Canon A1100IS

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Robert Sneddon, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. I've suddenly noticed a lot of special offers for Canon A1100 IS
    cameras appearing in the UK; big price cuts for a compact camera with
    IS, 4x zoom etc. I presume it is being end-of-lifed and the supply chain
    is flushing them out. Anyone here got one and willing to give us an idea
    if they are worth buying, say as a pocket camera for the price being
    asked (less than 100 pounds new, possibly factory refurbished)?
    Robert Sneddon, Jan 20, 2010
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  2. Robert Sneddon

    SMS Guest

    New ones are $129 in the U.S.. I don't think it's being phased out.

    One issue with the A series is that as they've pushed up the pixel count
    in the "megapixel wars" the noise levels have increased. I've got two of
    the A570IS models which are 7.1 megapixels, and the noise is acceptable,
    I can't imagine 12 megapixels with such a tiny sensor.

    The other drawback is the AA batteries rather than Li-Ion, but on a $129
    camera you're not going to get a Li-Ion battery and charger.

    Another issue is that CHDK has not yet been ported to the A1100IS. This
    may not matter to you, but I'm a big fan of CHDK, especially on the A
    series. Once you use CHDK you'll wonder how you got along without some
    of the extra functionality. I've done quite a bit of the documentation
    on the CHDK project and I'm still amazed at the amount of stuff in the
    SMS, Jan 20, 2010
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  3. These are new stock being listed on the british Amazon site with a
    previous price of over 200 pounds (300 dollars US).
    Noise is not a critical factor for me. This would be a snapshot camera,
    something to stick in my pocket when I'm going somewhere, to have it to
    hand and better than a cellphone camera. The fact it's got a 12Mp sensor
    is only useful if I want to use the extra resolution as "digital zoom"
    to pull some details out of the background. A lot of my shooting is in
    daylight where noise is less of a problem. The IS would also be nice; I
    sometimes shoot pictures and video from trains and cars (and cablecars
    I prefer AAs myself, got several sets of low-discharge NiMHs (Eneloops,
    Hybrios etc.) for my usual camera, a Canon A640 which just died on me
    last week. I'm going to go digging into it to see if I can fix it -- I
    suspect it's one of the power supply fuses that's popped after I tried
    pushing a DC plug into the external power socket in preparation for
    building an external power brick.
    Always meant to try out CHDK on my A640 but never got round to it.
    There wasn't much in the extra features I really wanted to play with
    outside the extended video modes. Mostly I'm taking point-and-shoot
    snapshots rather than technical or artistic photography and for that
    out-of-the-box operation works fine in most cases. My next camera is
    likely to be a Panasonic LX3 if I can't get my A640 working; the A1100
    would be a pocket spare in that case.
    Robert Sneddon, Jan 20, 2010
  4. Robert Sneddon

    SMS Guest

    Maybe the A1100 IS has "fixed" some of the limitations of earlier A
    series, like not being able to zoom while using video (they were afraid
    of the noise from the zoom motor getting into the audio track). CHDK
    gets around this limit. Also dumb things like the battery meter (versus
    just a low battery indicator) are nice, though on NiMH batteries where
    the capacity is not linear with battery voltage it's more difficult to
    do a true battery meter that's meaningful.

    I've gotten used to the AA batteries on my A series (I also use
    eneloops) but the Li-Ion battery on my SD800IS is smaller, and gives a
    lot more photos per charge than the two eneloops. It's the same sensor
    and the same guts (but a different lens) in the SD800IS as the A570IS.

    Also check what the frame rate is on the video. I know on the A570IS it
    was 30fps, then inexplicably it went down on the A590IS (I think because
    the micro-controller could not keep up with 30fps at the higher resolution).

    I really like the A series, especially because they have kept the
    optical viewfinder which is just tremendously useful in so many situations.
    SMS, Jan 20, 2010
  5. Robert Sneddon

    LOL! Guest

    The same way you have experience with and authored this documentation?


    LOL!, Jan 21, 2010
  6. Robert Sneddon

    LOL! Guest

    Robert, unfortunately you are being conned by one of the most well known
    resident trolls who invents outlandish stories for attention. He's never
    even owned a camera let alone even operated or knows anything about CHDK.
    If you doubt, read this little gem of his psychotic imaginings.


    LOL!, Jan 21, 2010
  7. Robert Sneddon

    SMS Guest

    I love the looks of the LX3, but it has too many drawbacks. The optional
    optical viewfinder is fixed at 24mm, while the wide-angle capability is
    wonderful, the telephoto is very lacking with no good way to increase
    it, and it has Panasonic's famous over-aggressive noise-reduction to
    compensate for the noisy sensor.

    The problem with higher-end compact point and shoot cameras is that the
    volumes just aren't there anymore because everyone that used to buy them
    is now buying either ZLRs or SLRs.

    I wish for a new Canon G series camera that brings back the best
    qualities of the early G series cameras. At least they brought back the
    tilt/swivel LCD, but they decontented the G series a lot over the years,
    and even the G11 lost several features that were present on the G10. It
    seems like they do this to drive more of the higher-end customers to
    D-SLRs. But someone looking for a camera the size of a G series is more
    likely to buy a small D-SLR like the Olympus D-620 than a Canon D-SLR.
    SMS, Jan 21, 2010
  8. I can live without an optical viewfinder; it's one of those things that
    the older hands swear by but the younger generation who have never used
    one scratch their heads in puzzlement when they get told that
    cameraphone or compact camera displays are somehow inferior to squinting
    through a tiny glass window. I have an acquaintance who swears by the
    command-line interface for using computers and can't comprehend why
    anyone would ever use a GUI to control what their computer does; I think
    the OVF and even EVF absolutists are in the same category somewhat.
    It has a larger sensor than other 10Mp compact cameras which means less
    noise per pixel imaging site all things being equal. The wide-angle
    feature is more useful to me (crowd pictures) than the telephoto range
    but the fast 2.0 lens is the key reason I'm interested in it as I often
    shoot indoors where flash is intrusive or just not permitted. As the
    compere of events I attend, Auntie Sue is wont to remind us, "Use flash
    while the show is on and I'll have your guts for garters, children."
    I've got an older-style ZLR, the Fuji 602Z which is just too bulky to
    carry around with me in a pocket. My A640 was nice and portable but it
    didn't handle indoor shoots particularly well and the lack of a WA lens
    also hurt here and there. The LX3 has 24fps HD video capability which
    most cheaper compacts lack too. The one thing I would miss on the LX3 is
    the A640's swivel screen which has been a lifesaver in crowds; being
    able to stick the camera at arm's length over my head and still frame
    the shot is damn useful.
    It still won't fit in a pocket. The M4/3 format is something I'll track
    as a future possibility but it's still expensive and fiddly, and lacks
    the track record of full-size dSLRs and even ZLRs.

    The key factor in camera pricing and characterising these days is the
    sensor size; the bigger the sensor the bigger the pricetag. The LX3 is
    small-bodied but still has a large sensor, fast lens and a wide-angle
    capability. Sadly it also carries a high price.
    Robert Sneddon, Jan 21, 2010
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