Canon IXUS 132 Review

January 10, 2014 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Canon IXUS 132 is a point and shoot digital compact camera featuring fully automatic modes for simplicity, an 8x optical zoom starting from 28mm, fun shooting modes and a 16 megapixel sensor. Top that off with a Digic 4 processor and the IXUS 132 promises to be a camera to take great pictures for you. Available in blue, black, silver and pink, the Canon IXUS 132 costs around £80.

Ease of Use

Harking back to the days of film cameras, the IXUS range is synonymous with good looks, great build quality and ease of use. Back then, IXUS cameras were APS (Advanced Photo System) cameras and signalled a new level of camera for Canon. As soon as the IXUS was released, there seemed to be a kind of “them and us” in-house rivalry between the feature laden Sureshot range – later to become Powershot – and these IXUS cameras which were (and still are) a luxury line; more style over substance.

The design of the Canon IXUS 132 is typical of many others in the range. The face is dominated by the large lens bezel in which sits a surprisingly small 8x optical zoom lens considering the amount of real estate it occupies. Canon like to keep things simple on the IXUS range and there's only two buttons on the top plate to reaffirm this. The power button to the left is smaller than the shutter release. The latter also has a slim, stylish zoom ring around it. The kind that you don't really get on Powershot models unless you spend a decent amount of cash on it. Things like this are standard on IXUS, though. The buttons on the back are either larger than normal or it's an optical illusion due to the diminutive size of the body making them seem bigger.

At first it seems that Canon have done away with typical scene modes on the IXUS 132 that you can choose yourself. The switch in the top right corner flicks between intelligent Auto and Program mode. The intelligent Auto mode will be able to select the appropriate scene mode suitable for the scene it sees when pointed at something. There's a very high margin of success with these systems, so don't worry about getting the settings wrong on too many photographs. With the switch up, the camera will analyse what it's looking at and select the correct mode for the scene. There are 32 for it to choose from and this is probably where the IXUS 132 got most of it's name from.

Canon IXUS 132 Canon IXUS 132
Front Rear

With the switch down, if you press the Function (FUNC) button and go into the Function menu, you can select from various modes and scenes in there including traditional modes such as Portrait mode, Low light, Snow and Fireworks. They're mixed in with some of the newer features such as Toy camera, Miniature and Fish-eye effect. What functions appear in the Function menu will be determined by the mode you select. Choose program (P) and they'll all be available. This is the most versatile mode to use as it allows you to adjust areas such as ISO sensitivity, white-balance, focusing and metering. The shutter speeds may not go as low as they will in the Night mode and this is something we'll look at in more depth when we test the camera at night.

An interesting feature on many Canon digital compacts and also on the IXUS 132 is the ECO mode. It works by reducing the operating time of the screen so as to reduce power consumption. This could be especially useful for holidays and days out as it increases the amount of photographs available on a single charge. It also makes for a useful camera for taking travelling. To switch ECO mode on, you need to go into the Set-up section of the Main menu. There are actually two menus to use when taking photographs using the IXUS 132.

The aforementioned Main menu is used for making permanent changes to the Canon IXUS 132 as well as the core features. It's split into two sections to help you work out where to go. The Shooting menu (designated with a camera) will allow you to change settings associated with general shooting and everyday use of the camera such as flash, i-Contrast, blink detection and focus options. The Set-up menu (indicated by the spanner and hammer) will go more in-depth and change areas you don't deal with on a day to day basis, such as language, date & time, volume, ECO mode and formatting the card.

Canon IXUS 132 Canon IXUS 132
Front Top

To make changes to the actual shooting settings of the Canon IXUS 132 that will directly affect the picture you're about to take, you can press the FUNC key on the back of the camera and the Function menu will pop up at the left side of the screen. Because it's designed to change much used features such as ISO, white-balance, drive modes and self-timer it still lets you see the picture in the background, where the Main menu blocks it out. This is likely to avoid too much distraction so you don't accidentally format the card.

We managed to get the Canon IXUS 132 switched on, focused and taking a picture in 1.9sec. That's not bad going for a camera at this position in the market. The average has been about 2.5sec for a few years now, although we have noticed a decrease in the times recently. On the other hand, the continuous shooting mode certainly can't be called a burst mode. Canon specify a 0.8 fps (frames per second) continuous mode, but we got more 0.6fps. Either way, it's a poor show being the only continuous mode on the camera.

Playing back the pictures you've taken already is a simple affair. You can press the blue arrow button on the back of the camera at any time, whether the camera is on or off. The most recently taken picture will be displayed unless you've looked at the pictures previously and not taken a photo since. In that scenario, the most recently viewed picture will be displayed. There's no information shown unless you select it. To do this, press the DISP button on the bottom of the navigation pad.

Canon IXUS 132 Canon IXUS 132
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

There are two more options to choose from. You can select basic info which consists of the date and time, resolution and file number. Or you can choose detailed information which even brings up a histogram. Playback also has it's own Function and Main menus which can be brought up the same way as when you're shooting.

The Set-up menu remains available even when in playback but there are two extra tabs. The first one is denoted by the playback icon of an arrow in a square. In here, you can erase, protect and rotate pictures as well as perform some basic editing, such as adding i-Contrast, correcting red-eye, cropping or resizing them. You can also create a slide-show and it's good for a bit of fun, but if you're considering doing it on a regular basis, look at a dedicated slide-show suite. The middle tab is dedicated to printing. Here you can select the pictures you want to print, how many of them you want then link up to to a compatible printer directly.

In the box with the Canon IXUS 132, you get a tightly sealed pack with basic start up instructions as well as  a safety leaflet, warranty leaflet and a promotional leaflet. There should also be a CD included, although there wasn't one in our test sample. Review boxes sometimes come without all the contents. Under this you'll find the camera which is accompanied by a lithium ion battery, dedicated charger, USB cable and a wrist strap.

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 6Mb.


It's fair to say that when you have a camera that's placed at this price point, you have to take the rough with the smooth, right? Well let's hope so because the sensitivity results from the IXUS 132 aren't great. The camera only has a range from ISO 100 to 1600 and looking at the photographs at full magnification, it's easy to see why. There's slight instances of noise creeping through at ISO 100, which isn't a good start. This is only in the darker areas of the photograph and it's not easily noticeable. If you view the pictures at normal viewing distance, you won't see a thing. Mid-tones are still clear and edge definition is great.

Move on to ISO 200 and you can see that the noise reduction system is trying its best to temper the coloured blobs that are desperately trying to take over the dark areas of the pictures. Detail starts to break down in shadows at ISO 400 but thankfully the mid-tones are still untouched. Because of this, there's still a good amount of colour in the pictures.

While noise is stripping the darker areas of detail, the noise reduction software seems to protect the lighter areas as they're relatively untouched even at ISO 800. That's not to say it's escaping harassment, but it's a lot better than we expected it to be. By the final ISO 1600 setting, colour noise has all but destroyed the darker areas of the picture and lurks at the edges waiting to attack, surrounding lighter areas like a group of ninjas in a 1980's Kung Fu film. We think that if there had been an ISO 3200 setting, it would have been far too bad to be useable, so Canon have done the right thing capping it here. 

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Canon IXUS 132 has an 8x optical zoom. In 35mm terms, the focal length can get as wide as 28mm and to 224mm when at full zoom.



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


We did notice an increase in image sharpness just by running the pictures through a basic sharpening tool in Adobe Photoshop. However, if you don't want to use one, or don't know how, the Canon IXUS 132 does sharpen them to a satisfactory level in-camera.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

As well as choosing the resolution of the photographs, you can also choose whether to use a Fine or Superfine compression. Should you choose the latter, image sizes will range from around 5.8Mb to 6.2Mb. Knock it down to Fine and they're around the 3.8Mb. A substantial difference and we didn't notice much loss of detail in our test shot aside from slightly sharper fine strands. It will release a lot of space on your card to take more pictures, though.



quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

This is one area where the Canon IXUS 132 is let down. Chromatic aberration is terrible on the IXUS 132. It's present on nearly every photograph where there's a contrasting line of dark and light. It doesn't have to be black and white. Worryingly, it happens towards the centre of the frame too. Typically, it's noticeable at the far edges where image sharpness degrades and the lens has more trouble focusing all colours (this is the cause of chroma) but on the IXUS 132, it happens a lot more central to the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


Close focusing on the Canon IXUS 132 is great at 1cm. We had objects practically touching the lens and the Canon still kept giving us the confirmation bleep of focus. There's only a small sweet spot of focus when this close, though.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


At wide-angle there's a slight amount of vignetting when not using the flash. Switch the flash on and the vignette increases ten-fold. Using flash seems to remove it a lot, although not completely.

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

In our test shots, we got a lot of red-eye and it wouldn't go even with the red-eye correction system switched on. It's accessed in the Main menu under Flash settings. Interestingly, whenever we took any further portraits or self portraits, we didn't get red-eye at all.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Night test was an interesting one. Normally we take a shot using the Night scene which uses a high ISO to react well in low light but produces noisy, broken images that aren't any good. Then we take a shot using controlled ISO in Program mode and they come out lovely and smooth. The Night scene shots are much better than the Program mode pictures. We took one at auto ISO and one at ISO 100 to be certain and it's true. Using Night scene mode is better than using Program mode.

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

night_scene.jpg night_scene_crop.jpg

Night Auto ISO

Night Auto ISO (100% Crop)

night_program_autoiso.jpg night_program_autoiso_crop.jpg

Night ISO 100

Night ISO 100 (100% Crop)

night_program_iso100.jpg night_program_iso100_crop.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon IXUS 132 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 & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280 x 720 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 31 second movie is 79.3Mb in size.

Product Images

Canon IXUS 132

Front of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Front of the Canon IXUS 132 / Turned On

Canon IXUS 132

Side of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Side of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Image Displayed

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Turned On

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Function Menu

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Effects Menu


Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Canon IXUS 132 Menu

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Setup Menu

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Playback Menu

Canon IXUS 132

Rear of the Canon IXUS 132 / Print Menu

Canon IXUS 132

Top of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Bottom of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Side of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Side of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Front of the Canon IXUS 132

Canon IXUS 132

Memory Card Slot

Canon IXUS 132

Battery Compartment


When using a Canon IXUS it's easy to fall into the mind-frame that it's a top of the range model – because of the well known branding. The IXUS 132 is a sub £100 model, so it can't be treated in the same way. There are going to be some failings and there are. For example, we think that noise would be showing at ISO 100 if it wasn't for a top notch noise reduction system. Looking at the pictures at normal viewing size, noise is only really visible at ISO 800 and only annoying at ISO 1600, which proves just how good it is. Colours are recorded realistically enough but that can make them bland in some cases. Dynamic range is nonexistant and the screen doesn't do pictures any justice at all. We also noticed that the screen moves slightly from side to side by a few millimetres. This may be a design flaw in our test model, but try it out before purchasing anyway.

Including the histogram in playback is quite good stuff for a sub £100 camera. Saying that, the Canon IXUS 132 does have a bit going for it for the price that it's been given. The build quality, while not the best, is good enough for general use. It feels like a plastic covering. The zoom is relatively long at 8x optical and it has a wide-angle field of view. The tripod bush is made of metal and that's usually reserved for more expensive cameras, so it's nice to see it on a budget model. On the downside, the HD video isn't FullHD, it's 720p. The buttons on the back aren't the most responsive, or easiest to use, and the zoom lens can be heard during video playback.

The Canon IXUS 132 would ideally suit a first time photographer looking for a smart little model with a good brand name and some decent features. It fits easily into the pocket, looks good on a night out and will keep younger users amused with the digital effects. Kids will like creating a toy town style photo with the Miniature effect and also using the selective colour to enhance pictures. If you're a young family, looking for a budget point and shooter, then the Canon IXUS 132 could be right up your street.

3.5 stars

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

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Canon IXUS 132.

Fujifilm FinePix T400

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 S3500

The Nikon Coolpix S3500 is an affordable and easy-to-use point-and-shoot compact camera. Featuring a 7x, 26-182mm lens and a 20 megapixel CCD sensor, the S3500 also offers 720p HD movies and a range of special effects. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S3500 review now...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 is a new entry-level travel-zoom compact camera. The slim and stylish Panasonic SZ1 offers 16 megapixels, a 10x zoom lens, 3 inch LCD screen, and 720p HD movies. Read our in-depth Panasonic DMC-SZ1 review now...

Samsung WB30F

The Samsung WB30F is a new travel-zoom camera that won't break the bank. The WB30F offers a wide-angle 10x zoom lens, 16.2 megapixel sensor, 720p video recording, 3 inch LCD screen and built-in wi-fi. Read our in-depth Samsung WB30F review to find out if it's worth the modest asking price....

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60

Entry level cameras don't have to be big and ugly, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60 is a case in point. This stylish compact packs an 8x zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch screen and a wealth of beginner-friendly features into its svelte frame. Priced at around £150, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60 review to find out if its performance matches its good looks...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Canon IXUS 132 from around the web. »

The Canon IXUS 132 is an ultra compact camera with an 8x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor and a 2.7inch screen on the back, it's available in blue, black, silver and pink. Find out how it performs in our review.
Read the full review »



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


Type DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology


Focal Length 5.0 – 40.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 – 224 mm)
Zoom Optical 8x
ZoomPlus 16x
Digital Approx. 4x. (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.6x or 2.0x and Safety Zoom¹). Combined Approx. 32x¹
Maximum f/number f/3.2 – f/6.9
Construction 8 elements in 7 groups
(1 double-sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 2.5-stop¹. Intelligent IS


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/AE¹, Tracking AF¹
AF Point Selection Size (Normal, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Assist Beam Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 1 cm (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, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600


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


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


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


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


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


Image Size 4:3 - (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 - (L) 4608 x 2592, (M1) 3264 x 1832, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 - (L) 4608 x 3072, (M1) 3264 x 2176, (M2) 1600 x 1064, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 - (L) 3456 x 3456, (M1) 2448 x 2448, (M2) 1200 x 1200, (S) 480 x 480
Resize in playback (M2, S, XS)
*XS is half the length and width of S
Compression Superfine, 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


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) ]


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)
PictBridge Yes


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, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese


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




PC & Macintosh Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X v10.6 – 10.8


Browsing & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Other Camera Window


Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery life Approx. 200 shots¹
Eco Mode: Approx. 275 shots¹
Approx. 300 min. playback
A/C Power Supply Optional, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC90


Cases / Straps 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


Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 92.9 x 52.4 x 21.6 mm
Weight Approx. 133 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
Zoom ¹ Depending on the image size selected.
Image Stabilisation ¹ Values at maximum optical focal length. Cameras whose focal length exceeds 350 mm (35mm equivalent) are measured at 350 mm.
AF Modes ¹ Some settings limit availability.
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.
Battery life ¹ Using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera (where included), except where indicated.
  • All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • *Standard Output Sensitivity / Recommended Exposure Index.
  • According to ISO 12232:2006 (20th April 2006) which specifies the method for assigning and reporting ISO speed ratings for digital still cameras.

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