Canon PowerShot SX110 IS Review

The Canon SX100IS was a particularly popular model in the long-zoom sweepstakes that were held a year ago since it included a 10x zoom lens in a body that was surprisingly tiny.

Key Specs

  • 9.0 megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor
  • 10x optical zoom (36-360mm 35mm equivalent) with 4x digital zoom
  • LCD display measuring 3.0 inches with 230,000 pixels.
  • sensitivity ranging from 80 to 3,200 ISO.
  • Shutter speeds ranging from 1/15th of a second to 1/2,500 of a second
  • At wide-angle, the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, while at telephoto, it has a maximum aperture of f/4.3.
  • Memory card support includes SDHC, SD, MMC, MMC+, and HC MMC+
  • Two AA batteries provide the power.

The sensor now contains 9 megapixels, which is an increase from the previous 8 megapixels, and the LCD screen has been increased in size to 3 inches (up from 2.5 inches). Despite the numerous improvements, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the newly developed Canon SX110IS remains the same at $299. Continue reading for further information on the Canon SX110IS that has been provided.

As was the case with its predecessor, the Canon SX110IS won’t fit in your pocket because of its dimensions of 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 inches (111 x 71 x 45mm) and its weight of 10.7 ounces (302g). However, if you can live with a camera that you have to carry in a pants pocket or purse rather than a shirt pocket, the Canon SX110IS gives you a load of features and capability in a surprisingly compact package

We appreciate Canon’s restraint with the SX110IS, which features “just” 9 megapixels on its 1/2.3-inch sensor. This decision comes at a time when camera manufacturers are striving to achieve ever-higher megapixel counts. This resolution is more than sufficient for 99.99 percent of users, and it is expected to create less noise than would be produced by a sensor of comparable size with a greater resolution.

The Canon SX110 IS provides you the ability to reach out and convert faraway things into photographs that fill the frame thanks to its 9-megapixel sensor and 10-times optical zoom lens. When using a camera with a long zoom lens, it is significantly more difficult to keep the camera stable enough to produce crisp photographs.

The “IS” in the SX110’s name indicates that it is equipped with Canon’s outstanding Image Stabilization technology, which enables you to take clear photographs at shutter speeds that are two to four times slower than you would be able to hand-hold normally.

Unfortunately, there has been a dumbing down of camera controls alongside the falling prices of digital cameras and their increased availability to the general public. As a direct consequence of this, it is getting harder to locate tiny cameras that do not use a single-lens reflex system (non-SLR) and still provide complete manual exposure control, shutter-priority, and aperture-priority shooting modes.

The Canon SX110IS provides all of this and more, while yet being completely user-friendly for inexperienced operators with to its full auto mode and several scene settings. In point of fact, the camera now has a whole new setting called “Easy Mode,” which makes it even easier to use: The experience is literally one in which “you hit the button, and the camera does the rest,” making it ideal for people who have never used a camera before.

An improved version of the iSAPS (intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) exposure system compares the scenes that are captured by the camera’s lens with a massive database of reference scenes that are stored in the camera’s memory in order to determine the optimal exposure for a variety of different scenarios.

Images may be stored on Secure Digital or MultiMediaCard media with the Canon PowerShot SX110 IS, including the more recent (and larger capacity) SDHC varieties. The images are framed and seen on a color LCD panel that is 3 inches in size and has 230,000 pixels.

The 10x optical zoom lens of the Canon SX110IS spans a large range, which is comparable to 36-360mm on a 35mm camera. This range encompasses a reasonable wide-angle all the way up to a rather significant telephoto. The lens has a maximum aperture that ranges from f/2.8 at the wide-angle end of its range to f/4.3 at the telephoto end of its range. This makes it significantly quicker than many other lenses.

Because camera wobble may become a significant issue when using a lens that offers this level of telephoto capability, Canon included a genuine optical image stabilizer in the lens. This stabilizer works to correct camera shake by rotating lens components in the opposite direction of the motion.

There are three settings available: one that functions continuously when framing photographs, another that saves a little power by just running during exposure, and a final option that improves the anti-shake algorithms to better cope with stabilizing panning shots.

Canon says that their image stabilization system offers up to three stops of correction, which translates to the ability to photograph at shutter speeds that are eight times slower than what would normally be possible to achieve when holding the camera steady with your hand.

Included in this package is Canon’s implementation of face recognition, which has the ability to recognize up to nine faces simultaneously in a single scenario. The camera is able to determine which face is most important to focus on automatically, and the functionality of face detection is also linked to the ambient exposure, flash exposure, and white balance systems to ensure accurate metering of portraits as well; however, if you would rather not use face detection at all, you can switch to center AF instead of using face detection.

Very bright orange LED serves as the autofocus aid when working in low light conditions. Adjustments and customizations are available in a wide variety for photographers with more experience. These include a range of ISO sensitivities (from 80 to 1,600 equivalent), metering modes, autoexposure, and flash exposure locks, flash output control, white balance options, and image sharpness, contrast, and color options that can be adjusted.

Eleven different preset shooting modes are available on the Canon SX110IS. Of these, five have their own places on the Mode dial, while the remaining six may be reached through a Scene position that is unique to the camera. Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Night Scene, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, and Aquarium are some of the scene modes that are available. These scene modes make it simpler for beginners to tailor the camera’s settings to their intent without really needing to understand them. The modes that are available include:

The Canon SX110IS, much like its forerunner, the SX100, is powered by a pair of AA batteries. These batteries can be alkaline, lithium, or NiMH rechargeable types. This might be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view; there is no clear answer.

On the one hand, you won’t get the same type of battery life that you could with a specialized lithium-ion battery pack, but on the other hand, it is far less likely that you will run out of energy in some distant location:

AA batteries are readily available almost everywhere, and you can store an extra set of Energizer Lithium AA cells in the back of your camera as a precautionary measure. These batteries suffer almost no self-discharge, and as a result, they will continue to perform effectively even after many years have passed.

There is nothing that can beat a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries and a high-quality charter when it comes to keeping the cost of the batteries cheap.

Although the original list price for the Canon PowerShot SX110 IS was set at $299, respectable vendors were offering it at rates as low as $205 as of November of 2008.

The fact that the preceding model of this camera, the SX100IS, had nearly completely disappeared from the market by the time the SX110IS was introduced is one indication of how well-liked this series of cameras is: If you’re interested in purchasing a Canon SX110IS, you shouldn’t wait too long to do it because it appears that Canon has another product that will be very successful.


Exceptional ought to be what the X in SX stands for. The first thing that stands out about the SX110 IS is its competitive pricing. You may anticipate having to give up a few items at a price of roughly $240, but I can’t discover any. With its 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, and 9.0 megapixel CCD, the SX110 IS provides you with complete manual control as well as Scene settings for your photography needs. Even the red-eye effect can be mitigated by the flash.


A pattern that lacks symmetry


Zooming in far and then popping the flash

When I write about affordable digital cameras, I always get a really uneasy feeling because the price is sometimes the only aspect that stands out from the crowd. If only, I mutter to myself, you could put away an additional fifty or one hundred dollars, then you wouldn’t have to put up with this or that restriction.

Writing about the SX110 IS does not make me feel awkward in any way. It should serve as a template for others to follow. You do not have to give up the farm in order to receive the commodities.


The previous model was not that dissimilar to the SX110 IS; nevertheless, the SX100 IS was symmetrical and included a pleasant hump on the top that followed the contours of the huge lens. The SX110 IS lacks symmetry in its design. The gain in elevation occurs gradually on the right side of the bump, whereas the descent occurs suddenly on the left.

However, you won’t be troubled by all of it since the breathtaking LCD display of 3.0 inches will keep your attention captivated. You probably imagined that a camera with such a low price point would have a small LCD screen (no more than 2.5 inches) and a low number of pixels (no more than 110K). However, Canon offers a large LCD screen with a good resolution.

This contributes to the Canon SX110’s sole feature that may cause you to halt and think again about purchasing it. This is not a compact camera by any means. Canon has a long-standing practice of making its smaller cameras slightly on the bulky side. The flagship G10, as well as its predecessor, the G9, is a superb illustration of this. And much like its predecessor, the SX100, the SX110 makes no attempt to shrink down in size. Invest in an ELPH if you want something compact. When compared to the Canon SX110, however, an ELPH will need you to sacrifice a great deal of functionality.


Quite tastefully carved all the way around the massive LCD

This body is made of plastic and has flat surfaces all throughout. As a direct consequence of this, the grip may seem a little bit slick to certain people. On the rear, there is a wonderfully carved thumb grip, and on the front, there is a decent ledge that is highlighted with chrome for you to rest your other fingers. It never managed to get away from my grasp.

I wouldn’t call it hefty, but it does have a respectable amount of heaviness to it. When you hit the shutter button on a featherweight, the camera will typically tremble, however, the Canon SX110 does not have this issue.

When the main battery is removed, the CR1220 battery that keeps the clock running stays ticking regardless of where the main battery is located. This is one of the oddest aspects of the body design. It is located in a little drawer on the left-hand side of the camera, but pulling it out evenly might be difficult. And every time it happens, you waste time. This drawer is often tucked away in the battery compartment, making it less accessible to curious hands.


The dial is being turned

The control arrangement is fairly conventional, with the exception of the relocation of the row of buttons that were located below the LCD on the SX100 to locations surrounding the navigator due to a lack of available space. The Mode dial is big and can be thumbed through with ease from the rear of the device. Additionally, the shutter button, which is surrounded by the zoom control, is extremely large and simple to locate. There is just one button that needs additional consideration, and that is the Power button, which is a little rectangular inset located behind the Shutter button.

The LCD serves as your viewfinder and performs admirably even when exposed to direct sunlight. Fingermarks are visible because of the antiglare surface, however, they are simple to remove with a wipe of the cloth.

The lens is still the primary selling point for the Canon SX110. When you’ve used a camera that has an optical range of 10x, you’ll find that cameras with optical ranges of 5x and 3x feel restrictive in comparison. It really blows my mind that you can get 10x zoom on a camera for this amount. You just have to shake your head in disbelief when you realize that Canon has also included their optical image stabilization in the package.


The buttons have been moved from beneath the LCD to around the navigator, making the SX110 a one-handed camera. However, you should still use two hands to ensure the camera is stable. On the other hand, the interface of the SX110 is split between menus and buttons, much like that of any other digital camera.

A lens with a 10x zoom and optical image stabilization

When it comes to the buttons, the functions they serve should be second nature to everyone who owns a Canon. On each new model, Canon is required to alter the functionality of at least one button, although the button layout remains consistent with its typical hierarchy. When you click the Menu button, a list of the most important settings will appear (Playback mode, for example, has a tab for its settings, another for the Print function, and the Setup tab). While you press the Function/Change button, additional settings relevant to the mode you are now using will be displayed (for instance, when you are in the Record mode, this is where you set the image size and quality, as well as the white balance and other settings). And finally, the functions that are utilized the most are handled by the buttons themselves (EV, for example, is on one of them).

This works effectively, but I can’t help but scratch my head whenever I see Canon playing the shell game by relocating functionality away from the menu system and onto the buttons. However, if you get the hang of it and figure out which items are your favorites, you won’t forget them.

The Canon SX110 makes effective use of its buttons, which are the quickest and most direct method to perform any task.

Left Side

The battery compartment of the clock is tantalizingly accessible.

The Control dial may be found to the right of the Function/Set button. You can go up, down, left, or right by pressing the appropriate side buttons on the navigator. These buttons are located on the top, bottom, left, and right sides, respectively. However, pressing the Up button also rotates the image when playing it back and adjusts the ISO value while recording. Down navigates among the various release options for the shutter. The focusing modes are cycled through on the left, while the flash modes are cycled through on the right.

However, the Control dial may also be spun, which makes navigating much quicker. When the Mode dial is in the Scene position, it functions in the most beneficial manner. The numerous Scene modes are displayed whenever the Control dial is turned in either direction.

Two buttons are located just above the Control dial. One of these buttons may be used to turn the Face Detection feature on and off, while the other can adjust the exposure value. There are two additional buttons located below the Control dial. The first one navigates between the different Display modes, and the second one opens the Menu.

This is the most fundamental arrangement of the controls; nevertheless, the rear panel also has two more buttons that are important to note. Playback may be started by pressing the button that is located just above the control panel. However, it is positioned very close to your thumb, which makes it simple to go into Playback mode and evaluate the images you have taken. You may return to the Record mode by pressing the Playback button once again, as well as the Shutter button.

Towards the right

Strap tether and auxiliary ports

The Print and Share button is the second important one to take care of. When using the Direct Transfer option on your camera, you have the ability to navigate through your photographs and pick a couple of them to either add to the print list or download. You have the option of assigning any one of the following six functions to it when you are in the Record mode: White Balance, Custom White Balance, Red-Eye Correction, Teleconverter, Display Overlay (grid), Display Off, or unassigned.


The availability of manual shooting modes, which are sometimes overlooked on Canon digital cameras, is one of the many reasons why the Canon SX110 is regarded as one of the company’s most impressive products.

Tv for manually adjusting the shutter speed, Av for manually adjusting the aperture, and Manual for manually adjusting both the shutter speed and aperture together significantly increase the value of the camera for both novice users and more experienced users who already know how to get the results they want.

Program AE, Auto, and Easy Shooting are the three different automated shooting settings. If you hold down the Shutter button for half a second and then push the EV button, you will be able to use the Control dial to alter aperture and shutter speed combinations in Program AE without affecting the exposure. This requires a little of practice, but it is possible. Although this is how Program AE is meant to operate, Canon very seldom allows you to make adjustments to the exposure that it suggests.

The Function menu is limited to options for image size and quality when Auto is selected.

Because Easy Shooting does a good job of locking the camera down, it’s a good choice for when you want to give it to a youngster. You can zoom in and utilize the flash if the brightness is turned up, but other than that, you have no further options.

The Scene dial has a few different modes that you may find yourself using regularly. These categories are referred to as Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, and Indoor, respectively.

There are a few extra scene modes that can be found in the Scene menu, which Canon refers to as the Special Scene menu. These scene modes include Foliage, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Fireworks, Aquarium, Night Scene, and ISO 3,200.

In conclusion, the SX110 features a Movie mode that is capable of recording movies with a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels at a frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), and an LP version of the same model that can record movies that are twice as long, and 320 by 240 at 30 fps.

Bottom. SD card and two AA batteries are located just next to the attachment for the tripod. Take note of the carved thumb grip that is located above the Control dial….

Both the Storage and the Battery The 9-megapixel sensor can produce images with a maximum resolution of 3,456 by 2,592 pixels. While using superfine compression, you can fit roughly seven of those on the provided 32-MB SD card, and when using fine compression, you can store about 13 of those.

The same card will only be able to store 15 seconds of the greatest possible video quality. However, a 2GB card can store 16 minutes and 47 seconds of video.

You have options available to you in terms of technology thanks to the fact that the Canon SX110 is powered by AA batteries. The most powerful lithiums are those that can only be used once and cannot be recharged. However, they are an excellent option if the majority of your photography is done around the holidays and just seldom during other times of the year.

The alkalines that come standard with the camera are the least powerful choice available, having a rating of only 140 shots when measured according to CIPA standards (which take quite a few flash shots). Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries are somewhere in the middle of these two categories but are physically closer to lithium batteries. The CIPA testing procedures determined that they were good for 400 shots.


The Canon SX110 is a hybrid digital camera that resides between two distinct categories. It has a lengthy zoom because it has a 10x magnification. However, because of the price and the fact that it has features that are easy to use, it is considered an entry-level camera.

In comparison to other lengthy zooms, its performance on our most critical metrics falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. While shutting down took a better average of 1.7 seconds, the startup process took an average of 2.8 seconds due to the long lens being extended. If you’re going to rate this as an entry-level camera, give it an average score for each of those categories.

The combined focusing latency, which included both the wide-angle and telephoto settings, was approximately average in either class at 0.595 seconds. When shooting pictures with a large zoom, the prefocus latency was around average at 0.075 seconds (with the shutter button held halfway down before snapping the photo), but it was above average for an entry-level camera. Regardless of the perspective you choose, that is very fast.

Special Functions of the Canon

  • Optical image stabilization
  • Canon’s face identification technology included with the DIGIC III image processor
  • Options for shooting in manual mode, in addition to a large selection of scene modes
  • My Colors’ post-processing picture effects
  • Both black and silver iterations are offered.

Image Quality


Color accuracy is the first test that our gamut must pass. During this test, we are looking to see how well the camera can reproduce the natural colors that are present in a given picture. Even while photographs with extreme levels of brightness and saturation might provide the impression of movement, this is not the effect you were going for in the first place. To determine how correctly the SX110 IS can record photos, we took pictures of a GretagMacbeth color chart under an ample illumination of 1700 lux. This allowed us to evaluate the camera’s capabilities. We then take the photos that were produced and run them through a software called Imatest, which is an image analysis tool. This program tells us how closely the camera’s recorded image resembles the known chart value.


It’s not only the number of megapixels that matters when it comes to resolution; the entire camera system, including the sensor, optics, digital processing, and other components, is what decides how crisp the final shot seems to be, not the widely publicized megapixel count. We determine the resolution of the camera by taking pictures of an industry-standard chart and then running those pictures through a program called Imatest. This program measures the resolution of the camera in terms of line widths per pixel height, which is a measurement of the number of alternating black and white lines that span a single area.


Noise in images is one of those aspects of photography that, alas, cannot be avoided. The more you crank up the ISO, the more obvious it becomes; greater light sensitivity carries with it the visual static that messes up your pictures. It will be obvious in large sections of a single hue, and it will give the impression that there are specks all over the picture. We examine the noise levels at the camera’s default automatic ISO setting in addition to the entire range of manual ISO settings.

Dim Lighting

Our low light trials consist of two separate tests: the first is conducted with a decreasing amount of light, and the second uses a long exposure with a constant amount of light. The former is captured using four distinct levels of lighting, ranging from 60 lux, which corresponds to about normal interior evening illumination, all the way down to 5 lux (about the light of a single candle in a dark room). Similar to how we test for color accuracy, we also test for noise levels and saturation. This is done in the same manner as our color accuracy test. The Canon maintained a color fidelity that was pretty excellent throughout all of the light levels, notably at 60 and 5 lux, and it was able to reduce noise levels to 2.5 percent or less. The photographs, on the other hand, had a propensity to turn out with a lack of saturation.

Video Performance

We would be negligent in our reviewer obligations if we did not test these facilities with the same level of rigor that we apply to take still photographs because one of the convenient benefits of a point-and-shoot camera is its capacity to record video in addition to still images.


Sensor• 1/2.3″ Type CCD
• 9.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes• 3456 x 2592
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3456 x 1944
Movie clips• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
Maximum clip length• 640 x 480, 320 x 240: 4GB or 1 hour
• 160 x 120: 3 mins
File formats• JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• DPOF 1.1
• AVI (Motion JPEG + WAVE)
Lens• 36-360mm (35mm equiv)
• 10x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.3
Image stabilizationYes (Lens-Shift)
Conversion lensesNo
Digital zoomup to 4x
AF area modes• Face Detection AiAF
• 1-point AF (center or Face Select and Track)
• Manual focus
• Single, Continuous
AF lockYes (on/off selectable)
AF assist lampYes
Focus distanceClosest focus distance 1cm
Metering• Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (center)
ISO sensitivity• Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
AE lockYes (on/off selectable)
Exposure compensation+/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed15-1/2500 sec
Modes• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Easy
• Indoor
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Special Scene
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
Scene modes• Easy
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Night Scene
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Self timer2 or 10sec, custom
Continuous shooting• Approx 0.7fps until card is full (AF / LiveView)
• Approx 1.2fps until card is full (LCD monitor off)
Image parametersMy Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Color)
Flash• Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment (3 levels)
• Range (Auto ISO): 50cm – 3.0m (wide) / 2.0m (tele)
LCD monitor• 3.0-inch P-Si TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 5 levels of brightness adjustment
Connectivity• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliancePictBridge
Storage• SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
Power• 2x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
• Optional AC adapter ACK800
Weight (no batt)245g
Dimensions111 x 71 x 45 mm


The Canon SX110 IS is able to cram an optically stabilized 10x zoom lens into a very tiny body, yet its image quality still competes extremely well with that of full-sized long-zoom cameras. This is made possible by the optical image stabilization technology that is built into the lens.

In high ISO photography, it loses a little ground to Canon’s own SX10 IS, which employs a more powerful version of Canon’s DIGIC processor; but, the Canon SX110 IS’s more compact body is much simpler to bring along on vacations and trips because of its smaller size. Its 9-megapixel sensor may sound little at a time when several consumer models are rocking 14- and 15-megapixel processors, but believe us when we say that the Canon SX110 IS captures more than enough detail for any size print you are likely to wish to make.

This camera has an outstanding auto-white balance, which makes it a wonderful choice for photographing indoors since it is able to manage the challenging incandescent lighting seen in most homes. The Canon SX110IS is an excellent choice for a family camera because of its high level of versatility; it can expose images either completely automatically or completely manually. This means that it can easily accommodate the interests of all members of the family, from first-time beginners to seasoned enthusiasts. A fantastic digital camera in every respect. An obvious choice for Dave’s Pick was the Canon SX110IS.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • When seen from a broad perspective, the corners are rather crisp.
  • Excellent range with 10x zoom
  • The face detecting software is effective.
  • Stabilization of the image by optical means is quite beneficial.
Need improvement
  • It may be difficult to reach the recessed power button.
  • It is too big to fit in my pocket.
  • No widescreen Movie mode
  • compartment for batteries that is somewhat exposed

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