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In January 2011, Canon announced the A3300 IS and A3200 IS as replacements for the A3100 IS and A3000 IS in the Powershot range. On test here is the Canon Powershot A3300 IS which has more pixels and optical zoom than its predecessors and is available in silver, red, blue and pink for £122.00.
- 28mm wide, 5x optical zoom lens
- Optical image stabiliser
- 3.0in LCD screen
- Smart Auto, Easy mode and Hints & Tips
- HD Movies (720p) with Dynamic IS
- Live View Control and Creative Filters
- Face Detection, Auto Red-Eye Correction
- ISO80 - 1600
- Auto, Easy, Program, Live View Control, SCN (Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light (4.0MP), Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter), Creative Filters (Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect), Discreet, Movie with Scene Detection Technology and Motion Detection Technology
On the top of the camera there are the typical buttons you will find on a compact camera including the on/off switch, zoom rocker and shutter release. On top of these there is a mode dial, similar to what you would see on a DSLR. This makes it really easy to switch between the various modes on the camera, such as Program, Live, Auto, Easy, Scene, Filters, Discrete and Movie. There is also a dedicated button for Face Detect on the rear.
According to CIPA / Canon testing the battery life is rated at 230 shots. This is a touch low for a compact camera but during testing the battery was more than capable of a couple of days shooting without charging.
Canon claim the camera is capable of 0.8fps in continuous shooting mode. During testing, in P mode the camera shot at just 0.5fps, but in low light mode it is capable of 2.5fps.
ISO and Noise PerformanceNoise performance is good at ISO80 and doesn't show much difference at ISO100. At ISO200 it is clear that noise is starting to creep in, getting slightly worse at ISO400. Image quality starts to suffer at ISO800 with a lot of noise in images at ISO1600. Detail is lost in the pictures at high ISOs but the colours don't suffer much at all, so using a high ISO isn't too much to worry about.
The A3300 IS is capable of taking good portrait pictures with pleasing skin tones whether using the flash or not, although there is a tendency for a touch of red-eye when using the flash.
|Indoor portrait, ISO200, 1/60, f/5.6, 14mm (35mm equivalent: 78mm)||Outdoor portrait, ISO200, 1/50, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)|
At both ends of the lens, the pictures produced by the A3300 have plenty of detail throughout and the digital zoom takes images which look OK for use on the web. In Macro mode the camera can focus from just 3cm away from a subject and the images produced are excellent, as you can see in the picture of the daffodil below.
White-balanceGenerally the auto-white balance does a good job, excelling under the fluorescent lights in our studio, but under the incandescent lighting the incandescent preset gives a better result than the auto setting.
FiltersTo add to the fun of using the A3300 IS there are six filters to choose from to take more creative images: Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Poster. Below is a sample of images taken using some of the modes.
|Miniature, ISO80, 1/250, f/4.5, 11mm (35mm equivalent: 62mm)||Toy camera, ISO80, 1/100, f/8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)|
|Vivid, ISO80, 1/400, f/3.5, 8mm (35mm equivalent: 45mm)||Monochrome, ISO80, 1/100, f/8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)|
Video ModeThe A3300 IS takes videos at 720p HD as well as 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 VGA's at 30 fps. There is also an option to take a HD Miniature Effect video at 6fps, 3fps and 1.5 fps.
Value For MoneyThere aren't a huge number of compacts available with a 16Mp sensor and 5x optical zoom, particularly around the price of the A3300 IS. The Sony Cybershot W570 costs £149 and also has 16Mp and 5x optical zoom. There are plenty of choices if you are not fussy about having a 16Mp sensor, such as the Nikon Coolpix S3100 at £111 and the Fujifilm FinePix Z90 at £119 both with 14Mp sensors.
|The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS gives excellent performance for a very reasonable price.|
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: ProsMode dial
Excellent image quality
Low light mode
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: ConsBattery life not as long as it could be
Continuous shooting isn't fast enough
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Optical zoom||5x optical zoom, 5.0–25.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28–140 mm), f/2.8-5.9|
|Max image size||4608 x 3456|
|Focus points||AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre or Face Select and Track)|
|Focus distance||3cm from front of lens in macro|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO80 - 1600|
|Metering system||Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre)|
|Exposure compensation||+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Shutter speed range||15 – 1/1600 sec.|
|Image stabilisation||Yes (lens shift-type), approx. 3-stop|
|Movie mode||(HD) 1280 x 720, 30 fps|
|Monitor||3.0in TFT approx. 230,400 dots|
|Media type||SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HCMMCplus|
|Power||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-8L|
|Box Contents||Digital Camera PowerShot A3300 IS
Wrist Strap WS-800
Battery Pack NB-8L (with Terminal Cap)
Battery Charger CB-2LAE
AC Cable (E-type plug)
AV Cable AVC-DC400
User Manual Kit
|Size||95.1 x 56.7 x 23.9mm|
|Weight||149g including battery and memory card|
The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS costs £122 and is available from Warehouse Express here:
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS