World's slimmest phrase is bandied about a lot, and this month it's Canon's turn to wear the crown. At only 20mm thick and 90mm wide, the Ixus 120 IS is smaller than a mobile phone, yet it's a camera deserving of the high-end Ixus brand.
The 12.1-megapixel sensor produces wonderful images.
In our test shots we saw excellent colours, and the 4x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 28-112mm in 35mm terms) is sharp, with just a hint of softness in the corners. Beyond ISO 400 things look a little muddy, and by the time you hit ISO 1600 you'll need a good reason to avoid using the flash.
The Ixus 120's competitor is another Canon compact, the A-Listed Ixus 95. Spotting differences between them is tricky.
The Ixus 120 produces slightly larger images and its 2.7in screen is 0.2in bigger than that of the 95. The Ixus 120 has also lost the 95's optical viewfinder.
We can't say we miss it, though, thanks to the Ixus 120's superb screen. We also like the AF-Point Zoom mode, which magnifies the focused area of the frame before you press the shutter.
There are some excellent face-detection features too. You can set the timer to face-detect mode and frame a shot of some friends, and the Ixus 120 will wait until a new face joins the crowd before it takes the shot. Blink detection also works well.
The lack of any manual controls is disappointing. Even in night mode, you have to trust that the Ixus 120 will expose a scene correctly.
Also, the body is so small that the Menu button and the right direction pad wrap around the side of the body, and its slimness means it isn't terribly comfortable to hold.
The problem of the price is more serious. For as long as the Ixus 95 can be bought for less than $400, it's likely to stay on the A-List. In some ways the Ixus 120 IS improves on the 95, but it doesn't take noticeably better pictures.
So while the Ixus 95 is available, we recommend you save your cash.