Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Introduction

The Canon IXUS 145 (also known as the PowerShot ELPH 135) is a slim, stylish point and shoot digital compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x optical zoom, intelligent Auto mode and Live View control for basic manual over-rides. There’s also a Digic 4+ processor and Eco mode to save power when taking photographs. Will those pictures stand up to our full test? The Canon IXUS 145 costs around £80 / $120.

Ease of Use

The Canon IXUS models have always been about style and build. They don’t necessarily have it in the features or performance section, but if you’re the type of person that wants a camera based on looks more than anything else, you can’t go wrong with an IXUS. The 145 model from Canon is no exception. Continuing on the typical clean lines, boxy design and simplistic layout, the front and rear were coated in a lovely glitter effect paintwork on our review sample. An 8x optical zoom collapses down into the slim body which begins at 28mm. In 35mm terms, that takes it up to 224mm which is pretty good for a compact camera.

The details are in the small things and a couple of indications that the IXUS range has a better build quality are features such as the hard wearing metal tripod bush and small zoom switch. A similar switch on a Powershot would be a bulkier affair. The screen is small by comparison to today’s cameras. It’s still 2.7 inches which is ample for taking and reviewing pictures. To the right of the screen, the slightly smaller area allows for larger buttons. Typically, the layout of these buttons is the same with the control pad in the centre and four buttons at each “corner”. Canon have followed suit, but with a slight twist; they’ve staggered the height of them to allow them to be closer together without interfering with each other. Many of the buttons have multiple functions. The directional pad – while working as up, down, left and right in the menu will also change modes, enter into menus and adjust what you see on the screen.

Canon IXUS 300 HS Canon IXUS 300 HS
Front Rear

IXUS have always had a reputation for exceptional build quality ever since the original IXUS model was released on the APS film system back in 1996, so it’s important to Canon to continue that. The camera is solidly made. There’s little movement in the lens system and there’s no creaks when manipulated. We’d like to see a lock on the battery door, but the slip system it uses isn’t easily moved so it won’t randomly spring open. As we mentioned before, the IXUS 145 has a metal tripod bush which is interesting to see on a sub-£100 camera.

Canon menu systems are very easy to use, although from the off there’s a place where you could get a little confused. Especially if you’ve never had a Canon compact camera before. The problem arises within the Auto/Live button. Pressing up on the pad at the back will toggle between the two, but what you may not notice – at least at first – is that you can then go into the Function menu and select from various modes, not just Live View. Program mode is in this area and allows you to change the ISO, white-balance and metering among other things.

The Main menu is a lot easier to understand with two main tabs to work from. The colour scheme is a black background with white writing and an orange highlight. The Main menu in Program mode is the most comprehensive and there’s a lot of options for adjusting the focusing such as focus points, AF-Point zoom, Continuous AF and lamp setting (AF emitter). There’s also pre-sets for red-eye and iContrast which is a type of dynamic range compensation.

Canon IXUS 300 HS Canon IXUS 300 HS
Front Side

The start up time of the Canon IXUS 145 is impressive. We managed to fire it up, focus and take a picture in 1.5sec. That’s slightly faster than the average speeds we’ve been seeing recently of 1.8sec. There’s only one continuous shooting mode which isn’t a burst setting. We managed to get around 8 shots in a ten second period which is around 0.8fps (frames per second) or one picture every 1.2 seconds. Focusing is attained in around half a second, which is by no means the fastest system, but that’s to be expected. It is perfectly acceptable for the type of end user that the camera is designed for.

Pictures that you’ve already taken can be accessed by pressing the blue arrow playback button at the top of the camera on the back. If the camera is switched off, simply hold the button down for longer until it powers up. The most recent picture you took will be displayed on the screen with some basic shooting information. In Program mode, you can press the display button and get more indepth information such as ISO, aperture, shutter speed, file size, resolution and even a histogram to check exposure.

Canon IXUS 300 HS Canon IXUS 300 HS
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Press the menu button and there’s three tabs across the top of the screen. The first is for playback options such as creating a slide-show, erasing multiple images or rotating. There’s also basic editing tools such as red-eye correction, iContrast and resize. The second tab is the DPOF screen, for printing images. You can select which images you want to print and the amount, select all images to print or clear all data. There’s a sub-menu called Print settings which allows you to add information to the print such as date, type of print (standard, index or both) and file number. There’s also an option to clear all print setting data.

The box contains all the accessories you need to get you started such as a lithium ion battery and charging unit. There’s also a figure eight mains lead to plug the charger into the mains socket. This is an area where the Canon compacts fail against other manufacturers. Companies such as Nikon have in-camera charging systems which makes them lighter to carry when travelling and it’s possible to charge off of a computer.

You also get a wrist strap to keep the camera safe and at hand for those candid snaps that make holidays memorable. Many manufacturers are now doing away with the CD that would hold the drivers, a basic editing software program and the full User Guide. Instead, they’ve made everything available to download from the Canon website. Instead you get a Quick Start guide, warranty information and some paraphernalia.

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

Noise

The ISO range on the IXUS 145 is fairly limited from ISO 100-1600. Noise performance at low sensitivity is very good. ISO 100 shows no discernible noise in shadows areas. There’s plenty of detail and edge sharpness is great.

Looking at the pictures at full magnification, noise does start to show through at ISO 200, but this can’t be seen at normal viewing distance. In fact you can’t really see noise at normal distances until around ISO 800 which is pretty good. By that stage, noise control is really suffering. Detail has been lost as noise is blurred to keep it out. However, blobs of green still remain in shadow areas.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

The IXUS 145 does provide very sharp pictures. However, we did also discover that adding some basic sharpening in an editing suite certainly improved the overall sharpness of the picture.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Canon IXUS 145 has an 8x optical zoom. The range starts at 28mm which means it stretches up to 224mm in 35mm terms.

28mm

224mm

Chromatic Aberrations

One area that the IXUS 145 suffers badly in is chromatic aberration. It occurs when not all colours focus on the sensor and appear as thin lines on sharp edges. They usually manifest as purple lines on contrasting colours. It happens usually towards the far edges of the frame where the image quality isn’t as sharp, but on the 145, we found evidence in the centre.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations 3 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 4 (100% Crop)

Macro

Close focusing on the IXUS 145 is 1cm. That’s great for a small digital compact camera such as this. Be aware when using this mode because there’s a steep image quality drop off from the centre spot.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash on the Canon IXUS 145 has a range of 50cm – 3m at wide-angle and 1.3-1.5m at full zoom. At the widest setting, the lens does pick up some vignetting but this disappears once the camera is zoomed in.

Flash Off – Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On – Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off – Telephoto (224mm)

Flash On – Telephoto (224mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Red-eye reduction does appear using the IXUS 145. We switched on the red-eye reduction feature in the Main menu and it does reduce.  It’s important to remember that this is a red-eye reduction, not red-eye removal.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Night

For the majority of night or low light shots, the Program mode should cope with the majority of situations. Program will expose up to a maximum of 1sec, so if you find yourself in a situation where you need a longer exposure, you can switch to the IXUS 145’s Night mode which is actually called Long exposure. It’s pretty cool, because it allows you to determine the length of the shutter speed to a maximum of 15seconds. It means that it’s not just limited to night shots, but you can also do star trails or car light streaks, for example. The Long exposure mode also uses a low ISO because it’s apparent that you’ll be steadying the camera to prevent blurring.

Night Program

Night Program (100% Crop)

   

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon IXUS 145 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280×720 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 33 second movie is 59.3Mb in size.

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Product Images

Canon IXUS 145

Front of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Front of the Canon IXUS 145 / Turned On

 
Canon IXUS 145

Side of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Side of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Image Displayed

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Function Menu

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Main Menu

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Main Menu

 

Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Main Menu

 
Canon IXUS 145

Rear of the Canon IXUS 145 / Main Menu

 
Canon IXUS 145

Top of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Bottom of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Side of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Side of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Front of the Canon IXUS 145

 
Canon IXUS 145

Memory Card Slot

 
Canon IXUS 145

Battery Compartment

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Specifications

IMAGE SENSOR

Type 1/2.3 type CCD
Effective Pixels Approx. 16.0M
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour

IMAGE PROCESSOR

Type DIGIC 4+ with iSAPS technology

LENS

Focal Length 5.0 – 40.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 – 224 mm)
Zoom Optical 8x
ZoomPlus 16x
Digital Approx. 4x
Combined Approx. 32x¹
Maximum f/number f/3.2 – f/6.9
Construction 8 elements in 7 groups
(1 double-sided aspherical lens)

FOCUSING

Type TTL
AF System/ Points AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre)
AF Modes Single, Continuous (Auto mode only), Servo AF/AE, Tracking AF¹
AF Lock Yes
AF Assist Beam Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 1 cm (W) from front of lens in macro

EXPOSURE CONTROL

Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre)
AE Lock Yes
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ISO sensitivity AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

SHUTTER

Speed 1 – 1/2000 sec. (factory default)
15 – 1/2000 sec. (total range – varies by shooting mode)

WHITE BALANCE

Type TTL
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom

COLOUR MATRIX

Type sRGB

LCD MONITOR

Monitor 6.8 cm (2.7″) LCD (TFT), Approx. 230,000 dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD

FLASH

Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Slow Sync Speed Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 sec.
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation Face Detection FE, Smart Flash Exposure
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Built-in Flash Range 50cm – 3.0 m (W) / 1.3 – 1.5 m (T)
External Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1
Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2

SHOOTING

Modes Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), P, Portrait, Live View Control, Digital IS, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Light (4.0 MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter
Modes in Movie Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), P, Portrait, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks
Drive modes Single, Continuous, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Approx. 0.8 shots/sec.¹ (until memory card becomes full)²

RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION

Image Size 4:3 – (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 2048 x 1536, (S) 640 x 480, (W) 4608 x 2592
Resize in playback (M2, S)
Compression Fine
Movies (HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect (HD) 5fps, 2.5fps, 1.25 fps
Miniature Effect (L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
Movie Length (HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec.¹
(L) up to 4 GB or 1 hour²

FILE TYPES

Still Image Type JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Movies MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (monaural) ]

DIRECT PRINT

Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge
PictBridge Yes

OTHER FEATURES

Red-Eye Correction Yes, during shooting and playback
Histogram Yes
Playback zoom Approx. 2x – 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec. or Custom
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian, Farsi, Malaysian, Hindi, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Hebrew

INTERFACE

Computer Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)
Other A/V output, dedicated connector (PAL/NTSC)

MEMORY CARD

Type SD, SDHC, SDXC

SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM

PC & Macintosh Windows 8, 8.1 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9

SOFTWARE

Browsing & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Other Camera Window
PhotoStitch

POWER SOURCE

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery life Approx. 230 shots
Eco Mode: Approx. 310 shots
Approx. 240min. playback
A/C Power Supply Optional, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC90

ACCESSORIES

Cases / Straps Soft Case DCC-1370
Soft Case DCC-1350
Soft Case DCC-1320
Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1
Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
Power Supply & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC90
Other Canon AV Cable AVC-DC400

PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 95.2 x 54.3 x 22.1 mm
Weight Approx. 127 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
   
Zoom ¹ Depending on the image size selected.
Continuous Shooting ¹ Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
² Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
Movie Length ¹ The following Speed Class memory cards are required for maximum record time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Speed Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 6 or above.
² Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
AF Modes ¹ Some settings limit availability.
  • All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.
  • Subject to change without notice.

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Conclusion

The Canon IXUS 145 is an easy to use point and shooter, typically ideal for the happy snapper crowd. It does everything for you, even selecting the scene mode that will appropriate the best photographs.

Thankfully, should you be a little bit more savvy in the old tech department, the 145 will allow you to select the Program mode in order to take a little control over the picture settings. It’s just not in the easiest place to find if you’re new to the system. If you need help, there’s also no longer as straightforward way of finding out. In the old days, a full manual was included in the box. Then to save paper and decrease packaging, full manuals were placed on a CD to review on a computer. These days, they don’t even do that. The full manual has to be downloaded from the Canon website.

The build quality is good, but that’s what we’d expect from an IXUS. For a sub-£100 camera, it’s nice to have a camera with some weight to it, a solid body and a metal tripod bush. However, the lens quality doesn’t seem to be on par with what the IXUS name stands for.
We’re pleased with the photographs we got from the Canon IXUS 145. The colours are bright and punchy, but not to over saturated. The dynamic range leaves a lot to be desired for, but the i-Contrast feature will help with that to a degree. Failing that, as long as the subject isn’t a close up or a landscape, use the flash.

Thanks to the glossy exterior, sexy design and fast response for taking pictures, the Canon IXUS 145 is a good camera for everyday shooting, taking out on nights out with friends or family and on holidays. If you’re after an inexpensive camera from a good stable with nice looks and good picture quality, then take a look at the Canon IXUS 145.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Canon IXUS 145.

Fujifilm FinePix T400

Fujifilm FinePix T400 Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm FinePix T400 compact camera offers a 10x zoom, 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch LCD screen and 720p movies, all for a street price of just £70 / $90. Read our Fujifilm FinePix T400 review to find out if it’s a genuine bargain or one to avoid…

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review thumbnail

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 is a stylish and fully-featured compact camera. The S5300 offers 16 megapixels, an 8x zoom with 25mm wide-angle setting, built-in wi-fi connectivity, 1080p HD movies and a 3 inch LCD screen. Read our expert review of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 to find out if it’s a bargain or not…

Olympus VH-410

Olympus VH-410 Review thumbnail

The Olympus VH-410 is an affordable compact camera with a lot of premium features. You get a very capable camera for just £120 – 16 megapixels, 5x wide-angle zoom, 3 inch LCD touchscreen, 720p movies, all housed in a metal body. Read our Olympus VH-410 review to find out if it’s a bargain or not…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is a new mid-range travel-zoom compact camera. The stylish Panasonic SZ7 offers 14 megapixels, a 10x zoom lens, 3 inch LCD screen, 10fps burst shooting and 1080p HD movies. Read our expert Panasonic DMC-SZ7 review now…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 Review thumbnail

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 is the world’s slimmest camera with a 20x zoom lens. This affordable travel-zoom also offers an 18 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in wi-fi/NFC connectivity and Full HD movie recording. Priced at around £239 / €289 / $299, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 review to find out if it lives up to its full promise…

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

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Review Roundup

Reviews of the Canon IXUS 145 from around the web.

uk.pcmag.com »

The Canon PowerShot Elph 135 has an appealing price tag, but for just $10 more you can get an identical model with image stabilization.
Read the full review »

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Canon IXUS 145 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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