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Canon ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS Ken McMahon, Dec 2011
 
 

Canon ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS verdict

The Canon ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS is the most affordable model in the current ELPH / IXUS line-up, but judging from its feature-set and performance in use, you'd be hard-pushed to tell. For starters it employs the same 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor as most of the other models in the range, making its photo quality essentially the same.

Like many budget models the movie audio is mono and you can't zoom the lens while filming, but impressively the actual movie quality itself on the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS is the same Full HD 1080/24p as higher-end models. You also get the super slow motion and miniature tilt-shift effects of its pricier counterparts.

Budget cameras often miss out on slim bodies and good looks, but the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS enjoys both and also packs-in a decent-sized 3in screen and a very usable 4x optical zoom with 28-112mm equivalent coverage. Sure the lens may not zoom as wide or long as those models costing more, but it's a great general-purpose range none-the-less and one which includes wide angle coverage lacking from earlier budget Canon models. So is there any point in spending more? Before my final verdict, see how it compares to the next two models in the Canon ELPH / IXUS range.

   
 

 

Compared to Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS

     
 
 
     
     

The ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 is the next model up from the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS in the range. It has a smaller 2.7 inch screen, but its 5x optical zoom outreaches the 4x zoom of the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS at both ends of the range. At the telephoto end you'll hardly notice the difference between 120mm versus 112mm, but the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS has a super-wide angle 24mm field of view and if you're into landscape photography or do a lot of shooting indoors that'll make a big difference.

Other differences are that you can't use the optical zoom on the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS during movie shooting and that it has a mono mic compared to stereo mics on the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS. The ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS has the same 1080p24 best quality video mode of the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS, but Smart Auto exposure mode is restricted to stills shooting and it lacks the edit-friendly iFrame video format.

Many people will see these as minor sacrifices and will be more than happy with the same stills shooting modes and 1080p video in a less expensive ELPH / IXUS with the same compact and stylish metal body. But the continued popularity of the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS shows that, for a great many people, the wider zoom range and those additional features are well worth the price.

See my Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS review for more details.


Compared to Canon ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS

     
 
 
     

The ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS is another step up the ELPH / IXUS ladder in terms of features, performance and, of course, price. So what do you get for the extra cash?

First off, with the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS there's no compromise on screen size - it has the same sized 3in screen as the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS, but with a higher 460k pixel resolution. More importantly, with an 8x optical zoom, the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS has a much longer reach than the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS, though they both start at the same 28mm wide angle focal length.

Along with that longer telephoto comes Intelligent Image stabilisation and a new Powered IS mode that helps keep things steady when shooting movies at the full 224mm extent of the zoom - which you can of course use during video recording - not so on the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS.

As with the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS, there are other fairly minor differences but mostly what you're getting with the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS is the longer zoom range and the additional stabilisation modes that go with it, all squeezed into a body that's only marginally bigger.

See my Canon ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS review for more details.

 

Canon ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS verdict

For an entry level model, the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS has a huge amount to offer. Not to be underestimated is that it's an ELPH / IXUS, so it's well built, looks stunning and is super-compact. Its 4x zoom range is nothing more than adequate, but if you don't go in for panoramic landscapes or wildlife photography, that will be no loss and 4x is good enough to help frame the vast majority of 'everyday' shots.

If you're buying a camera primarily for it's stills shooting capability the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS has the same shooting modes as every other model in the range (not including the semi auto modes of the ELPH 500 HS / IXUS 310 HS). And if you want to shoot video it matches the 1080p24 best quality HD mode of the top of the range ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. There are some compromises, but they're small ones, the most significant being the inability to use the optical zoom while recording video. There are models with longer zooms, faster continuous shooting and more verstile composite modes, but for great all round performance in an ultra-compact and stylish body the ELPH 100 HS / IXUS 115 HS has a lot to offer.

 



Good points
Super-slim stylish compact design.
1080p24 HD movie mode.
Scene mode movies and super slo-mo.
Excellent image quality.

Bad points
Lengthy linear exposure mode menu.
Average continuous shooting speeds.
No optical zoom in video modes.
Mono mic.






Scores

(relative to 2011 compacts)

Build quality:
Image quality:
Handling:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

17 / 20
17 / 20
16 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20

83%


   

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