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James Yu

Investigation No. 4

The digital point-and-shoot cameras from Canon would make any Bauhaus proud.

In particular, I have a Powershot S110 (Digital Elph) that I bought about 3 years ago, and

it’s still in peak condition. The camera is small and rugged, and has withstood the test of

time throughout my years of use.

Back in 2001, the Elph was one of the smallest digital cameras available on the

market. In contrast to some other small cameras, the Powershot feels rugged and sturdy

in my hands. Indeed, the camera body is made out of stainless steel, reinforcing the

sensitive electronics that it houses.

Canon couldn’t afford to make any wasteful decisions in their design of the tiny

Powershot. Every button and widget had to be carefully designed for space and

reliability. They had to consider a totally new design for the camera. There is no hiding

of the support structure: the stainless steel and screws are all plainly visible on the body

of the camera. You can also see where several reinforcements were put in place near the

corners of the camera. The controls are rugged and industrial in their looks, and have yet

to fail me during their years of use.

Of course, the camera is also a functional device, able to take quick photos at 2

megapixels. The ease of use and reliability of the camera really is why I continue to use

it. The controls are also very intuitive, making for a very enjoyable picture taking


Canon is a leader in the camera industry with their sturdy camera designs that are

both functional and beautifully crafted at the same time. As soon as their digital Elph

went on the market, I knew it would be a winner. Recently, I saw my exact camera
model on display in the design section of the MoMA. I wasn’t surprised in the least, and

quickly took a shot of it with my own Elph.