To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Canon Ixus 1100 HS review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £350
inc VAT

Superb image quality but the touchscreen control is clumsy and the price is too high


1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 12.0x zoom (28-336mm equivalent), 206g

The Canon Ixus 1000 HS was one of our favourite cameras of 2010. Its 10-megapixel sensor, 10x zoom range and 1080p video recording were a great combination of features, and the resulting photos and videos were the best we’d seen from a big-zoom compact camera.

Canon Ixus 1100 HS

Canon isn’t one to rest on its laurels, though, and the 1100 HS bears little relation to its nominal predecessor. The sensor is now 12 megapixels and the lens has a 12x zoom, giving some useful extra extension at the wide-angle end to deliver a 28-336mm range. Its dimensions are marginally smaller but it’s actually a little heavier, and the 1000 HS’s rounded off corners have been filled in to give a blockier appearance. Still, at just 22mm thick it’ll slip into any pocket. There’s only a small improvement to battery life, though, which now stands at 170 shots. That might not be enough for a day’s use, particularly if the 1080p video mode is used extensively.

The biggest changes are on the back of the camera, with the 1000 HS’s 3in screen, buttons and wheel replaced by a 3.5in touchscreen. The remaining buttons are for power, shutter release, zoom, playback and a switch to choose between Auto and other shooting modes – the switch has just two positions so all other modes are selected via the touchscreen controls. There’s not even a dedicated video capture mode or a dedicated record button, but the latter is always available as a touchscreen button.

Canon Ixus 1100 HS top

The widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio isn’t the most obvious choice for a camera that takes 4:3-shaped photos, but Canon uses the blank strips either side of the preview image to display various on-screen buttons. Meanwhile, tapping the preview image itself moves the focus point, engages track focus or focuses and takes a picture, depending on the selected menu option.

Sadly, this smart use of the touchscreen runs dry when browsing the menus, which display options as a scrolling list in the same vein as the button-operated Ixus cameras. For touchscreens, a grid of buttons is much easier to operate that a scrolling list. We initially found menu navigation painfully slow, and although we got better at it with practice, it never felt entirely comfortable. Because the menu options don’t all fit on the screen at once – and because they can change depending on the selected mode – locating a particular function often involved looking for it rather than jumping directly to it.

The 1100 HS also committed a cardinal sin by sometimes failing to respond clearly to our input. It powered up and took a photo in 3.3 seconds, but powering up and responding to touchscreen prods took 4.5 seconds. Pressing the screen a little earlier produced an audible beep to show that it had registered our finger but nothing else happened.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.2in
LCD screen resolution 461,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 12.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-336mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1920×1080
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 170 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 206g
Size 60x99x22mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £350

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.4 (wide), f/5.9 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, red, green, blue, skin tone, i-Contrast
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes centre, multi/face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer

Read more