Canon PowerShot SX110 IS review

Ben Pitt
20 Mar 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



1/2.3in 9.0-megapixel sensor, 10.0x zoom (36-360mm equivalent), 245g

The SX110 is bulky compared to most compact cameras, with a bulbous plastic body that makes it look swollen.

It's one of the smallest cameras to include a large zoom, though. This makes it tempting for anyone who appreciates the creative scope of an ultra-zoom camera but still wants something that will easily fit into a jacket pocket.

The SX110 includes manual focus and exposure controls. They're well implemented, too, with the navigation pad doubling as a wheel that makes it quick to perform large adjustments. Manual exposure settings were accurately predicted by the preview image's brightness, and an enlarged central portion of the 3in screen makes precise manual focusing easy.

In our tests, the autofocus was quick for wide-angle shots but a little sluggish for telephoto ones, particularly in low light. Rapid-fire shooting was quick at 2.1 seconds between shots, but the use of AA batteries meant we had to wait for over five seconds between flash-lit shots.

Image quality had its strengths and weaknesses, too. Outdoor shots exhibited smooth, natural colours and superb levels of detail, although the latter trailed off towards the edges of photos. In lower light, noise took a heavy toll on smoothness and details. This is fairly inevitable in a compact, big-zoom camera, but the SX110 IS fared a little worse than its direct competitors.

Basic image quality in low light and slow flash recycle times mean this isn't a camera for social snapping. However, the compact design, big zoom and excellent image quality in bright conditions make it ideal for holidays. Panasonic's similar DMC-TZ5 is faster, records superb quality HD video and its 10x zoom starts at a wider 28mm focal length. It's a better choice for most users, but the SX110 IS has the edge for image quality in bright conditions, and its manual controls make it our recommended travelling camera for enthusiasts.

Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels9.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom10.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent36-360mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution3,456x2,592
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied32MB SD
Battery type2x AA
Battery Life (tested)400 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, DC in
Body materialplastic
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables

Buying Information


Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed15 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8 to f/8
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlsnone
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modescentre, spot, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer

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