Sitting at the top of Canon's new IXUS line-up, above the cheaper IXUS 230 HS, it wouldn't be wrong to expect a lot of the Canon IXUS 1100 HS. For the most part, it delivers. Image quality is excellent, even at high sensitivities, which makes for a flexible package when coupled with the high quality 12x stabilised zoom lens.
Unfortunately the touchscreen interface lets the camera down somewhat, and may leave you hankering after a simpler direct control method with buttons, as found on cheaper IXUS cameras. It could be that Canon may be able to release a firmware update to resolve any interface issues, but as the target market isn't likely to be made up of the kind of snappers who will actively seek out firmware updates, that may not be an ideal solution.
Without a doubt, the Canon IXUS 1100HS produces image quality up with the best compact cameras available at the moment, including the similarly priced Olympus XZ-1, Nikon Coolpix P300 and Panasonic TZ20, which when coupled with the high-quality 12x image stabilised lens, makes a very flexible package.
Touchscreen interfaces really need to work well, otherwise they endanger spoiling the whole user experience. Unfortunately the touchscreen isn't up to scratch, which can make navigating menus a chore.
If you can live with the quirks of the Canon IXUS 1100 HS's interface, you will be rewarded with sharp, colourful images with good dynamic range. However, with a price of £350, you may not want to.