Canon IXUS 125 HS Review

March 22, 2012 | Gavin Stoker |

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.

As we’ve noted when examining Canon IXUS models in the past, for spur-of-the-moment amateur snapshot-style photography the IXUS 125 HS is an ideal tool. It’s unobtrusively transportable about your person and can be quickly deployed when confronted with everyday point and shoot opportunities.

While pictures aren’t always razor sharp, when there’s plenty of light around the Canon is nevertheless capable of capturing an impressive level of detail, if familiar bugbears such as pixel fringing between areas of high contrast and burnt out highlight detail synonymous with most consumer cameras remain.

We were lucky enough to be shooting with the IXUS 125 HS during some early spring sunshine. Colours were largely naturalistic from the camera’s default settings, and the effects filters are fun when used sparingly to add a bit of visual interest to an otherwise everyday scene. The bottom line is that here is a camera capable of delivering very usable results that don’t require much in the way of post processing. Results from Smart Auto mode are commendably consistent. This really is just point and shoot simple - and there is always going to be a market for that.

As the IXUS 125 HS is partly selling itself on its High Sensitivity capabilities, we were expecting equally good results when shooting in low light, and even though the small sensor here has been burdened with quite a large number of pixels, we’d be happy shooting up to and including the ISO 1600 setting. Even at top whack ISO 3200 usable results can be achieved, though we are more readily noticing both grain and gradual softening of edge detail.

On the whole then, while the Canon IXUS 125 HS is obviously a snapshot camera, it’s one of the better ones. We still cannot however claim that at this price it’s necessarily the best value.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon IXUS 125 HS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (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 a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the My Colors menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon IXUS 125 HS handled chromatic aberrations fairly 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)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Canon IXUS 125 HS offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. 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 IXUS 125 HS are Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, and Flash Off, with Red-eye Correction and Red-Eye Lamp settings available via the Flash Settings main menu option. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (120mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (120mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Flash On or the Red-eye Correction settings caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)


The Canon IXUS 125 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds in the Long Shutter mode, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 5 second setting the actual exposure takes 10 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)