Canon Digital IXUS 960 IS

This new top of the range digital compact cameras is one of the very best available. Heres why.

Pros
Solid yet compact build with Titanium shell
Optical Image Stabiliser helps prevent camera shake
12.1 Megapixel sensor can provide excellent image quality, particularly at ISO 200 and below
3.7x optical zoom
Retains an optical viewfinder allowing you to turn off the screen and carry on shooting when the battery Is low
Great ergonomics makes this camera a joy to hold
Face Detection AF/AE/FE
Red-Eye Correction
Nice 2.5" LCD screen
XGA and Long Play VGA movies
Decent flash range for a small camera (better than the Sony T200 for example)

Cons
High Megapixel rating makes photos more prone to digital noise than similar 8 Megapixel models
Would have liked to have seen a 3-inch screen on this top of the range model
No fully manual mode
Cant use zoom whilst recording movies
Optical viewfinder is tiny making its use somewhat uncomfortable
Some competing have a better zoom range (Sony T200 has 5x optical zoom)
Cant save pictures in any uncompressed picture format.

This is an excellent camera for many reasons (optical image stabilisation, compact, excellent build quality, picture quality etc.), but we may be reaching the point where increasing the number megapixels in such a compact camera arguably may not provide increased image quality. It is no longer all about Megapixels. With this in mind, you should also consider the excellent Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS 8 Megapixel camera, with a useful 28mm wide-angle capability and fast operation, or indeed the Sony T200 reviewed here last month.

Competitive Internet price: £246.85 inc. VAT

Star Rating: 9 Stars All things considered, this is still one of the best digital compact cameras ever made.

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