Body & Design

The S110 is near-identical in terms of design and control layout to the S100, indeed the differences are very subtle indeed. The S110 is a little more boxy and angular (although not in an unattractive way), but has all the same controls in all the same places. We liked the S100's control layout, so consider this to be a good thing.

The S110 has a smooth front plate, eschewing the S100's front fingergrip, but gains a small 'hook' on the edge of the thumbgrip to help keep the camera secure in your hand. But overall the biggest change is invisible - the addition of touch-sensitivity to the screen.

The S110's top plate is again almost exactly the same as its predecessor's; the power button is smaller, and the shutter button black rather than silver, but the basic layout hasn't changed. The lens control ring is now knurled, rather than ridged like the S100's, and this finish looks especially attractive on the white model. A tiny light beside the mode dial indicates when the WiFi function is active.

In your hand

The S110 is a slender camera, but there's just enough clear space on its back to provide a positive grip for your thumb. The lens control ring encourages a two-handed grip, and all of the controls are within easy reach.

Body elements

The stereo microphones for movie recording lie behind two small holes on the front plate. Below them is an AF illuminator LED that's used to aid focusing in low light.
The small flash unit pops up out of the top plate. As on previous S cameras it's motorized, and manual modes turned on using the 'right' key on the 4-way controller. In auto modes it's activated automatically.

Canon quotes a maximum flash range of 7m at wideangle, dropping to just 2.3m at telephoto.
The lens is protected by a built-in cover when its retracted and the camera powered off.
The S110's connectors lie under flap on the side of the handgrip. At the top is a USB mini-B connector, that also offers AV out. Below it is a mini HDMI connector for playing back your images or movies on your TV.
The S110 uses the same 3.7V, 3.9Wh NB-5L battery as the S100. It shares a compartment in the base of the camera with the SD card.

Canon quotes a battery life of 200 shots.
The tripod socket is placed in-line with the centre of the lens. Almost inevitably for a camera this small, it's pretty close to the base compartment door too.

First Impressions

The Powershot S110 is a relatively minor update to the S100, and therefore promises to be a very likeable little camera, just like its predecessors. The addition of a touchscreen promises to improve handling significantly, with such features as touch focus and the ability to change the function of the front dial simply by touching the screen. If it works anything like as well as the one on the EOS 650D (and we've not yet used it enough to tell), then it could make the S110 one of the most fluid small cameras to shoot with that money can buy.

Of course this area of the market hasn't stood still, and the S110 will be up against some very strong competitors, most notably the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 and the just-announced Fujifilm XF1. Both offer larger sensors - 3x the area in the Sony's case - in bodies that aren't quite as small, but are still plausibly pocketable. The XF1 also offers a mechanical zoom ring, but neither has a touchscreen or WiFi. One thing's for sure - there's never been a better time to be looking at this type of camera, and potential buyers are spoilt for choice.