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Review: Canon IXUS 510 HS compact

Price: $320 (street price)
What were they thinking?

The low-down: This 10-megapixel camera with a 28mm-336mm (film equivalent) zoom lens is a variation of the 500 HS already reviewed. It has a face area exactly that of a credit card and is a mere 19 millimetres thick. It weighs 155 grams and easily fits in any pocket or bag. The small body feels rugged and looks good with its squared-off corners. The 75-millimetre 461k-dot LCD is a touchscreen through which every function is controlled. The only buttons are for on-off, zoom and review. There is also wi-fi connectivity. The memory card is the microSD type typically used in mobile phones.

Like: Good image quality. Both noise and noise-reduction effects are well controlled. The zoom range is overly optimistic but the pixel density is about right. At the full zoom, extension drop-off in sharpness is noticeable but acceptable.

Dislike: The touchscreen is non-responsive. Moving through controls is like pushing through treacle. It is the worst implementation of a touchscreen we have ever used. It is as though Canon is ignorant of the advances made by Panasonic and others in capacitive touchscreens - this one feels like the old-fashioned resistive type. Awful. We could not make the wireless LAN connection, not because it couldn't be done but because we feared we would die before we worked out the connection permutations.

Verdict: We loved the Ixus 500, calling it ''a little ripper'', but the 510 takes a fundamentally excellent camera and spoils it with an unworkable touchscreen. Buy the 500, save yourself money and end up with a better camera.