Although the Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS is an OK pocket camera, it's not as good as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 (*Est. $220) in tests. Both cameras are equally tiny and easy to use, but the Sony is faster, has a longer zoom, more features, better battery life and shoots better photos. When experts test them both, they invariably prefer the Sony.
Minuscule buttons, but easy to master. The Canon Elph 110 HS is super-tiny -- about the same size as the top-rated Sony WX150. "Hardly larger in width and height than a business card," says Ben Keough at DigitalCameraInfo.com. The Canon is actually about a tenth of an inch slimmer than the Sony (thanks to its shorter zoom).
Tiny cameras mean tiny buttons. Most testers and owners find the Canon easy to use anyway, but CNET's Joshua Goldman recommends you try before you buy.
"Regardless of their shape and size, the controls are easy to master," Goldman says. There are only five buttons -- on/off, photo snap, menu, video and playback. A switch lets you toggle between Auto and Program mode (which gives you a little control over things like white balance). If you do lose your way, check the built-in help guide -- it will tell you what settings to use and what they'll do.
All in all, the Canon Elph 110 HS "handles better than a smartphone and has a great user interface that makes it incredibly easy for newbies and casual photographers to pick up and use," Keough says.
Not much better than a smartphone. Keough says the Canon Elph 110 HS's 16-megapixel photos don't look much better than a smartphone's.
"If the image quality isn't stellar, why not just use your smartphone?" he says. In his test for DigitalCameraInfo.com, Keough blames the Canon's "decidedly mediocre lens."
Dim-light photos are pretty fuzzy, experts say -- better than a smartphone, but the "ISO 3200 is pretty much unusable," CNET's Goldman says.
In slightly dim light, the Canon works so hard to scrub away graininess that it scrubs away detail, leaving photos looking smeared and fake. "At ISO 800 it's bad, and at ISO 1600 it's pretty terrible -- any semblance of texture is gone from your photo by that point," says Jim Fisher at PCMag.com.
It certainly shoots faster than a smartphone, though -- although not quite as fast as the Sony WX150. Startup, shutter lag, shot-to-shot times and burst shooting are all decent, but they all lag behind the Sony.
Video looks better than a smartphone's, too, at full 1080p HD -- but several owners say the noisy zoom motor ruins it. "It is SO BAD," one Amazon.com customer writes -- like "some kind of tractor." PCMag.com's Fisher agrees: The zoom motor is "much louder than that of other compact cameras, to the point where it could be distracting when used in a quieter social situation."
Battery life is "exceptionally awful," Keough says -- 170 shots per charge, "far worse than most smartphones, which manage to run all day without dying." You won't even get that many shots if you zoom a lot, shoot video or crank the screen brightness up to high, all of which gobble the battery, Goldman warns.
Mixed reviews for sturdiness. Professional testers don't say much about the Canon Elph 110 HS's build quality. Some owners at Amazon.com say it feels sturdy enough, but others disagree.
"The camera body quality has ... taken a serious nose dive," says one reviewer who has owned several older Canon Elph 300 cameras. "While the 300 seemed sturdy and solid, the 110 feels cheap and flimsy. Hard to describe, but pick up both cameras and you will see."
Another owner says the Canon Elph 110 HS's "battery/SD card release cover is flimsy. Sliding it back and forth will grind off the little tabs which will eventually leave it hanging." You'll be using that door a lot, too, CNET's Joshua Goldman points out: "The battery does not charge in camera, and shot life is rated for only 170 shots, so you'll probably find yourself opening that compartment quite a bit if you shoot regularly."
Shorter zoom and fewer extras than Sony. Zoom is shorter on the Canon Elph 110 HS than on the Sony WX150 -- 5x optical zoom versus 10x. Both can digital zoom up to 20x, but that's at a lower quality than optical zoom.
Otherwise, both cameras pack a lot of the same features: smile recognition (the camera snaps automatically when it detects someone smiling -- the Canon can also detect a wink), face detection (you can order the camera to focus on specific people), handheld twilight mode (to get steady low-light shots without a tripod), color accent (keep one color and turn the rest of your photo black-and-white) and fun photo effects like fisheye, miniature and toy camera.
To view your photos and videos on a computer or HDTV, both cameras also have mini USB and HDMI ports.
The Canon lacks a couple of features, though. Unlike the Sony, the Canon can't shoot 3D or panoramic shots (you'd have to stitch together your own panoramic shots with bundled software).
Review Credibility: Excellent DigitalCameraInfo.com names the Canon Elph 110 HS the 2012 Best Value Point-and-Shoot Camera– even though rival Sony Cyber-shots DSC-WX150 scores better in rigorous tests here. Ben Keough says the Canon's photos don't look much better than a smartphone's -- so if you already own a smartphone, why buy it?
Review: Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS, Ben Keough, Oct. 10, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good CNET also rates the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 higher than the Canon Elph 110 HS. Joshua Goldman judges the Canon "very good" overall, but with shorter battery life, slower speed and fuzzier low-light shots, the Canon doesn't make CNET's recommended list.
Review: Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS Review, Joshua Goldman, March 20, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Yet another source rates the Canon Elph 110 HS lower than its Sony WX150 rival. Jim Fisher rates the Canon good overall, but he criticizes its short zoom and "heavy-handed noise reduction" that smears away detail in dim-light shots.
Review: Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS, Jim Fisher, March 7, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Owners rate the Canon Elph 110 HS lower than the Sony WX150, too. Out of the more than 100 owner reviews posted, one in four rates the Canon mediocre or lower. Several complain that the zoom-motor noise ruins their videos, while others complain of fuzzy photos or bad shadows from a flash that sits too close to the lens. The rest say they are happy with the Canon, though -- they recommend it as an easy, inexpensive way to capture good photos and video.
Review: Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012