Canon PowerShot A3100 IS review

The A3100 enters the fray with a formidable specification

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canon powershot a3100 is

Luckily, trusting the A3100 is something we were happy to do during our time with it.

Images taken at ISO 100 were the match of any compact camera, with excellent colour and detail reproduction.

Moving the ISO up through the range inevitably reduces image quality, and the A3100 treads a careful path between giving image noise free rein and detail-destroying noise reduction.

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At its top setting of ISO 1600 our images are clearly suffering from a marked softness, but with a little care it should be possible to get printable images as long as you don't crop too heavily.

At lower ISOs there's plenty of potential for zooming in after the fact - the A3100's 12.1MP sensor produces 3,000 x 4,000 pixel images.

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Impressively, the lens showed very little chromatic aberration, even in typically difficult high-contrast situations.

It's not a spectacular piece of glass, offering a focal range of 35-140mm (35mm equivalent). That's fine for most standard situations, but will offer frustration if you want to get up close to a building, or take decent pictures at a wildlife park.

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On the plus side, the lens's conservative specifications mean there's no distortion to speak of.

The movie mode is nothing special, unfortunately. 30fps and 640 x 480 is the top setting, which means budding Spielbergs will need to rein in their aspirations somewhat.

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It's something of a shame, particularly when cameras such as Canon's own Ixus 120 IS cost around £30 more but throw in 720p, 30fps video recording.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot A
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedMMCplus, HC MMCplus, MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)155 g
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.2 mm
Width97.2 mm
Depth28.1 mm
Product SeriesA
Focal Length6.20 mm to 24.80 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelA3100 IS
Product NamePowerShot A3100 IS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4255B011AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The intelligent and compact PowerShot A3100 IS packs Canon image quality into a slim, lightweight body to make shooting a breeze, it's as easy as point and shoot. A 12.1 Megapixel sensor lets you produce stunning prints in sizes up to A2, or crop images to perfection without losing the detail necessary for larger prints.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot A3100 IS Compact Camera
  • NB-8L Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year