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Canon PowerShot SD110 Digital ELPH Camera@DASHING THING REVIEW

05 Jul


 

Camera QuickLook
Review Date
5/17/04
User Level
Novice to Advanced
Product Uses
Family / Travel / Special Events
Digicam Design
Automatic Exposure Control
Picture Quality
Good, 3.2-megapixel CCD
Print Sizes
4×6, 5×7, 8×10 inches
Availability
Now
Suggested Retail Price
(At introduction)
$299

Introduction


The Canon PowerShot SD110 Digital ELPH is one of the newest members of Canon’s popular, diminutive digital camera line. In both the film and digital worlds, the tiny, high-style Canon ELPH models have been wildly popular. Long a popular brand for APS film cameras, the Canon Digital ELPHs brought the compact size and styling to the digital world, beginning with the original PowerShot S100. The Canon PowerShot SD100 Digital ELPH updated the line by adopting the SD memory card format; now the Canon SD110 adds the Print/Share button, making a very popular gem of a camera a little easier to use with PictBridge printers. Because this is more of an internal upgrade, this review will echo much of my original SD100 review. If you’re familiar with that model, you can save yourself some time by skipping most of the text here, jumping down to the section and proceeding from there.

 

Camera Overview

Slightly smaller than many preceding Canon Digital ELPH models, the PowerShot SD110 features the same great looks and sharp design that are the ELPH signature. Very compact and quick on the draw (thanks to a smooth retractable lens design), the PowerShot SD110 is a convenient point-and-shoot digital camera with a handful of extra exposure features for a little added flexibility. With the lens retracted, the Canon SD110’s front panel is flat and pocket friendly, and its all-metal body rugged and durable. Equipped with a 3.2-megapixel CCD, the SD110 captures high quality images, suitable for printing snapshots as large as 8×10 inches. Smaller image sizes are also available for email transmission or Web applications, and a movie mode captures short video clips with sound.

The Canon SD110 features a 2x, 5.4-10.8mm zoom lens, equivalent to a 35-70mm zoom on a 35mm camera (a fairly common 2x zoom range). Aperture is automatically controlled, but the maximum setting ranges from f/2.8 at full wide angle to f/3.9 at full telephoto. A maximum 3.2x digital zoom option increases the SD110’s zoom capability to 6.4x, but keep in mind that digital zoom decreases the overall image quality, as it simply crops out and enlarges the center pixels of the CCD image. Image details are thus likely to be softer with digital zoom. Focus ranges from 1.5 feet (47 centimeters) to infinity in normal AF mode, and from 3.9 inches to 1.5 feet (10 to 47 centimeters) in Macro mode. An Infinity fixed-focus mode is also available. The SD110 employs a sophisticated, nine-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Autofocus) system to determine focus, which uses a broad active area in the center of the image to calculate the focal distance (a feature I’ve been impressed with on many ELPH models and hope to see continued). Through the Record menu, you can turn AiAF off, which defaults the autofocus to the center of the frame. Also built-in to the SD110 is an AF assist light, which aids the focus mechanism in low light. For composing images, the SD110 offers a real-image optical viewfinder, as well as a 1.5-inch color LCD monitor. The LCD reports a fair amount of camera information, but excludes exposure information such as aperture and shutter speed. In Playback mode, a histogram display reports the tonal distribution of a captured image, useful in determining any over- or under-exposure.

Because the ELPH line capitalizes on ease of use, exposure control is typically automatic to increase the line’s appeal to point-and-shoot users. The SD110 doesn’t waver from this trend, but does provide a handful of manual adjustments, plus several enhancements to the PictBridge direct print functionality. Another enhancement, called QuickShot, allows users to take a very fast picture without having to wait for the camera to focus. The camera just switches to infinity and fires. The Mode dial on the rear panel controls the main operating mode, offering Playback, Auto, Manual, and Movie modes. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,500 to 15 seconds, with the one- to 15-second end of the range only available in Long Shutter mode (which also automatically invokes a Noise Reduction system to eliminate excess image noise in longer exposures). In straight Auto mode, the camera controls everything about the exposure except for file size, flash, etc. Manual mode provides more hands-on control, with White Balance, Exposure Compensation, ISO, and some creative effects. Camera operation is straightforward, as you typically just point and shoot most of the time. Pressing the Shutter button halfway sets focus and exposure, and the small LEDs next to the optical viewfinder let you know when the camera is ready to take the picture.

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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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