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What Canon sells you for $150

The PowerShot A3000 IS is a good budget-friendly Canon compact, if nothing else.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like most compact-camera manufacturers, Canon offers point-and-shoots at a range of prices; its PowerShots start at $109.99 and edge up every $20 to $30. The A3000 IS sits right at $149.99. It's a good, if basic, snapshot camera designed for people who really don't want much beyond taking a nice picture.

Optical image stabilization is probably the biggest feature highlight since it's a rarity in a new camera at its price point. It also has a couple of new creative shooting modes--Super Vivid and Poster Effect--but its shooting options are otherwise bland.

I'm not in love with the look and feel, though it's easy to use and certainly better-looking than older A-series models. Speaking of, those of you hoping for an A series with an optical viewfinder and manual controls should probably give up. Not only are those features gone from all the newest models, but the A3000 IS along with its linemate, the A3100 IS, use rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs instead of AA-size batteries. This doesn't bother me, but I know a lot of people love having double As.

One last thing. If you have $150, and want a Canon PowerShot, but not this one, check out 2009's SD1200 IS. It's readily available at that price, much smaller, more attractive, and with similar core features--plus an optical viewfinder.

Read the full review of the Canon PowerShot A3000 IS.