It's a testament to the quality of Canon's compact camera engineering that there's actually relatively little to report here.

The PowerShot A3200 IS takes really nice, well exposed pictures on Auto mode, Program mode, or when shooting in a preset Scene mode. The metering is impressively accurate and although it does sometimes suffer from blown highlights on a bright, sunny day, it still very reliable for a camera at this price point.

Colours are lovely, with the upgraded Digic 4 processor never taking things too over the top (a Super Vivid effect is available should you need to punch the hues up a bit, but it can be rather garish). The bonus lens effect simulators a mixed bag. Fisheye is fun to play with, but as with an actual fisheye lens, choose your subject carefully or the end result can look like a mistake. Miniature and Toy Camera work reasonably well too, but the nature of this camera means that fine-tuning the end result is very limited.

Staying with lenses, the 28-140mm (equivalent) glass on the PowerShot A3200 IS a real cracker; it's wide enough to cope with a lot of landscapes, and is pleasingly sharp, with minimal purple fringing or barrel distortion. The addition of in-camera image stabilisation helps too, particularly as this is quite a light camera that big hands might struggle to hold steady all the time.

The autofocus is generally accurate and fast, though it hunts in lower light conditions. As our images reveal, ISO performance is pretty good through the range. Noise starts to become a headache around ISO 800 and is really noticeable when you max out at 1600, but the integrity of the colours still holds up well.

The quality of the HD movie recording is up to Canon's usual standard, with accurate movement tracking, minimal smearing and noise, and reasonable sound quality for a budget device.