For £100 the PowerShot A3200 IS is an outstanding little camera that ticks a lot of boxes. It's very tough and easy to use with an expanded battery life (250 shots), so this is an ideal family camera.

The relatively wide lens, with handy 5x optical zoom, will make it an essential accessory for holidays and it's simple enough to give it the kids for a school trip. HD video recording at 720p comes in really handy too. At the same time, the smart looks and image adjustment options make the PowerShot A3200 IS a good choice for more ambitious photographers.

While it's not sophisticated enough to serve as an SLR backup, the ability to adjust metering modes and AF parameters is to be applauded. The lens is impressively sharp and well-engineered too, while the Digic 4 processor delivers smooth, well-saturated images with minimal noise at everyday ISO levels.

The downsides are few, and centre around Canon's sometimes eccentric ergonomics and the tendency of the AF to hunt a bit in low light. Once you get used to these quirks, however, the PowerShot A3200 IS should prove a very reliable and rewarding everyday budget compact.

We liked

The great looks, tough build quality, crisp lens, reliable metering and intelligent image processor. The PowerShot A3200 IS comes with some genuinely useful extras too, such as quality 720p HD video recording and some useful scene modes/in-camera lens effects.

We disliked

While this camera takes great pictures from the box, it's not immediately obvious how to switch between the various scene modes. The autofocus tends to hunt around in lower light conditions and it's the HD video maxes out at 720p rather than 1080.