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Canon IXUS 255 HS Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Canon IXUS 255 HS, it has built-in Wi-Fi, 10x optical zoom and full 1080p HD video recording.

| Canon IXUS 255 HS in Compact Cameras
Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs 3

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 Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs 9

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.

Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs 5

Key Features

  • 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
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Hybrid Auto mode
  • Creative modes
  • 2.4 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in silver, black and pink
Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs 11

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.

Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs App Screenshot 1 Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs App Screenshot 2 Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs App Screenshot 3

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.

Shutter Response   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.2 secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG   2.1 fps
Continuous Shooting - Flash   0.6 fps
Burst mode   5.3 fps

The continuous shooting modes record in full 12.1 megapixel resolution, with burst mode limited to 3 megapixels.

Canon IXUS 255 HS Review: Canon Ixus 255 Hs 12

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.

Value For Money

The Canon IXUS 255 HS is available for £200. Other cameras with 10x optical zoom include the Olympus VR-340 at £80, Fujifilm FinePix T500 at £100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9 at £170 and Sony Cybershot DSC-WX200 at £165. If you're particularly keen on a camera with Wi-Fi there are ample options, including the Nikon Coolpix S9500 at £250, Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 at £270 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 at £300.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon IXUS 255 HS Verdict

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.

  Canon IXUS 255 HS Review:
  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

Built-in Wi-Fi
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


Canon IXUS 255 HS Specifications

Max Aperturef/3 - f/6.9
35mm equivalent24mm - 240mm
Optical Zoom10x
Image Sensor
Pixels12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution461,000
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting2.4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS24
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-4L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery Life (CIPA rating)220shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital Camera IXUS 255 HS, Wrist Strap WS-DC11, Battery Pack NB-4L, Battery Charger CB-2LVE, AC Cable, Interface Cable IFC-400PCU, User Manual Kit

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Photographs taken using the Canon IXUS 255 HS

Queen Mary 2 from the Queen ElizabethJust Blowing BubblesNot in the hot houseA walk along Jalan Srikandi (5) Lost in translationA walk along Jalan Srikandi (4) Taking out the gongA walk along Jalan Srikandi (3) Four Little maids from school are weA walk along Jalan Srikandi (2) A basket case or going bananasA walk along Jalan Srikandi (1) or, what you see when you follow your noseBreakfast for one, pleaseKuan San TangWing. Sky. Cloud.SudokuBeggars beliefBeggars beliefChiuso

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eveenhoven Avatar
9 May 2013 9:15AM
"Noise effects image quality from ISO 1600 upwards" you say.
No surprise with a 1/2.3 inch sensor.
capers626 Avatar
10 May 2013 1:49PM
Believe that HD video clips are limited to 10 minutes in length - as has been the case with similar Canon cameras for a while. Also, no panoramic mode. Can't see either mentioned in the review but perhaps not deciding factors in making a purchase, image quality being uppermost. Bit concerning about red eye when using the flash although presumably can be removed later using editing software Smile.
capers626 Avatar
13 May 2013 9:46AM
I emailed Canon and received the following reply about red eye when using flash:

Dear Mr Capewell,

Thank you for your request and for contacting Canon.

Red Eyes when using flash is perfectly normal and is definitely not a technical problem. However, there is a function in the camera called "Red Eye Reduction".
Also Ephotozine does NOT see this as in issue. They only note that there is a little red eye when using flash.

Some cameras are advanced enough that the red eye correction will be done automatically. The IXUS 255 has a separate function in the camera to do this.

So this is not an issue or a problem, but perfectly normal.

Once again, thank you for contacting Canon Support. We hope the above information is of use to you. If you have any remaining questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Bruno Peters
Canon Services & Support
stephennic Avatar
stephennic 10 7
19 Nov 2013 12:38PM

Which has the best overall image quality, the canon ixus255 or sx280.



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