Canon PowerShot A1100 IS review:

Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Chunky and practical design; clear and straightforward controls; has an optical viewfinder.

The Bad Mediocre lens fails to exploit sensor; quite pricy given the quality of the competition.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot A1100 IS' no-nonsense design, layout and controls are refreshing. It's easy to figure out, and anyone could use it. But it's plasticky, the image quality isn't particularly impressive and it's not especially good value for money -- you can get a number of good, metal-bodied 10-megapixel cameras for less

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6.5 Overall

Canon's PowerShot A1100 IS is simple, sturdy and straightforward. But it's not short on technology either -- you also get a 4x zoom, optical image stabilisation, a 12-megapixel sensor, face detection, motion detection and automatic scene recognition. In fact, on the face of it, this camera looks to be pretty good value, at around £150.

Positives
The finish is rather good. It's plastic, but it's got a pleasing, semi-matte sheen, and the pale blue of our review sample looks rather smart. This is a camera that's big enough to get a proper grip on, yet still compact enough to slip into a jacket pocket. The controls are clear, simple and well laid out.

You get good colours, decent contrast and accurate exposures with the A1100, but there's plenty of barrel distortion, and the definition in the corners of the frame is weak (click image to enlarge)

Unlike more expensive Canon cameras, this one ditches the rotary controller on the back and makes do perfectly well with standard directional buttons. Those buttons double as shortcuts for the EV compensation, focus, flash and self-timer modes.

With some cameras, you have to try to second-guess when they're going to use their face detection, but that's not the case with the A1100. There's a button on the back for switching it on and off -- it's as simple as that.

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