If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use first camera for a child, grandparent or for yourself, the Canon PowerShot A Series digital cameras are a good choice for the budget-conscious consumer. The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS is the top model of the A Series. It features 12.1MP resolution (1/2.3-in. CCD), 4x optical zoom (35-140mm equiv.), built-in optical image stabilization to help reduce camera shake and avoid blurred photos, a 6.9-cm (2.7-in.) LCD display screen, and uses a rechargeable Li-ion battery.
For general purpose photography, Smart AUTO shooting mode analyzes your scene and automatically selects the appropriate setting. For more challenging shooting situations, match the scene yourself to the appropriate Scene Mode. For example, Night Snapshot scene mode sets the camera so you can take a night picture where the main subject (lit by flash) and the background (long exposure) are both recorded. You don’t have to rush back to get in line when taking self-timer group photos: Face Detection Self-Timer scene mode detects faces in the scene and releases the shutter in response to the appearance of an additional face. Low Light scene mode extends the high ISO up to 3200 when photographing without flash in dimly-lit situations. Long Shutter scene mode extends the shutter speed range from 1 sec. to 15 sec. for creative night photography.
For those who desire a bit more control, switch to Program AE (P) mode and dial in an exposure compensation to compensate for scenes that are too bright or too dark. Custom White Balance allows you to obtain the correct colors under artificial lighting situations.
For artistic photo effects, My Colors can record your pictures more Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White — or use Custom Color to adjust the contrast, sharpness and saturation to your taste. Use Super Vivid scene mode to get intense colors or get a posterrization effect using the new Poster Effect scene mode.
You can shoot VGA movie 640×480 pixels at 30fps with monaural sound for up to 1 hour or 4GB per clip.
There are two software applications that are included on the CD ROM that you’ll have to install on your computer: ZoomBrowser allows you to upload your pictures and videos from camera to computer, then view and edit them. CameraWindow allows you to easily upload your videos to YouTube directly from the camera or from your computer.
The Canon PowerShot A3100 IS is a very basic entry-level point-and-shoot digital camera that is ideal for a first-time user. It is easy-to-use, comes in Red, Blue or Silver and, at about US $180 (CAD $200), is very affordable, too.
Here is how the four A Series models compare. They are basically the same except for MP resolution, optical zoom power, whether there is built-in image stabilization or not, display screen size, and a couple of scene modes.
|A490||A495||A3000 IS||A3100 IS|
|Max. Aperture||f/3.0(W) – f/5.8(T)||f/3.0(W) – f/5.8(T)||f/2.7 (W)- f/5.6(T)||f/2.7(W) – f/5.6(T)|
|Shutter Speed||1/2000 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/2000 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/1600 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/1600 – 1 sec., 15 sec.|
|Macro||1 cm / 0.4 in.||1 cm / 0.4 in.||3 cm / 1.2 in.||3 cm / 1.2 in.|
|Face Detection Self-timer||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price (US $)||109.99||129.99||149.99||179.99|
|Canon A3100 IS||
|US | CA | UK|
|Image Sensor||12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-in. CCD|
|Optical Zoom||4x (35-140mm equiv.)|
|Max. Aperture||f/2.7 (W) – f/5.6 (T)|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-shift (optical)|
|Media||SD / SDHC / SDXC, MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus|
|Shooting Modes||Auto, Easy, P, Scene Modes|
|Shutter Speed||1/1600 – 1 sec. (1 – 15 sec. in Long Shutter scene mode)|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 fps|
|Exposure Metering||Evaluative, Center weighted average, Spot|
|ISO sensitivity||Auto, ISO 80-1600|
|Macro||3 cm / 1.2 in.|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom|
|Display Monitor||2.7 in. LCD, 230k-dot|
|Movie||640 x 480 @ 30fps, Monaural, Clip 4GB or 1 hr|
|Battery||Li-ion (240 shots) included|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||97.2 x 58.2 x 28.1 mm / 3.83 x 2.29 x 1.11 in.|
|Weight (body only)||155g / 5.47 oz.|
|MSRP||US $179.99 / CAD $199.99 / UK £ / €|
*Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Please consult manufacturer’s site for latest specifications.
You can buy the Canon A3100 IS from our Trusted Sponsor B&H Photo-Video, the Professional’s Source, satisfying millions of customers for over 35 years:
|Canon A3100 IS|
|Canon A3100 IS|
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