Canon IXUS 95 IS digital camera

Canon's IXUS 95 IS is a small digital camera that's fun to use, but don't expect great image quality

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Canon IXUS 95 IS
  • Canon IXUS 95 IS
  • Canon IXUS 95 IS
  • Canon IXUS 95 IS

Pros

  • Small, image stabilised lens, good depth of field when shooting in macro mode

Cons

  • Images were soft around the edges, noticeable chromatic aberration, struggled to expose properly in scenes with a lot of dynamic range, buttons hard to press

Bottom Line

The Canon IXUS 95 IS digital camera is small and convenient. It's useful if you just want to take quick snapshots when you're at the pub or at a party, but don't expect great image quality.

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The Canon IXUS 95 IS is a small and fun to use compact digital camera that's best suited for situations where you don't want to lug something big and heavy around. It's perfect for parties, clubs and concerts, but it doesn't give you full control over your shots; you'll have to put up with the automatic settings that it selects for you. As such, don't expect great image quality out of this camera.

It's a 10-megapixel camera with a 35-105mm zoom lens and it uses the DIG!C 4 image processor. It takes decent photos when the lighting is right, but overall image quality isn't very high. Chromatic aberration is quite noticeable in high-contrast areas and there is some barrel roll on horizontal lines. There is also a noticeable lack of sharpness at the left and right edges of the frame. That said, it's a camera designed for happy snaps and nothing more.

You won't have to fiddle with its settings, as it has only three modes: Auto, Program and Video. The most you can do is put it in Program mode and adjust the white balance, metering mode and ISO speed manually, while the shutter and aperture values are calculated by the camera. Or, you could manually select a predefined scene while in Program mode, but it doesn't have enough scenes to be entirely useful.

The Canon IXUS 95 IS's focuses quickly, even indoors, and its face detection feature worked well; it tracked faces accurately as they moved across the frame. As well as the LCD screen there is a viewfinder that can be used to 'ball park' your subject (as it does not show you the entire frame that will be captured) if the sun is too bright for you to see the screen.

An area in which the Canon IXUS 95 IS excels is macro mode, in which you can take some really crisp images 1cm away from your target. It has a narrow depth of field, so you can get a nice in-focus area in the middle of the image and a blur effect above and below it. It's a lot of fun to use.

One of the big selling points of the IXUS 95 IS is its built-in image stabilisation technology (of the lens-shift variety), which can help you produce clear shots in low light and when using the full 3x zoom of the lens. Don't expect it to do miracles and eliminate blur when taking photos in dim lighting, but in our tests it took relatively sharp shots at shutter speeds of around 1/30th of a second.

The Canon IXUS 95 IS is small — it's 8.8cm long, 5.7cm tall and 2.1cm thick — so it's easy to carry, but its controls are little hard to use. The settings buttons can be hard to press (they are recessed into the body), and the mode switch is hard to change quickly; you invariably end up always missing the middle mode (Program) and going into the Auto or Video modes either side of it. Apart from that, the camera is well constructed and feels solid when you hold it in your hand.

In-camera editing is available if you don't want to wait until your images have been downloaded to a PC to adjust them, and you can alter contrast, correct red eyes and resize or rotate images.

There's not much more to say about the Canon IXUS 95 IS. It's decent for taking snapshots at parties or while travelling, but its image quality won't be great. You'll be able to print images at 4x6in or A4 size with good clarity, as long as you don't crop them too much — the more you crop the images, the more the artefacts and aberrations will become noticeable.

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