15 Sep 2008

Canon Ixus 960IS

My little Canon Ixus 700 has expired. I suppose it was my own fault, I put it in its soft case and attached it to my belt before donning old waterproof clothes and tackling a heavy outdoor job in torrential rain. After a couple of hours it was just as wet inside the waterproofs as it was out. My little camera drowned quietly in bed. The lens steamed up and refuses to come out to play, and it now raises only a pathetic bleat when I switch it on. I’ve tried taking out the battery and drying the camera out it in the airing cupboard, but to no avail.

Once I certified it as dead I immediately set about finding a replacement. It had to be just about the same size and weight as the old Ixus 700, but higher on pixels. Eventually I chose another Ixus – the 960IS.

It has been on my belt now for just over a couple of weeks and I am, so far delighted with the camera.
I really got chance to try it out the other day when I visited a Bloody Island in Mahon Harbour, on Menorca. I was there to explore new locations for my photography holidays in Menorca.

The camera behaved beautifully and did everything I could have wished. Even interior shots in very difficult light conditions proved no problem with judicious adjustment of the exposure compensation control in the ‘M’ Manual mode. This ‘M’ is not a true manual mode as it does not enable you to change the aperture or shutter speeds – it’s a sort of half-way house. But if you can work within the limitations, it is perfectly adequate for many situations.

One of the secrets of getting outstanding quality with these small cameras is to keep the ISO as low as possible. When the ISO is raised to the maximum 1600 on this Ixus 960IS, the results are, to be kind – noisy. However, there are some situations when in order to get a picture with any sort of atmosphere (avoiding flash), that noise just might be a price worth paying.

So far I’m pleased with the Ixus 960IS and its 12 Mega pixels are providing me with some excellent quality images.
The camera was bought from Amazon for £222. Postage free.

Top photograph
The IS (Image stabilisation) has worked well – this shot was hand-held at 1/4sec. ISO200 and it is very sharp. I ave desaturated the colour in Photoshop because I think bw adds to the interest of the picture
Photograph 2
The Canon Ixus 960IS
Photograph 3
The Ixus 960IS has coped very well with the wide range of light strengths in this situation. I simply set the Exposure Compensation value to minus 1.5 to achieve even results and not ‘burn out’ the stronger light through the doorway

Photograph 4
Exactly what a compact camera is good for – giving you the ability to capture those fleeting moments without the hassle of carrying a heavy camera. This shot was snapped from a boat as it left Bloody Island, Menorca


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