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Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS Overview

Posted: 01/09/2012

Priced at US$250 -- the same as the ELPH 300 HS model it replaces -- the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS looks to be a relatively straightforward update to the earlier camera with similar styling and the same lens. As with its predecessor, it's a camera for somebody who favors an approachable, straightforward design with attractive styling over all the latest bells, whistles, and buttons.

Sensor resolution has been increased appreciably--if not dramatically--from twelve to 16 megapixels, from a CMOS image sensor. A 5x optical zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent range of 24-120mm, a generous wide-angle to a moderate telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/2.7 to f/5.9 across the zoom range. Sensitivity varies to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent, unchanged from the 300 HS. Burst shooting is possible at up to 5.8 frames per second, although it isn't clear whether this is at full resolution.

The control layout has been tweaked slightly, moving the mode switch to the top panel, and making the Menu button smaller and more distinct from those around it. These changes have freed up just enough space to increase the size of the LCD panel from 2.7 to 3.0 inches, providing a little bit more room on which to preview and review your images.

Helpfully, Canon has included a true optical image stabilization system in the ELPH 110 HS, which combats blur from camera shake, and this has been upgraded from that in the preceding model. The 110 HS includes the same Intelligent IS image stabilization system which we saw previously in Canon PowerShot models announced last Fall, which offers six different modes of operation, taking account of different shooting situations such as shooting macro photos, panning to follow action, or shooting with the camera mounted on a tripod, and configures the IS system appropriately. It also provides for a greater range of correction when shooting movies.

The Canon 110 HS now offers not just face detection, but also a face recognition function, dubbed "Face ID". This allows the photographer to register the faces of up to twelve individuals in-camera, with up to five different angles or expressions being stored for each individual. You can then enter their name and birth date, and if recognized in the scene, the camera will automatically tag images appropriately, as well as giving focus and exposure priority to recognized individuals first. Additionally, the camera will consider three different age groups, giving priority to the younger age groups first, as follows: baby (0-1 year), child (1-12 years), and adult (13 and over.)

Related to this change is an increase in the number of scene types detected by the Smart Auto mode to a whopping 58 types. We understand that the new types rely on the facial recognition capability, and allow the camera to do things like automatically recognizing when a baby is sleeping, then disabling camera sounds and flash / AF assist lamps, so as not to wake baby.

Of course, the 110 HS wouldn't be a modern digital camera if it didn't offer high-def video capture capability, and Canon doesn't disappoint. As in its predecessor, the Canon PowerShot 110 HS can record at up to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel; 1080p) resolution, with stereo audio and the ability to use the optical zoom during recording. The 110 HS also offers an upgraded variant of Canon's Movie Digest function, which is used to automatically capture up to four seconds of video from immediately before the moment of capture of each still image, by simply buffering video continuously from the moment the shutter button is half-pressed, and then saving the last few seconds of video once the shutter is tripped. The Movie Digest videos are stored by the camera, and at the end of a day's shooting, are automatically stitched together into a single video showing all of the day's clips in sequence. Compared to the Movie Digest function in earlier cameras, which saved Movie Digests at VGA (640 x 480 pixel) standard-definition resolution, the 110 HS will do so at 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) high-definition resolution.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS ships from mid-February 2012 in the US market, priced at around US$250. Available body colors include black, silver, red, blue, green and pink.