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Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Canon IXUS 1100 HS, a compact digital camera with a massive 12x optical zoom.

| Canon IXUS 1100 HS in Compact Cameras

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Lens Extended
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Lens Extended

The IXUS 1100 HS is one of the latest premium compact digital cameras from Canon, which was announced in August 2011. The camera is available for £349.99 in black, red and silver.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Front
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Front

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Features

The IXUS 1100 HS has a 12.1 megapixel sensor which is designed to excel in low light situations without a flash or a tripod. There is a 12x optical zoom with a massive 35mm equivalent range of 28 - 336mm. To help reduce blur, Intelligent IS automatically adjusts the optical Image Stabilizer to the scene from 7 modes.

To help make picture taking easy, Smart Auto mode detects the scene and selects the correct settings from 32 variables (21 in movie). To add some creativity there are a range of modes available, including toy camera, miniature, monochrome as well as many more.

Other features include High-speed Burst (3 megapixel images @ 7.8fps), Super Slow Motion Movie, iFrame movie and Movie Digest which records up to 4 seconds of action before each shot and combines them into one VGA movie.

Movies are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sounds and optical zoom as well as Powered and Dynamic image stabilisation to keep movies steady. The camera can be connected to a HDTV via a HDMI-CEC connector.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Top
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Top

Key Features

  • 12x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 28 - 336mm)
  • Intelligent IS
  • HS System
  • 12.1 megapixel
  • Ultra compact metal body
  • 3.2 inch PureColor II Touch LCD
  • Full HD, Powered IS
  • Smart Auto (32 scenes)
  • High-speed Burst
  • Super Slow Motion Movie
  • iFrame movie
  • Movie Digest
  • Creative modes
  • Hints & Tips
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rear
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rear

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Handling

The IXUS 1100 HS is remarkably small considering it has a 12x optical zoom lens but has a fair bit of weight packed into the metal body. It looks really stylish which is largely due to the large 3.2 inch LCD screen which fills the majority of the back of the camera. There is room for one button on the back of the camera, the playback button, with the other buttons on the camera placed on the top. These include the power button, shutter, zoom rocker and a switch which places the camera in Smart Auto mode. The touch screen is bright, clear and responds really well when pressing the buttons. The menu system is simple and easy to navigate.

The battery has a CIPA rating of just 170 shots, if you are likely to be using the camera for a full day of shooting a spare is highly recommended. The camera is ready to take photos within 2 - 3 seconds of switching on with the camera quick to focus. When at 12x zoom, the lens is just 60mm long and is therefore very quick to move through its zoom range. In continuous shooting mode the camera managed full sized images at 2.25 fps, with 0.8 fps in continuous shooting AF mode and 6.5 fps in High-speed Burst mode, although file size is limited to 3 megapixels.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Battery
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Battery

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Performance

Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction and detail, whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom, although softer round the edges with some purple fringing on occasion. The lens has a minimum focus distance of just 1cm, allowing you to get really close up for some excellent macro shots.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Lens test images

There is very little noise with good sharp images produced at ISO 100. As you progress through ISO 200 and ISO 400 you can see slight increases in the amount of noise, with images becoming softer at ISO 800. At ISO 1600 images are softer with slightly more noise than ISO 800. The images at ISO 3200 have a lot of noise and this setting is best for images that are to be resized for use on the web.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS ISO test images

The following images are examples taken using some of the scene modes available: landscape, sport and portrait. Skin tones are pleasant with just a hint of red-eye. Sport mode has enabled the camera to take a sharp shot of the wind turbine even on a windy day.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Sample Photos

Under the incandescent lights in the studio, the auto white-balance preset leaves an orange cast in the image, with incandescent preset giving the prefered image. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB preset gives a good image with a very slight pink cast when using the fluorescent preset.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS White-balance test images

Below are examples of some of the creative modes available on the IXUS 1100 HS. Other modes available are miniature and fisheye.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital filters

Video Mode

The video below has been recorded at full 1080p HD with stereo sound. Optical zoom is also available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. An example of the Super Slow Motion Movie mode can also be watched.

Value For Money

The Canon IXUS 1000 HS is a premium compact camera currently priced at £349.99. Other premium cameras to consider are the Sony Cybershot HX7V at £249.00, Ricoh CX5 at £249.00, Canon IXUS 1000 HS at £249.95 and Nikon Coolpix S8200 £279.00.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Verdict

The IXUS 1100 HS has a wide-range of features, with full HD video recording and is really well built with a metal body and 3.2 inch LCD touch screen. The camera produces a decent image and you can get really close into the action with the 12x optical zoom lens which is packed into the small body. The camera is priced quite highly and the battery life is quite short at just 170 shots. Overall, if your budget can stretch to the price, the Canon IXUS 1100 HS comes recommended.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Digital Camera Review:
The Canon IXUS 1100 HS has a good range of features with image quality to match.

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Pros

Produces excellent images
Good noise performance up to ISO 1600
Metal body
12x zoom lens pack into a small camera
Full 1080p HD video recording
Wide range of creative modes
Responsive touch screen

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Cons

Quite expensive
Battery life is short


Canon IXUS 1100 HS Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.4 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 336mm
Optical Zoom12x
Image Sensor
Pixels12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3.2in
Screen resolution461,000 dots
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting3.3fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-9L
Battery Life (CIPA rating)170shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery pack, battery charger, interface cable, wrist strap, getting started guide, software discs and warranty system booklet

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Photographs taken using the Canon IXUS 1100 HS

The EyeCompletely WreckedA pleasant Shadow...Tangled WoodCattleSea Defences"Someones got the hump"All cogged up....BOUWeston Super SunsetSodden SandsBouldersUnderneath

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