Canon SD1100 IS Review

 
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Canon SD1100 IS Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.0 second

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.3 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

1.5 seconds
(after Large/Superfine JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Startup and shutdown times are above average. Buffer clearing is pretty fast, but will depend on the speed of your memory card.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

2.6 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

1.0 second

Time to display a large/superfine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

2.1 seconds

Time to display a large/superfine file already on the memory card.

Play to Record mode time is a little slower than average, but Record to Play is quite fast.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.42 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.75 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus,
with Flash

1.85 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.067 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter response is better than average at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.42s and 0.75s respectively. Enabling the flash adds quite a bit of delay, increasing lag time to 1.85s. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.067 second.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large SuperFine JPEG
1.94 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

1.63 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large SuperFine JPEG

1.05 seconds (0.95 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.76 second (1.32 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
0.8 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

0.77 second (1.30 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
0.8 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

9.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are about average, at about 1.94 seconds for large/superfine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) The PowerShot SD1100 IS drags a little in its Continuous modes, capturing large/superfine frames at 0.95 frames per second, however it maintains this pace for more than 20 frames. This increases slightly to 1.32 frames per second for large/fine JPEGs. The flash takes 9.6 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is slower than average, but not unheard of among cameras as small as the SD1100 IS.

 

Download Speed

Windows XP,
USB 2.0

3,046 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are quite fast; you're not likely to feel the need for a separate card reader.


Bottom line, the Canon SD1100 IS won't be a good choice for sporting events or any fast-paced action, but is responsive enough for most family and travel photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD On
(CIPA standard)
240
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD Off
(CIPA standard)
600

The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is about average, though we still recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and comes with a 32MB card. The table below shows approximate image size and capacity for the included card.

Image Capacity with
32MB Memory Card
SuperFine Fine Normal
3,264 x 2,448
Images
8
14
29
File Size
3.7 MB
2.2 MB
1.1 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
11
21
41
File Size
2.7 MB
1.5 MB
762 KB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
18
33
65
File Size
1.7 MB
966 KB
491 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
29
52
99
File Size
1.1 MB
610KB
322 KB
640 x 480
Images
111
171
269
File Size
288 KB
186 KB
119 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2 or 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. If you only intend to shoot stills, a 1GB card is likely to be plenty. Video can really burn up card space though. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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