Canon PowerShot A3100 IS review

The A3100 enters the fray with a formidable specification

Canon powershot a3100 IS
The PowerShot A3100 IS is a strong mid-range compact contender

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Good value

  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Decent screen


  • -

    Uninspired design

  • -

    Boring movie mode

  • -

    Middling lens specifications

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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.

Dave is a professional photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the Guardian. Along the way he’s been commissioned to shoot zoo animals, luxury tech, the occasional car, countless headshots and the Northern Lights. As a videographer he’s filmed gorillas, talking heads, corporate events and the occasional penguin. He loves a good gadget but his favourite bit of kit (at the moment) is a Canon EOS T80 35mm film camera he picked up on eBay for £18.