Canon Digital IXUS 130 Review

March 24, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Canon Digital IXUS 130 (also known as the PowerShot SD1400 IS) is the slimmest ever IXUS / PowerShot digital camera. Measuring just 17.8mm at its thickest point, the 14 megapixel Canon 130 compact camera offers a 4x optical zoom lens with a 28mm wide-angle setting and Optical Image Stabilization, 2.7 inch LCD screen, 720p HD video with an HDMI output connection, Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection Technology, Smart Shutter mode and FaceSelf-Timer for easier portraits, and a useful Hints & Tips feature for beginners. Available in four colours - silver black, blue, pink or orange - the Canon Digital IXUS 130 is available now for £279.00 / $249.99.

Ease of Use

Ten years since their introduction, the latest incarnation of the IXUS camera range is also the slimmest ever, measuring a mere 17.8mm thick and weighing a feathery 133g. Successor to the diminutive IXUS 120 IS model, the new IXUS 130 similarly features a 4x optical zoom lens offering a focal range of 28-112mm complete with fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 and optical image stabilization, with three user selectable anti shake modes offered. From the beginning the IXUS family has been as much about fashion and form as internal feature set, so the Canon Digital IXUS 130 predictably comes with a choice of four different body colours, with the pink and orange options being rather garishly implemented. Our all-black review sample or the silver version are probably the best colours to opt for.

As with previous IXUS cameras, the 130 is positioned as an upmarket compact camera that users might aspire to owning, mixing a quality metal body with well-disguised plastic to winning effect, and going some way to justifying its premium price-tag. Despite the small form factor, Canon has provided an adequately large 2.7-inch, 230k dot resolution LCD screen at the rear of the 130 for composing and reviewing shots in the absence of a traditional viewfinder. The screen works well, though sunlight still proves an occasional nemesis.

In common with competitors the camera offers its own take on intelligent auto functionality as originally pioneered on Panasonic's Lumix compact range. Here it's named Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection technology, enabling users to simply point and shoot, the camera recognizing scenes and subjects from 22 different options, then adjusting its parameters accordingly so all the photographer has to do is fully depress the shutter release button to go on and take the shot. Further hand-holding features include face detection, auto red eye removal, blink detection - flagging up the fact that your subject has their eyes closed so you can take a replacement shot at the time - and the new Smart Shutter mode. This lets you take a picture simply by either winking or smiling at the camera, or when another person enters the frame. There are also useful 'hints and tips' prompts within the provided on-screen menus.

Built in motion detection technology purports to detect the movement of camera and subject, boosting ISO settings accordingly (up to ISO 1600 offered here) to help prevent blurred images. The Canon range staple feature of iContrast likewise makes an appearance to ensure images don't suffer from blown highlights or overly dark foreground detail when faced with tricky exposures. For those interested in close ups and still life photography, the camera's macro mode allows focus as close as 3cm from a subject - again more than adequate given the IXUS' intended audience of 'status seekers'. The new Servo AF/AE mode automatically tracks moving subjects and keeps both the focus and exposure locked until you decide to take the picture.

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Front Rear

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 provides high definition video footage at 1280x720 pixels rather than full HD 1920x1080. Unusually though - and as with its 120 IS predecessor - there's a port for HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) provided alongside the regular USB/AV out port. It's not all good news though. The optical zoom isn't accessible when shooting movies, pressing its toggle switch will only effect an equivalent 4x digital zoom, the lens itself staying put. So by using it you're compromising on quality. Approximately 10 minutes of HD footage will fit on a 4GB card, frame rate a commendably smooth 30 frames per second (fps).

With the Digic 4 processor on board the Canon Digital IXUS 130 proves a zippy performer. With a press of the small, recessed top plate power button the camera readies itself for action in just under 1.5 seconds, writing images to optional SD / SDHC or the newer SDXC media cards in a tad under two, with, unusually, no internal capacity - however modest - to fall back on. Post-capture the screen momentarily freezes displaying the captured image. The camera takes a moment or two to determine focus exposure, AF point highlighted in green with a beep of affirmation when it has done so. So, neither particularly quick nor slow but perfectly adequate for its class.

At the front of the IXUS 130, as with its predecessor, the camera is an exercise in minimalism - metal surface silky smooth to the touch and lens barrel squirreled away within the body when inactive - whilst at the same time recalling the 'classic' IXUS design of the series' APS incarnation. Top right of the lens is a thin lozenge shaped sliver of a window housing the integral flash - its location meaning it's in danger of being obscured by a finger when holding the camera in both hands. To the left of the optic is a small porthole-shaped window housing the indicator light for the self-timer/AF assist lamp. Other than that the IXUS 130 maintains its 'clean' lines, with a gentle curve to the surface running from left to right, top to bottom.

The top plate of the Canon Digital IXUS 130 is similarly fuss free yet sophisticated. The controls are set into a lozenge-shaped strip that encircles the exterior of the camera so that almost none of the buttons actually protrude and spoil this IXUS' straight lines. Looking from the rear and starting on the left, there's a barely discernable pin prick housing the built-in microphone, a row of three small holes for the built-in speaker and a small on/off power button.

Next along is one of the biggest changes to the IXUS 130 for the previous model - the control for zooming the lens. Previously a spring loaded zoom lever with a small lip protruding to the front, the IXUS 130 now offers a small plastic lever which you push left to zoom out and right to zoom out. It's not as responsive or as precise as the zoom lever on the 120, and it's also raised above the top of the camera, spoiling the otherwise clean profile. Completing the top of the camera is an adequately sized shutter release button.

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Front Front

While the left hand side of the camera - if viewed from the back - is devoid of any features apart from small screws top and bottom, the right hand side adds merely a means of attaching a wrist strap. This again apes its predecessor in the 120 IS.

Things get slightly more interesting with an examination of the back plate, dominated as expected by that aforementioned 2.7-inch LCD monitor, which provides an image slightly on the warm side. There's no optical viewfinder as seen on some IXUS models. The rear controls themselves - though small - are still sufficiently large to ensure operation remains fluid. The top right hand corner of the IXUS 130's back plate features a clever incorporation of A/V out, USB and HDMI connections, in that the plastic cover protecting them forms part of the design, flipped open by your thumbnail and then clicked firmly back into place.

Beneath this is a three-notch slider switch for the Canon Digital IXUS 130's various shooting modes, easily operated by your thumbnail, that mirrors that provided on the previously released IXUS 120 camera. Running from top to bottom are the aforementioned 'smart' auto mode, regular program auto and, lastly, video mode. It's the only control on the camera back that isn't flush to the body. Neatly mirroring the shape and size of this control, and ranged to the left, is a familiar playback button, while below is a four way directional control pad for tabbing through menu options and captured images, with the familiar Canon function/set button at its centre.

Press the latter when in basic auto shooting mode and a minimal icon-led toolbar appears down the left hand side of the screen. Here you get the chance to change the image size and resolution and that's it. Flick the slider switch down a notch to the Program shooting mode, however, and many more user selectable options present themselves. You can tab down from program and select one of the camera's additional built-in scene modes. Each time one of the options - from portraits to kids and pets, fireworks, aquarium and ISO 3200 equivalent low light mode - is highlighted, a small box of text appears alongside instructing the user as to the benefits of and uses for the proposed settings. So there's nothing to confuse beginners here.

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Battery Compartment Memory Card Slot

Scene modes aside, also user selectable in program mode are the usual suspects: ISO settings (ISO 80-1600), white balance, drive mode (single shot or continuous shooting), metering (evaluative, centre weighted or spot), image size and quality, plus Canon's regular 'My Colors' modes that allow the user to switch to optimal settings for more vivid colour, neutral, sepia, black and white, positive film, lighter skin tone, darker skin tone, vivid blue, vivid green or vivid red and finally a custom colour setting that can be adjusted to the user's preference.

Returning to the control pad just below the mode switch, we find located at north, south, east and west points are, in that order, a means of adjusting exposure compensation (+/- 2EV), while next, at the bottom of the pad, is a means of deleting unwanted images, or selecting the self-timer options. The ability to choose from the flash settings (auto, on, slow synchro, off) and switch focus from infinity to macro (and back) complete the package. Beneath these, again features shared with the IXUS 120 IS, are a self-explanatory final pairing of buttons - marked 'display' (with a press turning off the shooting icons littering the screen) and 'menu' respectively.

Pressing the latter button brings up two folders on-screen - the first containing the shooting menu, the second the more general purpose set-up menu. The first folder offers ability to activate the digital zoom, call up grid lines or a 3:2 format ratio guide on screen, activate i-Contrast, image stabilisation modes (continuous, shoot only, active when panning, or off), plus face and blink detection. The second available folder contains the set up menu, offering the ability to tweak various sound and start up options - unlike previous generations of Digital IXUS, there's not a rather unnecessary separate menu folder for doing this - plus format the memory card in use. The more experienced user can also turn off the aforementioned 'hints and tips' speech bubbles if they prove too much as well as manually adjust the LCD brightness or reset all settings.

The base of the IXUS 130 features a metal screw thread for attaching it to a tripod, plus a sliding door protecting both the SD/SDHC/SDXC card port (with no internal memory to fall back on) and slender build rechargeable lithium-ion battery, good for an underwhelming but not disastrous 230 shots from a single charge - a fraction better than the IXUS 120 IS' 220 images.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 produces images of above average quality. The biggest issue is noise and loss of detail at relatively slow ISO speeds. The 1/2.3 inch, 14 megapixel sensor recorded noise-free images at ISO 80 and 100, but there's already some noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 200. ISO 400 shows more noise and loss of colour, and ISO 800 and 1600 are even worse, with obvious loss of fine detail and further colour desaturation.

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 handled chromatic aberrations well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with little red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds being long enough for most after-dark shots.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon Digital IXUS 130 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon Digital IXUS 130. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Canon Digital IXUS 130's 4x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-112mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.



File Quality

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

14M Fine (3.1Mb) (100% Crop) 14M Normal (1.4Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 handled chromatic aberrations quite well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


The Canon Digital IXUS 130 allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The flash settings on the Canon Digital IXUS 130 are Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Sync Speed and Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (112mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (112mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Canon Digital IXUS 130's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/15 sec / 24mm
1/6 sec / 120mm

My Colors

The Canon Digital IXUS 130 offers 11 My Color preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images, and you can also create your own Custom Color.








Positive Film


Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone


Vivid Blue

Vivid Green


Vivid Red


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon Digital IXUS 130 camera, which were all taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 44Mb in size.

Product Images

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Front of the Camera

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Isometric View

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Isometric View

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Rear of the Camera

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Rear of the Camera / Function Menu


Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS

Top of the Camera

Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Bottom of the Camera
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Side of the Camera
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Side of the Camera
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Front of the Camera
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Front of the Camera
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Memory Card Slot
Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS
Battery Compartment


The Canon Digital IXUS 130 continues the long-standing IXUS tradition of small, stylish and well-built cameras, with the added benefit of being the slimmest model to date. The high price and merely average image quality do take some of the sheen off what is otherwise a very nice point-and-shoot.

With its well-constructed metal body, slim profile and classic styling, the IXUS 130 is an understated yet eye-catching camera featuring a tried and trusted design. Beginners in particular will find it easy to use, thanks to a winning combination of logical layout and hand-holding technologies that result in taking better pictures more often. Only the curiously-designed zoom lever detracts from what is otherwise something of a design masterclass.

The move to 14 megapixels hasn't been such a good idea, though, with noise quickly becoming all too apparent at the slow ISO speed of 200, with further noise, softening of detail and colour desaturation becoming ever more apparent as you move up the ISO range, making the IXUS 130 ill-suited to low-light photography. I'd love to see an IXUS using one of the new 10 megapixel backlit sensors, as seen in the S90 and G11 cameras, but it seems that more megapixels rules the roost in this style-led sector of the market.

Which leads us nicely onto the rather eye-watering price-tag. £279.00 / $249.99 is a lot to pay for what is essentially a point-and-shoot camera with an average zoom, average LCD and average image quality, albeit one with some clever tricks up its sleeve. You really do have to like the IXUS 130's undeniable style to get on board - and that's exactly the kind of person that Canon are marketing this camera towards. If that sounds like you, then the svelte new Canon Digital IXUS 130 will definitely fit the bill.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3




1/2.3 type CCD

Effective Pixels


Colour Filter Type

Primary Colour



DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology


Focal Length

5.0 – 20.0 mm (35mm equivalent: 28 – 112mm)


Optical 4x. Digital approx. 4x ¹ (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.7x or 2.1x and Safety Zoom ²) ³. Combined approx. 16x

Maximum f/number

f/2.8 – f/5.9


6 elements in 5 groups (1 double sided aspherical UA lens, 1 single sided aspherical UA lens)

Image Stabilisation

Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 3-stop




AF System/ Points

AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre)

AF Modes

Single, Servo AF/AE ¹

AF Point Selection

Size (Normal, Small)

AF Lock

On/Off Selectable

AF Assist Beam


Closest Focusing Distance

3cm (W) from front of lens in macro


Metering modes

Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre)

AE Lock

On/Off Selectable

Exposure Compensation

+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction

ISO sensitivity*

AUTO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600



1 - 1/1500 sec (factory default)
15 - 1/1500 sec (total range - varies by shooting mode)





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



6.9 cm (2.7”) PureColor II G LCD (TFT), approx. 230,000 dots


Approx. 100%


Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD



Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro

Slow Sync Speed

Yes. Fastest speed 1/1500 sec

Red-Eye Reduction


Flash Exposure Compensation

Face Detection FE, Smart Flash Exposure

Flash Exposure Lock


Built-in Flash Range

30cm-4.0m (W) / 50cm-2.0m (T)

External Flash

Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1



Auto*, P, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter(Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light(3.5MP), Color Accent, Color Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist, Movie.
*with Scene Detection Technology and Motion Detection Technology

Photo Effects

My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)

Drive modes

Single, Continuous, Self-Timer

Continuous Shooting

Approx. 0.7 shots/sec. ¹ (until memory card becomes full) ²


Image Size

(L) 4320 x 3240, (M1) 3456 x 2592, (M2) 2592 x 1944, (M3) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480, (W) 4320 x 2432. Resize in playback (M3, S, 320 x 240)


Fine, Normal


(HD) 1280 x 720, 30fps, (L)640 x 480, 30fps, (M)320 x 240, 30fps

Movie Length

(HD) Up to 4GB or 10 min. 0 sec ¹
(L and M) Up to 4GB or 1 hour ²


Still Image Type

JPEG compression, (Exif 2.2 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant


MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (monaural)]


Canon Printers

Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)




Red-Eye Correction

Yes, during shooting and playback

My Camera / My Menu

Start-up image and camera sounds customisation

My Category

Image tagging feature

Intelligent Orientation Sensor




Playback Zoom

Approx. 2x – 10x

Self Timer

Approx. 2 or 10 sec., 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



Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)


HDMI Mini Connector. A/V output (PAL/NTSC)





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