Canon Powershot SD110 Review
The newest edition to Canon's popular Digital ELPH line, the PowerShot SD110
DIGITAL ELPH is one of the smallest and lightest cameras thus far from Canon
with a durable stainless steel case. The f2.8 2x zoom lens that it shares
with the PowerShot SD100 Digital ELPH
, is one of the world's smallest and fastest retractable lenses available
on a consumer digicam to date.
The SD110 incorporates the key features of the SD100, including a high resolution 1.5" color LCD with a non-reflective coating that makes it visible in bright light as well as resistant to nose smears. The back light for the LCD is supplied by energy efficient white LEDs, this is a good thing as a small camera also means a small power supply. The SD110 is powered by a hefty 790mAH rechargeable lithium battery that's good for approx. 210 shots (LCD on), 550 shots (LCD off), and 180 minutes of continuous playback. The problem with a proprietary battery is that you can't use an off-the-shelf battery if it dies on you while out in the field. So I recommend buying a second battery and keep it charged and ready. Canon supplies an AC charger for the battery that takes a little over two hours to charge a fully depleted pack. The charger is very compact and portable, it plugs directly into an AC outlet and has fold-away prongs.
The connectivity of the SD110 provides options for both direct printing without a computer, and remote image capture using a computer. In addition the all new Print/Share button speeds and simplifies printing to Direct Print and PictBridge compatible printers, as well as transferring images directly to Windows operating systems like XP, ME, 2000, and 98 SE. When connected via USB cable to one of Canon's go anywhere portable Dye-Sub printers (using Canon's PICTBRIDGE technology), you'll have a great shoot-it-print-it anywhere system. Remote Capture allows you to exercise complete control over a tripod mounted SD110 attached to a PC via USB cable. You can preview the image, zoom, adjust camera settings, and release the camera's shutter from your PC. The image is then immediately uploaded, making it available for editing and printing without removing the CF card or initiating a batch upload process. If you've ever had the need to take a series of portrait shots and offer prints to your subjects within minutes, you will love this application. In most cases you will use the USB 1.1 port to move your pictures from the camera to your computer; drivers are included for Windows XP, ME, 2000, 98 SE, and Mac OS 9+.
The overall operation of the SD110 is very robust, it only takes about three seconds from pushing the power button until it's ready to snap the first picture. It takes less than a second to go from Record to Play mode. The camera has a fast autofocus system that is further enhanced in dim lighting to complete darkness by a focus assist lamp - something that Nikon, Fuji and others should start using too (hint, hint!) If the LCD is on you'll see the nine auto focus points and which ones have been used for the AF lock. The SD110's Macro mode has excellent coverage from six inches to about two and a half feet and controls the flash perfectly even at the closest range. The total shutter lag (time from pressing shutter to actually capturing) varies from less than a second to about a second, this is a little better than average. In Large/Fine mode the shot to shot time is about a second and a half to two seconds, this is faster than many full-sized three megapixel digicams.
The overall image quality of the SD110 is excellent and there are a number of recording options that you can apply when desired. Don't let the small size of this camera fool you, there are a lot of selections in the menus. The Photo Effects (Vivid color, Neutral, Sepia, B&W) give you the ability to massage the look of your images in-camera. If you like shooting night pictures then you'll appreciate the "slow shutter" option that gives you access to 1 to 15 second shutter speeds. To insure the best possible image, Noise Reduction can be enabled and applied when the shutter speed is 1.3 second or slower. You might not like the position of the tripod socket, there's little "extra" room on the bottom of this tiny camera. There are ISO sensitivity settings for 50, 100, 200, 400 or Auto. In addition to the automatic white balance setting there are presets for sunny, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent, fluorescent H (daylight temperature) and a custom setting for use with a white or grey card. Being a small camera it also has a small built in flash and its coverage is somewhat limited. In wide angle it's good to about ten feet but in telephoto that drops off to around six feet. The 2x zoom lens exhibits moderate barrel distortion in full wide angle and a little pin cushioning at full telephoto but no more than most zoom lenses and better than some. The optical viewfinder covers about 92% of the captured image, it has no dioptric adjustment.
The SD110 is a great addition to Canon's ELPH line and is perfect for anyone who wants or needs a very portable, easy to use and extremely durable camera. Canon continues to makes these small but functional cameras even better. The SD110 makes a great choice for the family, business users, and "tourists". Around the holidays it makes a perfect gift. It fits in the smallest pocket and with its fast start up time, it'll be ready in seconds to capture that special moment, and best of all this camera is capable of creating up to 8x10-inch photo-quality prints at home or from your local digital photo lab.
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