The Good Great image quality; minimal shutter lag; speedy performance; optical image stabilization; face detection; optical viewfinder.
The Bad No manual exposure controls; slow flash recycle time.
The Bottom Line Canon's SD1100 IS adds optical image stabilization to last year's hit SD1000, while delivering just as impressive image quality.
Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS
One of the most popular cameras of last year wasn't a big fancy digital SLR, or a pimped-out superzoom, it was Canon's somewhat understated Powershot SD1000. Its combination of a nice, though not extravagant, feature set, small size, and relatively low price proved quite appealing to camera buyers. This year, with the PowerShot SD1100 IS, Canon has updated the aesthetic design, switched to a slightly different zoom range, and most importantly, added optical image stabilization. Of course, they've also raised the resolution to 8 megapixels from last year's 7.1 megapixels and refined some of the camera's other features.
Last year's model evoked the design of the original film Elph with its black circle around the camera's lens and squared-off edges. This year, Canon brought this model back in line with more recent designs without abandoning its elfin status and is offering it in silver, blue, brown, pink , and gold. The tweaked design is just slightly thicker than last year's and sports rounded edges and a slightly curved indent on the right-hand side that provides a perfect nook for a middle finger when gripping the camera. As with last year's model, Canon places all buttons on the right half of the body. A slider lets you switch among still image capture, video recording, and playback. Other than three dedicated buttons for Menu, Display, and Direct Printing, the only other control is the circular four-way rocker with a Function/Set button in the middle.
Canon doesn't include manual exposure controls in its Digital Elph line, but you will find an ample array of preset scene modes and some features that make automatic shooting simpler. As with a lot of compact cameras, the SD1100 IS includes face detection. This year, Canon has extended this function to let it set not only focus and exposure, but also flash output and white balance, so the camera should be less likely to blow out the details on your friend's face with the flash and should be better able to keep skin tones neutral in varied light sources. To help combat confusion when setting ISO, the SD1100 IS includes Motion Detection Technology, which raises the ISO setting if there is a moving subject when you have the camera set to High ISO Auto mode. By raising the ISO, the camera can shoot at a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.
The 12 best Black Friday camera deals we've found so far
Rather than dump every available Black Friday discount on you, we've hand-picked the seasonal deals we think are actually worth your money.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $279.64
That's the lowest price to date on this widely loved model. It's a refurb, but a good-as-new refurb. Plus: Own "Logan" for just $6.
Get a GoPro Hero action camera for $63
Wait, what? Yep, it's the real deal -- but you'll have to wait a few weeks to get it, and there are more capable cameras for the same price.
Google Clips uses AI to capture life's spontaneous moments
The $249 smart camera brings together the best of AI, software and hardware, says Google.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $344
Your phone's camera may be good, but it's nowhere near this good. This top-rated model would normally run you at least $100 more. Plus: a speaker that fits in your pocket and plays FM radio.
Monday mishmash: Great new deals, plus some updates and reruns
For example: the cheapest 1TB portable hard drive I've ever seen, and an unbeatable price on a lifetime of guided meditation.
Want to photograph rockstars? This $13K camera will let you
Leica releases a new special-edition camera as a tribute to late rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall.
GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can't have
The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.
GoPro will give you $100 for your old Hero, sort of
A new trade-up program lets you send in your old GoPro for money off a new Hero5 camera.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
GoPro lays off 200 people, shutters its aspiring media arm
The action-camera maker, struggling with weak sales, makes cuts to save more than $650 million in costs next year.