Canon SD1100 IS Review (a cute digicam)

How’s it going folks? Today we’re going to be looking at the Canon SD1100 IS, a cute little digicam hailing all the way back from 2008.

Why You Can Trust Me

Chance (that’s me) has been practicing photography for 10 years and has been a paid professional for most of it. I bought my first Sony camera in 2018 so this site is a culmination, so to speak, of 5 years of Sony experience (full site history). For this camera, however, I picked it up at a thrift store for about $7 and played around with it for a couple weeks. (read how I review/test gear).

My personal history with this camera started a few weeks ago. I was at a thrift store and I found it laying under a pile of literal junk. It had a battery inside but was missing the charger, so I bought a generic one for like $10 online.

Despite taking photos that are arguably worse than my phone, I always love playing around with digicams before I pawn them off on eBay. This one I used for a couple weeks (on and off) just snapping mostly photos of houses and whatever I found interesting.

So, let’s dive into my impressions of it!

a frog mural
Not gonna lie, it renders some vibrant colors.

Build/Aesthetics

So, first off, let’s talk aesthetics and build quality. From a visual standpoint, this little thing is all of your Pinterest/TikTok digicam dreams come true. It’s cute, small, and has a nice pastel blue color.

My particular copy is a bit scratched, having survived the rigors of a thrift store and whatever else the previous owner put it through. A bit scuffed, but still fully functional.

Aesthetics aside, one thing I really genuinely love about these old point and shoots is the portability. Much like most from this era, this thing literally fits in my pocket. It’s literally half the size of my phone (which isn’t one of those huge models either). It fits easily in my pocket!

From an actual numbers standpoint: it weighs 4.4oz (125g) and measures 3.4×2.2×0.9 inches (86x54x22mm). Pretty darn tiny.

camera vs phone
Very smol.

In terms of actual build quality and longevity, this little thing may look a bit flimsy, but it’s actually built pretty well. The buttons all feel solid to press, nothing is broken (besides a tiny bit of the battery door), and the lens still zooms perfectly smoothly. Oh, speaking of which, the lens is 3x zoom.

back side of camera
Honestly built pretty well. Doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap (besides the inherent light weight).

Image Quality

Next up, let’s talk about the real meat and potatoes of this camera: the image quality!

I found that, in the daytime with good lighting, pictures look pretty decent. I’d say almost on par with my Samsung S23 (phone). Frankly, though, the phone still comes out ahead slightly. At nighttime is where the camera gets useless, however. As with most digicams from that era, the concept of “low-light performance” was merely a pipe dream.

Everything considered, beauty is often subjective, so I’ll dump a bunch of sample photos that I took below. Like I said, photos look pretty darn solid in good lighting.

As you can see, you won’t be getting much bokeh due to the high max aperture and wide angle lens. You’ll also get some pretty heavy flaring and brutal chromatic aberrations. But hey, it’s charming. If I’m being entirely honest, even if they iffy on my 27″ 2k monitor (what I’m currently typing this on), they actually look pretty great on my small phone screen.

Video Performance

Video performance is where this thing really starts to show it’s age. In 2008, 640×480 was pretty cutting edge still, and this camera delivers just that. Videos that come out of this camera look terrible by our standards today, but I went back and watched a few old reviews where people were freaking out about how great it looked.

Crazy how times change. That being said, I gotta say: the image stabilization is actually pretty impressive. Here’s a random dude’s video from 2008 that shows it off. As you can see (or hear, rather), the built in mic isn’t even too bad.

Outro/TLDR

So would I recommend the Canon SD1000 IS? If you just want a small camera that takes decent photos, then no, just use your phone.

However, if you’re looking for a “retro” camera that can take decent photos and look great while doing so, this might be the digicam for you. Super into the digicam trends all across the internet? Buy this.

I’ll drop a link below. It is an affiliate links so, if you buy through it, I get a (very) tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for visiting my little slice of the internet.

Buy from eBay

Leave a Comment