Canon PowerShot SX110 IS review: Canon PowerShot SX110 IS

You do forgo an electronic viewfinder, support for add-on lenses, and a hot shoe with the SX110 IS vs. much of the competition, though I doubt many potential users would really miss any of them. More irritating is the underdeveloped movie capture. While other manufacturers are at least attempting to improve video capabilities, the SX110 IS supports only 30fps VGA without optical zoom and only mono sound.

Though the SX110 IS gets decent marks overall for speed, it does have some borderline performance issues that earned it some ratings demerits. It wakes and shoots in 2.3 seconds, which is typical of megazooms. Its shutter lag for high- and low-contrast scenes--0.5 second and 0.7 second, respectively--are typical for this class, too. However, shot-to-shot times are noticeably slow at 2.1 seconds without flash and jump to 5.1 seconds once you enable the flash. Burst shooting is better, running at 1.3 frames per second. Finally, the LCD is good, but not terrific, and not always easy to see in bright sunlight.

What the camera sacrifices in speed, however, it makes up for in photo quality, even at higher ISOs. Noise starts to show at ISO 400, and at ISO 800 photos have a mottled look, but loss of detail is relatively minimal. Characteristic of megazooms, the lens has some barrel distortion--a surprising amount, given the relatively narrow-angle lens--as well as minor pincushioning, but photos look sharp without looking oversharpened. There's a bit of magenta and purple fringing, but it's only really noticeable in outdoor shots with extreme contrast. Overall it renders excellent exposure and color.

Despite its arguably best-in-class photo quality, the Canon PowerShot SX110 IS's spotty performance, disappointing movie capture, and occasionally frustrating design keep us from giving it an unqualified recommendation.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
2.3 
2.1 
0.7 
0.5 
Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD
2.8 
2.4 
0.8 
0.5 
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS
2 
1.7 
1 
0.5 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
1.8 
1.7 
1.1 
0.7 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50
2.3 
1.8 
1.3 
0.7 
Olympus SP-570 UZ
3.3 
2.5 
1.8 
0.8 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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