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Digicams: New Little Megapixel Monsters, Part II

Canon PowerShot S230 (Ixus V3)

The S230 (Ixus V3 in Europe) is uncannily like the earlier S200 (V2). It has the same casing and 35-70 mm zoom (= 35 mm). On the outside, there are just a few indications that something has changed inside: the sensor is now a 3-megapixel CCD and Canon has also changed the processor, which handles autofocus and burst mode. Focusing is now nine-point, and 14 photos can be recorded in seven seconds in burst mode.

The Ixus V3 focus in this shot is a failure. In this situation, it is best to switch the nine-point autofocus to a single, centered one.

Fortunately, the change of resolution hardly slows the camera down at all. It does still require three seconds to boot, a time that Canon would do well to improve. JPEG shots record in 1.8 seconds instead of 1.5 as before, though in practice, the difference is hardly noticeable.

Apart from that, we still appreciate the LCD viewfinder screen. Pixel response is excellent and the image stays clear even when you move the camera. This is in fact the clearest and most precise of all the five screens tested.