Canon IXUS 1100 HS Review

November 4, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality

The fact that you can't have full resolution on all aspect ratios annoyed us and we prefer 3:2 but it only outputs at 11 megapixels. We decided to shoot in both, chopping and changing dependent on the scenario so there are a variety of results in this section. In fact, the 3:2 has a benefit over the 4:3 format in that it only loses 1 million pixels but records file sizes of around 2.1Mb compared to a massive 5.5Mb in 4:3 format. The loss is only in the shape of the camera because the pictures were still recorded in fine compression.


As we mentioned at the start of the review, the back-illuminated sensor should give good results in low light and therefore exceptional results in bright light. Canon are very good at noise control anyway so we're excited to see the results of the ISO test.

ISO 100 has given a superb result. Not an ounce of noise showing anywhere. The edges are sharp and there's absolutely no sign of any colour distortion.  A digital compact camera with a small sensor will start to lose resolution at around ISO 400 but the IXUS 1100 HS is still going strong. At ISO 800 there's a slight mottling of edge definition which exacerbates at ISO 1600. In the shadow areas, noise is starting to poke through but is still controlled easily by the processor with none of that garish painted look that can be produced by an overworked noise reduction system.

Like a castle wall gets overthrown by invading barbarians, the noise reduction software crumbles at ISO 3200 before giving way to a flood of noise in dark and mid-tone areas. However, it needs to be noted and acknowledged that this result would be seen at ISO 800 on many other digital compact cameras.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Canon IXUS 1100 HS's 10x zoom lens provides a focal length of 36-360mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.



File Quality

The Canon IXUS 1100 HS has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (2.96Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (1.24Mb) (100% Crop)


We're comfortable with the way that the Canon IXUS 1100 HS sharpens in-camera. While a basic sharpening system in an editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop will sharpen the picture more, we don't think it necessarily benefits the picture as a whole.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

What would really top the Canon IXUS 1100 HS off would be if it had an amazing lens fitted with diffractive optics that eliminated chromatic aberration. Alas, it's not to be and we found CA on most pictures that had high contrast edges.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


As we mentioned earlier, the Canon IXUS 1100 HS's macro facility is great for getting close in but the lens suffers from distortion the closer you put the subject. In fact, the distortion starts much closer to the centre of the frame than we'd like which is a shame.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


Whether we used the flash or not, the Canon IXUS 1100 HS does suffer from vignetting in the corners at wide-angle. The good news is that it disappears at the telephoto end of the scale. The flash does a good job of balancing out uneven or doppled natural light but if you get too close, it bleaches out badly.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (336mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (336mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. There was some red-eye present in a few of our sample photos, which was successfully removed by the Red-Eye Removal playback feature.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)


Red-eye Removal

Red-eye Removal (100% Crop)


We took the night shot set up on a tripod using a long exposure. The manual white-balance worked a treat but in the long exposure mode, it gave a yellow cast. Both pictures are noise free - which is great because all the detail in the distant shops on our test sample image can be seen.

Night Scene Mode

Night Scene Mode (100% Crop)


Night - Program Mode

Night - Program Mode (100% Crop)