Canon IXUS 220 HS Review

April 8, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 2.5Mb.

This being a Canon camera we weren't expecting images to be terrible despite the low-ish price point: far from it. That said, we are dealing with a snapshot camera, so miracles aren't expected either. With this caveat in place, familiar bugbears such as pixel fringing between areas of high contrast and loss of sharpness towards the corner of frame at maximum wide angle rear their heads. With as a default the camera biasing whatever is dead centre of frame, most will be pleased with the results though, and images are generally well exposed and crisp in terms of detail – as long as you don't enlarge portions and scrutinize them too closely.

This is a class of camera that functions at its best with plenty of natural light available, so sunnier climes will render the best-looking photographs. Having said that the IXUS 220 HS doesn't exactly drop down significantly in performance when it comes to low light shooting either, and it is this respect that we were most pleased with the camera's capability. Here the top setting of ISO3200 when combined with an f/2.7 maximum aperture is actually usable; a setting at which the performance of most point and shoot cameras is degraded significantly to resemble something closer to a watercolor than a photograph. That's not the case here and even the three megapixel Low Light mode delivered a pleasingly sharp result when faced with our regular doll test subjects. Overall a much better than expected performance and from a sub-£200 camera - leaving us with very little to grumble about.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon IXUS 220 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 220 HS handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Canon IXUS 220 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 220 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 220 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 1/8th second at ISO 800. 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)