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Canon IXUS 115 HS Digital Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the featured-packed Canon IXUS 115 HS digital compact camera.

|  Canon Canon IXUS 115 HS in Compact Cameras
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Canon IXUS 115 HS front lens

The 115 HS was added to Canon's IXUS range of digital compact cameras in January 2011, aimed at being slim, stylish and fun. It is available in grey, silver, pink and blue for £149.00.
Canon IXUS 115 HS front

Canon IXUS 115 HS: Features

The 115 HS is packed with features including a 12.1Mp sensor, 4x optical zoom with optical image stabilisation. The Smart Auto mode will detect from 32 scene modes making it simple to take superb images. There are also a range of filters available to add that little bit of extra creativity to your images.

Movie Digest will capture up to 4 seconds of the action before a shot is taken. The clips are then all joined together to create a VGA movie of your day.

If you like a camera which can shoot HD images then the 115 HS does not disappoint. The camera can shoot at full 1080p HD at 24fps for a maximum of 10 minutes. If space is a premium on your memory card it can also shoot videos at 720p HD as well as 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 VGA's all at 30fps. The camera can even shoot super slow motion videos at 120 and 240fps and in miniature mode at 6, 3 and 1.5fps.

Canon IXUS 115 HS battery

Key Features:

  • 12.1Mp CMOS Sensor
  • 28mm wide-angle, 4x optical zoom lens
  • ISO100 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabiliser
  • Slim metal body
  • 3.0in PureColor LCD screen
  • Full HD movies (1080p) with Dynamic IS and HDMI
  • Smart Auto
  • 32 scene modes
  • High-speed Burst
  • Super Slow Motion Movie
  • Movie Digest
  • Miniature and Toy Camera effects, Smart Shutter with Smile and Wink Self-Timer
  • Handheld Night Scene and Best Image Selection
Canon IXUS 115 HS rear

Canon IXUS 115 HS: Handling
The 115 HS is a stylish, well built compact camera that fits nicely into your pocket. The menus are easy to navigate and the buttons are well spaced out although the D-Pad on the rear isn't the easiest to use if you have large fingers. There is a switch on the top of the camera which makes it extremely easy to put the camera into auto mode. The dedicated button for video recording is also a welcome addition to the camera.

The camera is ready to take images within a couple of seconds, focusing is quick and it takes 2-3 seconds in between shots. In continuous shooting mode it is capable of 1.9fps and in high-speed burst mode it can go all the way to 6.7fps.

According to CIPA / Canon the battery is capable of 230 shots. During testing the battery showed no signs that it was draining so there is no reason to dispute this.

Canon IXUS 115 HS top

Canon IXUS 115 HS: Performance
The 115 HS is excellent at taking well exposed images with brilliant colours. With the large amount of features on the camera, including scene modes and full HD movies there is plenty for the user to utilise to achieve pleasing results.

ISO and Noise Performance
Noise is handled really well by the 115 HS throughout the range of ISOs available. There is barely any noticeable noise at ISO100 and ISO200. As expected, it steadily worsens as the ISO level is increased, but even at ISO3200 you still get an image that would be suitable for a large sized print.

Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO100 Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO200 Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO400
ISO100, 1/2, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO200, 1/6, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO400, 1/13, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)
Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO800 Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO1600 Canon IXUS 115 HS ISO3200
ISO800, 1/25, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO1600, 1/50, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO3200, 1/100, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)

Colour reproduction
The portrait mode on the camera delivers excellent images, with pleasing skin tones, whether using the flash or not, although there is a tendency for a touch of red-eye with the flash.

Canon IXUS 115 HS indoor portrait   Canon IXUS 115 HS outdoor portrait
Indoor portrait, ISO200, 1/60, f/4.5, 13mm (35mm equivalent: 73mm)   Outdoor portrait, ISO400, 1/100, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)

At both ends of the lens the 115 HS produces images which retain plenty of detail throughout the images. The digital zoom is fine for shooting images that are for small prints or use on the web. Thanks to the 3cm minimum focusing distance the camera takes excellent macro pictures, such as the Daffodil below.

Canon IXUS 115 HS wide-angle   Canon IXUS 115 HS full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO100, 1/200, f/8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)   Full optical zoom, ISO125, 1/400, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)
Canon IXUS 115 HS full digital zoom   Canon IXUS 115 HS macro
Full digital zoom, ISO100, 1/500, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)   Macro, ISO200, 1/60, f/2.8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)

The auto white-balance does a fairly good job in most situations although it has struggled under our incandescent lights in our studio, with the incandescent preset giving a much better result. The camera has handled the fluorescent lights well with a similar result whether using the AWB or fluorescent preset.

Canon IXUS 115 HS Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting   Canon IXUS 115 HS Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light
Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting, ISO100, 1/15, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)   Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light, ISO100, 1/13, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)
Canon IXUS 115 HS Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light   Canon IXUS 115 HS Fluorescent White Balance - Fluorescent Light
Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light, ISO100, 1/4, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)   Fluorescent White Balance - Fluorescent Light, ISO100, 1/5, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)

Filters & modes
The range of filters available on the camera make it really easy to be creative. The Colour Accent mode lets you create a monochrome image while retaining just one colour. In the image below I have kept the blue on the barge and turned the rest of the image black and white. Colour Swap will let you change two colours within an images. As well as the Miniature, Monochrome and Vivid modes shown below there is the option to use Poster, Toy Camera and Fisheye Effects.

Canon IXUS 115 HS Colour Accent   Canon IXUS 115 HS miniature
Colour Accent, ISO100, 1/160, f/5, 15mm (35mm equivalent: 84mm)   Miniature, ISO100, 1/400, f/4, 9mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm)
Canon IXUS 115 HS monochrome   Canon IXUS 115 HS vivid
Monochrome, ISO100, 1/640, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)   Vivid, ISO100, 1/160,15 f/5, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 84mm)

Video Mode
Dependent on how much space you have on your memory card, or length of video required there are a range of movie modes available. For the best results there is full 1080p HD mode as shown below.

Sample video.

Value For Money
The Canon IXUS 115 HS is a premium compact camera. Dependent on your budget, you may like to consider the Sony Cybershot T110 @ £214 which has a 16.1Mp sensor, 4x optical zoom and a 3in LCD touch screen as well as Sweep Panorama mode. The Canon IXUS 220 HS @ £169 is similar to the 115 HS but has 5x optical zoom instead of 4x. If cash is a bit tighter then the Fuji FinePix Z90 @ £119 sacrifices full HD but has 5x optical zoom and a 14Mp sensor.

Canon IXUS 115 HS: Verdict
The Canon IXUS 115 HS is packed with features and performs excellently, while being available at a very reasonable price. Images are great and noise is handled really well. It was hard to find some cons, but the D-Pad could be easier to press and it would be nice if the battery was capable of 300 shots.

The Canon IXUS 115 HS has ample features and excellent performance at a reasonable price.
Canon IXUS 115 HS: Pros

Fantastic image quality
Full HD Movies
Large range of scene modes and filters
Excellent noise performance

Canon IXUS 115 HS: Cons
Battery life could be longer
Buttons on D-Pad difficult to press with large fingers


Canon IXUS 115 HS: Specification
Price £149.00
Contact www.canon.co.uk
Optical zoom 4x, 5 – 20mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 – 112 mm), f/2.8 - 5.9
Resolution 12.1Mp
Sensor size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor type CMOS
Max image size 4000 x 3000
Aspect ratio 4:3
Focusing system TTL
Focus points AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre)
Focus modes Single, Continuous (Auto mode only), Servo AF/AE¹, Tracking AF
Minimum focus distance 3cm
File types JPEG, MOV
ISO sensitivity ISO100 - 3200
Metering system Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre)
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed range 1/1500 - 15 sec
Image stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 3-stop. Dynamic IS (in Movie)
Movie mode 1080p HD
Monitor 3.0in LCD monitor
Media type SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HCMMCplus Memory Card
Interface Hi-Speed USB, HDMI Mini Connector
Power Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-4L
Box Contents Camera, battery pack, battery charger, interface cable, AV cable, wrist strap, getting started guide, digital camera solution disk and warranty system booklet
Size 93.1 x 55.8 x 19.9mm
Weight 140g (including battery and memory card)

The Canon IXUS 115 HS costs £149.00 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Canon IXUS 115 HS

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sjoban 10
31 Mar 2011 11:03AM
Of the following two Canon cameras: Ixus 115 and Powershot A3300, which one would you recommend? They both appear to have very similar specifications, though the Powershot has a dedicated programme mode. On the Ixus, the programme options have to be selected through the menu system. Would you say the quality of photos from the Powershot A3300 is even better than from the Ixus 115?

I recently got the Ixus 220 hs (which appears to be identical to the ixus 115, apart from a slightly longer zoom), but am wondering whether to return it for the Powershot A 3300.
31 Mar 2011 11:44AM
Hello, it's a tough choice as they both scored an eight, with both scoring highly for performance. For me I enjoyed the features on the IXUS 220 HS and the mode dial on the A3300. It would also depend on your budget, the A3300 seemed better value for money to me. It's a tough call between the two but neither of them will disappoint.
sjoban 10
31 Mar 2011 8:28PM
Thanks YoBellzaa. It is a tough call.

The Ixus 220hs is only my second camera, which I got because my first one, Powershot A95 which I had been using for 7 or so years, finally gave way (flash stopped working).
4 Apr 2011 3:39PM
Hi there,
I just bought a new Ixus115, I would like to ask how do we select the specific color that we want to focus on using color accent mode?
And i see there are three types of monochrome we can play along. Blue, Sephia and B/W, how to change B/W to let say Blue or Sephia?
6 Oct 2011 1:02PM
I have this camera it is excellent, however I cannot seem to locate the "timer" option feature on it? I am usually great with cameras and technology in general so you can imagine my frustration at not being able to find a basic feature on the camera. I searched the manual supplied with the camera but I couldn't see anything about the timer feature. So I have submitted a yahoo question, and am asking on this too, if anyone has any info please let me know, thanks!

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