and intuitive to use. All the menus and settings are logically layed out so things are easy to find. Of course having used a previous Canon model also helped.
The camera comes with a wealth of inbuilt features all geared to helping you take the perfect shot without too much effort. As with my previous model Canon have included 'Scene detection technology' so that the camera automatically determines the brightness of the subject, the contrast, the distance from the subject and the overall hue. It then searches its inbuilt library of settings to select the perfect one for the scene. I think that's pretty clever. It takes the guesswork out of taking the shot and I get a great picture everytime. I'm pretty snap-happy especially when on holiday and this means I can just point and shoot without fiddling around trying to work out what settings I should choose. However for those who are more technically minded there is the option to manually select which setting to take pictures with and these include low light, night, beach, snow and underwater. The camera also has an inbuilt fish-eye lens and a miniature effect, which I have had great fun with. I am pleased to note that there is no noticeable delay from pressing the button and the picture being taken. This is really useful, especially when taking pictures of young children who are unable to keep still so that the picture you think you're taking is actually the one that comes out!
All the pictures that I have taken with this camera have come out really well. The colours are always crisp, sharp and accurate. The camera also has motion detection technology so that things that are moving do not become blurred. I put this to the test recently when wandering around in central London. I wanted to get a shot of traffic along Oxford St and managed to get a picture of some taxis driving past without any blurring!
I have also taken the time to play around with some of the colour settings on this new model. The camera has the ability to take pictures in black and white and sepia, which has resulted in some quite classy looking shots. In addition there is the colour accent feature which is really quite fun to use. Basically what this allows you to do is to select a colour which you want to keep in the photo whilst the rest of the picture is taken in black and white. I'd seen some shots like this in Covent Garden, particularly of London buses or phone boxes in bright red whilst the rest of the shot was in black and white and always wondered how this was done. I had a go at shooting some of my own shots like this and they came out a treat! I had great fun walking around Central London spotting all the things that were red and making these the focus of my black and white pictures! The other interesting feature is the colour swap. Have you ever wondered what your room would look like painted a different colour? Well, you can use the colour swap feature to try out different colour schemes! It's quite a useful feature I think and one that I will no doubt be using in the next few weeks as I will be moving into a new house.
The 130 does not have a panoramic lens so if you want to take scenic pictures that are bigger than the lens you have to use the inbuilt program called Stitch Assist, which the 100is also had. This will let you take a series of shots and join them together, rather like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I can't say that I am too impressed with this. I find it fiddly and it's very difficult when you've taken your first shot to find the point where the second shot should join on and often I either miss a bit so the picture looks disjointed or capture part of the image twice (though this can be edited afterwards using programs like Photoshop). As such it's not something I use very often, but I thought it important to include this.
The camera also allows you to record short movie clips, though these do inevitably take up a lot of space on the memory card. For this reason it's not something I do very often, but when I have done so I have found the movies to be clear and the sound quality to be quite good.
The camera takes a lithium ion battery, which can be charged separately using the supplied charger. I think the battery life is quite good and I can usually go at least a week without the battery being charged if for example I take it on holiday and use it everyday.
Overall then although I was quite disappointed with the untimely demise of my Ixus 100is the 130is has become a very good replacement. I love the fact that it is sleeker and has a bigger screen. The photo quality is great and I've had great fun with the colour features in this camera. Unfortunately I am not too impressed with the change in design when it comes to the zoom as I found the previous mode of operation to be much better. I also am disappointed by the lack of viewfinder on this model. The Stitch Assist program is also a bit amateurish and I think this could be improved upon. I also am not too impressed with the fiddly A/V port. For these negative points I have knocked off two stars. If you've got this far I'd like to thank you for reading this review and hope that you have found it useful. This review will also be posted on ciao with some sample photos.
I bought this camera for my mum, she picked it out of the argos book, it was on sale so i got it at a cheaper price.
It comes neatly packaged with accessories in a small box, the camera itself is a small neat aluminum design, light and easy to carry around in your purse/bag unlike some other models, i was expecting better quality from a 14mp camera (my sony is 10mp and takes better quality pictures) the quality degrades even more so with poor light. We tried the video function on this but it was so poor my mum decide to buy a separate Sony video camera.
The battery (lithium ion) life on the other hand is great being able to easily take 200 pics without the battery charge warning flashing.
It is easy to use on the other hand and comes with an easy to understand manual but overall for the price paid you would expect better quality from a well known camera brand such as canon.
The canon ixus 130 is an exceptionally compact camera, on par in size with the Nikon coolpix S3000. The 130 is a current model of camera and is, unfortunately for some, of the generation where Canon have decided to cease the inclusion of a viewfinder. As some of you know I work in a camera shop and almost daily I get asked for a compact camera with a viewfinder so this model loses out here when people opt to buy an older model such as the 95 and 100 - it seems odd to me that canon have decided to leave the viewfinder out of this camera as it could be a hige selling point for them and I'm certain that it would help them sell more, however and I quote from a phone conversation with the manufacturers 'no one else is putting them in so why should we?' Anyway I could waffle on about viewfinders all day, but probably shouldn't...
Quick specification list:
- 28mm wide lens with 4x optical zoom
- 2.7" LCD
- no internal memory, takes SD cards
- lithium ion battery
As mentioned at the start of my review, this is a very small camera - it's incredibly thin and will fit in most people's pockets, so if size is an issue (ie the smaller the better) then this has got to be a contender. The body is a high quility feeling metal with a brushed finish - it feels lightweight but durable. The only aspect of the camera that didn't seem durable to me was the cover for the cable connections which feels like it would be very easy to break off.
Ease of use:
Unfortunately I found many of the buttons on the 130 overly small, fiddly and irritating to use - there's a toggle switch on the top which is how you operate the zoom and this is quite harsh on the fingertips. Furthermore there is another switch on the back of the camera which you use to move between auto, scene and movie - the distance between each of these 'options' is very small and it's frustratingly easy to move it to the wrong one, sometimes I have to slide it back and forth several times before I get it on the right function.
Other than the above the camera is quite simple to use - there aren't any complicated settings and you can simply leave it on automatic and press the shutter if you want to have as little input as possible. There are a number of scene selection modes you can choose from if you want which will adjust the cameras settings to make it more appropriate for a given situation, there is also a smile shutter but this is very hit and miss - sometimes it works straight off and at others it won't fire no matter how big the smile is.
One thing I found quite handy is that when the shutter is half depressed to focus, the LCD displays the ISO, shutter speed and apeture settings.
I found that the automatic shooting setting has a slight tendancy to over expose, but nothing major. If you use the 'evaluate' option in the white balance menu then you will get very accurate colour results as it 'meaures' the type of light and compensates to bring it back to what we see with our eye (so no yellow photos indoors). The ISO is adjustable up to 1600, but I found that past 400 it was too noisy to use for anything other than snao shots. Apart from this the photos appeared slightly washed out to me and not overly sharp. All this makes it sound like the photos are poor quality, but they're not it's just that definate improvements could be made.
For what you get in return this camera costs an eye watering £230. Ok so that's not a huge amount even in terms of compact cameras, however if I'm paying this price or more I expect more back and considering that the canon SX210 is the same price, I don't see how they can justify the cost.
Overall I wouldn't really recommend this camera - if you want a small compact camera I'd go for one of the (cheaper) ixus models as the quality is basically the same.
I hate to bore you all with my intro of how I am a professional photographer who also tests and reviews cameras for my camera club as I am sure most of you have heard it all before but I do still get messages asking me how come I have so many cameras, so just to be clear I test them, sometimes for the companies that produce them and sometimes for my camera club itself.
Recently I haven't been doing much on the testing and trialing front as this is a very busy time for me and obviously my portrait work comes first, but when I heard the Canon Digital ixus 130 was doing the rounds I was very keen to get my hands on it.
The Ixus 130 has been around since about February this year (2010) but as yet I have not managed to get my hands on one to test but I have heard many good things about it as well it has to be said as a few negatives, so I grabbed my chance to have a go with it and throw my opinion into the mix.
Firstly it has to be said that when the name Canon is mentioned in photography circles everyone instantly expects good quality and this Ixus 130 provides just that at least in build quality. The camera is sleek to look at and feels very robust in hand so the first two box`s are well and truly ticked.
These days people just go mad for megapixels so when you hear that this camera has 14.1 megapixels you can now say for most people out there it has ticked three box`s but lets stop for a second and take this info in. everyone wants their camera to look good but it is not the most important thing, if you are a serious photographer then you want good photos, and as for megapixels, well in cameras like this with very small sensors at least half of those megapixels are wasted, so really all this camera has achieved so far is to be robustly made.
Apart from megapixels every camera these days has to have certain selling points and features it seems with things like smile shutter and face detection being a must, well the Ixus 130 from Canon has multiple face detection but no smile shutter so it's got 50% of what most people seem to want. For me these are not important settings and if I were to have to choose one it would definitely be face detection so for me Canon have done enough.
The really important things you need to capture great images are things like the ability to adjust ISO which you can with this unit (80 - 1600) aperture settings that you can manually adjust, again on this camera you can (f2.8 to f5.9) and a shutter speed adjustment which again this camera allows (15 to 1/1500 seconds). For me these are the important things and Canon have taken care of them as you would expect.
If you are one of those people who just like to put the camera on auto and click away then this camera of course does allow that although I have to say I found the auto settings to give very poor results in most situations, everything was very washed out looking in bright sunlight and indoors with flash the images were very poor indeed, this can be rectified with a little knowledge in how to set up the camera manually but if you lack that knowledge then you might be looking at a very average outcome for your time using this camera.
Now of course I have to mark the camera down for having a poor auto function but Canon do make their cameras with real photography in mind so I personally have no problem with having to set things up myself and when I did the outcomes were very good and I took some fantastic images with this little camera.
Being photography people, Canon have also given this camera a few other little thngs that can help you get better images such as a continuous shooting mode to help you capture fast moving subjects and a slow synch option on the flash which can be very useful, it also has a macro function which will let you focus in nice and close on subjects so if that type of photography is your thing then this camera does a good job of getting in close.
The Ixus is a nice little camera to use with very well thought out placement of the buttons and controls, there is a mode switch that allows you to flick between the auto, program and video modes with ease and a four way dial to control focus, exposure compensation, the flash and the self timer, I found these very easy to understand and use and the camera felt comfortable in hand at all times.
The Ixus 130 has a 4X optical zoom which is pretty average and I have to say that when used on full zoom the images lost about 30% of their quality so this was a real disappointment for me, another disappointing feature was the speed of the camera, over three seconds to switch on and power up isn't really acceptable these days and about two and half seconds between shooting frames isn't great either.
Earlier in the review you will remember me saying that about half the megapixels are wasted because the sensor is too small well I also found this to create another real problem and that is digital picture noise, because they have tried to cram too many megapixels into a small sensor it means that zoomed photos or those taken in poorer light show huge signs of noise and that is even more noticeable if you dare to up your ISO, although this camera allows you to go to 1600 ISO, the images are virtually unusable after about 200 unless you just want to upload them in very small sizes to the internet, try to crop them or print them any bigger than about 7X5 and you get very poor resulst.
The lens on this camera also lets Canon down a bit, it is very soft around the edges of the image and this is pretty much apparent at all focal lengths and at the widest focal lengths there is pretty bad barrel distortion and there is a slight hint of pin cushion distortion at the longer focal lengths, all this from a Canon camera is very disappointing.
I hate to even bother mentioning the video function, those who have read my reviews in the past will know that I feel strongly that a camera should take still images and video should be left to video cameras but these days almost every compact captures video and most very poorly and the Ixus 130 is one of the worst I have seen in a while, even in good light the video footage has an overall softness and the contrast in the footage is all wrong every time and if you try to use it in poor light then you will get footage like you are watching an old VHS video that the tape has been chewed up on.
I have basically covered everything that should be of importance, I could add that the camera has a good lithium ion rechargeable battery that will allow around 250 shots between charging or that it comes with decent software and a decent manual, I could also say that it is very small and light and will fit into a pocket or handbag nicely but all this to me is pointless because the image quality is poor so nothing else matters for me really.
If you want to print big bold images then this will fail you badly and if all you want is a camera to take photos for your facebook or blogs then you can save about £100 on the price of this and still get a camera that will do as good a job, I feel here you are paying for the Canon name (which for me has been damaged by this camera) and the good looks and design, the body is aluminum rather than plastic and that is of course a good thing but a good looking well built camera that doesn't take a good image is pointless in my opinion.
THE IXUS 130 SPECS:
CCD effective megapixels 14.1 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-112mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,320x3,240
Maximum movie resolution 1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG, MOV (h.264)
Exposure modes auto, program
Shutter speed 15 to 1/1,500 seconds
Aperture range f/2.8 to f/5.9
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance Auto (including face detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Flourescent, Flourescent H, Custom
Additional image controls Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi (face detect), centre, single, tracking
Metering modes multi (face detect), centre-weighted, centre
Flash auto, manual, slow synchro
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer
Memory slot SDXC
Battery type 3.7V 760mAh Li-ion
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Focal length multiplier 5.6x
TO SUM UP:
It has been a very disappointing experience for me using this camera, I am shocked actually at how wrong Canon have got it with this camera, they have given photographers the right control over what they shoot and they have made the camera look very good as well as have a build quality you can believe in and trust but they have forgotten to make sure of the most important thing of all and that is image quality and for a company like Canon that is pretty unforgivable.
This camera will of course catch the eye and as well as the typical silver, black and pink you also get this camera in a stunning orange colour which looks fantastic but do not get dragged into buying this because it looks good as that simply isn't enough. This camera isn't cheap either, it originally cost about £200 it can now be found for around the £130 mark but there are cameras out there that can outperform this on image quality and more that cost less than £100, there are even a few that can better its image quality that cost around half what this one does so please do not buy on looks alone.
Canon has let everyone down with this unit, including themselves. There are tons of very good Canon cameras available and they continue to be one of the best camera manufacturers out there, they just sadly got it very wrong with this one.
LOOKS - 8/10
BUILD QUALITY - 8/10
EASE OF USE - 8/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 4/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 6/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 4/10
OVERALL - 5/10
Thanks for reading.