Canon PowerShot S110 Review

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

The Canon PowerShot S110 is a WLAN camera with manual control and touch display optically zooms five times between 24 and 120 mm with a light intensity of F2.0 in wide-angle.

Together with the HS system consisting of a 1/1.7-inch, 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, and Digic 5 processor, the Canon PowerShot S110 achieves a light sensitivity of ISO 12,800 and the new image stabilization system with Intelligent IS is also on board.

The lens control ring allows many functions such as aperture, shutter speed and zoom to be set manually.

Brief assessment


  • Very good image quality
  • Recordings in raw format
  • A full manual mode that can be controlled by two rotating wheels
  • Very good equipment including series shots, HDR and high-speed series in full resolution
  • WLAN functionality for wireless connection to smartphones, PCs, printers and other cameras


  • Complicated setup of the WLAN function
  • Bright in the wide-angle range, but with F5.9 in the telephoto range rather below average
  • Weak battery performance

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

If you know the predecessor of the Canon PowerShot S110, you have high expectations: The S100 has already achieved very good results in terms of image quality for a compact camera.

Little has changed in the basic technical equipment with Digic-5 processor, 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and 5x optical zoom lens.

The Canon PowerShot S110 wants to score above all with its WLAN function. This means that the simple, elegant compact is right on-trend. Whether it succeeds in linking up with the age of social networking and whether the image quality has remained at a high level, is clarified by the test I have done.

The three-inch Pure Color II G LCD display allows touch function adjustments such as TouchAF for a quick definition of the focus-guiding area. The camera can also be controlled manually using analog dials and direct buttons such as the movie button.

Otherwise, various automatic functions help with the recordings. The WLAN function connects the camera to various mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet PCs. This allows photos and videos to be quickly shared via social networking platforms or GPS location information from the mobile device can be linked to the camera’s recording data.

Other features include the Full HD Movie function with stereo sound, a three-stage ND filter, and RAW recording mode.

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

Ergonomics and Workmanship

At first glance, the Canon PowerShot S110 doesn’t show how many functions are actually hidden under its simple and elegant shell – the compact camera focuses on understatement.

The most striking feature of its outward appearance is the easy-grip lens ring, which allows quick access to functions such as zoom, iris, shutter speed, focus or ISO. For this purpose, Canon has provided a button on the backside with which one can quickly and easily assign the required function to the control ring.

A second control ring surrounds the four-weigher on the back. This allows the shutter speed to be set in manual mode while the lens ring controls the aperture. By means of these two dials and the short menu, you can quickly operate many common settings.

The rest is determined by the regular menu, which is clearly structured and can be quickly browsed with the rear rotary wheel.

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

“Smart Auto” selects the right setting from 58 scene mode programs and is ideal for beginners.

Canon limits itself here to the essentials, whereby a setting for landscape or sports could have been taken already. After all, there are specifications for underwater, snow and fireworks, as well as a stitching assistant for panoramic images. Film, film diary and HDR have also made it onto the voting wheel.

In addition, there is the manual mode and semi-automatic and the Custom function, which you can set up according to your own habits and preferences. The dial is thus well utilized. It sits quite tight, but it snaps in well and so cannot easily adjust itself.

On the top of the camera, next to the mode dial, is the shutter-release button surrounded by the zoom lever and the flash. This automatically raises and deactivates when it is gently but firmly pushed back or the flash is turned off.

If more light is needed, Canon offers the external flash unit HF-DC2, which is attached to the tripod thread via a rail and thus sits next to the camera. The zoom lever is a little jumpy in photo mode, but it is reasonably slow in movie mode.

The buttons on the back are comfortable to use due to their size. The Canon PowerShot S110 also offers a roughened rubber coating with a small bead on the top right as a place for the thumb, so that the camera can also be released easily with one hand. The three-inch touch display on the back can also be used as a trigger. It has a resolution of 461,000 pixels, which is not necessarily the measure of all things.

Nevertheless, it is easy to view and can still be considered acceptable in sunlight. On the right side of the camera, there is the HDMI connector and the combined USB-AV socket. To do this, the flap must be closed with gentle force and a lot of pressure before it is just engaged again. The closure of the battery and card compartment (SD, SDHC, SDXC) looks much more solid.

Right next to it is the metal tripod thread, which is conveniently located in the optical axis. The battery-conditioner cover cannot be opened when the camera is mounted on a tripod. Unfortunately, the battery compartment has to be opened more often than one likes, as the battery is only sufficient for approximately 200 images.

All in all, the Canon PowerShot S110 sits well in the hand and is very easy to use thanks to its solid structure.

Equipment And Features Of The Canon PowerShot S110

At the heart of the PowerShot S110 is the high-sensitivity 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, which has a resolution of 12.1 megapixels and works hand in hand with Canon’s proven Digic-5 processor.

The camera’s eye is the fivefold optical zoom, which covers a focal length range from 24 to 120 millimeters. In the wide-angle range, it is characterized by its high luminous intensity of F2.0, which then drops to F5.9 in the telephoto range.

The basic technical equipment of the S110 has not changed much compared to its predecessor. The fact that the GPS function is no longer available has a more serious effect. The S110 joins the club of WiFi cameras. This feature still allows you to tag photos with GPS data – but only if you connect to a smartphone that supports geotagging.

In addition to a smartphone, other WiFi-capable Canon cameras, your own PC, a suitable printer and a direct web service can also be used. To do this, however, the “Canon Camera Window” must first be installed on the computer, then the camera must be connected to the computer, and then the settings made in the computer must be transferred to the camera.

Samsung has solved this better, for example, with the EX2F, which works with beautiful app-like icons and dials the desired social networking platform directly without any software or PC detours. The connection to a computer is similarly complicated. Even the simple sending of one or more images by e-mail, as the EX2F allows, is only possible with the Canon PowerShot S110 after the function has been set up.

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

The other features of the S110 do not leave much to be desired. With the P mode, Auto setting or scene modes, the camera can be easily used by anyone to take good pictures.

The semi-automatic Av and Tv and the manual mode, on the other hand, are aimed at more experienced photographers. In manual mode, the operation is set quite quickly using the two control rings mentioned above. A scale on the side and the preview on the screen show you the correct values.

Using an MF magnifier, it is quite easy to see where the focus point is, even with manual focusing. With SafetyMF you can leave the fine-tuning to the camera.

If you use the autofocus, which usually works very precisely and reliably, there are several possibilities available. On the one hand, the touch screen helps you to position the AF frame, and on the other hand, you can use sequential shots or face detection to ensure that you get sharp subjects.

An AF memory is also available, but it does not work with the touch AF or touch shutter release button. There is always the problem that many functions block each other and you have to find out all this first. As clearly structured as the menu is, many of the recording details actually need to be practiced to use the full potential of the Canon PowerShot S110.

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

When shooting movies, the S110 relies on Full-HD with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and 24 frames per second. Autofocus and zoom are fully available, with the zoom noise being audible depending on the ambient noise.

Various settings can be adjusted for movie recording, such as white balance or exposure compensation. The S110 offers iFrame movies for compatible devices or super slow motion movies.

In the photo area, various bracketing modes are available, including exposure bracketing or AF bracketing. For sports shooting, the HQ continuous shooting is suitable, where ten pictures can be taken in full resolution one after the other. If you use these series and combine this with the HDR function or the scene mode program for night shots without a tripod, you will usually get very good results even in difficult lighting conditions.

Furthermore, the S110 offers many aids such as an electronic spirit level, a live histogram, MF and AF magnifier or fade-in grid lines, which are very useful for image composition.

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

Canon PowerShot S110 Review

Image quality Of The Canon PowerShot S110

Canon has not changed much in the basic equipment for good image quality compared to the S100. Whether the well-tried system together with the innovations of the S110 achieves such a respectable image quality as the S100, was revealed in my test.

The lens shows very good values. A decrease of sharpness from the center to the edge of the image is practically not noticeable and also the darkening of the edges is hardly noticeable.

However, the S110 still struggles with barrel distortion in the wide-angle range and at 50 millimeters focal length, where it can be perceived as annoying. Color fringes are pleasingly small and can be found at best at the edge of the image, especially in the wide-angle range with the aperture F2 open.

The measured resolution in the center and at the edge of the image meets the high expectations from the S100 test.

The successor also boasts very good values, with the resolution decreasing towards the edge by around ten-line pairs per millimeter with open apertures and being even more balanced with closed apertures from F5.9 with only around four line pairs. In terms of sharpness artifacts, the S110 usually stays below 20 percent in the center of the image, while at the edges it is usually only around ten percent.

Up to ISO 1,600, image noise is within the green range. Canon has even managed to adjust the noise reduction so that image details up to ISO 400 are well reproduced and up to ISO 1,600 still acceptable (with slightly visible loss of detail).

After that, however, it’s over and the values of image noise and loss of detail go down the drain, so a sensitivity of ISO 3,200 and higher is only recommended in extreme situations. This development is also reflected in the brightness noise.

The grain size is within normal limits across all ISO levels. The input dynamic range keeps the S110 up to ISO 800 almost constantly high at up to ten f-stops, after which the dynamic range drops evenly to 8.1 f-stops at ISO 12,800.

In terms of tonal value transfer, Canon relies on crisp, high-contrast images, which certainly meets the requirements of a compact shoot-to-print camera. The displayable gray tones can be kept up to ISO 1,600 above the value of 160 of 256 brightness levels, which is considered good.

With white balance, the S110 works very precisely and the colors are also usually reproduced correctly. A few exceptions confirm the rule. For professionals who like to do their own work, the S110 offers raw format recordings. Overall, the S110 is a worthy successor to the S100. Their image quality is extremely good for a compact camera and the image results are fun.

Conclusions: Is The Canon PowerShot S110 Worth It?

The Canon PowerShot S110 is a camera to be recommended all around. When it comes to image quality, hardly any other model in the compact class reaches it.

Taking pictures with the S110 is fun because you can adjust many things (manually), but you can also be guided by the camera. No matter what you decide – the picture result is usually correct.

The WiFi function is contemporary, but still a bit cumbersome.

Nevertheless, this elegant compact camera offers almost everything you would expect from a device in its class. Small defects such as panoramic images that are not immediately assembled in the camera can be remedied.

Profile Of The Canon Powershot S110

Manufacturer Canon
Model PowerShot S110
Price approx. Dollars 430 at market launch
Sensor Resolution 12.1 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 4.000 x 3.000
(aspect ratio) (4:3)
Lens F2-5,9/24-120mm
Filter thread
Dioptre compensation
Image field coverage
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 461.000
as Viewfinder yes
Video output AV and HDMI (each PAL/NTSC)
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure
Scene mode programs
Portrait yes
Macro yes
More 8
Exposure metering Multi-field, centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes
Flash connection
Remote release
Interval recording yes
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode
Format MOV, iFrame
Codec H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 24 frames/s
automatically ISO 80 – 12.800 (upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 80 – 12,800
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Flash, Underwater
Manually yes
Number of measurement fields 9
AF auxiliary light bright orange
Speed approx. 0.3-0.4 s
Languages English
More 29 additional languages are available
(ready for operation)
198 g
Zoom adjustment motorized via rocker or via control ring on the lens
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during storage possible.
Battery life approx. 200 images
– = “not applicable” or “not available


  • Very good image quality
  • Recordings in raw format
  • A full manual mode that can be controlled by two rotating wheels
  • Very good equipment including series shots, HDR and high-speed series in full resolution
  • WLAN functionality for wireless connection to smartphones, PCs, printers and other cameras


  • Complicated setup of the WLAN function
  • Bright in the wide-angle range, but with F5.9 in the telephoto range rather below average
  • Weak battery performance

Canon PowerShot S110 Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor 1/1.7″ 7.6 x 5.7 mm (crop factor 4.6
)12.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 1.9 µm
Photo resolution
4.000 x 3.000 pixels (4:3)
2.816 x 2.112 pixels (4:3)
1.600 x 1.200 pixels (4:3)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 36 bits (12 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 30 p
320 x 240 (4:3) 240 p
Video format
AVI (Codec H.264)


Focal length 24 to 120 mm (35mm equivalent) 5x
digital zoom
Macro area 3 cm (wide angle)
Aperture F2 (wide angle) F5.9 (telephoto)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light

Viewfinder and Display

Display 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 461,000 pixels, touch screen


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/2,000 to 1 s (Automatic
)1/2,000 to 15 s (Manual)
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Step size from 1/3 to 2 EV, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 80 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 80 to ISO 12.800 (manual)
Remote access non-existent
Scene modes Automatic, Fireworks, Skin, Night scene, Portrait, and Beach/Snow
Picture effects dark skin tone, Saturated R/G/B, Light skin tone, Individual color, Neutral Positive Film, Vivid
White balance Clouds, sun, shadow, flashlight, fluorescent lamp with 2 presets, incandescent light
Color space sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 10 fps at highest resolution and max. 10 stored photos
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions Live histogram

Flashgun Of The Canon Powershot S110

Flash built-in flash (hinged)
Flash range 0.5 to 7.0 m at wide angle 0.5 to 2.3 m at telephoto
Flash functions Auto, fill-in flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, red-eye reduction

Equipment And Features

Image stabilizer Lens shift (optical)
Power supply 1 x PIXO NB-5L (Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3.7V, 1,120mAh) 200 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Image index
Connections Data interfaces: USB USB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, N)
Video output: yes (HDMI output Micro (Type D))
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Special features and miscellaneous DIGIC 5 Image Processor with iSAPS TechnologyOptical
Image Stabilizer (Lens Shift)
Flexizone AF, Continuous AF, Single AF, Touch AF, Face DetectiongiContrast Built-inND Filter (3 EV)
21 Smart Auto Functions (Video)
NostalgiaFish-EyeMiniature Toy CameraSoft-FocusSaturatedColorkeyColor-swapPosterMultitouch Display

Size and weight

Weight 198 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 99 x 59 x 27 mm


standard accessory Canon NB-5L Rechargeable Battery Pack
NB-5L Rechargeable Battery ChargerBattery ChargerCB-2LXEUSB Connecting CordCarryingStrapImageEditing SoftwareImageBrowser EX for Windows and for MacintoshImage Editing Software
PhotoStitch for Windows and for MacintoshImage Editing Software
Digital Photo Professional for Windows and for MacintoshUtility
Software Map Utility for Windows and for Macintosh
additional accessories Canon ACK-DC30 Power SupplyCanon
HTC-100 Audio / Video CableCanon
WP-DC47 Underwater HousingPower SupplyCamera BagSoftCaseDCC-1900
USB 2.0 High Speed

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