The operation of a compact camera, actually this applies to all digital cameras, must in the first place be simple. In fact, you should be able to make the first picture without having to read the manual. Recognizable icons, clearly legible, and above all simple actions, determine a camera's ease of use. And now a touchscreen monitor is introduced. I must admit I had my doubts about it when the Canon Digital IXUS 200 IS was first introduced, especially considering the fact that there is often a world of difference between one touchscreen and the next. Using the screen in practice should give a final verdict.
Zooming with the Canon 200IS
Activating the Canon IXUS 200 IS camera is quick and takes place smoothly. Within one second, the camera is ready for use. Zooming in is carried out at an average speed and if desired, in 11 precise steps. Something that does bother me somewhat in practice is the tiny tip on the zoom ring that should provide the correct grip to be able to rotate left or right (zooming in or out). The tip feels uncomfortable and in my case, my finger even slipped over it, affecting the zooming accuracy and speed.
3" monitor on the Canon IXUS 200IS
The Canon Digital IXUS 200 IS provides two different capture modes. The AUTO mode is characterized by simplicity, at which all possible complications are thrown overboard. With minimal setting options, it is virtually impossible to make wrong decisions with the Canon IXUS 200 IS in this mode. However, if you want a bit more influence or opportunities available to you, then the second capture mode will be the right choice. Things such as light metering, ISO, white balance, etc. are all directly accessible and adjustable at wish via the FUNC button.
Canon Digital IXUS 200 IS monitor
The touchscreen monitor allows tapping and accessing certain functions, and then changing or activating these by pressing the monitor. Not all functions can be operated this way, which leaves some work for the physical buttons also found on the camera. In practice, the monitor functions as a touchscreen without any problems or annoyances. The monitor responds fairly directly, and thanks to the structure and placement of the functions, it is virtually impossible to unintentionally select settings. We often find this happening with another popular electronic tool; the mobile phone. Delay, inaccuracy, etc. are all common annoyances for mobile phone users. The Canon IXUS 200 IS seems unperturbed by all this.
First Canon IXUS with touch screen technology
However, the touchscreen technology does not actually provide a surplus value in practice other than that it is a more 'modern' way of operating, and will be recognized by the avid cell phone user. In terms of speed, the operation does not seem to suffer from any delay. And by adding some extra features like Touch AF, the Canon IXUS 200 IS seems to be the start of what may become an entirely new generation of touchscreen IXUS cameras; although I think we will have entered the year 2010 by then.