The Canon Digital IXUS 75 is a stylish slimline compact camera with an enormous LCD screen and plenty of bits under the bonnet.
While 7 megapixels is by no means the highest resolution around, does the IXUS 75 have enough tricks up its exquisitely tailored sleeve to make it worth the £150-£200 price tag? We tested to see if the IXUS 75 was a significant improvement over the popular IXUS 70.
The IXUS series is one of the most stylish compact ranges around. The IXUS 75's two-tone black and silver styling slashes diagonally across the frame, and looks great with a milled black ring around the lens. At just 20mm deep, the plastic body feels light yet sturdy but is prone to scratches.
The IXUS 75's best design feature is the enormous 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen. This gives loads of extra real estate for composing or viewing your images.
Considering that there aren't many features on the IXUS 75, there's quite a lot of buttons. The circular clickpad and central function button on our model felt rather gummy and loose in their housing, while the function button is slightly too bulbous to make the surrounding pad truly comfortable.
However, the clickpad's ability to sense where you're resting your finger and display the options onscreen is a clever twist. You can also customise the print options button as a shortcut to adjust settings like exposure compensation and white balance while in shooting mode.
The IXUS 75 is a little light on features. There's no optical image stabilisation or internal memory, and the features you do get are rather lacklustre. The f/2.8-4.9, 3x zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to 35 by 105mm is pretty standard.
Unlike other compacts, the IXUS 75's face detection merely finds one face per photo. The flash options are just on or off, and red-eye reduction can only be applied manually in playback mode by moving a frame over the subject's eyes. It's fiddly and best left to your photo software.
You don't get any internal memory but we actually like that, as compact onboard memories are usually so paltry as to be utterly pointless. An equally paltry 32MB SD card is bundled with the IXUS 75 (nine pictures, anyone?) so you'll have to invest in more memory.
There's the usual wealth of scene modes, white balance presets and broad ISO range, but neither manual control nor aperture or shutter-priority. Menus are correspondingly simple, with the only minor inconsistency being that the delete button calls up a general menu instead of going straight to the delete function.
The IXUS 75 goes some way to redeeming itself with its all-important focus assist lamp, often omitted on budget cameras, for helping the autofocus work its mojo in low light.
The self-timer is also well-thought out, allowing you to set your own interval up to 10 seconds, or opt for 15 or 30 seconds of face-aching grins.