Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera Review$449.00
Since 2009's S90, the Canon S-series compact cameras have been perennial favorites for shoppers looking to get good image quality in a pocketable form factor. With so much success it's clear why Canon hasn't changed the formula much in three years. The PowerShot S110 is the third update since the S90, and it looks almost exactly like its predecessors with touch control and wireless connectivity being the only real additions over last year's PowerShot S100.
The PowerShot S100 is one of our favorite compact cameras, a go-to for anyone looking for a pocket-friendly camera capable of great looking snapshots. The S110 is practically identical, with the same 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor, built-in flash, and front control ring.
We're compelled to give Canon points for not messing up the formula, but it's a little dismaying to see such stagnation in their consumer-oriented camera lines over the last few years. Sure the Canon SX260, Rebel T4i, and S110 are solid cameras that offer competitive performance, but they're really just meager evolutionary updates over the SX230, Rebel T3i, and S100. That those older models offer equivalent performance and are generally available at a discount should give any buyer pause when considering a new Canon these days.
In a vacuum, the S110 is still a heck of a camera. Its 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor performs very well in our image quality tests, with plenty of processing done in-camera to make your images come out better. If you prefer the hands-on approach, you can still shoot in RAW and take full control of manual settings, utilizing the camera's front and back control rings to adjust a whole host of options on the fly. It's a great package—just like it was when the S100 arrived on the scene with most of the same features a year ago.
But these days, the high-end compact camera market is far more crowded, and cameras like the Olympus XZ-2, Panasonic LX7, and Sony RX100 present the kind of stiff competition that should drive Canon to innovate. A touchscreen display and built-in WiFi are nice, but they're hardly revolutionary.
The S110 is a perfectly fine high-end compact, but the S100 offers the same performance for less money. It's as simple as that. If you're totally in love with touchscreen technology or you think WiFi will really be a benefit to how you shoot, then by all means go for the S110. Otherwise, grab the S100 for nearly $50 cheaper, or step up to a superior camera like the Sony RX100—you won't be disappointed.