The Good Smart metal body; clear and efficient controls.
The Bad Poor lens performance; unadventurous specs; too expensive.
The Bottom Line It just so happens that the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS arrived in our labs at just the same time as the Nikon Coolpix L22. Both have a similar resolution and a similar zoom range. Both also produce decent but not brilliant pictures (the L22's are actually a little better). And yet the A3100 costs twice as much. It's just not worth it
Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Canon's budget PowerShot line-up has received a boost with the arrival of the A3100 IS, which boasts a 12.1-megapixel resolution, a 4x zoom and a new, slimmer, lightweight body. The A3100 replaces the chunkier PowerShot A1100 IS and comes in at around £160.
A satisfying handful
This camera has a slightly larger LCD display than its predecessor, measuring 67mm (2.7 inches) rather than 64mm (2.5 inches). It also has a smaller, metal-clad body and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion cell rather than a pair of AA batteries. It looks quite smart and the slimmer profile makes it easy to fit in a pocket, yet it's still big enough for those with large hands to work it comfortably.
Canon's gone for straightforward four-way navigation buttons, rather than the spinning dials found on other models, and this actually makes the A3100 a good deal easier to use. All the buttons are big, as are the markings. They're also shaped to follow the curvature of the camera back at the edge, which is a neat touch.
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