Canon S110 Professional Compact Camera Review

As a photographer, I have several DSLR camera bodies, a collection of lenses, several good compact digital cameras, and an iPhone. I recently bought a Canon S110 professional compact camera.

The iPhone is fine as a camera but has limitations, which I was aware of when I bought it. The most glaring deficiency of the iPhone from the photographer’s perspective is the tiny sensor size – not in megapixels – but its tininess. The tiny sensor size, coupled with a high-megapixel design, produces very small pixels. This translates to a big limitation for anything other than perfect lighting, as the photos get very “noisy” as the light becomes less than perfect. You’ve all seen that by now. Also, while having an adjustable focus lens is amazing in such a small-sized device, there is no true optical zoom. You may realize by now that any “digital zoom” is useless and should be the first thing you turn off – on any compact camera! I wanted to upgrade to a great small camera that would “always be with me,” but much better than an iPhone.

Specifically, I was looking for:

  1. Shooting in raw mode instead of just JPG.
  2. Optical zoom lens! With a magnification of at least 4x.
  3. A fast lens that can stop down to at least F/2
  4. Bright xenon flash with an adjustable power level.
  5. Built-in WiFi, including some connectivity to social media.
  6. Geotagging of each photo – yes, you can do it on the Canon S110.
Canon PowerShot S110 in White

Regarding the GPS feature being removed from the Canon S100 to the S110, I ran the new Canon “CameraWindow” app for iOS on my iPhone. It works perfectly. If needed, the iPhone GPS chipset is augmented with data coverage and acquires a lock very fast – much faster than the built-in camera GPS features I’ve tried.

When you’re ready, write back the GPS data from the phone to the camera’s images over Wi-Fi.

So at the end of February 2013, I decided the Canon S110 was the best choice for this particular need, so I bought one.

Conclusion: The Canon S110 is a “Great Small Camera”.

Image Samples from the Canon S110 Camera

The samples below have very little post-processing, if any, typically just a bit of cropping and/or straightening. Enjoy.

At ISO 100

Rocco at Subway

At ISO 400

Grandma Lee 90 Years Old Sitting
Rocco and Yoko the Cat

At ISO 800

Little Toy Characters

At ISO 1250

Sunshine Waking Rocco
+1 exposure

At ISO 1600

Rocco at the Museum 1
+1 exposure, highlights pulled down, custom white balance

All images ©James J. Julian. All rights reserved. Stock images of the Canon PowerShot S110 from the Canon USA website.

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