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Canon IXUS 1100 HS review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS

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The Good Large, easy-to-see touchscreen. Useful 12x optical zoom. Good image and video quality for most uses. Effective image-stabilisation system.

The Bad Very short battery life. Warm indoor white balance. No grip.

The Bottom Line Ideal for photographers who love the flexibility of a touchscreen camera, the IXUS 1100 HS also offers a huge optical zoom and good image quality. The lack of a decent battery life is disappointing, though, and makes the shooting experience more frustrating than it should be.

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8.0 Overall

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Canon is no stranger to compact cameras with long lenses, the most recent example being the IXUS 1000 HS. As you can tell by the naming convention, the IXUS 1100 HS supersedes this older camera, adding a few extra bits and pieces, like a longer lens, to the specifications sheet.

Design and features

For those coming across from the world of mobile phone photography, the IXUS 1100 HS should be an absolute cinch to use. The camera has a 3.2-inch touchscreen panel at the rear, which takes up most of the back panel. There's just enough room for one physical button for playback/picture-review mode. Everything else is controlled from the screen itself.

The top of the camera features a power and a shutter button, a zoom rocker wrapped around the shutter and a switch sliding between full-automatic mode and scene/program modes. Like many other compact cameras, the IXUS 1100 HS is designed to be used primarily in automatic modes. You can tweak options, such as ISO and white balance in program mode, if you so desire, and there are a range of scene modes and filters to use, such as low light, miniature mode and toy camera.

One of the many filters on the 1100 HS, toy camera, which adds a vignette effect to corners and washes out the colours of an image for a more vintage feel.
(Credit: CBSi)

The body sits nicely in the hand, and is finished in a very pleasing brushed silver, but it is noticeably heavy, weighing 183 grams. With a 12x zoom lens inside, the weight isn't particularly surprising, but what does make you sit back and do a double take is that the camera is just 2.1cm deep, which would be svelte enough to win any beauty contest. Also noticeably absent is any form of grip, so you will need a wrist strap to avoid any unfortunate dropping incidents. Its lens is reasonably wide at 28mm.

The IXUS 1100 HS also features Canon's latest image stabilisation technology, which identifies what sort of stabilisation needs to be applied to the scene: either normal, macro, shooting while walking, using a tripod, panning or shooting with telephoto zoom.

The touchscreen interface hasn't changed dramatically from previous versions that have appeared on Canon cameras, which means that at times it can be a little tricky to navigate. There are options to customise the appearance and placement of some icons, which might help, but this is a touchscreen camera, so if you're not comfortable with the interface (or getting to know it), then it's not the right compact for you.

The pretty touchscreen menu system on the 1100 HS.
(Credit: CBSi)

Standard options familiar to touchscreen users, such as tap to focus and to shoot, are here.

Connectivity is provided via mini-HDMI and USB-out. The 1100 HS uses a very slimline battery that slots into a separate compartment at the base, on the other side of the SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot.

Compared to

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Nikon Coolpix S8200 Sony Cyber-shot HX7V
12.1-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
3.2-inch touchscreen (460,000 dots) 3.0-inch LCD (921,000 dots) 3.0-inch LCD (921,000 dots)
12x optical zoom 14x optical zoom 10x optical zoom
Full HD (1080p, 30fps, H.264) Full HD (1080p, 30fps, H.264) Full HD (1080i, 60fps, MPEG-4)
No GPS No GPS GPS unit
183g 213g 208g
7.8fps 6fps 10fps
AU$399 AU$349 AU$449


General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • 32.60.3
    Canon IXUS 1100 HS
    Canon IXUS 1000 HS

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Continuous shooting speed

  • 3.3
    Canon IXUS 1100 HS
  • 3.3
    Canon IXUS 1000 HS

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Canon rates the battery life at 170 shots, which is below average for a camera of this class. The 1100 HS has a range of continuous shooting modes. The one measured above is regular continuous shooting, which captures full-resolution frames. There is also a high-speed burst mode, which captures images at 3-megapixel resolution at the stated rate of 7.8 frames per second. The camera does not stop to process the images, but continues to capture frames until the shutter button is released.

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