Canon PowerShot S110 Review

It is worth noting that the S110 is a relatively minor improvement to the S100, with the core components of the camera – the lens, sensor, and image processor – remaining mostly unchanged. Consequently, it retains the 12MP 1/1.7″ ‘High Sensitivity CMOS’ sensor, DIGIC 5 image processor, and 24-120mm equivalent lens, which has a reasonably fast F2.0 aperture at wide-angle and a noticeably slower F5.9 aperture at telephoto, both manufactured by Canon.

Aside from that, the camera’s control arrangement is virtually identical, including the outstanding and often imitated programmable control dial located around the lens.

The most significant upgrades include a capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch functionality similar to that of a smartphone, as well as integrated WiFi networking, which has become a must-have feature this year.

However, while the S100 does not have a built-in GPS module, it can still geotag photographs by synchronizing with the GPS on your smartphone – if you have one, that is.

There are the standard features we’ve come to expect from a touchscreen, like the highly helpful touch-focus function, which allows you to define your topic by touching the screen. Among the more interesting features is the ability to temporarily adjust or disable the function of the lens control dial by tapping on a “virtual dial” located on either side of the screen’s right edge.

The ability to swiftly go from managing the aperture to regulating exposure correction, for example, is a sensible addition to the S100’s already outstanding control mechanism in aperture priority mode.

The WiFi on the S110 is also quite ordinary in terms of features. Photographs may be transferred to a smartphone or tablet, and still photographs and videos can be uploaded immediately to social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. Even if you’re out of range of a WiFi network, you can still upload photos to your computer or tablet using Canon’s CameraWindow application.

It’s also possible to print wirelessly to printers that support WiFi, such as Canon’s Selphy CP900 or Pixma models that were launched at the same time as the S110.

The S110 also has what Canon refers to as ‘ZoomPlus,’ which is an advanced digital zoom that seeks to improve image quality via the use of content-aware upsampling.

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because Sony just introduced a technique dubbed ‘Clear Image Zoom’ on its newest cameras, including the RX100, that is quite similar to what you’re hearing here. It is similar to the Sony approach in that it more or less twice increases the zoom range of a camera for JPEG shooters while, in theory, providing greater image quality than a regular digital zoom.

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Image Quality

The Superfine JPEG option at 12 megapixels was used to capture all of the sample photographs for this evaluation. This setting results in an average image size of around 4.5 megabytes.

The Canon PowerShot S110 is capable of producing photographs of exceptionally high quality. At ISO 80–800, the photographs were captured without any noise; however, at ISO 1600, there was considerable noise and a minor loss of color saturation.

Even while ISO 3200 exhibits more evident noise and a loss of color, it is still completely acceptable, and even ISO 6400 does not suffer too severely. However, the new highest speed of ISO 12800 should be avoided at all costs.

Although there was a minor decrease in sharpness and an increase in noise at ISO 1600-12800 in comparison to the matching JPEGs, the RAW files were quite clean from an ISO range of 80 to 800.

The Canon PowerShot S110 handled chromatic aberrations competently, with very modest purple fringing effects seen in high contrast conditions and typically towards the corners of the frame. These effects appeared only when the camera was exposed to high levels of contrast.

At the 24mm wide-angle setting, the lens has a certain degree of barrel distortion, in addition to a general blurring of detail toward the corners of the frame. Although there is significant vignetting at 24 millimeters, the built-in flash performed admirably inside, preventing red-eye and providing enough exposure overall.

The night snapshot turned out wonderfully, and the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds was more than adequate for the majority of the shots taken after dark.

When the camera is held by hand in low-light settings or when the telephoto end of the zoom range is being utilized, the image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well. The macro performance is rather strong, allowing you to focus on the topic from a distance as near as three centimeters.

The pictures came out of the Canon PowerShot S110 with the default sharpening setting. For the best results, you should perform additional sharpening in an application such as Adobe Photoshop; alternatively, you can change the setting in the camera itself. The images were a little soft when they were first taken with the camera.


Because the new Canon PowerShot S110 is, at least superficially, extremely similar to the model that it succeeds, the S100, many of the remarks that we made in our evaluation of the S100 are applicable to the S110 as well. The vast feature list may lead one to believe that this camera is more complicated than it actually is, but it actually has a very subtle and appealing design.

It has a body-only weight of 198g, which makes it feel sturdy when clutched in the palm, and measures 98.8 x 59 x 26.7mm, it is really ever-so-slightly thinner than its S100 predecessor, making it easy to fit into a trouser pocket or purse.

The S110 has a tactile coating that is applied all over its surface, which helps to improve its handling. However, there is no longer a usable handhold on the front of the device; instead, there is a rubberized thumb rest on the back.

The Canon PowerShot S110 has the same number of megapixels (12) as its predecessor and the same type of CMOS sensor. However, it now has the ability to shoot at a maximum ISO speed of 12800 at full stills resolution. Furthermore, it has a multitude of incremental 1/3 stop adjustments available between the lowest setting of ISO 80 and the highest option of ISO 12800.

The S110 is equipped with the same lens as the S100, which means that it has a flexible and wide-angle 5x zoom that has a focal range that goes from 24-120mm. Although it’s only f/2.0 at full wide-angle and the maximum aperture at the 120mm telephoto end is a much slower f/5.9, Canon suggests that its f/2.0 lens has been fitted to allow in twice as much light as a more standard issue f/2.8 aperture optic, allowing for faster shutter speeds and shallower depth of field. Note, however, that it’s only f/2.0 at full wide-angle.

The optically stabilized 5x zoom provides a four-stop advantage and works for both still images and movies. There are no less than six different modes of stabilization that are automatically detected and applied by the camera while stills and movies are being shot. The optically stabilized 5x zoom also works for both still images and movies.

In addition to the Digic 5 processor and the exposure adjusting iContrast function, which is now a standard feature across the Canon family, there is a 3-inch LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 461 dots, an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port for easy hookup to an HDTV set, and an HDMI port for easy hookup to an HDTV set. More unexpectedly for a tiny camera, RAW and JPEG capture are both available despite the fact that the width of the camera is just slightly larger than that of a credit card.

Point-and-shoot user-friendliness on the Canon PowerShot S110 comes in the form of fully automatic face detection, motion detection, and Smart Auto scene detection technologies. These are the types of technologies that are typically found on Canon’s snapshot compacts. Perhaps more predictably, the Canon PowerShot S110 has a 3x optical zoom.

There is also the option to record full 1080p movies with a resolution of 1920 by 10800 pixels at a frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps), complete with stereo sound, and with full use of the optical zoom and, thankfully, continuous auto-focusing as well. Additionally, there are options for super slow motion (640×480 pixels at 120fps or 320x 240 pixels at 240fps).

When the Canon PowerShot S110 is down to its bare necessities, which include a quick start instruction in the packaging as well as a comprehensive manual that is only included on the CD that is given, there is nothing about the camera that at first seems superfluous or gimmicky.

The lens and the lens control ring that encircles it and moves with a succession of satisfyingly loud clicks are the most prominent features of the S110’s clean and somewhat serious-looking faceplate. The lens itself is the initial most conspicuous feature, followed by the lens control ring. Turning the ring in conjunction with pressing the Ring Function button on the rear of the camera is how functions are activated; there are 8 presets as well as a Custom option.

In this manner, for instance, users have the option to manually change the focus of the camera. A distance slider will appear on the right-hand side of the LCD screen, and the image’s central section will be magnified to further assist in the precision of the adjustment.

Altering the aperture, selecting the ISO speed, adjusting the exposure (+/- 2EV), and manually adjusting the white balance, as a stepped zoom providing the equivalent of 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm steps, altering the i-Contrast, or selecting one of the aspect ratios are some of the additional options for the ring function.

Canon PowerShot S110 Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2248, 4000 x 2664, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1200 x 1200, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor size1/1.7″ (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5
ISOAuto, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)24–120 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2–5.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT PureColor II G Touch screen LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range7.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Second Curtain
Continuous drive2.1 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Videography notesMiniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedUnknown
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini)
Wireless notesWireless LAN (IEEE802.11 b/g/n)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-5L rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)200
Weight (inc. batteries)198 g (0.44 lb / 6.98 oz)
Dimensions99 x 59 x 27 mm (3.9 x 2.32 x 1.06″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPS notesvia mobile (linked to compatible smartphone)


The Canon PowerShot S110 may have a similar design to its predecessor, the S100, but it has a number of improvements over its predecessor, including quicker auto-focusing, an LCD with a touchscreen, an expanded ISO range, and built-in wireless connectivity. As a result, it is a more well-rounded proposition.

The battery life is still very alarming, GPS is now only available by linking with a smartphone, and the price remains sky-high. The image quality is exactly the same, though, despite the upgraded sensor. The handy hand grip has been strangely removed.

The image quality continues to be outstanding, and the camera has a perfectly usable ISO range of 80-1600 and a fast f/2.0 maximum aperture, even though the wide-angle lens setting is the only one where it can be used. This makes the S110 particularly well-suited to hand-held photography in low light.

It is also possible to capture the blurred backgrounds and sharp subjects that are difficult for most compacts to accomplish, and the 5x zoom offers a longer reach than some competitors. However, this longer reach comes at the expense of a somewhat inevitable increase in the maximum aperture, which rises to a rather slow f/5.9 at 120mm. The imaging experience is not complete without a full 1080p video with continuous auto-focusing, stereo sound, and the ability to make full use of the zoom.

The jaw-dropping cost of the S110 is a combined total of £429.00 and $449.99. It is still the smallest camera on the market to offer such a wide array of DSLR-like features and excellent image quality to match, topped off by a refined user interface that is a pleasure to use. Some people will question such a high price for what is, after all, merely a compact camera. However, for many people, the S110 will make perfect sense both economically and logically.

However, one year is a long time in the world of cameras, and we believe that the S110 has been superseded by the Sony Cyber-shot RX100, which is a model that is somewhat larger and features a sensor that is far larger, and it produces results that are even more impressive. However, if you are looking for one of the most compact quality compact cameras available, then the brand-new Canon PowerShot S110 is an excellent choice.

Canon PowerShot S110 Price

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Compact
  • Simple to operate
  • Optics of the highest caliber
  • Excellent image quality
  • Manual exposure capabilities
Need Improvement
  • There is room for improvement in the battery life.
  • Setting up WiFi may be a real pain.
  • The on/off switch is poorly built.
  • Lack of a handgrip

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