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The photo quality is very good for a sub-$150 camera. Like with many compacts, there's a noticeable shift in quality at ISO 400, so the A3000 IS performs its best below this sensitivity. In other words, the more light you have the better off you'll be. However, color noise was present at all ISOs. Noise is most visible in darker areas of pictures when photos are viewed at 100 percent. At ISOs above 400, noise is visible even when photos are viewed at small sizes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
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Taken at ISO 160 in Auto, you can see there's color noise in the darker areas of the photo, and it's also visible on the statue's arm, too.

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This was taken in a darkened room using the camera's 2-megapixel Low Light mode at ISO 3,200. It's noisy and the colors are off, but it did capture an image.

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The lens has good sharpness edge to edge, but there is some barrel distortion at its widest position (top). There's no discernible pincushioning with the lens fully extended (bottom) and there was a little purple fringing in test shots.

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Colors are generally accurate, pleasing, and vibrant. Exposure was good, too, though the evaluative metering would occasionally under expose, which is typical. White balance was strong.

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If you're interested in the A3000 IS' creative scene modes, here's a idea of what they can do. The top photo was taken using the camera's standard Auto mode. The middle shot uses the new Super Vivid option, and the bottom one was taken with Poster Effect, which creates coloring banding where there would normally be smoother gradations.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Joshua Goldman/CNET
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