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Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Digital Camera Review

Daniel Bell tests the Canon Powershot A3300 IS with 16Mp sensor, 5x optical zoom and dedicated mode dial.

|  Canon Canon PowerShot A3300 IS in Compact Cameras
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Canon PowerShot A3300 IS front lens

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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS front

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Features

The A3300 IS is a 16.0Mp camera with a 5x optical zoom and 720p HD movie recording. On the rear is a 3in LCD screen and on top of the camera is a mode dial. As well as Smart Auto and Easy modes there are a number of scene modes available to help take the best pictures possible.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS battery

Key Features:

  • 16.0Mp
  • 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

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS rear

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Handling

The A3300 IS is a small and stylish compact which fits easily into your pocket. The 3in LCD on the rear is clear in all conditions, the menus are easy to navigate and the buttons are well laid out as well as being easy to press.

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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS top

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Performance

Taking shots with the A3300 is extremely easy and images are well exposed with colours accurately reproduced as well as being extremely competent at focusing. The Low Light mode takes sharp images even without the flash which makes it a good camera to take round a museum where the flash may disturb other visitors although the image size is limited to 4Mp.

ISO and Noise Performance

Noise 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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO80 Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO100 Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO200
ISO80, 1/2, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO100, 1/3, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO200, 1/6, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO400 Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO800 Canon PowerShot A3300 IS ISO1600
ISO400, 1/13, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO800, 1/25, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO1600, 1/50, f/5.9, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)

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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Indoor portrait   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Outdoor portrait
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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Wide-angle   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/1250, f/2.8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)   Full optical zoom, ISO80, 1/320, f/5.9, 25mm (35mm equivalent: 140mm)
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Full digital zoom   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Macro
Full digital zoom, ISO80, 1/320, f/5.9, 25mm (35mm equivalent: 140mm)   Macro, ISO100, 1/30, f/2.8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)


Generally 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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting, ISO100, 1/15, f/3.5, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)   Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting, ISO100, 1/13, f/3.5, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Fluorescent preset in fluorescent lighting
Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting, ISO100, 1/3, f/3.5, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)   Fluorescent preset in fluorescent lighting, ISO100, 1/3, f/3.5, 7mm (35mm equivalent: 39mm)


To 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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Miniature   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Toy camera
Miniature, ISO80, 1/250, f/4.5, 11mm (35mm equivalent: 62mm)   Toy camera, ISO80, 1/100, f/8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Vivid   Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Monochrome
Vivid, ISO80, 1/400, f/3.5, 8mm (35mm equivalent: 45mm)   Monochrome, ISO80, 1/100, f/8, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)

Video Mode

The 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.

Sample video

Value For Money

There 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.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Verdict

For just £122 the A3300 IS represents excellent value for money, thanks to its 16Mp sensor which produces excellent images. The mode dial makes using the camera even easier than most compact cameras and the filters make it really easy to add that extra bit of creativity to your images. The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS comes recommended by ePHOTOzine.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS gives excellent performance for a very reasonable price.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Pros

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Mode dial
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Excellent image quality
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Macro mode
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Creative filters
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Low light mode

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Cons

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Battery life not as long as it could be
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Continuous shooting isn't fast enough

FEATURES Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
HANDLING Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
PERFORMANCE Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
VALUE FOR MONEY Canon PowerShot A3300 IS
OVERALL Canon PowerShot A3300 IS

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Specification

Price £122
Optical zoom 5x optical zoom, 5.0–25.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28–140 mm), f/2.8-5.9
Resolution 16.1Mp
Sensor size 1/2.3in
Sensor type CCD
Max image size 4608 x 3456
Aspect ratio 4:3
Focusing system TTL
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
File types JPEG
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.
Frames-per-second 0.8
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
Interface USB
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
USB Cable
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 MPB Start Shopping

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sjoban 10
31 Mar 2011 11:04AM
[I have also posted the comment below in the Ixus 115 review page]

Of the following two Canon cameras: Ixus 115 and Powershot A3300, which one would you recommend? They both appear to have very similar specifications, though the Powershot has a dedicated programme mode. On the Ixus, the programme options have to be selected through the menu system. Would you say the quality of photos from the Powershot A3300 is even better than from the Ixus 115?

I recently got the Ixus 220 hs (which appears to be identical to the ixus 115, apart from a slightly longer zoom), but am wondering whether to return it for the Powershot A3300.
31 Mar 2011 11:44AM
Hello, it's a tough choice as they both scored an eight, with both scoring highly for performance. For me I enjoyed the features on the IXUS 220 HS and the mode dial on the A3300. It would also depend on your budget, the A3300 seemed better value for money to me. It's a tough call between the two but neither of them will disappoint.

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