Canon PowerShot A1100 IS First Impressions Digital Camera Review$199.99
The A1100 IS ($199 MSRP) is a 12.1 megapixel digital camera equipped with a 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor. It has a focal length of 6.2 - 24.8mm and an aperture range of f/2.7 - 5.6 (35mm equivalent: 35 - 140mm). The camera has a 4x optical zoom, a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a small optical viewfinder. These last three specs account for the main differences between the A1100 IS and the more expensive A2100 IS, which has a 6x zoom and a 3-inch LCD screen, but does not include a viewfinder.
The camera is quite pocket portable, although it isn't the smallest model out there. It has a slight redesign over last year's A1000 IS and A2000 IS, which both lacked a rounded grip on the right side of the camera. The model is available in gray, blue, pink, and green.
The front of the Canon A1100 IS is rather traditional. The 4x optical zoom lens is located in the center of the model and it automatically extends from the camera when you turn it on. A flash is located in the upper right corner and a small microphone just above the lens and to the left. The A1100 also has an optical viewfinder, which is at the top center of the camera.
The back of the A1100 IS prominently features its 2.5-inch color LCD screen. The screen is glossy and smooth, which makes it quite prone to fingerprints and scratches and the tiny optical viewfinder is located just above this screen. An array of buttons make up the right side here: Playback, face detection, and print picture are clustered at the top, a directional pad with a variety of settings is below, and the display and menu buttons round out the bottom. The directional pad offers the following controls: exposure adjust, flash setting, self-timer, focus setting, and function/set in the center.
To the left of the playback button is a small speaker that provides audio when you watch your recorded videos.
The right side of the camera doesn't have any buttons or controls, but it has a DC input and USB port—both covered by a single piece of rubberized material. The USB port also doubles as an A/V output (using a provided cable). Below this is a silver loop for attaching the included hand strap.
The left side doesn't have anything going on. Only two little screws and a swath of gray plastic are located here.
On the top we have most of our important controls. The on/off switch is up here, in the center of the camera and the shutter button and zoom toggle are located on the far right. Between these two round buttons is a mode dial that features a variety of settings and shooting modes—program, auto, easy, portrait, landscape, night portrait, kids and pets, indoor, scene, and movie.
From this angle you can get a good sense of the shape produced by the A1100 IS. The body of the camera is mostly rectangular, save for a small bump on the right side that protrudes outward (like the lens). This extra chunk of plastic is meant to provide an extra grip for your right hand, but it doesn't work perfectly. It is definitely an improvement over last year's A2000 IS and A1000 IS, which had straight, angled edges, but there still isn't much there for you to get a good hold on the camera.
The memory card and battery compartment are both located on the bottom of the A1100 IS behind a sliding door. The camera runs on 2 regular AA batteries and can capture images to SD/SDHC Memory Cards, MultiMediaCards, MMC Plus Cards, or HC MMC Plus Cards. The camera comes with a 128 MB SD memory card and two regular AA batteries.
A tripod mount is also located on the bottom of the A1100 IS.