Pros: Good image quality; 720p video mode; excellent build quality and design.
Cons: Limited manual modes and options; too expensive; noise levels could be lower.
On the plus side, the addition of anti-shake and a powerful inbuilt flash means you can still capture great night photos with this camera. The Canon Ixus 990 IS also acquitted itself well in high-contrast situations, with purple fringing kept to a minimum. All up, we were quite happy with the Ixus 990 IS's imaging performance, despite the flaws mentioned above. Provided you stick to the optimum settings, it is capable of producing stunning photos with minimum fuss from the user.
The ability to shoot high-definition movies is one of the Canon Ixus 990 IS’s main claims to fame. It records video in the Quicktime MOV format at a maximum resolution of 1280-x-720. We were fairly impressed by the quality of our output, although the tiny inbuilt microphone is incapable of capturing good audio. We were also dismayed to find we couldn’t use the optical zoom while shooting video (it instead reverts to digital zoom during recording).
The Canon Ixus 990 IS comes with blink detection, which warns you if one of your subjects closed their eyes at the critical moment. On paper, this sounds like a pointless gimmick — who doesn’t check their photos in playback immediately after taking them? However, having an instantaneous alert did prove useful during group photos — it allowed us to quickly take another snap before everyone dispersed, instead of reeling everyone back for a pained re-enactment.
Other noteworthy features offered by the Canon Ixus 990 IS include advanced face detection (which now detects up to 35 faces), an anti-shake system with inbuilt motion detection, My Colours (which allows you to add creative digital effects to photos), Smart Auto mode (a fancy automatic scene selector), manual exposure, continuous shooting and 19 scene modes.
This should be more than enough to satisfy casual users, though we were personally expecting more hands-on controls. With its advanced chipset and three EXR modes, the FujiFilm FinePix F200EXR offers more versatility.