Is the new Canon PowerShot SD 1100 IS better than my favorite Digital ELPH?

There's a lot to love about the new Canon SD 1100 IS, an update to the existing SD 1000. With the SD 1100 IS, Canon has upped resolution from 7.4 megapixels to 8.3 megapixels and, as you can guess from the IS in its name, added optical image stabilization.

Is the new Canon SD 1100 IS better than my favorite digital Elph?

There's a lot to love about the newest digital ELPH, the Canon PowerShot SD 1100 IS, an update to the existing SD 1000. With the SD 1100 IS, Canon has upped resolution from 7.4 megapixels to 8.3 megapixels and, as you can guess from the IS in its name, added optical image stabilization. As with the SD 1000, the SD 1100 IS can detect up to 9 faces in a scene and use them to set exposure and focus. But it ups the ante by using face detection to remove red-eye automatically as you're shooting and to calculate white balance for better skin tones. It can even let you choose a specific face in a scene to track as it moves around the scene you're shooting. Another new feature, Canon's Motion Detection Technology also uses the improved face detection to determine if your subject is moving and adjusts settings to prevent motion blur. The new model includes a 3x optical, 38-114mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom lens and has both an optical viewfinder as well as a 2.5-inch LCD. Canon plans to ship the SD 1100 IS in March for $250. So has the SD 1100 IS taken over the SD 870 IS's position as my favorite digital ELPH? Nope. While the SD 1100 IS is sleeker at just 4.41 ounces (vs. the 870's 5.50 ounces) and comes in five colors (with goofy names like Rhythm & Blue, Swing Silver, Bohemian Brown, and Pink Melody, in contrast to the 870's sensible "Silver" and "Black") I still prefer the SD 870 IS for its wider lens (28-105mm f/2.8-5.8) and 3-inch LCD, although the latter sacrifices an optical viewfinder, a trade-off I'm okay even if others aren't. You'll also pay about $50 more for the 870 and you won't get the newer face detection-based features, so you'll have to decide if you're okay with that as well. (For a rundown of the rest of the digital ELPH line, click here.)

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