Canon IXUS 190 Review

August 15, 2017 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Canon IXUS 190 is one of a duo of new IXUS cameras, the IXUS 185 and 190. They are the slimmest models in Canon’s range, making them ideal to slip into a pocket or bag.

The two cameras are the same in every respect, except for the fact that the IXUS 190 features NFC as well as Wi-Fi, while the 185 is Wi-Fi only. If you have a smartphone or tablet which doesn’t feature NFC (such as an iPhone), you may as well plump for the 185.

Both feature a 20 megapixel CCD image sensor, a 10x optical zoom offering an equivalent of 24-240mm in 35mm terms. Other specifications include 720p HD video recording, a smart Auto setting, and a set of creative filters which can be applied to your images for different looks.

The Canon IXUS 190 is available in silver, blue or black with an RRP of £169.99 / €219.99.

Ease of Use

Canon IXUS 190
Front of the Canon IXUS 190

As it says in the marketing material of the Canon IXUS 190, the camera is indeed very slim. You shouldn’t have any trouble fitting this into a trouser or jean pocket, or a very small bag on a night out or similar. The camera is very light and is made from plastic, which leaves it having quite a cheap feel. Rounded corners and the black finish of the one we’ve been supplied with give the camera quite a sleek appearance to look at, though.

On the top of the Canon IXUS 190 there’s the on/off button, along with the shutter release. Surrounding the shutter release is a zoom switch for extending and retracting the 10x optical zoom. It’s quite a small and fiddly zoom switch, but it feels relatively solidly built. The zoom itself moves in and out relatively quickly, with a slight pause before moving into the digital zoom territory. You’ll also see a zoom bar at the top of the screen, which will display yellow when you enter the digital zoom, and blue when you push the digital zoom even further.

Canon IXUS 190
Rear of the Canon IXUS 190

Moving to the back of the Canon IXUS 190, there’s quite a basic layout - something which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever used a Canon compact before. There’s a playback button just next to a dedicated video record button. A four way pad has a different function assigned to each directional key. The up directional key controls the different shooting modes available, the right key is for flash functions, the left key switches on  and off the date/time stamp and the down key changes what is displayed on the screen. In the middle of the navigation pad is a function button, which you can use to bring up a quick menu (depending on your shooting mode). You can also use this button as a “confirmation”  button when selecting options in the main or quick menu.

The final two buttons are a menu button, for accessing the main menu, and a wi-fi button, which you can use to quickly set up a wi-fi connection to your smartphone or tablet.

It’s fair to say that this camera is aimed towards a beginner audience, and as such, the default shooting mode is automatic. There’s also an “Easy Auto” mode, which can be set to automatically activate when you switch the camera on. Alternatively, if it’s switched off, you can switch the mode on by holding down the up directional key. This mode gives complete control to the camera and is ideal for those who just want a simple point-and-shoot type set up.

Canon IXUS 190
Top of the Canon IXUS 190

With the standard auto setting, you still don’t have a great deal of control, but you’ll find a few different functions in the quick menu, including the size of image, drive mode and timer. For those that want to take a little bit more control, there’s a Program mode available. With this, you can change certain key parameters including ISO, exposure compensation and metering. More advanced controls, such as shutter speed and aperture can’t be set. You can also access creative filters through the program menu, as well as changing the focus mode (between Normal, Infinity and Macro).

The Canon IXUS 190 has a 2.7-inch, 230k-dot screen. By modern standards, this is a very basic offering. When shooting in lower light conditions, the screen is marred by a strange colour cast. Occasionally, you might also see lines running down or across the screen. At times, it can be a little difficult to compose your image as it proves to be such a distraction. Additionally, the screen is not touch-sensitive.

A door protects the battery and memory card compartment. This camera accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and has a rechargeable battery which you have to remove from the camera to charge (a charger is supplied in the box).

Canon IXUS 190
The Canon IXUS 190 In-hand

When it comes to autofocus, there’s no way to choose your own autofocus point, instead the Canon IXUS 190 will choose for you. You also can’t set it to centre focus and recompose - more advanced photographers may be disappointed to learn this, but for beginners it may not be too much of an issue. Most of the time, the camera will pick the “correct” autofocus point, but on occasion you may find you have to take the picture more than once, in order to get the focus point you require.

Generally speaking, autofocus is relatively quick. In lower light conditions, you might find that the lens hunts a little in order to acquire focus. The odd false confirmation of focus is displayed, but it’s not too much hassle to refocus. Macro focusing can be switched on from the function menu when shooting in Program mode. Otherwise, it should be activated automatically when you get close to a subject. You can focus pretty closely, with the lens almost touching the subject itself on some occasions.

Start-up time is pretty quick, being ready to focus and shoot within one second. Shot-to-shot time is a little on the slow side, with there being a noticeable pause between shots. If you want to take a lot of pictures in very quick succession, this may be quite annoying, but otherwise it’s probably not something you’ll notice all that much. Moving through photos is also a little on the slow side, when viewing images in playback.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that image quality is not the Canon IXUS 190’s forte. Although you can get some relatively pleasing shots when using the camera in bright sunlight, the images are of a lesser quality than a good smartphone - so if you already own one of those, the point of the IXUS 190 has to come into question.

Even at low ISOs and bright conditions, there’s some graininess and artefacts to be seen - it’s especially evident when examining at 100%, but it’s also relatively clear to see in some shots at A4 or even smaller.

On the plus side, colours are bright and vibrant, with a good degree of saturation. The overall impression of detail is reasonably good, and while you can see some smudging at 100%, if you’re mainly going to be sharing or printing at small sizes, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

When it comes to low light shooting, it’s best if you can avoid that altogether. Images taken in lower light conditions display smudginess and a loss of detail, and even in some cases, lines down the shot ruin it altogether. If you can switch on the flash, better results are yielded, but otherwise, this camera is definitely best suited to fair weather shooting.

On the whole, the all-purpose metering system does a decent job of getting the exposure right - but there are occasions when a high contrast situation may throw it off slightly. Automatic white balance copes well with a variety of different lighting conditions, but it errs slightly towards warmer or yellowish tones under artificial lighting.

One thing that the Canon IXUS 190 has going for it over your smartphone is that it is equipped with a 10x optical zoom. At the furthest reach of the telephoto zoom, images are a little softer than at the wide end - again, if you’re mainly sharing or printing at small sizes, that may not be too much of an issue.


The Canon IXUS 190 only has five sensitivity settings at full resolution. Auto mode uses a range between ISO 100 and ISO 800, or you can switch to one of the creative shooting modes to manually select these settings.

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 190 has a 10x zoom lens with an effective focal range of 24-240mm.





Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon IXUS 190 handled chromatic aberrations only fairly well during the review, with purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The close focusing of the Canon IXUS 190 at wide-angle is a mere 1cm. It does mean that there's little light getting in when you do that and the edge definition drops off leaving around 50% of the image in focus.




The Canon IXUS 190' flash has four modes: Auto, On, Off and Slow Synchro, plus a separate setting to enable or disable red-eye reduction. Whether this is active or not, the camera successfully avoids any trace of red-eye. Here are some portrait shots.

Flash Off


Flash On



The Canon IXUS 190 offers 6 different filter effects.

No Filter


filter-nofilter.JPG filter1-monochrome.JPG


Toy Camera

filter2-fisheyeeffect.JPG filter3-toycameraeffect.JPG


Super Vivid

filter4-miniatureeffect.JPG filter5-supervivid.JPG



Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon IXUS 190 camera, which were all taken using the 20 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 1280x720 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 14 second movie is 24.2Mb in size.

Product Images

Canon IXUS 190

Front of the Canon IXUS 190

Canon IXUS 190

Front of the Canon IXUS 190 / Turned On

Canon IXUS 190

Side of the Canon IXUS 190

Canon IXUS 190

Side of the Canon IXUS 190

Canon IXUS 190

Rear of the Canon IXUS 190

Canon IXUS 190

Rear of the Canon IXUS 190 / Image Displayed

Canon IXUS 190

Rear of the Canon IXUS 190 / Turned On

Canon IXUS 190

Rear of the Canon IXUS 190 / Function Menu

Canon IXUS 190

Rear of the Canon IXUS 190 / Main Menu


Canon IXUS 190

Top of the Canon IXUS 190

Canon IXUS 190
Bottom of the Canon IXUS 190
Canon IXUS 190
Side of the Canon IXUS 190
Canon IXUS 190
Side of the Canon IXUS 190
Canon IXUS 190
Front of the Canon IXUS 190
Canon IXUS 190
Front of the Canon IXUS 190
Canon IXUS 190
Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment


As has been well-documented, sales of compact cameras have been adversely affected by the rise in popularity of the smartphone. With the Canon IXUS 190, if you own a smartphone, it’s hard to imagine why you’d want to buy this separately. 

Still, if you want something you can throw in a bag and not worry too much about damaging, or to take on nights out etc where you may not have your phone - the IXUS 190 represents an option (if arguably not the best one). It’s small and sleek, and extremely light, so you may barely even notice it in your pocket. 

It’s also true that it’s got a 10x optical zoom, which is a more flexible than your average smartphone. Image quality overall is worse than a high-quality smartphone, sometimes slightly (in good light), and sometimes a lot more (in lower light). Whether you’re attracted to the 10x optical zoom at the expense of good image quality will come down to personal taste. 

The IXUS 190 is aimed primarily at beginners, so therefore it’s no surprise to see Easy Auto mode being the default setting. Program mode gives you a little more choice when it comes to changing certain settings, but it’s probably easier if you let the camera decide for you if you’re using the camera mainly as a holiday snapshot type device. 

When it comes to value for money, the Canon IXUS 190 is available relatively cheaply - certainly in comparison to the full price of a smartphone. However, given that most people have a smartphone anyway, it’s an extra outlay you may not want to spend. If you don’t have a smartphone, and have no interest in getting one, a camera like this is ideal for capturing quick snaps when you’re out and about - but it’s certainly not capable of producing fantastically high quality images. 

Overall, the Canon IXUS 190 seems a little redundant in the current market, but if you are looking specifically for a small, light and standalone camera you can get some relatively good photos in bright sunshine then it could suit you - anything other than that and the camera can struggle. 

3 stars

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

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Canon IXUS 190.

Canon IXUS 185

The Canon IXUS 185 is an affordable, stylish and super-slim compact camera. The Canon IXUS 185 offers 20 megapixels, a 10x zoom lens, a 3-inch LCD screen and 720p HD movies. Read our in-depth Canon IXUS 185 review now...

Nikon Coolpix S3700

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is an affordable point-and-shoot compact camera with built-in wifi and NFC connectivity. Featuring an 8x, 25-200mm lens and a 20 megapixel CCD sensor, the S3700 also offers 720p HD movies and a range of special effects. Read our Nikon Coolpix S3700 review to find out if this budget shooter is worth looking at..

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90 is a new travel-zoom compact camera for 2017. The 20-megapixel TZ90 (also known as the Panasonic ZS70) offers a 30x wide-angle zoom lens, flippable 3" monitor, 4K video recording, lens control ring, RAW file format, touchscreen control and an electronic viewfinder. Read our in-depth Panasonic TZ90 review now...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 is the world's smallest camera with a 30x zoom lens. This affordable travel-zoom also offers a flip-up screen, pop-up flash, 18 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in wi-fi/NFC connectivity and Full HD movie recording. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 review to find out if this is the best travel-zoom camera on the market...


Image Sensor


1/2.3 type CCD

Effective Pixels

Approx. 20.0M 1

Effective / Total Pixels

Approx. 20.5M

Image Processor




Focal Length

4.3 – 43.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 240 mm)


Optical 10x
ZoomPlus 20x
Digital approx. 4x
Combined approx. 40x 2

Maximum f/number

f/3.0 – f/6.9


9 elements in 7 groups (1 double-sided aspherical lens)

Image Stabilisation

Yes (lens shift-type), approx. 2.5-stop 3. Intelligent IS plus Enhanced Dynamic IS




AF System/ Points

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

AF Modes

Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE, Tracking AF 4

AF Assist Beam


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)

Exposure Compensation

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

ISO Sensitivity

AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
AUTO ISO: 100 - 800



1 – 1/2000 s (Auto Mode)
15 – 1/2000 s (total range – varies by shooting mode)

White Balance




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

LCD Monitor


6.8 cm (2.7") LCD (TFT), approx. 230,000 dots


Approx. 100%


Adjustable to one of five levels.
Quick-bright LCD available via holding INFO Button



Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro

Slow Sync Speed

Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 s

Red-Eye Reduction


Flash Exposure Compensation

Face Detection FE

Built-in Flash Range

50 cm – 4.0 m (W) / 1.0 – 2.0 m (T)

External Flash

Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2



Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), P, Portrait, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Light (5.0 MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Fireworks, Long Shutter
Easy Auto activated by default

Drive modes

Single, Continuous, Self-Timer

Continuous Shooting

Approx. 0.8 shots/s
Low Light Mode (5.0 MP): Approx. 2.2 shots/s
(all speeds are until memory card becomes full) 5, 6


Image Size

4:3 - (L) 5152 x 3864, (M1) 3648 x 2736, (M2) 2048 x 1536, (S) 640 x 480
16:9/ W - (L) 5152 x 2896
Resize option available in playback




(HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 29.97 fps

Movie Length


(HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min 59 s 7

(L) up to 4 GB or 1 hour 8


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


MP4 [Video: MPEG4-AVC / H.264, Audio: MPEG4 AAC-LC (monaural)]

Other Features


GPS via mobile (via Canon Camera Connect app with compatible smart devices)

Red-Eye Correction


Intelligent Orientation Sensor

Yes, with Auto Rotate


Yes, during playback

Playback zoom

Approx. 2x – 10x

Self Timer

Approx. 2, 10 s 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, Hebrew



Hi-Speed USB composite connector (Mini-B compatible)


A/V output, composite connector (PAL/NTSC)


Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n), (2.4 GHz only), with Dynamic NFC support 9

Memory Card



Supported Operating System

PC & Macintosh

Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1  10
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12

For Wi-Fi connection to a PC:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10

For Image Transfer Utility:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12



CameraWindow DC
Map Utility
Image Transfer Utility

Camera Connect app available on iOS and Android devices

Power Source


Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L / NB-11LH (NB-11L battery and charger supplied)

Battery life

Approx. 190 shots
Eco Mode: Approx. 245 shots
Playback Mode: Approx. 240 min


Cases / Straps

Soft Case DCC-1320
Soft Case DCC-1370


Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2

Power Supply & Battery Chargers

Battery Charger CB-2LFE / CB-2LDE
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L/ NB-11LH


Canon AV Cable AVC-DC400
Interface cable IFC-400PCU

All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.

Subject to change without notice.

  1. Image processing may cause a decrease in the number of pixels.
  2. Depending on the image size selected.
  3. Values at maximum optical focal length. Cameras whose focal length exceeds 350 mm (35 mm equivalent) are measured at 350 mm.
  4. Some settings limit availability.
  5. Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
  6. Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
  7. 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.
  8. Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
  9. Wi-Fi use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Wi-Fi support varies by device and region. For more information visit
  10. Software applications compatible with Windows 10 in Windows 10 Desktop Mode only

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