do not buy this camera
This camera does not work in cold weather. I exchanged the first one thinking the camera was defective. Same problem with this one.
January 19, 2014
Purchased camera to use on a diving trip to Fiji. Put it in a Ikelite housing with a Sola 500 photo light. Got excellent video and still shots. Colors where on the money. Simple and fast controls. no focusing problems like other brands. Awesome shark dive videos at Bega Lagoon.
October 11, 2013
A Great Point & Shoot for DSLR Users
This review is from the perspective of a long time DSLR user. My regular camera is a DSLR with the battery grip and several lenses. I have been looking for an easily portable camera to carry when I don’t need or want the heavy gear. My goal was to reproduce the functions of the DSLR in a small package. This review looks at my five most important DSLR functions and explains how they are reproduced in the S110.
Shooting in Camera Raw
I always shoot my DSLR in RAW mode and custom crop and process every image. It sounds like a pain, but thanks to automated features in programs like Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, it isn’t a big deal and the results are worth it. If this is new for you, the difference between capturing a picture in JPEG and RAW is in the ability to further manipulate the images later. For example, assume you have set your camera to use: 1) Auto White Balance, 2) No Exposure Compensation, 3) Medium Sharpening, and 4) produce the image in JPEG format. The camera takes the picture, applies your settings and records it as a JPEG file. If you shoot the same picture in RAW with the same settings, the camera notes your settings and may apply them to the thumbnail that it shows you, but what you download from the camera is the data collected from the sensor without the settings applied. This is why pictures from a cheap point-and-shoot (P&S) camera may look better out of the camera than pictures from a DSLR or advanced P&S. But, the trouble comes when your JPEG settings don’t give you what you expected. Suppose you get the pictures on your computer and they have a green cast from the lighting, they are under-exposed and under-sharpened. If you shot them in JPEG, you may be out of luck without doing extensive fiddling. If you shot them in RAW, you use your processing software’s RAW converter and change the settings to what they should have been to give you the shot you wanted. Basically, you adjust RAW images on your computer like your camera produces JPEG images in the camera. The computer gives you more processing power, more sophisticated processing software, and the ability to change the settings until you get the image you want. Combine this with the fact that JPEG compression will hurt image quality and RAW images come out of the camera uncompressed and you can see why shooting in RAW mode is more work, but can provide a much better outcome. The primary reason for selecting any of the cameras in this class of advanced point-and-shoots is the ability to record images in RAW format. If you plan to leave the camera in JPEG mode, you can save yourself some money, get a good camera, and get very nice pictures by choosing a different camera that takes only JPEGs.
Front Control Ring
You can assign 8 preprogramed functions to the front ring. I use the control ring to change the lens zoom settings. The focal length changes in fixed steps of the standard prime lenses from 24mm to 120mm. I find the control ring works much faster than trying to frame with the zoom lever on the top of the camera. After using a range finder and SLR cameras for years, it is natural to have this control on the front of the camera and I love the ability to program it with the push of a button. I have been surprised by how this one feature simplifies shooting with the S110.
I don’t know if I will ever get used to framing on the screen of a P&S. I prefer the “real” optical viewfinder of a SLR. But, none of the cameras in this class have an optical viewfinder, to get that feature you will pay another $100 and get a larger camera. The S110’s display gives me all of the information I get when using my DSLR and more. When framing the shot, I see the battery level, shooting mode (e.g. RAW), the exposures remaining on my SD card, the length of video I could shoot, the flash setting, horizontal level, exposure compensation, f-stop, and ISO. When I press the shutter button, the display clears at the top and then shows me the information on that shot along the bottom of the display: exposure meter mode, horizontal level, f stop (in aperture priority), exposure compensation, and ISO setting.
Aperture Priority Mode
Cameras in this class will allow you to choose Aperture, Shutter, and Manual mode in addition to a bazillion scene settings. Like my DSLR, I keep the S110 in aperture priority nearly all the time and use the back thumb wheel to change the aperture. If you have read the reviews for this camera and the others in this class you know that you lose a lot of aperture range as you extend the zoom. For example, the aperture range is f 2.0 to f 8.0 at 24mm and at 50mm the aperture range is f4 to f8. The relatively fast lens helps get good pictures in low light situations. The problem is that the relatively small sensor gives little control over the depth of field, again an issue with this class of cameras that is not unique to the S110.
The camera’s meter is always a good place to start. But, I often find that I need to increase or decrease the exposure to accurately capture the mood of the scene. The exposure compensation process is simple with the S110; press the top of the rear control dial and rotate the dial to select the exposure increase or decrease. The display them previews the shot with the new setting.
If you have read the other reviews, you know that it is a good idea to buy a second battery. I own at least two batteries for all my cameras, so I was not surprised or disappointed by the battery life.
The S110 is not intended to replace your DSLR. But, Canon has taken the DSLR’s controls and wrapped them around a point and shoot sensor to give photographers a great small camera that they can carry virtually everywhere.
June 30, 2013
This camera is pretty ridiculously awesome. Takes great night pictures and has lots of very good modes for image capture. Not sure about the video yet, but the images come out very vivid and crisp. The camera itself is very fast to respond, however it chews batteries pretty fast. Luckily there are cheap batteries you could buy here on Amazon and elsewhere, and they all charge super fast, so i'd recommend getting two or three more for image posterity. This camera has the coveted HDR feature, naturally though, the camera has to be very still for the series of images it takes, so i recommend a small tri-pod. It takes a couple seconds then to combine them, like any other camera on HDR function. Haven't had any lens issues, but if i do i'll certainly post here about it.. that was my only concern when buying this camera. A lot of people complained about the flash popping out where naturally a person holds their left index finger on the camera; hindrance at first, but with a little brain effort it isn't that difficult to simply not put your finger on the one tiny spot anymore. So far i love this camera. If something changes i'll complain to the messes here.
February 6, 2013