Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS review: Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Image quality: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Canon's PowerShot Elph 110 HS is small and lightweight with a bright, ultrawide-angle lens and lots of fun shooting options, and can produce some very nice photos and movie clips.

The Bad The 110 HS has a relatively short battery life and mixed shooting performance, and low-light/high-ISO photos can look very soft.

The Bottom Line Filled with some of Canon's latest technology and shooting modes, the PowerShot Elph 110 HS is a solid ultracompact camera.

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The Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS doesn't look all that different from its predecessor, the Elph 100 HS, and that's because it's not. At least on the outside. On the inside are a new 16-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and Digic 5 image processor. The latter is likely to thank for the camera's improved photo quality--both outside and indoors--over the earlier model.

It also has a faster, wider, and longer lens and low shutter lag, which is good news if you're fed up with your smartphone camera's limitations, but still want something that's very pocketable and lightweight.

Despite all of its positive attributes, it's still a little too expensive at $250. If you like the sound of its features and don't need to purchase till later this year, I would wait. But, if you can't wait, there's little not to like about the Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS.

Key specs Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS
Price (MSRP) $249.99
Dimensions (WHD) 3.7 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.8 inch
Weight (with battery and media) 4.8 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 3-inch LCD, 460K dots/None
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 5x, f2.7-5.9, 24-120mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/H.264 AAC (.MOV)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,608x3,456 pixels / 1,920x1,080 at 24fps
Image stabilization type Optical and digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Li-ion rechargeable, 170 shots
Battery charged in camera No; external wall charger supplied
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Bundled software ZoomBrowser EX 6.8/PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows); ImageBrowser 6.8/PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac); Map Utility 1.0 (Windows/Mac)

Overall photo quality is very good to excellent for this class of camera. Yes, its 16-megapixel resolution is more about marketing than better photos, but unless you're a pixel peeper, you should be satisfied with the Elph 110 HS' results. Its photos are best suited for Web use and prints up to 8x10, though under the right conditions prints as large as 13x19 are possible. As with most point-and-shoots, the more light you give the Elph 110 HS, the better off your photos will be. However, it does well indoors, too, up to about ISO 800. Its high-ISO photos are OK, certainly better than you'd get from even a really good smartphone camera, but they're very soft, and ISO 3200 is pretty much unusable.

Colors are vivid and bright without looking unnatural. Exposure is generally good, but highlights do occasionally blow out. And unlike other BSI CMOS cameras, Canon does not include an HDR (high dynamic range) option on this model to help with challenging lighting. (Read more about photo quality in the sample photo slideshow .)

As with its photos, video quality is noticeably improved from the 100 HS. Panning the camera will create some judder and there is slight trailing on moving subjects, but the video is watchable on larger HDTVs and certainly at smaller sizes on a computer screen or mobile device. The optical zoom is now available while recording (the 100 HS had only digital zoom for movies), though you will hear it moving. If you like to share clips with your friends and family online, the 110 HS will outperform a smartphone. Along with full HD movies, the camera also records high-speed clips for slow-motion playback as well as iFrame-format video for easier editing and uploading.

General shooting options Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Recording modes Auto, Program, Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Underwater, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist, Movie Digest, Movie (iFrame, Standard, Super Slow Motion, Miniature Effect)
Focus modes Face Detection AF, Center AF, Tracking AF
Macro 1.2 inches to 1.6 feet (Wide)
Metering modes Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
Color effects Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin, Darker Skin, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color (sharpness, contrast, saturation, red, green, blue, skin tone)
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Unlimited continuous

The 110 HS has a fairly large assortment of shooting options, but almost all of them are automatic modes, meaning there's no full control over shutter speed and aperture. The shooting-mode switch on the camera's top has two options: one for Auto and one for all of its other modes. Canon pumped up its Smart Auto, which now recognizes 58 predefined shooting situations. This includes Canon's new Face ID feature, which allows you to program the camera to recognize up to 12 faces that it will then prioritize for focus and exposure. In my anecdotal testing it worked OK, but it's one of those features that most people probably won't bother to set up.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar. 1, 2012
  • Digital camera type Ultracompact
  • Optical Zoom 5 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.3"