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On the outside the camera is encased in a full metal jacket and the back is graced with a 1.5" LCD display that does a very good job of keeping up with changing images and light sources. All the relevant buttons are close to hand and Canon, like Fuji, has opted for a switch to allow you to change between picture capture, movie mode and playback, making the change between the three simple.
Images are stored on the 16 MB CF card that's included in the box and the whole device is powered by the made-to-fit Canon rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. This means the cost of running the device is minimal after the initial purchase and is welcomed when you realise the speed at which some digital cameras guzzle standard AA batteries. Connection to a PC is made via a custom-made USB socket and this socket also serves as the AV out port to connect to a standard television whether it's American or UK.
Lift the "hood" and you've got a 2x optical zoom that offers the equivalent of 35-70mm at an aperture range of f2.8 to f4.0. Add that to the digital zoom and you've effectively got another 3.2 on top of that, although as always you should never rely on the digital zoom's quality.
Autofocus and manual focus options are available and the focusing method is a TTL 9-point AiAF giving plenty of focusing points per image. While for close-up work the camera offers a macro mode up to 10 cm. The Canon Ixus v3 also offers four flash modes and seven white balance modes, giving you plenty of chance to get the image you want wherever you are.
Overall, images are very crisp and clear with plenty of detail. In fact, for a 3.2 megapixel camera some of the images are surprisingly good. The auto mode copes well with different focal points and this gives the images a rather warm feel when shot outside on a sunny day. Skin tones are detailed and even rosy cheeks on a cold day don't seem to cause any major issues. Canon has produced a worthy point-and-shoot with this model and it makes for a great little camera--images are sharp and the style is good. --Jason Denwood
The Digital IXUS v³ features a compact and retractable 35-70mm (35mm equivalent) 2x optical zoom lens. The lens has 7 elements arranged in 5 groups (including 3 aspherical elements) and features a maximum aperture of f2.8 (wide angle) to f4.0 (telephoto).
The Digital IXUS v³ uses a new 9-point intelligent AiAF system, which means that an even larger area is covered by the focusing system. The camera looks at the 9 focusing points and deduces the correct focus that is required.
The new Digital IXUS v³ uses an evaluative metering system to determine the correct exposure. This means that the camera divides the screen into several blocks from which light exposure data is collected. It then determines where the subject is, the background and foreground light conditions, allowing the best exposure level to be achieved for the particular image. In addition, the Digital IXUS v³ also has the ability to use 'spot' metering from the centre spot of the image (only) to accurately define the exposure required for a particular area. This is useful for difficult lighting conditions and large variances in highlights and shadows, allowing the user to better define the metering bias.
A tiny sensor has been incorporated into the camera that detects the orientation of the camera (portrait or landscape). A small camera icon shown in the shooting window indicates the orientation of the camera.
The benefits are: More accurate AE and AWB in the vertical position since the camera can allow for brighter sky's at the top of an image. Images are automatically shown in the correct orientation when viewed on the LCD or TV screen. When downloading the images to ZoomBrowser EX, the orientation is also automatically detected and shown accordingly. When using the direct print function and date option together, the date will be placed in the correct location, bottom right hand corner of the image.
The Digital IXUS v³ uses a 'seamless' digital zoom, which means that there is no 'step' drop in resolution as the camera enters the digital zoom function. The optical zoom is used as far as possible, to the limit of the telephoto end (70mm in 35mm format), at which point the digital zoom function will operate, gradually reducing the CCD reading area until it reaches the final centre portion. A maximum digital zoom of 3.2x can be used, providing a maximum total zoom (optical + digital) of 6.4x or 224mm (35mm format equivalent).
Improvements to the movie mode mean that the recording times have increased and the image quality in the VGA mode has also improved. Recording times will depend on the speed (and capacity) of the CF card used in the camera.
Other features include:
Histogram Playback - the histogram is used to help determine if the correct exposure has been achieved. White Balance - the Digital IXUS v3 uses a high precision white balance system and now features 5 preset filters [Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent High], an Auto mode and a Custom mode. ISO equivalent settings - ISO AUTO / 50 / 100 / 200 / 400 can be selected. Long Shutter Speeds - It is now possible to manually select a shutter speed of between 1 and 15 seconds when in the Manual Mode and with the 'Long Shutter' option enabled from the menu screen.
I've had a canon v3/s230 for almost 2 years now and I've taken thousands and thousands of pictures with it.
I've very rarely been let down by anything it does. Read more
I bought one of these after seeing the results from a colleagues, for a camera smaller than a cigarette packet the results are brilliant. Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2004 by A. Davis
My wife & I bought the ixus v3, as a joint birthday present to each other.
Once we had ordered it from Amazon, it was delivered to our home 3 days later. Read more
I had this camera for my birthday. Before purchasing I read reviews in magazines, online and visited more camera shops than I care to remember. Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2003
After reading many reviews I bought one and I was not disappointed. Good images (you'll want max res and super fine quality) and easy to use plus a good software bundle. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2003
This small object of desire doesn't just look superb, with it's svelte steel construction, you'll be pleased to hear that it also takes great photographs too. Read morePublished on 20 April 2003 by Submariner
Being a previous V2 owner, the V3 is a great leap forward, the addition of movie mode is a lot of fun. Read morePublished on 16 April 2003 by "breatheamh"
This is a great first digital camera. Does the job excellently, if you're not sure what to get and this is in your price range then go for it. Read morePublished on 22 Feb. 2003 by adolf garlic
This camera has excellent colour and can produce images of real quality, but...
Don't use it indoors for candid shots of your family/kids - it doesn't like focussing fast and... Read more