The Bottom Line
My Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS review shows a camera that offers a lot of features that are fun to use. The colorful camera has quite a few nice options for a sub-$200 camera, including several fun special effects.
With a camera in this price range, some drawbacks are expected. If you have large hands, the ELPH 100 HS might almost be too small for you. And, if you have large fingers, using the tiny four-way button to work through the menus might be almost impossible. I would definitely test this camera before I would buy it for that reason.
Otherwise, the ELPH 100 HS offers a pretty good value.
For the most part, the Canon ELPH 100 offers very good image quality, especially for a camera with a $199.99 MSRP. In outdoor photos, the Canon ELPH 100 has accurate colors and good exposure.
When using the flash indoors, the camera usually does a pretty good job with image quality, thanks in part to its "high sensitivity" (HS) sensor. The camera's autofocus is extremely accurate most of the time, regardless of the lighting conditions.
One of the best things about the ELPH 100 HS is its large number of special effect options. You can set the photo's color mode to vivid, sepia, black and white, or neutral. You also can shoot with a film grain, lightened skin tones, darkened skin tones, fish eye, toy camera, miniature, and poster effect.
Perhaps the most enjoyable effect involves picking two colors to swap, meaning each time those colors are in the image, the camera will swap them. You also can shoot a black and white photo, with only one color visible. These can be a lot of fun to use.
Although you could perform most of these special effects using image-editing software after you shoot the photo, it's more fun to add the effects while you're shooting the photos!
Finally, the ELPH 100 HS includes a feature where it shoots three photos in a row with slightly different settings, and the camera selects the best one. This is a feature similar to automatic exposure bracketing, but the camera picks the best shot.
This Canon model has fast startup times, and it tends to perform pretty well most of the time.
The 3.0-inch LCD Canon included with the ELPH 100 HS is a nice size, and the LCD has good quality. Because the LCD has five different brightness settings, you can increase the brightness level enough that the LCD is adequately viewable outdoors, even in direct sunlight.
Although the ELPH 100 has some slight shot-to-shot delays, it has significantly better performance than a less-expensive Canon model, as I discussed in my Canon PowerShot A800 review. You will see the "busy" message on the screen occasionally while the ELPH 100 HS processes a photo, but it's not a significant problem.
The first thing you'll notice with the ELPH 100 HS is just how small it feels. It measures only 0.78 inches in thickness, and it weighs less than 5 ounces, even when the memory card and battery are installed.
The colorful ELPH 100 HS looks a lot like other Canon PowerShot cameras, with curved edges and five different single-color camera bodies available.
The camera's controls are very basic. It has a toggle switch for switching between "program" mode (which offers a few manual-control features) and "auto" mode. Most of the camera's back is covered by the large LCD.
The biggest design problem with the ELPH 100 HS is the four-way button, which allows you to scroll through the on-screen menus. The button is too small and it isn't raised away from the camera body, making it very difficult to press. If you have large fingers, this button will quickly become a significant source of annoyance, especially if you like to make a lot of changes to the menu options. That four-way button cost this camera a bit in my star ranking, so, if you can live with the four-way button's design, you'd probably give this camera a slightly better rating than I did.