Canon PowerShot A1100 IS review: Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

Typical Price: £150.00

Canon PowerShot A1100 IS

(Part #: CNETCanon PowerShot A1100 IS)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

1 stars 1 user review

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

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.

On the top is a chunky mode dial, with firm, positive click-stops. It looks slightly tacky, but it works really well. The LCD screen is rather weak, though, measuring just 64mm (2.5 inches) across the diagonal, and sporting a pretty low 115,000-pixel resolution. There's a small optical viewfinder, however. It's not brilliant, but it's worth having in bright light, when the LCD gets rather swamped.

The A1100's screen isn't huge, but you do also get an optical viewfinder

Power comes from a pair of AA batteries. Canon claims you'll get 140 shots on a set of alkalines and up to 350 with NiMH rechargeables. Those aren't particularly great figures, but they're adequate enough, and AAs are easy enough to come by if you need them in a hurry.

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