Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS

Quality

Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS vs ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS vs ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS Resolution

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS, the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS, the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view and all three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available 100 ISO setting.

  Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results
1 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Resolution
2 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Noise
3 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Sample images

The image above was taken with the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. The lens was set to its 5mm (28mm equivalent) maximum wide angle focal length. In Program auto exposure mode the camera metered an exposure of 1/400 at f3.4 at 100 ISO. The original image size was 3MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

Overall, results from the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS are pretty good. Image detail is crisp, contrast is good and the colours are natural looking. The ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS has overexposed the shot slightly, the right side of the histogram is clipped and a better result with no loss of shadow detail could have been achieved with about half a stop less.

The fact that all three cameras in this comparison use the same 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor says a lot for how different lenses and processing can affect the final result. The most obvious example of that in the crops is the Chromatic aberration which is causing colour fringing in the first three crops from the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. In the first crop there’s a blue colour fringe which outlines the chapel and in fact extends the full length of the horizon – you can see it running along the top of the cliff in the lighthouse shot. In the third crop there’s a red colour fringe running vertically along the window frame edge.

Overall there’s a slight texture to flat areas which means that the finest level of detail isn’t reproduced as cleanly as it could be. There’s also a slight softening of edges in the crops that are closer to the frame edges. The lighhouse isn’t a cleanly defined white rectangle and the roofs and window frames in the foreground look a little soft. But the final crop from the centre of the frame shows improved edge detail, the window frames are more clearly defined and you can easily make out the gaps between the ridge tiles in the foreground.

Compared with the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 the crops from the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS suffer from the same issues, only to a slightly worse extent. The ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 has the same fringing, only not quite so bad, and the edge detail looks a little soft, only not so soft as on the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. The lighthouse is more clearly resolved in the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 crop and red fringing on the window frames in the third crop isn’t so noticeable. Finally, in the fourth crop, from the centre of the frame, edges are more crisply defined as is fine image detail like the roof tiles. So a marginally better result from the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230.

Compared with the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS, there’s more of a margin, and its in the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS’ favour. The ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS’ 5x zoom lens doesn’t suffer from chromatic aberration to anything like the degree the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS does. There’s a little bit of fringing on the third crop, but you have to look for it. Resolution of fine and edge detail on the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS crops is generally better and it’s more consistent from the edge to the centre of the frame.

What these three sets of crops demonstrate is that with the same sensor, the quality deteriorates slightly as the zoom range increases, which is not all that surprising. It’s worth reiterating our usual caveat that you’re only likely to spot these differences if you’re looking for them at the 100 percent actual pixel view. In a side-by side comparison at, say, 25 percent, you’d be hard pushed to tell these shots apart.

Now let’s see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

 
ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS
 
ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS
 
ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS
f3.4, 100 ISO
f3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 100 ISO
f3.4, 100 ISO
f3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 100 ISO
f3.4, 100 ISO
f3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 100 ISO
f3.4, 100 ISO
f3, 100 ISO
f3.2, 100 ISO


Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS vs ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS vs ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS Noise

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  Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results
1 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Resolution
2 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Noise
3 ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS, the Canon ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS, and the Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS within a few moments of each other at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

All three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode and the lenses were set to the same field of view. The ISO sensitivity was set manually.

The above shot was taken with the the Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS in Program auto mode. The lens was set to its widest angle 5mm (28mm equivalent) focal length, the sensitivity was set to 100 ISO and the exposure was one second at f3.4. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

One of the downsides to having a 12x optical zoom is a smaller maximum aperture. The maximum shutter speed in Program mode on all the ELPH / IXUS models is one second and at the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS’ maximum aperture of f3.4 the 100 iso crop is slightly underexposed. This crop isn’t completely noise free, but there’s good detail in both the column on the left and the wood panelling on the right. There is an overall graininess which you can see most clearly in the wood panelling, but it’s not unpleasant in quality and preferable to the smoothness that would almost certainly result from trying to process it out.

At 200 ISO the noise takes on a slightly more granular texture, but you can see almost as much detail in this crop as the previous one. The quality drop from 100 to 200 ISO is fairly marginal and certainly worth the extra stop of exposure it provides. Moving to 400 ISO its a similar story – a slight increase in the noise and another slight loss of detail as a result. The same thing happens at 800 ISO and although the cumulative result is a crop with considerably more noise than at 100 ISO, I’d feel comfortable about using any of these sensitivity settings for photos that were going to be viewed on screen. If I was making full sized prints I might be a bit more circumspect but, even then, the noise at 800 ISO, while abundant, isn’t particularly offensive.

From 1600 ISO on, as you’d expect, the noise gains the upper hand, obscuring ever coarser detail, but it’s good to have a 3200 ISO option for those shots that you’ve absolutlely got to have, regardless of the quality.

Not surprisingly, given that they share the same sensor, the crops from the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS and the ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS bear more than a passing resemblance to those from the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS. They’re not identical, but in the context of quality – how much noise is present at each ISO sensitivity setting and how much image detail suffers as a result – there’s little if anything to choose between them. The most significant difference is that at its maximum aperture of f3.4 the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS has underexposed the 100 ISO shot.

All three models offer Handheld Night Scene mode which takes a sequence of shots in low light and produces a single composite image. The ISO is set automatically in this scene mode so it’s difficult to make comparisons, but the results are a definite improvement on what you’d get from a single high ISO shot under the same conditions. One disadvange of Handheld NightScene on the ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS is that the touch autofocus is disabled.

All three models offer a 3 Megapixel low light mode. As you can see from the crops, as well as higher resolution it provides much better detail with significantly less noise. They also offer a Best Image Selection mode which shoots five shots and chooses the best one.

Now head over to our Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS
 
ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS
 
ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1600 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1600 ISO
Hand-held Night Scene 1250 ISO
Low Light 2500 ISO
Low Light 2000 ISO
Low Light 2000 ISO
Best Image Selection 2500 ISO
Best Image Selection 2000 ISO
Best Image Selection 2000 ISO

Canon ELPH 510 HS / IXUS 1100 HS results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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