- Sharp, wide angle lens
- Fast AF
- Compact and portable
- Limited zoom range
- Less-than-stellar at high ISO
- For $10 310 HS offers 8x zoom
The PowerShot 110 HS is a very nice entry-level point-and-shoot suited for casual shooters, families and travelers.
The Canon PowerShot 110 HS was obviously designed for casual users and snap-shooters. It’s easy to use, compact and just about anybody can operate it after a brief scan of the quick-start guide. Does it improve on the popular PowerShot ELPH model? Find out how it fared in our lab testing and on-the-street analysis.
Canon has been the top selling P&S digicam manufacturer in the U. S. market for more than a decade and also sells more entry-level DSLRs than any of their competition. Photojournalists, sports shooters, wedding photographers, and others who make their living with a camera often carry one of Canon’s Pro DSLRs. There are some very compelling reasons for this amazing marketing success, but primary among them is that Canon gives consumers what they want. The new Canon Powershot ELPH 110 HS is a prime example of this winning corporate philosophy.
I like compact point-and-shoots because they are small enough to drop in a shirt pocket, tough enough to go just about anywhere, dependably produce first rate images with almost no effort on the part of the shooter and they are un-intimidating to subjects. Consumers have favored Canon’s brand of point-and-shoots because they are not only first rate general-use cameras, but they have the additional benefit of nicely meeting the needs of anyone who wants to take good pictures and isn’t interested in learning anything about photography.
Build & Design
The new PowerShot ELPH 110 HS replaces last year’s very popular Canon 300 HS. On the surface, the two cameras don’t appear to be much different, but Canon has made a few interesting and useful changes under the hood. The most significant difference between the two cameras is the dramatic leap in resolution – from 12 megapixels (300 HS) to 16 megapixels (110 HS) aside from that 35% increase in resolution the 110 HS is a relatively straightforward and mostly cosmetic update of one of Canon’s most popular shirt pocket digicams. The 110 HS has a decent assortment of the latest bells and whistles and features a full complement of consumer tested hardware.
Changes include a new face recognition mode called “face ID” which permits the camera to remember up to twelve specific people with up to five different facial shots saved in-camera for each selected subject. Once the function is programmed the shooter can enter the name and birth date of their friend/loved one and the 110 HS will automatically lock focus on that individual in a group shot. The face ID function can also be programmed to prioritize focus on one of three age groups – baby/infant, child, or adult. If all that isn’t enough the 110 HS’s Smart Auto mode (which is actually an automatic scene recognition mode) now features 58 different scene types. The 110 HS’s shirt pocket-sized lozenge shaped (rectangular) metal alloy body conveys an aura of toughness and durability – the camera should easily stand up to the rigors of an active modern lifestyle, but the wrist strap should be used at all times – small cameras are easily dropped.
The HS in 110 HS stands for High Sensitivity – a relatively new Canon exposure system (introduced on the SX230 HS) which was designed to produce better low light images. Canon claims their new HS system reduces image degrading noise by up to 60% (when compared to cameras not equipped with HS) at all ISO sensitivities.
Canon replaced the 300 HS’s 12 megapixel CMOS sensor with a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor in the 110 HS. Clearly reports that the megapixel wars were finally over have been greatly exaggerated, but CMOS sensors generally do exhibit better low-light performance than the CCD sensors that powered earlier ELPH models. Obviously typical digicam consumers remain convinced that More Megapixels make for better pictures, even though in fact More Megapixels just make for bigger pictures. The 110 HS retails for about $250.00 and is available in black, silver, red, blue, green, and pink. The Canon Powershot ELPH 110 HS saves images to SD, SDHC, & SDXC memory media.
Ergonomics and Controls
Canon is well known for making tiny cameras that produce dependably excellent images with very little effort on the part of the photographer and the 110 HS continues that worthy tradition. The 110 HS is an attractive lozenge shaped (rectangular) ultra-compact P&S auto exposure only digicam. The 110 HS features an uncluttered and rather minimalist design – the camera’s top deck is almost Spartan featuring only the shutter button (with zoom toggle surround), the on/off button, and the mode selector (auto or program) switch.
The camera’s rear deck features an absolutely classic control array consisting of the one touch video button, the compass switch, a review mode button, and the menu button. All buttons are clearly marked, logically placed, and easily accessed by right handed shooters, however all buttons and switches are quite small with the exception of the shutter button which is oversized.
Menus and Modes
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS features a simplified two tab version of Canon’s classic digicam menu system – The menu system (accessed via a dedicated button beneath the compass switch) is logical, easy to navigate, and dead simple – since the camera permits only minimal user input.
The 110 HS provides a very basic selection of shooting modes including only Program, Smart Auto, and HD video mode. Here’s a complete listing of the A3100 IS’s shooting modes:
- Smart Auto: automatic scene recognition mode that instantly compares what’s in front of the lens with an on-board image database and then matches that information with the specific scene’s subject distance, white balance, contrast, dynamic range, lighting, and color (just before the image is recorded) to determine the best exposure. The 110 HS’s Smart Auto mode features 58 different scene types.
- Program: Auto exposure with limited user input (ISO, White Balance, My Colors, Metering, and Image Size)
- Movie: Like its predecessor, the 110 HS can record Full HD (1920 x 1080p at 24 fps) video with stereo sound and the ability to use the 5x optical zoom during video capture.
Like the vast majority of currently available P&S digicams the 110 HS doesn’t provide an optical viewfinder, so shooters must rely on the 3.0-inch LCD for all framing/composition, captured image review, and menu navigation chores. Most casual shooters (this digicam’s target audience) don’t like or use optical viewfinders anyway and in some shooting scenarios it is actually easier to watch the decisive moment come together on the LCD screen than it is through an optical viewfinder.
LCD resolution has been steadily increasing because consumers continue to demand larger and sharper LCD screens. The 300 HS’s coarse and somewhat dull 2.7-inch 230k-dot LCD screen was its most glaring shortcoming. The 110 HS’s slightly larger 3.0-inch LCD screen dominates the back of this tiny camera and boasts 461k-dot resolution, more than double the resolution of its predecessor.
The 110 HS’s LCD monitor is sharp, color accurate, fluid, and covers approximately 100% of the image frame. The LCD info display provides all the data the 110 HS’s target audience is likely to need. The 110 HS’s LCD screen (like all LCD monitors) is subject to fading and glare/reflections in bright outdoor lighting. The 110 HS’s LCD screen utilizes the standard 4:3 aspect ratio when shooting/reviewing still images, but users automatically get the widescreen 16:9 display when shooting/reviewing in movie mode.