The Canon IXUS 255 HS was announced in January 2013 and is a compact camera which has built-in Wi-Fi, 10x optical zoom and an all new Hybrid Auto mode. It is available in silver, black and pink for £200.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Features
The Canon IXUS 255 HS has built-in Wi-Fi for easy image sharing with your wireless network, printer and mobile devices. It has a 12.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor with the HS System to aid low-light shooting. There is a 10x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-240mm, that can be extended to 20x using ZoomPlus. There is Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation) to keep your images sharp.
When shooting there is Smart Auto which automatically selects from 58 scenes and adjusts the camera settings. With Hybrid Auto the camera captures a 4 second movie clip before each shot and combines them in to a 720p HD movie. There are a number of creative modes, such as toy camera effect and miniature, and 2.4 fps continuous shooting in full resolution. You can shoot at up to 6.2 fps at 3 megapixels. Face ID lets you register 12 faces so that they are focused as a priority in every shot.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound, optical zoom and Intelligent IS to keep your movies steady. You can also record super slow motion videos.
12.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
10x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-240mm lens)
Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation)
3.0 inch 460k dot PureColor II G LCD screen
Full 1080p HD video recording
ISO 80 - 6400
1cm minimum focusing distance
Hybrid Auto mode
2.4 fps continuous shooting
Available in silver, black and pink
Canon IXUS 255 HS Handling
The Canon IXUS 255 HS has a compact metal body, easily small and light enough to carry in your pocket, but there isn't anything which aids grip. On the rear of the camera is a sliding switch which allows to go straight to the Hybrid Auto mode. The other modes are selectable from the menu when not in Hybrid Auto mode. There are also movie record, playback and menu buttons as well as a d-pad with function / set in the middle. The d-pad gives quick access when pressed to macro, flash, display and exposure compensation. The latter also activates the Wi-Fi when in playback.
The menu system is easy to use. To adjust camera settings, press the function button, this displays the available options along the left hand side, you then just need to use the d-pad to cycle through. The rest of the camera settings are available via the menu button. The 3.0 inch screen is bright and clear, with a decent 460k dot resolution.
To use the Wi-Fi you need to enter playback and press the Wi-Fi button (which also acts as the exposure compensation button when shooting). The screen which appears shows you the varying options available, represented by symbols - not particularly easy to understand initially. Other than that, the Canon app is easy to use in order to download images and videos from the camera.
Battery life is rated at 220 shots according to CIPA test results, if you use the Wi-Fi quite a lot, you may run the battery down fairly quickly and therefore may want to carry a spare. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
Continuous Shooting - Flash
The continuous shooting modes record in full 12.1 megapixel resolution, with burst mode limited to 3 megapixels.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images have excellent colour reproduction and are well exposed. Landscapes have excellent blues and greens. Portraits have fairly decent skin tones, but there is a little red-eye when using the flash.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a good amount of detail throughout at both ends of the lens, with purple fringing rarely evident. When using the Clear Image Zoom there is clearly a loss in image quality, but you wouldn't notice if you were to share the images on the web. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows excellent macro pictures to be taken.
Canon IXUS 255 HS ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 80, 100 and 200. There is a touch of softness in places at ISO 400 and are softer at ISO 800. Images at ISO 1600 show a loss of detail with a fuzzy white noise effect coming in at ISO 3200. The white noise worsens at ISO 6400, with image quality OK for use on the web.
Canon IXUS 255 HS White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the AWB has an orange cast in the images, with the incandescent preset performing well. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs well, the fluorescent preset has a slight hint of a magenta cast.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Digital filters
Digital Filters - The IXUS 255 HS has a range of creative and colour modes to add creativity to your pictures. There are many examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, you can use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. You'll also be able to watch a video recorded using Super Slow Motion Movie mode.
For a camera that has built-in Wi-Fi and 10x optical zoom, the Canon IXUS 255 HS represents good value for money. It's image and video recording quality is also excellent, whether shooting close-up macros or subjects in the distance. You're best avoiding shooting with ISO's of 1600 upwards as image quality does suffer, and we aren't overly impressed with portrait shots, particularly as there is red-eye when shooting with the flash. Battery life is quite low as well, so you might want to carry a spare. The Canon IXUS 255 HS isn't a particularly unique camera, but you get great performance for your money.
The Canon IXUS 255 HS has excellent image quality, 10x optical zoom and Wi-Fi all packed into a compact body.
Canon IXUS 255 HS Pros
Excellent image quality
10x optical zoom in a compact body
Full HD video recording with stereo sound
Good macro shots
Decent value for money
Canon IXUS 255 HS Cons
Quite a low battery life
Red-eye in portrait shots when using flash
Noise effects image quality from ISO 1600 upwards