Like its Digital Elph predecessors, Canon's PowerShot SD1100 IS looks and feels great.

The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS's price tag of about £180 puts squarely in the realm of midrange point-and-shoots, but its robust features - including Canon's fast DIGIC III processor, a maximum aperture of f2.8, and outstanding image quality - allow it to compete with cameras that cost significantly more.

Although the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS features a number of improvements on the older SD1000, the new model has a few minor drawbacks. First, Canon shaved 3mm off the wide-angle end of the 3x optical zoom, giving it a 38-114mm focal length - which means ciao, wide-angle shots.

The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS also shoots a hair slower than its predecessor (though faster than its lower-priced competitors), with a burst capability of 1.3 frames per second (fps). Finally, Canon softened up the Elph's formerly square edges, which we find detracts from its sleek design and, surprisingly, its comfort in the hand.

Still, the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS is an outstanding little camera. Not only does its streamlined chassis make for one of the most striking and seemingly durable point-and-shoots around, the model is perfect for the pocket and downright fun to use.

The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS's buttons are logically placed, and its menu items - except for some of the more esoteric settings - are easy to find. Video is standard, and movie lengths are limited only by your memory card's size.

Although the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS lacks true manual functionality - it has no aperture or shutter priority, per se - its shooting modes and "manual" settings are stellar. It offers nine scene modes, including an excellent Macro mode, a Kids & Pets mode, and a new Sunset mode (infinitely more practical than the Aquarium and Fireworks modes).

Both the Night Snapshot mode and the Slow Syncro flash setting produced well-lit night shots (in the bar and on the street). For more control, the Long Shutter setting slows shutter speed to as much as 15 seconds.