Canon's IXUS range has a reputation for combining both stylish design and excellent performance in a compact body, and the IXUS 1100HS appears to continue this tradition, but how does it perform under the WDC testing?
The IXUS range has long led the compact camera market with regards to style and the IXUS 1100HS continues this trend while looking to add some serious substance at the same time.
The compact features a 12.1MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, complete with Canon’s HS system, aimed at providing premium image quality in low-light conditions. The sensor itself is coupled with the manufacturer’s DIGIC IV processor, which itself aids processing speeds. Despite featuring a relatively slim body, the IXUS 1100HS still features a 12x optical zoom, covering 28-336mm in equivalent terms, which is supported by Intelligent IS image stabilisation for crisp images. The rear of the camera is occupied almost exclusively by a 3.2in, 461k-dot touchscreen LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio, something which will be of use of you choose to shoot the 1080p HD videos to compact is capable of, but will result in lost space for conventional stills.
Due to the touchscreen occupying the bulk of the rear, the IXUS 1100HS’s design definitely feels on the minimal side. The only other button on the rear of the camera is the image playback button, whilst the top plate only features three other buttons, namely a power button, shutter release and shooting mode slider. The rest of the camera functions are all accessed through various menus on the model’s touchscreen. While the touchscreen is ample in size and makes the rear of the camera certainly appear elegant, it feels unresponsive to touch at times – it’s perfectly usable, but for those accustomed to touchscreen smartphones, the screen may well feel too laggy in use.
Image quality is to the usual excellent standard to be expected from an IXUS, with excellent colour rendition, a wide dynamic and good sharpness displayed. Noise control is also impressive, with the HS system making ISO settings up to ISO 800 perfectly usable.
Although there is no doubt that you’re getting a lot of camera in the form in the IXUS 1100HS, the price tag is still enough to make your eyes water. At over £300, the IXUS is leaning towards the high-end advanced compact side of the market and, while it performs well, there are enough misgivings to make one consider waiting for the price to fall before purchasing.
The IXUS 1100HS is a great camera on paper, features excellent design and will no doubt have a host of fans. Image quality is good and performance is, in general, to a similar standard. However, doubts are raised over the effectiveness and implementation of the camera's touchscreen and, at over £300, it's an expensive compact camera that is bordering on a luxury good rather than competitive compact camera.