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Gadget review: Canon IXUS 285 HS

Yet another IXUS from the Canon stable. This one connects via Wi-Fi, but gets some basics wrong

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Apr 21, 2016 17:54 IST
Sarit Ray
Sarit Ray
Hindustan Times
HT48Hours,Canon IXUS 285 HS,Gadget review

Yet another IXUS from the Canon stable. This one connects via Wi-Fi, but gets some basics wrong

What: Canon IXUS 285 HS

At a glance: Wi-Fi, 20.2MP, 12X zoom, ISO 80-1600; Effects: miniature, toy camera, etc

USP: Compact, well-priced point-and-shoot with connectivity

Best buy: Rs 12,048 on

Rating: 2/5

Here’s a question we’ve been asking for a while: who buys the point-and-shoot digicam anymore? For the Instagram and Facebook ‘photographer’, most modern cellphones do a more than satisfactory job. For those looking to photograph a little more seriously, you need a DSLR. Or, with interchangeable lens cameras getting better and better, you get one of those: the perfect middle ground between quality and convenience.

In that market, against obvious odds, Canon has launched yet another IXUS camera: the 285 HS, which seems rather similar to the 275 HS (cheaper, same megapixel count). It’s slim, has Wi-Fi to connect quickly with your phone, and packs in 20MP. But is that enough?

Test shot 1: The tilt shift, or miniature mode, is one of its most fun features. Shoot buildings from a vantage point and you get city shots that remind you BBC Sherlock’s opening sequence (Photo: Sarit Ray)

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What’s good: The device is sleek and compact, and weighs a mere 147g (almost as light as a cellphone). The build feels sturdy. That said, the matte silver, and overall design is standard-issue Canon, without any real surprise. The camera works sharply in daylight, and has a strong-enough flash for low-light shots. The most fun features are the modes that reside within. We especially loved the tilt shift mode, which makes landscapes appear miniature. The biggest draw, however, is the connectivity, via Wi-Fi and NFC. You need to get a dedicated Canon app on your phone, and the photo transfer is quick and simple.

Test shot 2: So long as there’s available light, the camera shoots with decent sharpness. This one’s only had a little bit of contrast correction in post-edit (Photo: Sarit Ray)

What’s not: The camera struggles in low light. And we’re not talking nights, but even indoor settings. In spite of the 20MP (and we shot full size), subjects appear grainy when zoomed in. And while the ISO goes up to 1600, the quality is nearly unusable. If you try to shoot at lower ISOs, the shutter speed drops. So much so that our Nexus 6 took more steady shots in similar light condition. We also found the shutter release placed a bit too far from the edge, making one-hand shooting slightly uncomfortable.

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Test shot 3: The IXUS 285HS struggles when you turn up the ISO. In the shadow areas to the top right, the grain is the most noticeable (Photo: Sarit Ray)

Verdict: The 285 HS comes at a really good price. So, it might work for those who want a stand-alone camera, but not the significant expense or weight of a DSLR. And while adding the Wi-Fi share option is move in the right direction, we wish to see it on devices where the quality isn’t compromised.

First Published: Apr 20, 2016 00:00 IST