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Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera Review$449.00
Lens & Sensor
The Canon S110 provides a 5x optical zoom lens with a fast f/2.0 maximum aperture. Unfortunately, that aperture closes down significantly as you take advantage of that 5x zoom, with a maximum of just f/5.9 when zoomed in. While f/2.0 is great for wide angle and macro shots, it's not nearly as impressive if you use the zoom frequently. With competing cameras like the Olympus XZ-1 (4x optical zoom) featuring an f/1.8 lens that closes down to just f/2.8 zoomed in, the S-series is lagging behind the times.
The Canon S110 utilizes a 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7-inch image sensor that is the same size and resolution as last year's S100. The sensor is about 50% larger than the typical 1/2.3-inch sensors that you find in most common point-and-shoots these days. When Canon released the S90, that was a bigger deal than it is today. Large sensor cameras are quite common now, though those cameras are generally slightly larger and more expensive than the S110.
The Canon S110 uses a 3-inch, 461k-dot rear touchscreen LCD. It's practically identical to the one found in the S100, save for the touchscreen operation. Unlike with the recently released Canon EOS M or the Rebel T4i, the menu system on the S110 doesn't particularly facilitate touch operation. In our time shooting with the camera we frequently forgot about the touch functionality. While Canon earns points for making the touchscreen as unobtrusive as possible, in our opinion it isn't of great benefit.
The Canon S110 has a pop-up flash built into the left side of the top plate of the camera—something else that, you guessed it, the S100 also had—that pops up when needed. It's motorized, with no physical catch to release it when the camera is powered off. That's good, as it prevents the flash from releasing accidentally when you've got it stowed in a bag. The flash has a guide number of 7 meters on the wide end, which is fairly typical for a compact camera.
Once you've captured your images you can hook the camera up to either a computer or television via the standard mini-USB or mini-HDMI ports located behind a small plastic port. The camera comes with a USB cable (though you've probably already got a mini-USB cable kicking around somewhere), though HDMI cables are sold separately.
The PowerShot S110's use of WiFi is more refined than we've seen in many previous cameras, with the ability to connect to a smartphone, computer, printer, another Canon camera, or the web directly. The antenna isn't great, but it's functional when need be. The biggest issue we found with it was the fact that it requires significant setup time to get each of the features working, usually requiring you to download an app or install a program to receive images and adjust settings. Given the dearth of high-quality WiFi on cameras this is par for the course, but a seamless, smartphone-esque experience should not be expected.
The Canon S110 uses a standard NB-5L rechargeable, Lithium-ion battery. It has a capacity of 1050mAh, which works out to around 200 shots per charge by CIPA standards. That's about what we got out of it, but 200 shots only worked out to about two days of heavy use before needing a charge.
The S110 uses a standard SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. The card slot is located in the battery compartment on the bottom of the camera, and as a result it's blocked by most tripod plate designs.