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Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Canon PowerShot A3500 IS, it has 5x optical zoom as well as built-in Wi-Fi.

| Canon Powershot A3500 IS in Compact Cameras
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Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 IS

The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS was announced in January 2013 and is a budget camera, with a 16 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom lens, as well as built-in Wi-Fi. It is available in black, silver and red and is priced at around £109.

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 IS

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Features

The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS has a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm. The zoom can be extended to 10x with ZoomPlus. To help take the sharpest pictures possible there is Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation).

There is a Smart Auto which automatically adjusts the camera settings, choosing from 32 variables. Other modes include fish-eye effect, super vivid, monochrome and miniature effect. The Live View Control mode where you can change picture settings such as brightness and colour intensity, while being able to preview the results.

The built-in Wi-Fi lets you connect the camera to your home network, compatible printers, PCs, smartphones and tablets for easy image sharing. You can also use the Wi-Fi to connect to your camera to your smartphone and use its GPS to geotag your images.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD with the Intelligent IS available to help keep you videos steady. You can also use the optical zoom during recording.

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 IS

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
  • Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation)
  • 3.0 inch 230k dot LCD screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart Auto mode
  • Available in black, silver and red
Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 IS

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Handling

The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS has a compact, stylish metal body. There isn't much to aid grip, although the battery cover does have a little groove where your thumb sits, depending on how you hold the camera. On top of the camera is the on / off button, shutter release and zoom rocker. On the rear are movie record, ?, playback and menu buttons. The ? button takes you to a help menu which offers further explanation of some of the camera functions.

There is also a d-pad and func / set button. As well as navigating the menus, the d-pad gives access to the auto mode, flash, display and eco. The eco mode reduces battery consumption to allow you to take more pictures by turning the LCD screen off after a few seconds.

The rear of the A3500 is largely filled by the 3.0 inch screen, which has a 230k dot resolution, it isn't a particularly high resolution, but typical for cameras within the same price range. The screen is bright and clear to view in varying lighting conditions. The menu systems are well laid out, you press the function button to adjust shooting settings, with other options available via the menu button.

To use the Wi-Fi you need to enter playback and press the Wi-Fi button. The screen which appears shows you the varying options available, represented by symbols - not particularly easy to understand initially. Other than that, the Canon app is easy to use in order to download images and videos from the camera.

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 Is App Screenshot 1 Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 Is App Screenshot 2 Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 Is App Screenshot 3

Battery life is rated at 200 shots according to CIPA test results, with the eco mode available to maximise battery life as much as possible. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.1 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.45 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   3.0 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   4.6 secs
Continuous Shooting   0.6 fps
Continuous Shooting - Flash   0.3 fps

Continuous shooting records in full 16 megapixel resolution.

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Review: Canon Powershot A3500 Is 11

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon Powershot A3500 IS Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Portraits are free of red-eye when using the flash but skin tones aren't great in either auto or portrait mode.

Canon Powershot A3500 IS Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have a reasonable amount of detail at both ends of lens, they are a little softer in the corners and purple fringing is evident, although there is a little in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm which allows for decent macro shots.

Canon Powershot A3500 IS ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, at ISO 400 images are still sharp but there is detail lost in places. There is a little more detail lost at ISO 800 and images are a little soft. At ISO 1600 there isn't a lot of detail lost, but images have a blurred look to them.

Canon Powershot A3500 IS White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes a picture with a slight colour cast, but the incandescent preset takes a much better picture. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs well, the fluorescent preset also performs well. There is a fluorescent preset H, images have a colour cast when using it under our fluorescent lights. 

Canon Powershot A3500 IS Digital filters

Digital Filters - In amongst the various shooting modes are some which allow for unusual and creative pictures, we've included a number of examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD, quality is good and the Intelligent IS does a good job at keeping the videos steady. Optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.

Value For Money

The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS is priced around £104, making it one of the cheapest cameras available with Wi-Fi. The Samsung ST150F has a very similar specification, including Wi-Fi and costs around £94.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Verdict

The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS represents excellent value for money if you want a camera with Wi-Fi. Without Wi-Fi, the feature set is that of an entry-level camera, usually priced around or just under the £100 mark. The image quality also reflects the price level but the pictures are ideal for those who prefer to share on the web. Battery life is low, but otherwise the A3500 IS has a stylish, well designed metal body and is available in black, silver and red.


Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Pros

Good value for money
Built-in Wi-Fi
Well built body
Help button
Eco mode

Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Cons

Short battery life
Skin tones aren't great in portrait mode
Image quality could be better


Canon Powershot A3500 IS Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/6.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution230,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting0.8fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery Life (CIPA rating)200shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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eveenhoven Avatar
15 Jul 2013 11:21AM
You write: "the pictures are ideal for those who prefer to share on the web".
OK, but then 16 mp is way over the top.
franken Avatar
franken Plus
21 5.8k 4 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2013 7:40PM

Quote:You write: "the pictures are ideal for those who prefer to share on the web".
OK, but then 16 mp is way over the top.

The problem is that if the manufacturers put something like ten mp's in these sort of cameras the image quality would possibly be better but nobody would buy them on the basis of such a low mp sensor.


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