Canon PowerShot A3100 IS Assessment



The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS replaces the A2100 as the brand new top-of-the-range mannequin within the reasonably priced PowerShot vary of digital cameras. That includes a 12.1 megapixel picture sensor, 4x optical zoom lens full with picture stabilizer and a pair of.7 inch LCD display screen, the A3100 IS sports activities a slim and light-weight physique in three completely different colors. Different highlights embody 18 capturing modes together with Sensible Auto and Straightforward modes with Scene Detection Know-how for point-and-shoot operation, Face Detection, Face Choose & Observe, FaceSelf-Timer, i-Distinction and Auto Pink-Eye Correction applied sciences, the DIGIC III picture processing engine and VGA film recording. Accessible in crimson, silver and blue for $179.99 / £189 we discover out if the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS deserves its place on the high of the Canon A-series vary.

Ease of Use

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS is outwardly similar to the costlier and better-specced A2100 IS digicam, which has now been dropped from the vary, and the cheaper and less-capable A1100 IS, which remains to be listed as an accessible mannequin. Regardless of its finances price-tag, the A3100 a well-made and compact digital digicam with a severe matt-blue plastic physique and wonderful total end. It is simply sufficiently small to match into the palm of your hand, primarily because of the brand new 4x optical zoom lens that is equal to a 35-140mm focal size and a very good most aperture of f/2.7. Though the zoom vary on provide is smaller than the 6x of the A2100, it does make the A3100 a slimmer and lighter digicam, measuring 2.8cms thick when turned off and weighing 30gms much less at 155gms with out the battery or reminiscence card fitted.

Each facet of the Canon A3100 IS has a top quality really feel with nothing feeling flimsy or ill-thought out. The principle criticism that we leveled at earlier PowerShots, specifically that the tripod mount was plastic as a substitute of metallic and positioned within the excessive left nook of the underside of the digicam, has been rectified by the A3100’s central, metallic mount, so kudos to Canon for listening to person suggestions. One of the vital vital modifications to the A3100 is using a Lithium Ion battery relatively than AA batteries, which nearly all earlier A-series Canon cameras have used. This helps make the digicam lighter and considerably improves the battery life to round 225 photographs from a full cost, however it does take away the flexibleness of utilizing broadly accessible AA batteries and makes it costlier to purchase spares.

The A3100 continues to lack any type of hand-grip. Older PowerShot fashions have been comfy to carry because of a chunky, rubberised hand-grip, however this has been fully eliminated on the A3100 (and the earlier A2100), changed as a substitute by a clean, flat end, embossed with the Canon emblem. This makes it tougher to carry the digicam than it actually must be, particularly as there’s solely a tiny horizontal row of three raised dots on the rear of the digicam to help you. On a extra optimistic observe, nearly all of the exterior controls are well-made and straightforward to function, with the motion of the capturing mode dial stiff sufficient to withstand being inadvertently turned to the fallacious mode when saved in a pocket or bag. There aren’t any actual modern options right here, however every little thing that the Canon Powershot A3100 IS does, it does properly.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Entrance Rear

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS has comparatively few exterior controls, simply 11 in whole, which displays the truth that that is fairly a easy digicam in performance phrases with solely restricted photographic management on provide. In comparison with older A-series fashions like the favored A720 IS, which provided a full vary of artistic capturing modes, this continues the extra simplistic method that Canon have taken at this price-point. It is not an enormous deal for the less-experienced snapper, who will get extra use out of the point-and-shoot Straightforward and Sensible Auto modes, however for a lot of eager photographers searching for a second, pocket digicam, there is no such thing as a longer an affordable however succesful compact within the Canon vary. For those who actually desire a fully-capable PowerShot, then the S90 or the G11 are significantly better but in addition far more costly alternate options.

Trying from the rear from left to proper, positioned on high of the A3100 IS are the microphone holes, On/Off button, small Shutter button and the Capturing Mode Dial. The latter is now relatively inconveniently positioned to the far-right of the top-plate, which is the place the shutter button would extra naturally be positioned. Extra annoyingly, the push/pull zoom lever of the earlier A2100 / A1100 fashions has been changed by thumb-operated zoom out / zoom in buttons, that are much less exact and slower to function. On the underside of the A3100 are the tripod mount and the battery compartment, which additionally homes the SD reminiscence card slot.

On the rear of the A3100 is a now normal 2.7 inch LCD display screen which affords 100% scene protection, a median decision of 230k dots, a large viewing angle from left to proper, and is seen in all however the brightest of sunlit circumstances. There isn’t a optical viewfinder on this mannequin. There are various controls positioned to the appropriate. You possibly can instantly entry the assorted focus and flash choices by clicking left and proper on the navigation pad, while up and down are respectively used to set the publicity compensation and timer choices. There isn’t a devoted button for ISO pace, which is a generally used function – as a substitute you may have dip into and out of both the Operate or Primary menus. The Operate/Set button in the midst of the navigation pad opens a vertical sub-menu of icons, which, relying on the chosen capturing mode, lets you set the ISO pace, white stability, colors, metering, steady capturing and picture dimension/high quality settings. This method is an effective compromise given the dimension of the digicam’s LCD display screen and subsequently the restricted area for exterior controls.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Entrance Entrance

If in case you have by no means used a digital digicam earlier than, otherwise you’re upgrading from a extra primary mannequin, studying the excellent and pretty easy-to-follow handbook earlier than you begin is an effective concept. Sadly Canon have chosen to chop prices and solely provide the complete handbook as a PDF on a CD, relatively than in printed format (there’s only a brief printed information to the digicam’s primary options). Not a lot use in case you’re taking photos and want to seek out out what a selected choice does. There is no reminiscence card provided as normal and no inside reminiscence both, so just be sure you purchase an SD / SDHC card concurrently the digicam. The A3100 additionally usefully helps the model new SDXC format which makes it extra future-proof.

The menu system on the Canon Powershot A3100 IS is extraordinarily straight-forward to make use of and is accessed by a devoted button beneath the navigation pad. Various the digicam’s primary settings, comparable to white stability, publicity compensation and ISO pace, are accessed elsewhere, so the principle menu system is not truly that difficult. A row of two icons alongside the high of the LCD display screen represents the Digital camera and Setup sub-menus, with many of the choices being the type that you just set as soon as after which overlook about. As a result of massive and shiny LCD display screen, the assorted choices are straightforward to entry and use, particularly as solely 5 are proven onscreen at one time. The A3100 IS affords an intuitive menu system for newcomers because of the ‘hints and suggestions’ textual content bubbles that pop up when the person alights on a selected setting. Extra skilled customers can even deactivate this function through the menus ought to it begin to show tiresome.

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS affords the standard Program mode and a complete vary of various scene modes aimed on the person who simply needs to level and shoot, making this digicam significantly well-suited to the newbie. The A3100 IS’ Sensible Auto Mode is much like Panasonic’s Clever Auto, routinely figuring out the topic’s brightness, distinction, distance and total hue, then selecting the right scene setting from 18 attainable modes, which is greater than most opponents. The A3100 uncannily chosen the proper of scene mode for virtually each atmosphere that I attempted it in. There’s additionally the Straightforward Mode, the place the digicam routinely units each capturing setting, stopping the inexperienced person from altering something in any respect, other than turning the flash on and off. As well as Straightforward Mode works in the identical manner as Sensible Auto Mode – it actually does flip the A3100 into a real level and shoot digicam, excellent to be used by kids for instance.

In contrast to most mid-range compacts from the final 6 months, the A3100 IS would not provide HD films. As a substitute it data video at 640×480 VGA at 30fps with mono sound. The Lengthy Play mode enables you to retailer roughly twice as a lot footage on the identical sized reminiscence card by making use of extra aggressive compression (with a subsequent drop in high quality).

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Reminiscence Card Slot Battery Compartment

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS has an anti-shake system known as IS Mode – flip it on within the menu system and the A3100 IS routinely compensates for digicam shake, which is a slight blurring of the picture that usually happens at sluggish shutter speeds. There are three completely different modes. Steady is on on a regular basis together with picture composition, Capturing is barely on if you press the shutter button, and Panning because the identify suggests is finest when utilizing the digicam to trace a shifting topic. In follow I discovered that it does make a noticeable distinction, as proven within the examples on the Picture High quality web page. You do not discover that the digicam is definitely doing something completely different when anti-shake is turned on, simply that you should use slower shutter speeds than regular and nonetheless take sharp images.

The beginning-up time from turning the Canon Powershot A3100 IS on to being able to take a photograph is sort of fast at round 1.5 seconds, and it takes about 3 seconds to zoom from the widest focal size to the longest. Focusing is fast in good gentle and the digicam fortunately achieves focus indoors or in low-light conditions, helped by the focus-assist lamp. It takes about 0.5 second to retailer a picture, permitting you to maintain capturing as they’re being recorded onto the reminiscence card – there’s a very fast LCD blackout between every picture. In Steady mode the digicam takes a disappointing 0.8 frames per second on the highest picture high quality, which is sluggish for this class of digicam, though the capturing fee is not less than maintained till your reminiscence card is full.

Upon getting captured a photograph, the Canon Powershot A3100 IS has a reasonably good vary of choices relating to taking part in, reviewing and managing your pictures. You possibly can scroll via the pictures that you’ve got taken, view as much as 36 thumbnails, zoom in and out as much as 10x magnification, view slideshows, delete, defend, trim, resize and rotate a picture. You can even set the print order and the switch order. The Pink-eye Correction choices fixes crimson eye after you may have taken a photograph (helpful in case you forgot to activate it earlier than). The Show button toggles detailed settings details about every image on and off, such because the ISO ranking and white stability, and there is a small histogram accessible throughout playback which is useful in evaluating the publicity. A 3rd press of the Show button exhibits the picture alongside a small, magnified part, helpful for rapidly checking the sharpness.

In abstract, the Canon Powershot A3100 IS is a compact and succesful digital digicam that’s significantly well-suited to its newbie audience.

Picture High quality

The entire pattern pictures on this Assessment have been taken utilizing the 12 megapixel Positive JPEG setting, which provides a median picture dimension of round 3Mb.

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS produced pictures of excellent high quality through the overview interval. The 12 megapixel sensor produces noise-free pictures at ISO 80 – 200. ISO 400 displays some seen noise and lack of superb element, and ISO 800 and 1600 are even noisier, softer and endure from color desaturation.

The A3100 IS dealt extraordinarily properly with chromatic aberrations, with restricted purple fringing results showing solely in excessive distinction conditions. The built-in flash labored properly indoors, with no red-eye and satisfactory publicity. The evening {photograph} was good, with the utmost shutter pace of 15 seconds permitting you to seize sufficient gentle in most conditions.

Anti-shake works very properly when hand-holding the digicam in low-light circumstances or when utilizing the telephoto finish of the zoom vary. Macro efficiency is sweet, permitting you to focus as shut as 3cms away from the topic. The pictures have been a little bit mushy straight out of the digicam on the default sharpening setting and ideally require additional sharpening in an utility like Adobe Photoshop, or you may change the in-camera setting in case you do not just like the default outcomes.


There are 6 ISO settings accessible on the Canon Powershot A3100 IS. Listed below are some 100% crops which present the noise ranges for every ISO setting:


Listed below are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Internet – High quality 50 in Photoshop. The correct-hand picture has had some sharpening utilized in Photoshop. The out-of-the digicam pictures are just a bit mushy on the default setting ideally and profit from some additional sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can even change the in-camera sharpening degree to fit your tastes through the My Colours menu choice.

Focal Vary

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS’s 4x zoom lens offers a focal size of 35-140mm in 35mm phrases, as demonstrated under.

File High quality

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS has 2 completely different picture high quality settings accessible, with Positive being the very best high quality choice. Listed below are some 100% crops which present the standard of the assorted choices, with the file dimension proven in brackets.

12M Positive (2.8Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Regular (1.2Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS dealt with chromatic aberrations excellently through the overview, with very restricted purple fringing current across the edges of objects in sure high-contrast conditions, as proven within the instance under.


The Canon Powershot A3100 IS affords a Macro setting that lets you deal with a topic that is 3cms away from the digicam when the lens is ready to wide-angle. The primary picture exhibits how shut you will get to the topic (on this case a compact flash card). The second picture is a 100% crop.


The flash settings on the Canon Powershot A3100 IS are Auto, Flash On, Gradual Synchro, and Flash Off, with Pink-eye Correction and Pink-Eye Lamp settings accessible through the Flash Settings primary menu choice. These photographs of a white colored wall have been taken at a distance of 1.5m.

And listed here are some portrait photographs. As you may see, neither the Flash On setting or the Pink-Eye Correction choice prompted any red-eye.

Flash On (100% Crop)

Evening Shot

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS’s most shutter pace is 15 seconds within the Lengthy Shutter mode, which is sweet information in case you’re critically thinking about evening images. The shot under was taken utilizing a shutter pace of 10 seconds at ISO 80. I’ve included a 100% crop of the picture to indicate what the standard is like. The digicam takes the identical period of time once more to use noise discount, so for instance on the 10 second setting the precise publicity takes 20 seconds.

Anti Shake

The Canon Powershot A3100 IS has an anti-shake mechanism, which lets you take sharp images at slower shutter speeds than different digital cameras. To check this, I took 2 handheld photographs of the identical topic with the identical settings. The primary shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Listed below are some 100% crops of the pictures to indicate the outcomes. As you may see, with anti shake turned on, the pictures are a lot sharper than with anti shake turned off. This function actually does appear to make a distinction and may imply capturing a profitable, sharp shot or lacking the chance altogether.

1/fifteenth / 35mm
1/eighth / 140mm

My Colours

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS affords 5 My Shade preset results that you should use to vary the look of your pictures, and it’s also possible to create your individual Customized Shade.

Pattern Photos

It is a collection of pattern pictures from the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS digicam, which have been all taken utilizing the 12 megapixel Positive JPEG setting. The thumbnails under hyperlink to the full-sized variations, which haven’t been altered in any manner.

Pattern Film & Video

It is a pattern film on the high quality setting of 640×480 at 30 frames per second. Please observe that this 15 second film is 27.8Mb in dimension.

Product Photos

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Entrance of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Entrance of the Digital camera / Lens Prolonged

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Isometric View

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Isometric View

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Rear of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Rear of the Digital camera / Picture Displayed

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Rear of the Digital camera / Turned On

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Rear of the Digital camera / Operate Menu

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Rear of the Digital camera / Primary Menu


Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Prime of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Backside of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Facet of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Facet of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Entrance of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Entrance of the Digital camera

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Reminiscence Card Slot

Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Battery Compartment


The Canon Powershot A3100 IS is a good choice as a primary digital digicam. There’s nothing right here to get too enthusiastic about, however the mixture of ease-of-use, superior options for newcomers and stable picture high quality is a compelling one.

The same old vary of scene modes are accompanied by the last word point-and-shoot Sensible Auto and Straightforward modes, which actually take the guesswork out of utilizing the A3100 and make it appropriate for all of the household. Different beginner-friendly options embody Face Choose & Observe, an effective way of specializing in who actually issues in your images, and FaceSelf-Timer which simply lets you participate in these all-important household group photographs. Extra superior customers will bemoan the dearth of any artistic controls as discovered on earlier A-series PowerShot fashions, however the 3100 is an actual newbie-friendly digicam.

Though the A3100 suffers from lower than stellar pictures in low-light resulting from apparent noise showing at ISO 400 and quicker, picture high quality is on the entire good, with little signal of undesirable chromatic aberrations, correct colors, skill to make lengthy exposures and an efficient anti-shake system. The not-so-wide-angle 35mm lens seems a little bit misplaced on a 2010 digicam, although, as does the VGA film mode – eager cinematographers ought to look elsewhere – and the sluggish burst capturing mode is disappointing too.

The A3100 is actually fairly priced at round £175 / $175, one thing that mid-range Canon compacts have not been capable of boast about an excessive amount of earlier than. So whereas this digicam will not set the world on hearth, it’s a nice introduction to the world of digital images, making the Canon Powershot A3100 IS a straightforward Beneficial alternative.

4 stars

Rankings (out of 5)
Design 4
Options 3.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Picture high quality 4
Worth for cash 4

Assessment Roundup

Critiques of the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS from across the net.

The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS is an reasonably priced 12.1 Megapixel compact with a stabilized 4x zoom lens and a pair of.7in LCD display screen. Launched in January 2010 it replaces the best-selling PowerShot A1100 IS with a radical redesign of the physique and controls. Most notably, it is the primary PowerShot A Collection to make use of a Lithium-Ion energy pack.

Learn the complete overview »

It simply so occurs that the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS arrived in our labs at simply the identical time because the Nikon Coolpix L22. Each have an analogous decision and an analogous zoom vary. Each additionally produce respectable however not good photos (the L22’s are literally a little bit higher). And but the A3100 prices twice as a lot. It is simply not price it

Learn the complete overview »

Canon’s A3100 IS is an reasonably priced, compact entry-level mannequin that gives you with wonderful picture high quality and respectable efficiency. That includes a 12.1-Megapixel imaging sensor, 4x optical zoom with optical picture stabilization, sensible auto and face detection, you may be very proud of the big set of options which might be included. With a MSRP of US $179.99, it is a nice compact mannequin for the house, workplace or as somebody’s first digicam.

Learn the complete overview »


Efficient Pixels Approx 12.1M
Color Filter Sort Major Color
Sort DIGIC III with iSAPS expertise
Focal Size 6.2 – 24.8 mm (35mm equal: 35 – 140mm)
Zoom Optical 4x. Digital approx. 4x ¹ (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.5x or 2.0x and Security Zoom ²)¹. Mixed approx. 16x
Most f/quantity f/2.7 – f/5.6
Building 7 components in 5 teams
2 single sided aspherical lenses
Picture Stabilisation Sure (lens shift-type), Approx. 3-stop
AF System/ Factors AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fastened to centre or Face Choose and Observe)
AF Modes Single, Steady ¹
AF Level Choice Measurement (Regular, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
Closest Focusing Distance 3cm (W) from entrance of lens in macro
Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF body), Centre-weighted common, Spot (centre)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Publicity Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 cease increments.
i-Distinction for automated dynamic vary correction
ISO sensitivity* AUTO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Velocity 1 – 1/1600 sec (manufacturing facility default)
15 – 1/1600 sec (whole vary – varies by capturing mode)
Settings Auto (together with Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Customized
Monitor 6.7cm (2.7″) TFT, approx. 230,000 dots
Brightness Adjustable to one in every of 5 ranges. Fast-bright LCD
Modes Auto, Guide Flash On / Off, Gradual Synchro
Gradual Sync Velocity Sure. Quickest pace 1/1600 sec
Flash Publicity Compensation Face Detection FE, Sensible Flash Publicity
Constructed-in Flash Vary 30cm – 4.0m (W) / 2.0m (T)
Exterior Flash Canon Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC1
Modes Auto*, Straightforward*, P, Portrait, Panorama, Evening Snapshot, Youngsters & Pets, Indoor, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Mild (2.0MP) Tremendous Vivid, Poster Impact, Seashore, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Lengthy Shutter, Film
*with Scene Detection Know-how and Movement Detection Know-how
Picture Results My Colours (My Colours Off, Vivid, Impartial, Sepia, Black & White, Customized Shade (restricted))
Drive modes Single, Steady
Steady Capturing Approx. 0.8 photographs/sec. ¹ (till reminiscence card turns into full)²


Picture Measurement (L) 4000 x 3000, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 2592 x 1944, (M3) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480, (W) 4000 x 2248. Resize in playback (M3, S, 320 x 240)
Motion pictures (L)640 x 480, 30fps/30fps(LP)
(M)320 x 240, 30fps
Film Size As much as 4GB or 1 hour (L and M) ¹
Nonetheless Picture Sort JPEG compression, (Exif 2.2 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Digital camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Model 1.1 compliant
Motion pictures AVI [Motion JPEG compression + WAVE (monaural)]
Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Picture Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Picture Print, Mounted Measurement Print and Film Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers solely)
Pink-Eye Correction Sure, throughout playback
My Digital camera / My Menu Begin-up picture and digicam sounds customisation
My Class Picture tagging function
Clever Orientation Sensor Sure
Playback Zoom Approx. 2x – 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec. or Customized
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese language, Chinese language (conventional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian, Farsi
Pc Hello-Velocity USB (MTP, PTP) devoted connector (Mini-B suitable)
Different A/V output, devoted connector (PAL/NTSC)
Sort SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus


PC & Macintosh Home windows 7/ Vista SP1-2/ XP SP2-3
Mac OS X v10.4 – 10.6
Looking & Printing ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser
Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-8L (battery and charger provided)
Battery life Approx. 240 shots¹
Approx. 360 min. playback
A/C Energy Provide Non-obligatory, AC Adapter Equipment ACK-DC60
Flash Excessive Energy Flash HF-DC1
Energy Provide & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Equipment ACK-DC60


Working Setting 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 97.2 x 58.2 x 28.1 mm
Weight Approx. 155g (together with battery/batteries and reminiscence card)


¹ Digital zoom accessible for nonetheless picture and normal film modes solely. Optical zoom will not be accessible throughout film recording.
² Relying on the picture dimension chosen.

AF Modes

¹ Some settings restrict availability

Steady Capturing

¹ Beneath circumstances the place the flash doesn’t hearth.
² Relying on reminiscence card pace / capability / compression setting.

Film Size

¹ Relying on reminiscence card pace / capability / compression setting.

Battery life

¹ Utilizing the batteries and reminiscence card format provided with the digicam (the place included), besides the place indicated.


* Commonplace Output Sensitivity / Beneficial Publicity Index.

In response to ISO 12232:2006 (twentieth April 2006) which specifies the tactic for assigning and reporting ISO pace rankings for digital nonetheless cameras.

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