With the PowerShot A3100, it's fair to say Canon has the entire spectrum of compact cameras covered.

From the excellent - and very cheap - Canon A490, all the way up to the top-end Canon G11, anyone in the market for a new compact camera will be able to find something they like.

The top and bottom ends of the price spectrum are easy, though. If you want DSLR-style performance and quality, prepare your bank manager and buy either the G11 or the excellent Nikon P6000. There are only a few truly decent cameras under £100, so that choice is easy as well.

Things get sticky in the middle, though. If you've got around £200 to spend the competition is fierce and the choice bewildering. Manufacturers know that's the sweet spot for consumers and so for a camera to succeed it has to be excellent.

canon powershot a3100 is

The Canon A3100 wades into the fray with a formidable specification list. Its 12.1MP sensor is a good start, and its 4x optical zoom, stabilised lens and big TFT on the back all make it a serious contender. But cameras like the Ixus 105 are just as serious.