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

Shooting mode switch
The 110 HS' mode switch has two spots: Smart Auto and everything else.

Taking the camera off Smart Auto gives you access to a Program Auto mode as well as all the scene modes, creative-effects modes, and miniature effect and slow-motion video recording. However, they're laid out in one long list, so if you're the type to change modes frequently, this can be a pain. Canon's Smart Shutter option is there, too; it includes a smile-activated shutter release and Wink and Face Detection self-timers. Wink allows you to set off the shutter simply by winking at the camera, and the Face Detection option will wait till the camera detects a new face in front of the camera before it fires off a shot. Both work well.

The Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS' shooting performance is mixed. It has low shutter lag at 0.3 second in good lighting and 0.6 second in dimmer conditions. However, its shot-to-shot times are a little slow at 2.2 seconds without flash and 3.6 seconds with flash. If you switch to continuous shooting, it can fire off 2.1 frames per second at full resolution with focus and exposure set with the first shot. That might not be as fast as some of the competition, but this Elph also doesn't make you wait while it stores photos till you can shoot again, you can just keep shooting. If you need something faster, it does have a high-speed burst mode that can capture at up to 5.8fps at a 4-megapixel resolution. The results are good enough for Web use or small prints.

The 110 HS' controls
While the 110 HS is fairly easy to use, its flat buttons can be difficult to press.

The overall design of the Elph 110 HS hasn't changed that much from the previous generation. Instead of rounded corners, the body is more squared off and the one-touch record button for movies is shifted closer to the bright, high-res 3-inch LCD, but it's otherwise the same. All of the controls are flat and flush with the body. It gives the camera a very smooth appearance, but using the four-way directional pad and center Func/Set button can be a little difficult. Also, while I had no problems using them, the buttons, shooting-mode switch, and zoom rocker are tiny, which might be a problem for some; it would be an excellent idea to lay hands on one before you buy it.

Regardless of their shape and size, the controls are easy to master. The menu system can take some getting used to depending on how quickly you can remember to hit the Func/Set button for shooting-mode specific settings and the Menu button for everything else. You also have the option to turn on a help system with hints and tips for choosing the appropriate settings or simply telling you what the shooting mode you're in is going to do.

For connecting to a computer, monitor, or HDTV there are Mini-USB/AV and Mini-HDMI outputs underneath a small door on the right side of the body. The battery and memory card compartment is on the bottom under a nonlocking door. The battery does not charge in camera, and the shot life is rated for only 170 shots, so you'll probably find yourself opening the compartment quite a bit if you shoot regularly. Keep in mind, too, that using the zoom or burst shooting a lot, shooting full HD movies, and keeping the screen brightness high will all cut into your battery life.

Conclusion
It's a shame that cameras like the Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS are losing to smartphones. It's understandable, but disappointing nonetheless because a camera like this is faster and takes better photos and full HD video. Even its creative effects are better quality than much of what you'd get from various mobile apps. If you're tired of your smartphone camera's lens and performance limitations or are just looking for a better-than-basic snapshot camera, definitely check it out.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(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)  
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX90
2.1 
2 
1.1 
0.6 
0.3 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX9
1.1 
3.8 
1.7 
0.7 
0.4 
Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS
1.5 
3.6 
2.2 
0.6 
0.3 
Canon PowerShot Elph 300 HS
1.3 
3.6 
2.2 
0.9 
0.5 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS
2.1 

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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"
About The Author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.