The new Canon PowerShot A3100 IS seems a very good choice: it is reasonably priced, easy to use and an eminently pocket able 12 megapixel digital camera with a 4x OIS zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. For those who want to save a little dough, the A3100 IS has a slightly less expensive kid brother, the A3000 IS. The A3000 IS is essentially identical to the A3100 IS except it has slightly lower resolution and is only available in silver; the A3100 IS Canon PowerShot Battery Charger is available in silver, blue or red. Both cameras support the SDXC standard for larger memory cards.
Earlier “A” series models endeared themselves to photo enthusiasts who likened them to a stripped- down version of Canon’s top of the line “G” series digicams. Canon’s new style “A” series models are targeted to casual photographers rather than budget-conscious photography enthusiasts who bought old-style “A” series digicams. The A3100 IS, which replaces the popular A1100 IS, retains its predecessor’s best features, but still is a somewhat radical update. All earlier “A” series models were powered by available anywhere AA batteries; the A3100 IS and the A3000 IS are the first “A” series models to draw their juice from a lithium-ion power pack. Old-style “A” series digicams also had optical viewfinders and manual exposure capabilities. The bad news is that Canon’s newest “A” series models don’t support those options. But the good news is that they are small, thin, light, and easily pocket able – qualities that earlier “A” series digicams lacked.
I’ve only been shooting with the A3100 IS Canon PowerShot Camera Charger for a few days, but Canon’s “A” series digital cameras have earned an amazing level of loyalty from consumers because of their reasonable prices, excellent image quality, dependable performance, toughness/durability, and ease of use – and the A3100 IS maintains that worthy tradition. I’ll go into more detail in the full review, but so far the A3100 IS seems like it would be an almost ideal choice as a first digital camera, an excellent choice as a primary family camera, and a very good choice for travelers who want a small, relatively tough, lightweight, fairly inexpensive “go anywhere” digicam.
The A3100 IS makes an almost ideal first digital camera and it is an excellent choice for a family camera. It is also a very good option for travelers who want a tough, lightweight, “goes anywhere” digicam that runs on universally available NB-8L batteries. I carried the A3100 IS with me for two weeks and I was consistently impressed – just like I was with the A3100 IS Canon PowerShot Charger and every other “A” series Canon digicam I’ve used to date.