Canon has updated its best-selling Digital Ixus camera with improved zoom and movie recording functions. Canon plans to sell the new Ixus in Europe from May.

Canon's launch comes less than a month after Japanese rival Kyocera unveiled its Finecam S3, which challenged the Ixus's position as the smallest, lightest and coolest digital still camera.

The movie recording mode - an increasingly popular function on digital still cameras - allows short movies to be recorded in low quality.

The Digital Ixus 300 packs a 3x optical zoom; its predecessor had only a 2x. But extra millimeters have been added to the height, width and depth. Most noticeably the weight has increased from 190g to 240g.

But Canon hasn't tampered with the stylish stainless steel design and other major specifications, such as the 2.11 megapixel CCD (charge-coupled device) pickup and 3.8in colour TFT LCD monitor.