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1,359 of 1,378 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid ultracompact camera
If you need a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images, then the new Canon PowerShot SD1100IS may be right for you.

I am an advanced amateur photographer and own 2 Canon digital cameras (G2 and 20D). Both have served me well over the years but recently I have found myself needing a decent...
Published on March 8, 2008 by Garrett Lowenthal

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173 of 192 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The lens error problem is for real....
I got this camera for my daughter (in pink of course) in mid-April. She loves it (size, pictures, etc.) but after less than three months it will only flash "lense error, restart" when it's turned on. Too late to return to Amazon. :( On the bright side, a trip to Canon's website support section got me through to a Repair Request Confirmation. Hopefully, this will just cost...
Published on July 12, 2008 by D. Pate


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1,359 of 1,378 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid ultracompact camera, March 8, 2008
By 
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If you need a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images, then the new Canon PowerShot SD1100IS may be right for you.

I am an advanced amateur photographer and own 2 Canon digital cameras (G2 and 20D). Both have served me well over the years but recently I have found myself needing a decent ultracompact camera that I can easily carry with me at all times for unexpected photo-ops.

Other current Canon models that I also researched before my purchase of the "bohemian brown" SD1100IS included the SD950IS and the SD1000.

Here is my take on the SD1100IS:

Strengths:
- 8MP CCD sensor with DigicIII processor (excellent resolution images with good dynamic range)
- Solid construction (most of body made of anodized aluminum)
- Feels sturdy and well-balanced in the hands
- Easy to use (logical user-interface) with minimal need to consult owner's manual for basic operation
- Multiple shooting modes to fit variety of situations (action/sports mode is a glaring omission but read section below to see possibly why)
- Advanced metering system with accurately exposed pics in even "tricky" situations (great balance of highlights and shadows)
- Tack-sharp images (much more so with sufficient lighting and use of built-in flash)
- Macro mode can result in stunning close-ups with outstanding level of detail
- Optical IS feature helpful when shooting in either low-light conditions with flash off or at telephoto lengths
- Fast start-up with acceptable shutter-lag (when not using flash)
- Bright 2.5" LCD monitor (100% coverage, 230k pixels) made of polycrystalline silicon; fairly scratch-resistant (can't vouch if this applies to keys and coins)
- Optical viewfinder (though only a tiny peephole, it is essential when LCD glare and washout become an issue shooting in bright sunlight or when LCD cannot be used as battery power is nearly depleted)
- Camera made in Japan (at least those from the 1st shipment; this easily may be subject to change)

Limitations:
- Lack of manual control over aperture, shutter speed, and focusing (for the obssessive control-freaks)
- Noise is noticeable beginning at ISO 400 (ISO 800 still useable but probably for only 4x6 images; ISO 1600 mostly unuseable)
- Fastest shutter speed is 1/1500 sec (not fast enough to stop action for some sporting activities)
- Auto-focus speed inadequate to follow fast-moving subjects
- Shutter-lag accentuated with flash on (precious Canon moments lost while waiting for flash to recharge)
- Cannot adjust focus or optical zoom while shooting in movie mode (focus is fixed for distance selected at first frame, and digital zoom is permitted instead, resulting in significant image quality deterioration)
- Battery/memory card cover and hinge made of plastic (no safety latch that needs to be de-activated first before sliding cover out, in order to prevent accidental opening)
- Minor vignetting and chromatic aberration (albeit, difficult not to expect from compact p&s)
- Pincushion and barrel distortion at the extremes of the focal lengths
- No RAW shooting mode

Battery power in camera mode with LCD monitor on is mostly as advertised, allowing for approximately 240 images. If your budget permits, I recommend investing in a few spare batteries as backups and replacing the supplied 32MB memory card with a pair of 4GB SDHC memory cards--vital purchases if you plan to use the movie mode frequently.

Overall Impression:
Even with some serious limitations inherent to virtually all digital cameras in this class, I am recommending the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. It does what it's supposed to do. This camera allows one to take beautiful photographs in an ultracompact, reliable, and elegant device that is both easy and fun to use.

[UPDATE: Since this review, Canon has recently announced 3 new ELPH models that will be released soon....in time for Grad & Dad's Day: the PowerShot SD770IS, SD790IS, and SD890IS. All are redesigned 10MP digital cameras with Optical Image Stabilizer. The saga of the MP race continues. If the same sensor is found in these units as their predecessors and without improving the noise reduction technology, then adding a few more MP can potentially result in noisier images. We'll have to wait and see. The most intriguing of the bunch appears to be the SD790IS, which replaces the SD750 by adding the very useful Optical IS feature and showcasing flat control buttons. Hopefully, the QC has been remedied on this unit as many consumers experienced the dreaded "lens error" nightmare. The SD890IS replaces the SD850IS and may appeal to vacationers and wildlifers needing more reach at the telephoto end. The SD770IS seems a bit curious as it may be in direct competition with the new SD1100IS (which is the natural successor to the wildly popular SD1000); it has 2 additional MP but the feature set appears at first glance to be nearly identical to the less expensive SD1100IS. I would've preferred to have seen upgrades to the SD870IS and the SD950IS, but those will be rolled out undoubtedly later this year....conveniently before the Holidays.

SD770IS: 10MP, 3X Optical zoom (35-105mm), 2.5" LCD monitor, Optical viewfinder, ISO 1600, MSRP $299.99.
SD790IS: 10MP, 3X Optical zoom (35-105mm), 3" LCD monitor, no Optical viewfinder, ISO 1600, MSRP $349.99.
SD890IS: 10MP, 5X Optical zoom (37-185mm), 2.5" LCD monitor, Optical viewfinder, ISO 1600, MSRP $399.99.]
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648 of 670 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific pocket camera, March 9, 2008
By 
Julie Neal (Celebration, Fla.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a travel writer I spend a lot of time at Walt Disney World, and Canon PowerShot Digital Elphs are the most common cameras I see. Families seem to love them, because they're so easy to carry and operate. About the size of a deck of playing cards, each of these "pocket cameras" really do slip right into a pants pocket, and their rectangular designs make them easy to grip. Best of all, they all take good photos. (How do I know? Because I've actually gotten to use every one of these models. Nearly every day guests ask me to take photos of them with their own cameras, which most often are Canon PowerShot Digital Elphs.)

Here's my breakdown of the ten bestselling Digital Elph models. Any of the first six are superb choices:

1ST PLACE: SD1100 IS (The camera on this page)
An update to the SD1000 (see below), this 2008 8MP beauty adds image stabilization, a slightly longer zoom (38-114 mm), another MP of photo size and a small indent on the right side for a better grip. Plus it comes in colors! My daughter has a blue one and uses it every single day. During school days the image stabilization made a real difference in her on-the-bus shots. With that heavy of use hers has gotten scratched up a bit, but the marks are small and hardly noticeable.

2ND PLACE: SD870 IS
The ELPH to buy if you want a wide-angle lens. Slightly thicker than the SD1100 IS, this 8MP model doesn't have an optical viewfinder which makes it tough to use in bright sunlight, otherwise there's little not to love. My husband uses one as a comp camera, to compose shots for the travel guide "The Complete Guide to Walt Disney World."

3RD PLACE: SD770 IS
Just released in May, this 10 MP model is, in a way, an update of the SD1100 IS (see above). I rate it lower because it has a plastic body and doesn't come in colors. On the other hand, it has a longer battery life than the 1100 and features an improved LCD screen that is very easy to view. As for photo quality, I can't tell the difference.

4TH PLACE: SD950 IS
There's a lot to like in this 12.1 MP camera. First off, it's gorgeous. The body, though a little thick, is titanium. An upgrade to the SD850 IS (see below), it has a 3.7x zoom lens and adds manual controls as well as the ability to stitch together panoramic images. The only reason I don't rate it higher is the price.

5TH PLACE: SD890 IS
Want a long zoom lens? Here's your baby, a 10 MP model with a 5x zoom. Also has the new bright LCD screen and all the other 2008 Canon goodies. The most expensive Canon PowerShot ELPH.

6TH PLACE: SD790 IS
With the same 10 MP image sensor and 3x zoom lens as the SD770 IS, this new model stands out only for its larger 3-inch LCD display and, as a result, lack of optical viewfinder. The rear controls are different, too, with a flatter design that uses fewer buttons.

7TH PLACE: SD1000
In my opinion there's no reason to buy this 7.1 MP model. Released in 2007, it's been replaced by the SD1100 IS (see above). The SD1000 is a fine camera but it doesn't have image stabilization, a key feature of the 2008 lineup.

8TH PLACE: SD850 IS
The ancestor to the SD890 IS, this 8 MP Elph combines a 4x zoom and 8 MP photo size with an image stabilizer. Every button, dial and switch has a quality feel. Slighter larger than the other models here, it is a little tougher to pop in and out of your pocket, but if you have larger hands it may be just what you are looking for.

9TH PLACE: SD800 IS
This 7.1 MP predecessor to the 870 doesn't focus well at its edges when set at its widest angle. Still, it's good training for someone who wants to compose like a pro.

10TH PLACE: SD750
The 2007 PowerShot flagship offers a light meter that adjusts for facial brightness, 17 shooting modes, some first-rate movie features and red-eye correction -- features that were innovative a year ago but are common in Canon's 2008 models. No image stabilization; no optical viewfinder.
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222 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for me., March 10, 2008
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I have been using a Powershot I2 IS for the last 3 years. Very good camera with a fantastic 12X Zoom. However, I wanted a camera to carry in my pocket. So many times I just didn't feel like dragging a large camera with me to various parties or events. This camera fills the bill. I carry it everywhere.

The pictures it produces are stunning. The 8MP 3X zoom produces a picture that you can crop to the point that you get almost the same picture as you would have with the 5MP 12X zoom lense (my opinion). The movie feature is wonderful too, even better than the I2 IS.

The camera feels great in your hand with a solid, quality feeling. If you have used Canon cameras before the menus are very intuitive. I would not have purchased this camera (or any camera for that matter) if it did not have the Image Stabilization feature. This is especially a must as you get older.

By the way there is an advantage to the Brown color: If you have to use the optical view finder outside, the camera itself produces minimum glare for you eye to see more clearly through the small opening. The color also makes the LCD playback pop. And as a bonus, it really gives the camera a luxury look, you have to see it in person to appreciate the color.

I recently took it to a monthly card party and everyone went wild over it. So much so that one person sat right down at the computer and ordered one! If you want a sub-compact, pocketable camera that takes great pictures, I highly recommend the Canon SD1100IS.
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105 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon, Amazon, reviewers y'all, tell me which CanonSD is the fairest of all?, March 24, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First about the SD1100 and later in the review, a comparison between Canon SD series cameras.

The former Canon PowerShot SD1000 7.1MP Digital Elph Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Silver) was the perfect tiny camera that you could slip into your shirt pocket and bring out at a moment's notice and begin clicking away. No wonder it has been Canon's top selling model! It was almost perfect except it did not have image stabilization like some other Canon cameras. And now with the SD1100IS Canon has added it's motion detection technology to this tiny camera which will make your shots less blurry, especially in low light.

Other enhancement over SD1000 is a slightly rounded styling which feels more comfortable in the hand and gives you a better grip. You can also choose from fun colors - Bohemian brown anyone?

I have several Canon cameras and I use them regularly, but once again the SD1100 gets a lot of use as it's easy to carry in your tighter jean pocket/shirt pocket.

What else is nice about the SD1100 IS?
Basic picture taking:
It takes excellent outdoor shots and has a satisfactory low light performance for its size. The face detection and auto white balance in the frame help expose faces correctly. It has a viewfinder in case the sun is too bright and an anti-reflective 2.5" screen. You can also use your high capacity SD cards in this baby.

Creative features:
With this camera you can get creative with "My Colors" features. The Color Accent mode where you keep any one color in the picture while the rest is black and white helped frame a blue sky, blue sea and blue jeans in a b/w group shot. Cool! There are options to swap colors and also take b/w or sepia pics. Read the manual and you'll discover even more fun features.

The Scene modes are tried and tested and help you take the best picture. I love "foliage" which brings out the greens or autumn colors. "Fireworks" freezes the bursts of firecrackers in the sky in perfect spheres. "Aquarium" helped me take wonderful shots of fish, before this mode all I got was my flash reflecting on the glass of the tank. The others modes - indoor, beach, snow, kids/pets have been useful too.

Making videos:
The video mode takes movies in 3 different sizes and it has a time lapse video function. You can set the camera to record at intervals. I used it to capture sun's ascent from sunrise to mid morning and the video looks fabulous. You can even use the creative colors modes while taking video. The image stabilization helps in the video mode eliminating jerky shots.

The bottom line? This is a great camera - it's take-along-everywhere tiny, it's got a ton of creative features and takes great pictures, it also comes in fun colors. It's the one to get!

EXTRA READING FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL NOT SURE...
If you want the perfect balance between image quality, features, size, layout and last but not the least the price, here is my 2 cents worth. (I own 4 SD cameras and have done some research using all of these for the same picture at the same location.)

Image Quality: Top slot goes to the cameras in the 800/900 series. The image quality of SD1100 is a notch below.

Layout and controls: The controls are better on the 800/900/700 series compared to SD1100 as you have a separate instant replay button which is very useful to switch between shoot and replay mode. I LOVE this feature as it saves me a lot of time while shooting. It's so much better than the rubber slider on this 1100 model.

Screen size: This camera has a 2.5" screen with a viewfinder while some other models offer 3 inch screen but are missing the viewfinder. I prefer the larger screen as the extra .5" makes composing shots much easier. I have NEVER missed the viewfinder yet, even in bright sunlight.

Camera Size: SD1100 is the winner here as it's the tiniest. The SD750/770/790 are almost as compact but 800s/900s are bigger.

If picture quality is important for you go for the 800/900 series. If smaller size, with nice picture taking capability is important look at the 700 series. If you want the tiniest, convenient camera which takes pretty good shots at a bargain price go for this SD1100.

Note: For some additional thoughts click on the comments.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect ultra compact model, April 2, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Brown)

I own and am a huge fan of the Canon Digital Rebel SLR and think that it takes great pictures. Unfortunately, there are times when a larger camera with all of it's accessories and lenses can be prohibitive. In preparation for an upcomming event where I would be a participant as well as spectator, I realized that I would be unable to carry around my Rebel.

So, I spent several days reading different reviews before deciding on the Canon PowerShot SD 1100. I must stress that the fact that I already owned a Canon played no part in my decision. I did not settle on the SD 1100 out of brand loyalty. I must have read more than 30 or 40 different "professional" reviews of various cameras before picking this one.

I have only had this camera for a couple of days, and haven't yet used it at the event for which it was purchased, but I must say that I am extremely pleased with this camera. The most common negative comment in reviews of this camera is that it does not offer a wide variety of manual settings. I have to agree that if you are looking for a camera to launch your career as a professional photographer, this may not be the best choice for you.

The camera is ultra compact without feeling cheap. It is well designed, well made, full featured, takes great photos under a variety of conditions and exceeds all of my expectations for a more "portable" alternative to my full sized SLR. I cannot think of a single negative thing to say about this camera and I cannot imagine why somebody wouldn't be extremely happy with this purchase.

I also recommend buying the case advertised as an accessory for this model as it has a belt loop that allows you to carry it safely and securely on your belt instead of in your pocket.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS REVIEW..., August 20, 2008
I can't say anything about the Canon Powershot SD1100 IS that hasn't already been said... but that's never stopped me before, and it won't now.

First a tip; When shooting videos, there is a 4GB maximum file size. For this reason, I use several 4GB SDHC cards, rather than one larger one. That way, in the rare event that a card craps out, you're not sitting on the shoulder, you have a spare tire. And two 4GB cards are often cheaper than one 8GB.

But understand that a 4GB card will hold well over a thousand photos at even the highest quality, so if you don't care about videos, just use your old, smaller SD cards. (but not the tiny 32MB one that comes with the camera... it's useless, and not heavy enough to use as a paperweight or big enough for a coaster).

This is a decent little camera, compared to the competition at it's price level. It's popularity, and overwhelmingly positive customer ratings, attest to that.

But nothing is problem free, and this complex product is no exception.

It's inevitable that there will be a certain number of product failures and customer service problems... sort of like the ones I had with Amazon during the ordering of this product... multiple calls with promises but no resolution, made me want to smack my head against the wall. Giant waste of time, but that's how it goes sometimes.

In their defense, they have done well on other occasions. I will continue to buy from them if they save me money, but my advice is to know exactly what you want before ordering, and don't even think about making changes to your order... it's like opening Pandora's Box, pandemonium will ensue.(slap forehead, denoting irony, and wring hands in frustration).

I see complaints about the camera, and some are valid. But some are not, like, (paraphrase) "It's too difficult to turn off the flash".

I don't see how it could be easier, unless someone invents a camera that you can change the settings by "thinking" or "willing" it to change. You press the flash symbol with your thumb to view modes (auto,on,off), press again to set preference... it literally takes one second, and is about as complicated as lifting a toilet seat... and much cleaner.

However... I did not perform hands-on tests of multiple competitors of this camera to compare complexity and intuitiveness of controls, so all I know that this camera is not as simple as my old 3.3 megapixel Sony DSC-S75.

It takes some time to learn dozens of features, modes, and controls. I am a computer guy, some (me) say a good one. I have MCSE, MCP+Internet, and A+ ratings. That means that I am both a software and a hardware genius, LOL.

However, I can tell you that both you and I will have to show more than a little bit of dedication to learn all the tricks and abilities of this camera, and the more you learn the more fun it is. But the manual is 225 pages, so turn off Jerry Springer and start reading. It's worth the effort.

Alternatively, just reset to full auto defaults and go to town immediately.

This camera won't perform like a digital SLR, but SLR's don't cost $200 bucks and they weigh a lot more than 4.41 oz. I bought this camera to be able to carry it around in my pocket 24/7, and in my opinion you can't reasonably do that with anything even slightly larger or thicker... even the chunkier Powershot SD's are too big. Again, only my opinion.

If not for that, I would have gone for the thicker Canon Powershot SD890 IS with the 5X ZOOM, which is also half again more expensive, of course.

I read a lot of reviews on the internet before choosing this unit. I have had the camera for a couple of weeks. After learning the features, I spent a whole day burning it in... as I said above, I have two 4GB SDHC cards plus a 2GB SD card, and two spare Lenmar batteries in addition to the Canon battery that came with the camera. I smoked that sucker, continuous mode with flash. I took hundreds of pics and lots of videos, including the time-lapse variety, cool. I like it. Homey says five stars.

ADDENDUM, after spending more time using the camera, possibly belaboring some earlier points;

At this writing, about 93% of buyers give this camera a 4 or 5 star rating. Now, some of the complaints from the other 7% are valid, like the one that states that the color swap feature doesn't work very well (but who cares, really?)...

But others are not, like the one that states that the time-date stamp doesn't appear until you print out... clearly, the time-date stamp appears very nicely when you review the photo in-camera.

The PDF user's guide for any camera is readily available from the manufacturer's website for any camera, and you should read it before buying to make sure that the camera has the capabilities you're looking for.

Also, it's a good idea to at least read the same information in the user's guide booklet that comes with the camera after purchase... something that some buyer's clearly don't do. And with the number of features programmed into this and any other comparable camera, you are bound to have difficulty if you try to wing it.

If this review was of any use to you in making your buying decision, click YES below.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this camera!, May 26, 2008
Some people might say (or complain) that this is not a simple point and shoot camera, but if you leave the camera in the auto setting--this camera is as good as they get. Those complainers might want to consider a disposable camera instead. This is not as complicated as using those $1k+ cameras. The manual setting allows you to different things like stitching multiple pictures if you're trying to take a wide scenic pictures, auto focus, video, etc. I really didn't know what to expect from this camera. I also own the Canon 30D but wanted something a little more portable. I had owned others but always had problems with my images (or my hands) moving too much. The image stability feature on this camera works perfect. When you point this camera at a person/object--one or more boxes come up on the screen to show you what the camera will focus on. This is very useful if you want to focus on objects that are either close to you or farther away. The boxes actually move if the object is moving so you can get a clear picture of them. I which I $1400 camera had this feature. I read the manual while on my flight to Rome and couldn't believe the feature this thing has. I made sure I had a couple of high capacity memory cards for this trip. Don't bother trying to take pictures in dark places using the flash. The pictures will come out dark. This is a common problem a lot of cameras unless you have enough flash power. When I used the video features of this camera, I was able to take some spectacular video inside several churches (dark inside)in Rome. The videos are stored on the memory card in .avi format. I actually downloaded these videos on my computer and pulled out individual frames. I bought an extra battery for the trip but never used it. This thing doesn't use a lot of battery power. I went a min of 2 days (350+ pictures) without charging it. Even then--I really didn't have to charge it. The menus are easy to understand and the camera allows you to adjust the video/audio quality so you can take additional pictures/video. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 to put all my pictures on a DVD with music and narration and played it on a 32-inch TV. The results were better than I expected. I'm going to try and upload a couple of pictures from my Rome, Naples and Capri trip on Amazon. I uploaded the pictures on amazon and can tell you that the results don't do this camera any justice. You can email me--I'll send a couple of video samples that I took when I was in Rome. Please take the time to read the manual and take some sample pictures. I would not manually change the auto settings unless you are familiar with digital photography and how those changes affect your pictures. The auto mode worked very well for me.
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173 of 192 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The lens error problem is for real...., July 12, 2008
By 
D. Pate (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver) (Electronics)
I got this camera for my daughter (in pink of course) in mid-April. She loves it (size, pictures, etc.) but after less than three months it will only flash "lense error, restart" when it's turned on. Too late to return to Amazon. :( On the bright side, a trip to Canon's website support section got me through to a Repair Request Confirmation. Hopefully, this will just cost me postage to Elk Grove Village, IL.

Suspiciously, Canon doesn't list this model on their repair request input screen... makes you wonder if they're trying to discourage the onslaught of these that they're getting back for repair.

Here's hoping Canon will stand behind this little jewel. If I had it to do over I'd think twice....
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, April 27, 2008
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver) (Electronics)
The image stabilization and the face detection work well, and most images come out wonderfully. There is a noticeable issue with noise and fast moving subjects are still an issue for me. One is common in ultra compacts and one may simply require another round with the manual so take that for what it's worth.

I found the menu and settings to be usable, but the settings I want are sometimes buried on a third level. Sometimes menu response has lagged a bit, which can be frustrating when your subject is moving faster than you are.

I moved from a Canon SD20 so having an optical zoom is wonderful. Plus, this camera is not that much larger than the SD20 so I still feel like I will take it out with me without worrying about bulk.

Battery life seems fine so far...much better than the SD which only holds a few minutes charge these days, despite having replaced the battery.

The SD1100 seems to do a decent job overall and overcomes the photographic failures of it's operator (what do I know). If you want a simple point and shoot, you could do much worse. If you want more manual control over your pics, really good low light performance or something to document your next roller derby match, this may not be ideal.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SD1100 vs. SD8500: Best sidekick for the average shooter?, May 1, 2008
By 
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver) (Electronics)
I started with the SD1000 in mind but soon discovered the newly introduced SD1100 before noticing that the identically-priced SD8500 was out-selling it on Amazon by a decisive margin. Even though almost a year older than the 1100, the 8500 offers a few attractive features: 1. a 4X optical zoom lens, with an impressive range of 35mm-140mm (the 1100's is 38mm-114mm); 2. marginally faster shutter operation and less lag time between shots; 3. the ISO settings are reassuringly located in a familiar place (under func menu rather than controller) for users who prefer to make the setting manually.

The experts' reviews admittedly favor the 8500, though I'm convinced present consumers are overlooking two things: first, the raves were written early last year and cannot be compared to reviews for a newly-made camera with merely "incremental" improvements (as the model number suggests, the SD1100 is the successor to the SD1000, which was the direct and immediate successor to the extremely popular SD600); 2nd, the marginally slower shutter time of the 1100 (lag between depressing the trigger and getting a response) is the trade-off for the addition of a new feature, Motion Detection technology, which acts in harmony with automatic image stabilization to recalibrate camera settings when extra motion in front of the lens is sensed. Finally, the apparent unpopularity of this camera is misleading since it comes in five colors and Amazon is treating each separately in its sales rankings (go with pink and save a couple of bucks).

I went with the 1100 (in silver) for several reasons: 1. It's closer in size, weight and appearance to the ultra-compact, classic SD1000 than the rounder and slightly heavier 8500 (for the record, the 1100 reintroduces the "softer" edges of the 1000's predecessor, the SD600); 2. the new Motion Detection system compensates for any additional lag time, providing sharp shots of kids and pets; 3. it offers an improved screen-- PureColor II (a noticeable improvement over PureColor under both extremely dim and bright conditions); 4. the focal length is ideal for the "people shooting"; 5. at 4.41oz it's an ounce lighter than the other new Canon releases, the SD790 and SD890 (each 5.47oz).

In short, this is the ideal lazy person's companion, one that makes a nice complement to the good life.
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