PowerShot S110 (2012)

PowerShot S110 (2012)

Steve's Conclusion


Steve's SnapShot
Thumbnail image for Canon-S110-front-black.jpg
  • 12.1-Megapixel HS CMOS Imaging Sensor
  • 3.0-Inch, 461,000 dot Capacitive Touch LCD Screen
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • 5x Optical zoom lens: 24-120mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Intelligent I.S.
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • Smart Auto (58 scenes)
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Built-in WiFi
  • f/2.0 lens
  • Front Ring selection dial
  • Li-Ion rechargeable battery
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card compatible
  • Smart Auto shooting mode is accurate and easy in most situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • f/2.0 lens is fantastic in low-light
  • Outstanding overall image quality 
  • Intelligent IS is ready for any shooting situation
  • 3.0-inch Capacitive touch LCD is bright and very responsive
  • Good shooting performance
  • Excellent Flash Range
  • Excellent video recording quality
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Some inaccuracy with indoor white balance
  • ISO 12,800 is unacceptable
  • Special shooting modes are no alternative to taking the time to capture them correctly
  • No audio input to match the video quality
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 2.1 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused  = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 1/10 to 4/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 1.62 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 2.08 seconds
  • Sequential burst =  2.13fps 
  • High Speed HQ Burst = 10fps for 1 second
  • All tests were taken using an SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1, 8GB SDHC memory card, Program Mode, ISO auto, Flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
The Canon PowerShot S110 is a great choice for anyone that wants a compact camera with the best available image quality. It is also perfect for a household with a experienced and non-experienced photographers, as it is very easy to use while providing full manual controls for maximum creativity.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for a high quality camera that is easy to carry. It is also great for anyone that has to have the latest and greatest features. 
Canon's new PowerShot S110 is an ultra-compact and ultra powerful digicam. Sporting a large 1/1.7-inch, 2-Megapixel High-Sensitivity (HS) CMOS imaging sensor, DIGIC 5 image processor, f/2.0 Canon lens, 3.0-inch Touch LCD screen and built-in WiFi capabilities, this it not your typical compact point-n-shoot. Sitting atop of the "S" series of PowerShot cameras, the S110 has everything that you would look for in a compact from Canon, including some pro-level features like multi-aspect RAW capture, a dSLR-like ring control and Canon's Intelligent IS image stabilization. They have also included Full 1080p HD video capture and their Smart Auto shooting mode that allows anyone to capture great images by just pointing and shooting. 

Canon's built-in WiFi service allows the camera to send out a WiFi signal from anywhere. While this does not give you internet access, it can allow a device such as a computer, tablet, smartphone or another WiFi enabled PowerShot to connect to the camera to view the images that are stored on the camera's memory. You can also directly connect to a wireless printer for easy prints. The camera can also connect to an existing WiFi hotspot that will allow the camera to upload to your favorite social media sites through the Canon iMAGE Gateway. In order for these features to work, you will have to register and create an account with the Canon iMAGE Gateway.

The addition of Canon's new DIGIC 5 image processor has given the PowerShot 110 some incredibly powerful features and shooting modes for an ultra-compact camera. The increased power allows the camera to use several special shooting modes, such as HDR and Handheld Night Scene, which capture multiple images and then combines them to create an image not possible with just one shot. It also allows for much faster burst shooting than with the previous DIGIC 4 processor. Combining this processor with the HS imaging sensor gives you the basis for the HS System, which has shown a huge improvement in low-light shooting and overall image quality among Canon's point-n-shoot cameras. 

While the camera body itself is very slim, it is still easy to handle thanks to the small thumb grip and overall width of the camera. Canon has done an excellent job of keeping the controls on the camera body very simple, while still giving an advanced user full control over manual camera settings. The large 3.0-inch, 461,000 dot Capacitive Touch LCD screen also helps to keep some of the controls off the body. This touch screen is much like that of a new smartphone or tablet, giving you the capability to use multi touch gestures to control the camera. With 5 levels of adjustable brightness, you will not have any trouble seeing this screen in any lighting conditions. 

 It does not take long to see how great the image quality is of our outdoor images. At first glance you will see the vivid and accurate colors that attract your attention. When you look closer, you will see how sharp the images are and the excellent exposures. There was a hint of chromatic aberration in a few of the very high contrast areas, but that is about it for major flaws within the outdoor images. Helping us to compose these images is the 5x optical zoom lens with 35mm equivalent of 24-120mm. This provides an outstanding range for travel photography, giving you outstanding landscape shots with enough of a telephoto end to single out an individual or object within a landscape. Also provided is the Intelligent IS, which can recognize a scene, shooting mode or movement of a camera so it can adjust the IS settings to assure a sharp image. 

As with our outdoor images, we did see most of the same with our indoor images. Exposure and sharpness were again excellent, but we did see some variation with the color between the flash and non-flash shots. The non-flash shot has a warm tone, but the flash shot is very yellow, almost as if shooting with a yellow gel. Looking closely at the images, we can see how detailed they are, giving you the ability to shoot up to ISO 800, without being overtaken by noise and losing detail. ISO 1600 is also very good for the setting and will work well for smaller prints. Beyond that, you are going to see a good amount of noise, and we recommend you keep the ISO set at 1600 and below if you want high-quality photos. Assisting with your indoor and low-light shooting, is a small pop-up flash unit that has a range of up to 23ft. at ISO Auto. This combined with the f/2.0 lens gives this camera almost unmatched low-light capabilities when it comes to ultra-compact cameras on the market today. 

Our sample portraits also came out with very pleasing results. You can see a sharp, detailed image, with great skin tones. The subject is in excellent focus thanks to the quick and responsive face detection. The one problem that we did see with the portrait shot is there is some redness in the subjects eyes, despite the red-eye reduction flash. Canon has also included face recognition on the camera, allowing you to register the faces of your favorite family members and friends to make sure that they always stand out in your images. The camera will always give priority to a face that is registered in the camera over other faces that it detects.

With the S110, we also looked at its handheld night scene shooting mode. For this test, we compared the image from this mode with one that you would capture in manual mode. We did use a tripod for both, to keep the comparison fair. While the handheld mode did a good job, it does not compare to the quality of taking the time to use a tripod and capturing the long exposure. But if you were to find yourself in a situation where you did not have a tripod or steady surface to shoot from, this is definitely better than nothing. 

Video capture with the S110 is a snap, thanks to the dedicated video recording button and the camera's ability to be ready for video capture all the time. This means when that moment arises out of no-where when a photograph is just not enough, it doesn't matter what shooting mode you are in, the camera will be ready to capture your movie. Our sample movie shows the excellent recording quality, autofocus and ability of the camera to use the 5x optical zoom while recording. Playback of the movies is also very smooth, either on the camera, computer or HDTV via an optional HDMI cable. Your movies audio is captured with a small built-in microphone, which is very sensitive. It will always pick up the sounds that are closest to the camera, including background noises that you might not even notice at the time of recording. The S110 also features some basic editing features that allow you to trim your movies on the camera.

Powering the PowerShot S110 is a 3.7V, 1120mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. While completing our tests, we were able to capture over 125 images and videos with the camera still showing a full battery icon. This also included a brief time with the WiFi turned on as we looked at those features. This coincides very well with Canon's claims of only capturing 200 images on a single charge. At only 200 images, the battery life is a bit on low end, as we would like to see closer to 300. You will almost certainly want to have a spare battery on hand at all times, especially if you plan on using the WiFi features. Canon has also included a portable battery charger, which makes it easy to keep your battery, and a spare, charged and ready at all times.

Bottom Line - Canon's PowerShot S110 is a compact and powerful digicam. Featuring some of Canon's top features - High Sensitivity System, DIGIC 5 image processor, Intelligent IS, WiFi, f/2.0 lens and the 3.0-inch Capacitive Touch LCD screen - it will lead the way in features and quality. It is easy enough for anyone to use, but provides the modes and features that will allow a more experienced photographer to use all of their creativity with ease. With a MSRP of US $449.99, it is on the higher end for a point-n-shoot, but you will be hard pressed to find anything with similar features and quality for any less.

You can check out the price of this camera on Adorama by clicking here

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.