Canon IXUS 130 IS digital camera
A petite Canon digital camera with great image quality
- Excellent clarity, captures colours vividly, f/2.8 aperture, reasonably good performance in dim lighting conditions
- Build quality could be better, buttons are hard to press, top of case creaks, battery compartment can be hard to open, poor zoom control
Canon's IXUS 130 IS is small enough to reside in your pocket so that you can take it anywhere -- but the best part is that it's capable of capturing beautifully clear and vibrant images. It's not a perfect camera though: its buttons can be hard to press and its zoom control is awkward.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Canon IXUS 130 IS is one of the slimmest and lightest digital cameras on the market. It's about 16mm thick and weighs less than 120g, but it doesn’t skimp on features. However, its body is a little creaky and its buttons are not very user-friendly.
The Canon IXUS 130 IS has impressive specifications for such a little digital camera; you get a 14.1-megapixel sensor, Canon’s DiG!C4 image processor, an f/2.8 aperture and a 28mm wide, 4x optical zoom lens. The lens is stabilised and can zoom up to 112mm. It’s housed wholly within the body of the camera until you switch it on, at which point it extends approximately 2cm.
IXUS 130 IS build quality and ease of use
But while the IXUS 130 IS is slim and looks good, it compromises on ease of use: The control buttons on the rear are too close together and slightly sunken in the camera’s body and therefore hard to press; the playback, menu and display buttons are also sunken and not tactile enough; and the battery compartment is too stiff and hard to open. Furthermore, the power button is sunken and difficult to press, and the body around the button creaks when you press it. The zoom control is a tiny rocking lever instead of a ring around the shutter (as it is on the equally slim, 12.1-megapixel Canon IXUS 120 IS) and it’s awkward to use.
Because the body is so slim, you have to hold the camera in a dainty way when you take photos — especially if you need to use the flash, as your fingers might otherwise get in the way and cast a shadow. Because it’s so slim, it can be easily carried in a handbag or jeans pocket and quickly whipped out to capture shots of friends that will in due course end up on Facebook.
IXUS 130 IS picture quality
However, the picture quality of the Canon IXUS 130 IS is good enough to be used far beyond the Facebook realm. Colours are captured vividly and there is nary a hint of chromatic aberration in high-contrast areas unless you view very bright images at their full size. Image clarity is high; you’ll end up with photos that have fine detail, and you’ll be able to crop out unwanted parts to magnify an image without exposing blurred or miscoloured pixels. Likewise, you’ll be able to print photos at A3 size or higher while retaining plenty of detail.
Shot in Auto mode, this picture was exposed properly and the colours look vivid. We didn’t have to fiddle with the contrast and brightness at all.
This is what photos look like when examined at their full size. You can see the bird's eye very clearly (it would be even clearer if he wasn’t always moving his little head) and the feathers are shown in great detail. There is no pixelation, chromatic aberration or overt blurriness.
In this photo you can see that there is good depth of field; the background is nicely blurred, which puts the focus firmly on the flower.
The only problem with the image quality is that at wide angles there is will be some lens distortion and straight lines will look slightly skewed. Images taken in very bright conditions can end up looking overexposed as the smallest aperture that can be used is f/8 and the fastest shutter speed is 1/1500sec. The aperture and shutter settings can’t be manipulated manually, but you can change the ISO speed when in Program mode. The Auto mode does a fine job, however; it can select the appropriate scene mode depending on the lighting conditions and focal length.
Shots taken indoors will be subjected to some noise if a flash isn’t used. In Auto mode, the camera used an ISO as high as 800 without a flash (even though it can go up to ISO 1600) but the noise will only be clearly visible if you view the photos at their native size. When viewed on a 22in monitor or HDTV, for example, the photos will look good. The large f/2.8 aperture, lens stabilisation and reasonably good high ISO performance will allow you to take photos in relatively dim lighting conditions without using the flash. This means that photos taken in a restaurant or at a party can be captured with their natural ambience rather than with the harsh light of the flash. You will require a steady hand when shooting in low-light environments without the flash; we were able to capture blur-free shots when the camera used a slow shutter speed of 1/10sec.
Noise starts to creep into images when an ISO of 800 is used and is prominent in dark areas.
IXUS 130 IS focus performance
We found the focus performance to be hit or miss. Instead of just focusing in the middle of the frame, it would often pick a focus point — or multiple points — towards the sides. Even when capturing the same scene in the same lighting conditions from the same exact spot, the focus point was different almost every single time we half-pressed the shutter. On the plus side, face recognition worked perfectly every time and accurately tracked a face across the 2.7in screen. The smile shutter worked, too, and it can even be used with the timer for self-portraits — you must remember to smile though.
IXUS 130 IS shooting modes
If you don’t want to use Auto mode, you can select from one of the scene modes, which now include effect modes such as Fisheye and Miniature. The Fisheye effect doesn’t let you fit more into a shot; it just distorts the image to make it look like it was taken with a fisheye lens. Miniature mode works well to make large objects appear small — especially from a high angle. It's similar to Diorama mode in the Olympus PEN E-PL1.
The fisheye scene effect will distort the lines in your images to make them look as though they were shot with a fisheye lens.
The Canon IXUS 130 IS also includes an HD video mode (1280x720) and does a decent job of capturing moving pictures. However, it can’t focus on the fly when you change focal length in movie mode. Recordings can be a little grainy, but overall it’s good enough to shoot little travel videos and party antics.
The Canon IXUS 130 IS is definitely a camera for the style-conscious user. It looks good, it’s very slim and it’s a featherweight compared to most compact cameras — even compared to the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX1. It can take very clear and vibrant pictures, and it lives up to the high expectation that the IXUS brand has forged over the years, particularly for premium models such as this one. However, its button design and build quality are from perfect and can make the camera frustrating to use. Nevertheless, if you want a very small camera that can capture great images, it’s hard to overlook the Canon IXUS 130 IS.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip companyNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTJuniper Network SpecialistVIC
- FTWeb Data Entry PublisherACT
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTJunior Applications SupportNSW
- CCApplication Architect - CloudVIC
- FTSenior Network Specialist - Internet Edge DatacentreVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial MarketsVIC
- FTApplication Support Analyst - Accounting SoftwareNSW
- CCLightweight Directory Access Procol (LDAP) DeveloperNSW
- FTSAP Data Migration LeadNSW
- FTInfrastructure EngineerQLD
- FTDocumentation AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTEnterprise Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- TPTest AnalystNSW
- FTICT Project ManagerNSW
- TPMedia AssistantNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTData Storage Support Consultant (EMC)QLD
- CCNetwork and Cloud SMENSW