The A1100's performance is decent for its class, but felt slow during regular use. From off to first shot takes 2 seconds. The camera's 2.1-second shot-to-shot time is comparatively normal for its class. Turning on the flash drives the average wait time up to 6.6 seconds between shots. This can be frustrating, which can also be said for the shutter lag at a lengthy 0.6 second in bright conditions. Luckily it's only slightly longer in low light at 0.8 second. There is no proper burst shooting mode, but the A1100 IS has unlimited continuous shooting capable of 1 frame per second.
As mentioned earlier, for the money the A1100 IS has very good photo quality. Color, contrast, and white balance are particularly good, though there is some highlight clipping. Characteristic of point-and-shoots, photos are best in bright lighting at sensitivities below ISO 200. Graininess/noise becomes readily noticeable at ISO 400, but for the most part details remain decent enough for use at 8x10 or smaller sizes. The camera goes up to ISO 1,600, but photos at that setting or even at ISO 800 aren't what we'd consider usable for much more than small prints and Web use. There is some slight barrel distortion at the lens' widest setting and there is an average amount of purple fringing in high-contrast shots.
For a low-cost point-and-shoot pocket camera, the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS gets the job done. It delivers better photo quality than other cameras at its price point and if you like the convenience of AA batteries and the availability of a viewfinder, it's a smart choice.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Find out more about how we test digital cameras.