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While the A3100 IS might not have much in the way of features, it does have excellent photo quality for the money. Like many compacts in its class, there's a noticeable shift in quality at ISO 400, so the A3100 IS performs its best below this sensitivity. In other words, the more light you have the better off you'll be. Unlike its linemate, the A3000, this camera has less visible noise when photos are viewed at 100 percent. Combined with its higher resolution, you get a little more flexibility when it comes to larger prints and cropping.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
The A3000 had issues with noise, particularly in darker areas of photos. The A3100 fares better. It's also quite capable in Macro mode.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors are not always accurate, but they sure look great. With rare exceptions, subjects turned out bright and vibrant. Exposure is good, too, though highlights have a tendency to blow out--typical of its class.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Purple fringing is at normal amounts with high-contrast subjects. It's visible when photos are viewed at 100 percent, but not at the picture-destroying levels I've seen from competitive models.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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 color banding where there would normally be smoother gradations.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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