Canon Powershot A3100 IS Review

Simple and Easy

Picture
Canon Powershot A3100 IS Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 9
Photo Quality 9
Style 8
Lowlight 9
Macro 9
Value for Money 8
12 Megapixels
4x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
97.2 x 58.2 x 28.1mm
155g

Overview

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS is a step up on an entry level digital camera. This is mainly due to the design and build of the camera. It can take a good picture in most situations. The features on offer are solid rather than spectacular, but I thought the Powershot A3100 IS felt good in the hand and I like the simple design.

For me the main attraction is the quality of the pictures it takes. There are very few negative points about this camera and I would be happy to own it if I was looking for a point and shoot digital camera.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

12
4x
2.7 inches
97.2 x 58.2 x 28.1mm
155g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

3cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD / SDHC / SDXC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

I am very happy with the outdoor scenic shots. Focusing is consistently sharp and the photos have plenty of deep colour to them. Here and there I can detect some purple fringing and the shots can be slightly hazy around white objects that are caught by the sun. These are relatively minor issues and they are unlikely to cause much of a problem especially if you keep print sizes reasonable.

The sharpness displayed in my outdoor scene where the lens is zoomed out is much better than I am used to seeing.

Portraits

The portrait shots all work well. Perhaps the Powershot A3100 IS could have conjured up a little more warmth in the outdoor portrait, but aside from that the camera performs very well indeed. When it comes to the use of flash it is difficult to beat Canon digital cameras. In this example the amount of light emitted by the flash unit is strong enough to light the whole photo, but is subtle enough to ensure the maximum amount of colour is retained in the shot.

I am also happy with the indoor portrait taken without flash. Again the Powershot A3100 IS is able to light the shot well, keep noise levels down and produce a shot with high levels of definition.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro shots are another area where I am used to seeing strong results from Canon cameras. My macro test shot with this camera is crisp. The artificial lighting is handled well and the colours are correct.

The Powershot A3100 IS is capable of producing strong colours. They are vivid without overpowering the scenes. Foliage in particular seems to stand out well and I like the deeper greens on display in my scenic shots.

Noise is controlled as well as you can expect to be by a compact digital camera. There is very little noise showing in my indoor portrait shot.

Summary

The Powershot A3100 IS is comfortably above average when it comes to picture quality. It can handle most scenes and produces bright, colourful shots.

See sample images link arrow

Style

I like the design and finish of the Powershot A3100 IS. The ends are rounded and one end is silver to give the camera a more distinctive look. It is available in blue, red and silver.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.39 seconds
14.7 seconds
1.1 seconds
21.91 seconds
2.42 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par Although the Powershot A3100 IS can be used as a point and shoot camera there are more simple models available.

Points I Like

Picture quality

Where it Could Improve

Shutter delay with flash

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

setup functions

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.

Read Review: Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review

Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review

Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review

Related Pages

Canon Powershot A3100 IS Review Canon Powershot A3100 IS Specification Canon Powershot A3100 IS Sample Images Canon Powershot A3100 IS Features Canon Digital Cameras

Review Date

March 2010

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