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Canon IXUS 110 IS - Canon IXUS 110 IS

By Cliff Smith



  • Recommended by TR
Canon IXUS 110 IS


Our Score:


Another major difference between the two cameras, and indeed the main selling point of the 110 IS, is the zoom range. The 990 IS has a 5x zoom that covers a rather long 37 - 185mm range, while the smaller 110 IS has a significantly wider 4x zoom equivalent to 28 - 112mm. Many people prefer a wider angle to a longer telephoto. It's often more useful both for general sightseeing snaps and for "social photography", in other words photos of your mates on a night out.

A smaller body size usually results in cramped controls and fiddly handling, but the 110 IS has a simplified control layout that is very efficient and easy to use. It has the same three-position slider switch on the top panel, but on the back there are just two quite large buttons for playback and menu, and the rotary D-pad, leaving plenty of room on the relatively long body to hold the camera. The D-pad is very sensitive, and touching it brings up a diagram on the monitor showing the main shooting options, while menu choices and adjustments can be made by turning the bezel. I never used to like rotary controls of this type, but I have to admit Canon has got it down to a fine art, and combined with the slick new menus it does make the 110 IS very easy and enjoyable to use.

Probably the most significant difference between the 990 and the 110 however is the price. The IXUS 990 IS is currently selling for somewhere in the rather rarefied region of £300, but you can get a 110 IS in a range of colours for a much more affordable £210. There are only a few cameras that can match the IXUS 110's specification, performance and build quality. The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX60, launched last month is one example. It's not in many shops for another week or so, but pre-orders are running at around £230. I'll be reviewing it next week so stay tuned to see how it measures up. Another serious competitor is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 currently selling for around £195.

Wyrd Sister

August 13, 2009, 6:54 pm

Great timing for the review - I'm just buying a new camera and this is one of the candidates on my shortlist. I'm still undecided between the IXUS 110 IS, 100 IS and 990 IS. Which of these three would you recommend? (I was even considering one from the Lumix compact range, but I’ve got the IXUS 950 and love it. I guess I’ve got a penchant for Canon.) Is the grip on the 110 good? (It may sound silly, but I was kinda worried because of its curvy side: it looks like I might accidentally drop it, or that it could be hard to hold it and shoot with one hand).

Cliff Smith

August 13, 2009, 10:37 pm

I've not tried the IXUS 100 IS yet, but it does look nice. If had to choose between the 110 and the 990, I think I'd take the 110. I prefer the zoom range, and the ultra-compact size gives it the edge in portability. As for handling, as I mentioned in the review it's very easy to grip securely, even one-handed.

Wyrd Sister

August 14, 2009, 3:56 pm

Thank you a lot.


August 14, 2009, 8:29 pm

I bought one a couple of weeks ago for £189.00 from Amazon in their sale. It has replaced my old Canon 850 is. It is a great little camera & is much easier to use than my old one. The on screen hints are very useful while you are getting used to the camera. The quality of the photos & movies are really excellent. I wasn't sure about not having an optical view finder but the screen is bright & sharp it isn't a problem. A great buy, highly recommended.


August 14, 2009, 8:57 pm

@NICHOLAS JONES: I'm intrigued. I own an 850 IS and have been very happy with it - stil am. Nothing about the 110 IS (reading Cliff's review of it, that is) made me think I'd want to upgrade anytime soon. Is it really that much better?

Wyrd Sister

August 15, 2009, 12:19 am

@NICHOLAS JONES: Cheers! I don't know why I find its elongated body a bit... odd. I tried it and it actually sits in my hand quite comfortably, and I also like the zoom range on this puppy, but for this shape. I suppose I have to get used to it. Thanks for your input.

Cliff Smith

August 17, 2009, 5:49 pm

Ed - The 110 IS is a very nice camera, but then so is the 850 IS and personally I wouldn't bother upgrading just yet. The 110 IS is technically the better of the two, but not by enough to spend £200 on it.

George M

November 8, 2009, 2:36 am

Hi Cliff and the team, I'm just buying a new camera and in the past I was always very satisfied with your reviews and recommendations. I'm looking for the ultra compact with very good (the best) image quality, performance and all other features in reasonable level. My candidate is Canon Ixus 120 - do you have any experience with it? Is it better than Ixus 110?

I was also thinking about Nikon Coolpix S640. Does anyone have any experience?

Is there any new better model of ultracompact from Canon or Nikon?

Thank you for any feedback.

james 22

March 23, 2010, 10:13 pm

Hello Cliff,

although I'm a die hard fun on canon ixus series & i'm about one step before buy the canon ixus 110, I've checked your review on Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 and i found the picture quality is better.

Looking at the West Window of Exeter Cathedral, I think Sony's W209 is more detailed and the colors are more vivid. Canon's 110 same picture is not so detailed and black and green color seem week!

Does this has to do with the day of light or I whats I see is what I'll get? Whats your opinion between the two of them?

I really hope you can help with this decision!

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