Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Canon IXUS 105 / PowerShot SD1300 IS Ken McMahon, May 2010

Canon IXUS 105 / PowerShot SD1300 IS review

The Canon IXUS 105, known as the PowerShot SD1300 IS in North America, is the latest incarnation of Canon's compact range which combines consumer-friendly features with a smattering of more advanced controls in an affordable package designed to appeal to the style-conscious. Sounds like a tall order, but it's one Canon continues to pull-off.

Released in February 2010 alongside the ultra slim IXUS 130 (PowerShot SD1400 IS), the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS supercedes the IXUS 95 IS / PowerShot SD1200 IS, one of 2009's best selling compacts. The major differences are an increased zoom range, a 12.1 Megapixel sensor and a larger 2.7in screen, albeit at the expense of the earlier model's optical viewfinder.

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS features a 4X optical zoom with an equivalent range of 28 to 114mm, equipping it with wide-angle coverage sorely absent on its predecessor. Eagle-eyed Canon followers will notice the Digital and IS labels have been dropped from the IXUS branding this year, but fear not, this camera still has image stabilisation; just so there's no doubt, Canon has printed the words 'Image Stabilizer' on the left panel. The camera's low-light performance is further enhanced by Canon's motion detection technology which boosts the ISO and selects a faster shutter speed in auto modes.

As well as a fully automatic exposure mode with Face detection and scene recognition, the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS has a Program auto mode that permits manual setting of ISO sensitivity, but falls short of full manual control over exposures. There's also a wide range of Scene modes. To round it off the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS can shoot standard definition video, but there's no HD movies on this model and you still can't use the optical zoom while filming.

With an extended zoom range, higher resolution sensor and bigger screen the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS is without doubt a more capable camera than the model it replaces, but has it lost some of its distinctiveness, a key factor in it's wide appeal? To find out we tested it alongside compacts from Nikon and Sony that match the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS very closely in terms of styling, features and price. Side-by-side the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS, the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 look uncannilly alike and the similarities extend to to all the front line features - sensor resolution, zoom range, screen size and video modes. Read our full review to find out what separates them when you look beyond the specifications.


The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS retains the sleek, slim, soft-edged tablet form of earlier models, introducing some barely perceptible curves to produce a more organic shape that fits a little more comfortably in your hand. The body shape widens ever so slightly on the right and the 2.7in screen has evolved a chamfered surround. Depending on your region, there's a choice of five colours – silver, blue, pink, aqua and brown – in which the entire body, with the exception of the silver lens bezel and surround, is finished.


At 22mm and weighing 140g with the battery, this isn't the thinnest or lightest IXUS model, but it's still very pocketable and, has a feel of well-engineered solidity about it.


The top panel is home to the shutter release – a slightly raised big shiny silver button surrounded by a zoom collar. Right next to this is the on/off button – a stylized delta-shaped thing that, despite appearances to the contrary actually functions perfectly well. It's flush-mounted but has a positive action.

Support this site by
shopping below


The rear panel is planned along the now familiar IXUS layout with Canon's control disc taking centre stage surrounded by an (oddly out of place looking) plastic mode selector at the top right, playback button top left and Display and Menu buttons at the bottom. The battery and card compartment is accessed via a cover on the bottom panel. As well as standard SD cards the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS is compatible with the latest SDXC versions, supporting capacities larger than 32GB. Though plastic, the centrally mounted tripod bush proved secure and stable.

A small flush-mounted plastic cover at the top of the right panel reveals a single USB-style A/V port which is used to connect the camera to your PC for download or to a TV for image and video playback. There's no HDMI at this price-point.

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS's built-in flash has a maximum quoted range of 4.2 metres at the wide angle zoom setting. That's fairly impressive, though not as far as the COOLPIX S3000's 4.5 metres, but these kinds of comparisons aren't all that meaningful as the manufacturers often don't state the ISO sensitivity used to obtain them. In practice, the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS produced a better flash portrait than either the COOLPIX S3000 or the Cyber-shot DSC-W310 in our tests.

In Auto exposure mode the flash automatically fires when the conditions demand it and Canon's Smart Flash system automatically adjusts the illumination for the prevailing conditions, for example using the flash to fill-in shadow detail in daylight exposures.

The flash can be forced on or off in most exposure modes and in Program mode there's a slow synchro option for use as a fill-in in daylight shots. The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS provides two methods for reducing red-eye, one physical and the other software-implemented. The Red-Eye lamp illuminates the Auto focus assist LED which is mounted directly above the lens just prior to a flash exposure. This causes the subject's pupils to contract, reducing the likelihood of retinal reflections that cause red eye. If that doesn't do the job Red-Eye Correction provides a software fix that can be implemented during shooting or subsequently.

Fully charged, the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS's NB-6L Lithium Ion battery provides sufficient power for 240 shots using the CIPA (Camera Imaging Products Association) standard. That's an improvement on the 220 shots mustered by both the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310, but it falls significantly short of what it's predecessor, the IXUS 95 IS / PowerShot SD1200 IS could manage with it's smaller 2.5in panel, and there's now no optical viewfinder to fall back on if you want to extend battery life even further.

Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS coverage wide
Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS coverage tele
5-20mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)
  5-20mm at 20mm (114mm equivalent)

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS features a 4x stabilized zoom lens with equivalent coverage of 28-112mm. This represents the most important upgrade over its predecessor which offered a basic 3x (35-105mm) range, lacking true wide-angle coverage. It seems Canon has finally got the message about people wanting wide-angle coverage, as the same 28-112mm equivalent range is now implemented on a number of its 2010 models. This also puts it in-line with its major rivals: the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 shares exactly the same range and the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 is near identical with a 27-108mm equivalent range.

This is a good general purpose zoom range on all three models with a respectable wide angle that's great for landscape shots and cramped interiors. At the 'long' end of the range it's not going to win you wildlife photographer of the year, but is sufficient for portraits and getting just that bit closer to the action.

Turn the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS on and the zoom extends swiftly, the camera is ready for action in a fraction under two seconds. The zoom rocker takes the lens through its full focal length range in two seconds making an audible, but not excessively noisy buzz. If you give the rocker the slightest of nudges with your index finger you can get it to take nine discrete steps on its journey and a zoom bar in the top left of the LCD panel shows you where you are and how much further you can go.

Don't let the lack of an IS badge on the IXUS version fool you, the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS features Canon's optical image stabilisation, one of the most effective at reducing the effects of camera shake and enabling low-light exposures at much slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible.

Canon IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS: IS off / continuous
100% crop, 5-20mm at 20mm, 1/13, 800 ISO, Program mode, IS off.
100% crop, 5-20mm at 20mm, 1/13, 800 ISO, Program mode, IS on.

Image stabilisation is enabled automatically in Auto exposure mode. In Program and scene modes you can select it from the menu. There are four options, Off, Continuous, Shoot only, which activates with first pressure on the shutter release, and Panning which operates in the vertical plane only so you can pan and shoot moving subjects without the IS interfering. See the Blurring Action tutorial at our sister site DSLR tips for an example of how you might use this.

The two crops above are taken from the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS with the lens set to its maximum 20mm (112mm equivalent) focal length. In Program mode with the sensitivity set to 800 ISO the camera set an exposure of 1/13th of a second at f5.9.

Going by the photographer's rule of thumb that dictates a shutter speed of one over the focal length or faster to eliminate camera shake, you'd expect to get blurred photos at shutter speeds of around 1/120th or slower at the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS's maximum telephoto setting. The crop above left is from a shot taken with IS turned off, the one on the right with IS in Continuous mode. As you can see you can get a steady shot from the IXUS 105 /SD1300 IS at speeds down to 1/13th of a second – effectively providing 3 stops of image stabilisation over traditional wisdom.

It's worth mentioning that, obvious though it may seem, these results are dependent on your ability to hold the camera steady and do vary from shot to shot. In practice, making several attempts when shooting with IS will increase your chances of getting a sharp end result.


The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS, uses Canon's Face AiAF to detect, track and lock focus on faces in the frame. Rectangles appear around faces with a white frame indicating the main subject focus. When the shutter release is pressed half way, up to nine faces are framed and tracked in green rectangles.

On every Canon compact we've tested that uses the DIGIC 4 processor, face detection has worked very well. In good light it's fast to identify and lock onto faces and once it's got them it holds onto them, only losing its grip if the subject turns away.

In the absence of faces the camera uses the standard nine-area autofocus system and you can also switch to a single fixed AF frame system. This uses a central area which can be set to one of two sizes, the smaller of which effectively provides spot focussing. In the absence of manual focusing, using the centre frame in combination with focus lock provides a useful alternative. Focus lock is activated by pressing the right button on the control pad once autofocus has been used to set the focus on an object in the centre of the frame. The focus remains locked until you press the right button on the control pad again. If you just want to keep the focus locked while you recompose a single shot all you need to do is keep half-pressure on the shutter release.

With many mid-range compacts now sporting 3in screens, higher resolution panels and even touch-capabilities, it's easy to take the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS's 2.7in / 230k screen for granted. But the truth of it is that it's simply does an excellent job. It's brighter and more contrasty than the screens on both the Nikon COOLPIX S3000 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 and has a wider angle of view than the panels on those cameras. And in playback mode the screen is orientation-sensitive, so you can rotate it to display portrait format shots using the whole display.

In capture mode, the menu system is organised on two tabs; one contains shooting settings and the other camera settings. Shooting settings include AF mode, digital zoom, flash settings, IS mode, and display overlays. There's also a date stamp option which permanently stamps images with the date and time.

Camera settings include sound options, LCD brightness, card formatting, power saving, language options and a factory default reset. We were a little disappointed at the absence of the hints and tips option recently introduced on some of Canon's other models, which displays short messages at the bottom of the screen describing the function of the currently selected menu item.



Most of the options on the main menus are of the kind that are accessed only once or just occasionally. Canon includes the more commonly used settings on a menu that appears when you press the Func.Set button in the middle of the control disc. In Auto mode this is restricted to changing the image size and compression quality. In Program mode the options expand to include manual ISO setting, white balance, colour modes, metering modes and continuous shooting. There are also 12 scene modes available from the Func menu when in Program mode.


Support this site by
shopping below

In playback mode the camera settings menu is joined by two additional tabs, one containing playback functions, the other print settings. You can playback a slideshow of images with a choice of slide duration and transition, erase and protect individual shots and carry out basic editing such as rotating, resizing and red-eye correction. From this menu you can also retrospectively apply the i-Contrast image enhancement which improves highlight and shadow regions and, where necessary adjusts overall contrast. The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS lacks the category assignment and playback sorting and filtering options introduced on higher end IXUS models like the Digital IXUS 120 IS / PowerShot SD940 IS.

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS has two still image exposure modes – Auto and Program - and and a movie mode, selected using a three-position switch on the rear panel. In auto mode the camera automatically sets the exposure and uses a scene recognition algorithm to make better decisions about exposure settings than can be arrived at using light metering alone.

Scene detection determines whether there are people in the scene, whether it includes blue skies, whether the subject is backlit, how close the subject is and whether it's day or night. An icon appears in the top right of the screen to tell you what that camera thinks it's looking at and, though it's not infallible, most of the time it has a pretty good idea of where it is.

Canon's scene detection is a significant advance on conventional auto exposure methods. It's quick, fairly accurate and makes a real difference in image quality, particularly in 'difficult' lighting situations.

Program mode doesn't use scene detection and neither does it give you the option of setting the exposure manually. It does allow for manual setting of the ISO sensitivity though, as well as a number of other settings including metering mode (Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, or Spot), white balance, colour rendering and continuous shooting. You also have access to exposure compensation via the top button on the control disc.

Canon has always packed a multitude of scene modes into its compacts the IXUS range is no exception. On the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS they are accessed in the usual way on Canon models that have no mode dial, via the Func Set menu. Five of the more useful ones are initially displayed – Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor and Long Shutter. Pressing the Display button activates an extended strip with a further seven including Fireworks, Snow, Foliage, Underwater, Face Self-Timer and Low light. The last of these automatically sets the ISO sensitivity between 400 and 1600 ISO and shoots 2 Megapixel images.


The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS can shoot standard definition 640x480 and 320x240 pixel video at 30 frames per second; there's no HD on this or its closest rivals. The footage is saved in an AVI container using a Motion JPEG codec with mono sound.

You can film until the file reaches 4GB or one hour in length. Set to the 'best quality' 640x480 mode, you'll hit the 4GB limit in about half an hour, although dropping to the 320x240 mode should get you to the full hour with a 4GB card.

Unsurprisingly for a Canon compact, the optical zoom is disabled during shooting, so you'll have to zoom to frame before recording or use the digital zoom and suffer the entailing loss of quality. At least you have that option though. Neither the Nikon COOLPIX S3000, nor the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310 allow operation of the optical zoom during shooting. The COOLPIX S3000 only offers a limited range very slow and jerky digital zoom and the Cyber-shot DSC-W310 doesn't even manage that. Registered members of Vimeo can download the original file shown here for evaluation.

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS has a continuous shooting mode with a paltry rate of just 0.9 frames per second. This is exactly what we got in testing, although in dimmer conditions the speed drops noticeably. Even if the shutter speed is still reasonably quick, the overhead involved in processing high ISO frames brings the rate down to around a frame every two seconds. This doesn't cut it for action shots, but you can get the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS to take a slightly faster sequence at around 1.3fps using the Low Light scene mode, albeit at a reduced image size of 2 Megapixels.

The IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS employs a 12.1 Megapixel CCD sensor measuring 1/2.3in that produces images with a maximum size of 4000x3000 pixels at one of two compression settings. On the best quality setting image file sizes average around 3MB. The camera has no built-in memory and therefore cannot be used without a card.

To see how the quality of the IXUS 105 / SD1300 IS measures-up in practice, take a look at our real-life resolution and high ISO noise results pages, browse the sample images gallery, or skip to the chase and head straight for our verdict.


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs