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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
10 Conclusion & samples
The SD1100 is a 'typical' IXUS/SD in many respects. It is compact, well built and sports a reasonably attractive design. It offers good output quality in most situations - straight out of the cam - only requiring minimal user intervention. It is also typical in so far as you won't find any groundbreaking innovations on the spec sheet. As usual Canon has chosen the safe route by sticking to what they know best. If it is the extraordinary you are after, go and look somewhere else.
The SD1100's Image quality is good for a camera in this class but not outstanding. The results at base ISO are reasonably clean and detailed but images get visibly softer at the long end of the lens. It's also obvious that Canon, like most of its competitors, has not found the magic potion yet to get rid of the two evils that haunt small sensor cameras: limited dynamic range (clipped highlights) and excessive noise at high sensitivities. In high contrast scenes parts of your image will almost certainly blow out and noise and noise reduction are visible even at base ISO.
The former you can mitigate by carefully applying some negative exposure compensation and/or reduce contrast in the MyColors options. The latter you'll simply have to accept, there isn't anything you as a user can do about it.
The SD1100 always feels snappy and responsive, thanks to Canon's latest generation DIGIC imaging processor. Flash recycling times are decent (which is useful when shooting at a party or in the pub) although flash power is fairly limited. Don't move too far away from your subjects, otherwise the flash won't illuminate them, even when using Auto ISO.
The SD1100 no doubt has its good points but battery life is not one of them. 240 shots (CIPA standard) does not sound too bad at first but remember that this number can go down significantly if you use a lot of flash or keep the screen switched on to review your pictures for longer periods of time. This is the price you pay for using an ultra compact camera (and therefore an ultra compact battery).
Our rather minor complaints aside, in conclusion the SD1100 was designed as a point and shoot camera and it performs well as such. It's got an attractive design, it is small enough to always carry it with you and reliably produces good out the box results. If that's what you are after go for it. If you are looking for manual controls, a real wide angle, new groundbreaking features or class-leading image quality then you better keep browsing dpreview.com a little longer, if you want an a simple, well made pocket camera, go for it.
The SD1100 IS is a perfectly good camera, if a little dull, and has that redeeming quality common to most Canon compacts; it can be relied on to take attractive pictures in a wide range of shooting situations with true 'point and shoot' simplicity. It's the camera you'd buy your mum.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
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Feb 27, 2008
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