Canon on a winner but takes it too far

The Life: At first glance the Canon Ixus 255HS appears to have it all - and then some.

At first glance the Canon Ixus 255 HS appears to have it all - and then some.

At a time when compact digital cameras are competing with smartphones capable of taking photographs and catapulting them to social media sites in seconds, it is not enough just to point and shoot - or is it?

I have been a fan of the Ixus range for some years. Having owned a couple (I still pack my Ixus 210 whenever I travel) I find them versatile and they take a great picture.

But the 255 HS suffers similar downsides to my 210 - they are simply not simple to operate.

The 255 does, however, take steps to alleviate this.

The 210 uses a touchscreen to navigate through the settings, meaning there have been times my fat fingers struggled to press on the right option. As such I leave it set on auto - particularly since it resides in my belt pouch and is thrust into action when I have no time to set up a shot.

The 255, however, uses a series of buttons on the right of the screen. Again my fat fingers don't really come to grips with this but since the 255 HS uses new Canon technology dubbed Smart Auto, I can leave it on the auto setting more often. Smart Auto can detect 32 different scenes and applies the most appropriate settings to the shot. As I walked from a dimly lit room to a bright one, the camera adjusted its settings for my pictures.

For an entry level camera this is brilliant. I was extremely pleased with the results of just pointing and clicking. The 255 HS boasts a wide 24mm lens with 10x optical zoom with a 12.1MP CMOS, making it perfect for lowlight situations such as in a restaurant or at a concert.

However, having come up with a "foolproof" system, Canon then went and added Wi-Fi. And here is where it tries too hard.

Setting up the Wi-Fi system was not intuitive and despite repeated attempts it was almost too complicated to bother.

As with my 210 I found the easiest solution was plugging the 255 into the computer. In short this is a cool camera for a novice. Images and video are high standard and I was impressed by the zoom range and the Smart Auto is a gem. But the Wi-Fi system seems a bit redundant.