Expert Review of Canon IXUS 1100 HS
Sony is not the only franchise in the world to produce cameras with panache, Canon has its own line-up of classy cameras where “style matters”. Popularly known as the Canon IXUS series, it is one of the best known line-up of cameras when it comes to styling. A newly launched Canon IXUS 1100 HS features a 12.1 Megapixel super-slim compact with a 12x stabilised zoom and a 3.2in touch-screen. Top of its range, this device comes blessed with touch screens and comes with excellent zooming range. This is not the first IXUS model to sport a touch-screen and like the earlier PowerShot SD3500 IS / IXUS 210 it foregoes physical controls entirely, other than for the on/off switch, shutter release/zoom collar, a two-position mode switch and a playback button. The HS marks it out as a 'High Sensitivity' model - its back-illuminated CMOS sensor also provides it with advanced video shooting capabilities including 1080p24 and Super Slow motion modes as well as moderately speedy continuous shooting. It also features Canon's new Intelligent IS stabilisation with additional options specifically for movie shooting. A very comfortable camera indeed, Canon IXUS 1100 HS includes all the features you can expect in a high end camera including scene detection, Face detect AF Creative Effects and Smart Shutter modes. At heart though, it's a point-and-shoot ultra compact designed to look good and produce great results with the minimum of effort.
Design and Build Quality
The camera comes with a glossy metallic finish with almost all of the rear covered by the screen. The exact dimensions of the device measure 99mm x 59mm x 22mm and weighs 206 grams when included with a battery. As such Canon IXUS 1100 HS is the largest point and shoot device in the entire IXUS range of cameras, but it's still very compact and will comfortably fit in your pocket. New IXUS models are less rounded than their predecessors, more like a (thin) bar of soap than a choc ice and the Canon IXUS 1100 HS' lack of physical controls combined with the satin-finished stainless steel body give it a sleek yet solid look and feel. It's available in black, silver and red.
Focus and Face Detection
Canon IXUS 1100 HS uses a TTL type auto focus which can be set to focus on a single centre point or on 9 points or according to face detection. There are two autofocus modes including single and continuous modes. The camera sports a autofocus lock and an AF assist beam. The closest focusing distance is as close as 3cm in wideangle mode in macro setting. The Canon IXUS 105 has an advanced face detection technology which detects up to 35 faces in a scene and adjusts focus, exposure, flash settings and white balance for optimal results with natural-looking skin tones. Group photography is made easy with the face self timer. Auto Red-Eye Correction eliminates red-eye during shooting or playback.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Talking about the lens on Canon IXUS 1100 HS, it has a 12x stabilised optical zoom with an equivalent range of 28 - 336mm. That's a pretty impressive zoom range for a camera that's 22mm thin, in fact, according to Canon, the Canon IXUS 1100 HS is the world's slimmest 12x compact zoom, how is that for an achievement? The 28mm wide angle is perfect for interiors, group shots and landscapes and the telephoto gets you in close enough for most distant subjects. It lacks the 24mm super-wide angle view of Canon IXUS 220 HS and, if you like to shoot say, wildlife or surfing, it won't get you in as close as a something like Canon PowerShot SX40, but in this compact a format, there's very little that provides a similar range - for example the Sony Cybershot HX9V and Panasonic Lumix ZS10 may both have 16x zooms but are also both a third thicker. Canon IXUS 1100 HS features Canon's new Intelligent IS stabilisation system which automatically selects the best stabilisation mode for all conditions. It can tell when you're panning in portrait or landscape orientation, when you're taking close-up macro shots and when the camera is on a tripod and sets the appropriate stabilizer mode or, in the last case disables it.
Screen and Menus
The screen featured on the rear of Canon IXUS 1100 HS measures 3.2 inches diagonally and has a 16:9 aspect ratio which is great for shooting movies, but when shooting 4:3 format stills only the central portion of the screen is used with thick black bars down either side. The space doesn't go to waste as that's where the touch icons are placed and, despite the smaller area the screen area, it's detailed, bright, punchy and visible in all but direct sunlight. If you're shooting in a 4:3 stills mode, which is going to be the case if you want to use the full 12 Megapixel sensor resolution, when you press the record touch icon to shoot video the screen switches to 16:9 format using the full screen area with the stop icon superimposed.
Canon IXUS 1100 HS has an unusual arrangement with separate compartments for the NB-9L Lithium Ion battery and the memory card which is good for 250 shots. One advantage of this is that you can change cards while the camera is mounted on a tripod. It's compatible with SD, SDXC and SDHC cards.
Canon IXUS 1100 HS' best quality movie mode is 1080p24 which will make it a popular choice with movie makers who prefer the film-like quality of video shot at 24 frames per second. There are also 720p and standard resolution 640 x 480 modes at 30fps. The maximum recording time in 1080p mode is 10 minutes or when the file size reaches 4GB. You'll need a Class 6 card or faster. Movies can be shot in Program auto exposure mode or Smart Auto mode which takes advantage of scene detection to determine the correct exposure. There's no manual control over exposure and you can't use exposure compensation either; you can set it, but when you press the record button it's ignored, which is a little surprising as this works on the non-touch screen IXUS models.
Canon IXUS 1100 HS has a 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor which produces 4:3 still images with a maximum size of 4000 x 3000 pixels and has two JPEG compression quality settings. On the best quality fine setting image file size around 3MB. The ISO range is 100 to 3200 ISO and the shutter speed range is 15 seconds to 1/4000.
12x zoom with intelligent optical stabiliser.
Super-slim stylish compact design.
1080p24 movie mode.
Creative filter effects.
Lens suffers from chromatic aberration.
Average continuous shooting speed.
Touch-screen can be unresponsive.
Flash and mics easily obstructed.