The Canon IXUS 1100 HS has two big attractions. The first is that it has a touch controlled LCD screen. The second is that it has a 12x zoom lens. This gives you a lot of zoom power in a pocket sized digital camera.
Other key features include a variety of advanced movie options.
In addition to the main features picture quality is very good for a smaller compact digital camera. Build quality is impressive too.
Megapixels and Zoom
The IXUS 1100 HS has 12 megapixels and a 12x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 28 - 336mm in 35mm format. The maximum aperture is f/3.4 (wide) and f/5.9 (tele).
Memory Cards and Batteries
Images can be stored on SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. Power is supplied by a lithium ion battery. Canon estimates the battery is good for around 170 shots before charging is needed. The battery and charger are supplied with the camera as standard.
The movie options are one of the main attractions of the IXUS 1100 HS. You can shoot High Definition movies with stereo sound. Canon have built in image stabilisation to keep your movie looking smooth. Zoom can be used while recording.
Other movie functions include being able to record movies for playback in slow motion and being able to store movies in the Apple iFrame format.
The LCD screen is 3.2 inches in size.
There are a number of scene modes available. These help the camera to recognise the type of photo you are about to take. It can then select what it believes to be the optimum settings for the shot. The scene modes are: Portrait, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), High-speed Burst (3.0MP), Best Image Selection (3.0MP), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (3.0MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks and Long Shutter.
For close up shots the IXUS 1100 HS can focus from 1cm away from your subject.
Many cameras offer only one or two aspect ratios. An aspect ratio is the shape of the photo. In this case four are on offer. The default 4:3 is ideal for displaying photos on an older computer screen. The 16:9 ratio fits with displaying photos on a widescreen television. 3:2 is the perfect fit for 6 x 4 inch prints. The 1:1 aspect ratio is often used by professional photographers when they are looking for something a little different. Try using a 1:1 aspect ratios on your photos and see what you think. It can work particularly well for portrait shots.
Picture Quality Summary
Overall picture quality is very good indeed. There are a couple of minor points to look out for, but in the main this camera is capable of responding well to most every day photo opportunities.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
The first thing you are likely to notice is the sharpness of the shot. One big plus point is that the sharpness is retained to the edges of the photo. There are also good levels of definition showing in tricky areas such as around the names of the boats. There is a small amount of detail lost in the lightest areas of the shot.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
Zooming out presents one of the biggest challenges for a digital camera. The sharpness of this shot is comfortably above the standard level, but you can see some red fringing around the edges of some objects in the photo. You are unlikely to see this with smaller prints.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
Zooming in produces another bright, colourful shot. Looking at the boats they appear to be that little bit more sharply focused that most other digital cameras manage. As with the first shot, there are some areas in this picture where digital cameras can struggle to show detail. That is not the case here. If you blow up the photo to display on a screen at full size you will be able to clearly see every roof tile.
Colours look deep and the IXUS 1100 HS manages to get lighting levels more or less perfect. Once again levels of sharpness and detail are spot on.
Taking simple outdoor portrait shots should be easy work for any digital camera. The IXUS 1100 HS performs well and there should be no problems when you are taking portrait shots. If the colours are not to your personal taste try experimenting with the white balance settings.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
This is a good effort. There is some light reflecting on the face owing to the power of the burst of light, but the light does spread out away from the centre too. This ensures that potentially dark areas such as the hair have enough light to show both colour and detail.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
Without flash the IXUS 1100 HS finds perfect focus difficult unless the light is more or less perfect. You are likely to find yourself resorting to using flash once light starts to fall.
For a smaller compact digital camera the quality of the macro shot is impressive. You are able to get in close to your subject and the resulting shot should be sharp. With a bit of practice you should also be able to make the background lose focus. This will make your main subject stand out.
Canon digital cameras often manage to bring out that bit of extra depth to the colours. The colours also have a very accurate look to them. That's the case with the IXUS 1100 HS. The colours it produces helps to bring the scenes to life.
Noise levels are controlled very well. It is only when ISO levels are cranked right up that noise begins to become noticeable.
Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100
For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.
Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review
Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100
The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.
Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review
Panasonic DMC SZ1 Rating 84/100
If you are looking for a simple, pocket camera that gives you some extra zoom and takes high quality snapshots the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ1 is a very good choice. Compared to other cameras with similar features available at around the same price this camera has the edge when it comes to picture quality. It takes sharp, colourful photos and offers excellent value for money. Recommended.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC SZ1 Review
Review Date: February 2012
The Canon IXUS 1100 HS is a very good choice if you are looking for a pocket digital camera with a combination of a longer zoom lens and touch control. Once you get used to the screen and improve your touch accuracy it responds well. Picture quality compares favourably with other pocket cameras. The style and build suggest a bit of extra class too. The IXUS 1100 HS ticks most of the boxes for a camera in this category.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
99 x 59 x 22mm
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
The big question with any touch controlled digital camera is how responsive is the screen? I have read a small number of owner reviews of this camera where people ended up returning the camera very quickly owing to an unresponsive screen. When first working with the screen I had to agree, but it did not take long to build up my accuracy and get used to working with the screen. Once up to speed the screen becomes a lot more responsive. One negative is that Canon are the only brand I have come across that do not include a stylus for working with the screen. They can certainly make a big difference.
Although the IXUS 1100 HS is small enough for most pockets it has a bit of weight to it. It is also just about big enough to get a good hold of.
The flash unit is positioned in the top corner. This means that you will need to take a bit of care when using flash to ensure a stray finger does not cut out any flash light.
LCD Screen Quality
For general viewing the screen quality is very good. It seems to work well even on bright days.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
It is not the fastest digital camera to turn on and take the first picture. Once up and running times are faster than average for a single shot or a short burst. As with other Canon models turning on flash slows everything down. The slow down is to a more noticeable degree than with other brands.
Design, Build Quality and Finish
The gloss finish adds an impression of extra quality. The weight of the camera gives a quality feel as well. It also suggests a decent build quality.
On top of the camera sits an on / off button and the shutter button. A zoom ring encompasses the shutter button. Also on the top is a switch to select the shooting mode. On the back of the camera is a single button to place the camera into review mode. All other controls are accessed through the LCD screen.
Canon split off the main functions into their own area. This is separate to the menu. These include settings for white balance, ISO and the self timer. There are 12 main functions. In the menu system there are 18 options in the main menu and a further 19 options in the setup menu.