Canon A3100 IS

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 640 x 480 video
  • 35-140mm (F2.7-5.6) lens
  • 165g - 97 x 58 x 28mm
  • Revealed January 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon A3100 IS overview

Canon A3100 IS is Canon's Small Sensor Compact camera first released on January of 2010. The camera includes a 12MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The A3100 IS is placed #234 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and all round #1220 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to try out our Smart camera search to get camera listings based on your personalized factors.

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The following is a graph of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon A3100 IS family

The Canon A3100 IS is part of a family of cameras. You can read the detailed list below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-A1400 front thumbnailCanon A1400
A3100 IS vs A1400
Canon-PowerShot-A2500 front thumbnailCanon A2500
A3100 IS vs A2500
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Canon-PowerShot-A3500-IS front thumbnailCanon A3500 IS
A3100 IS vs A3500 IS
Canon-PowerShot-A2300 front thumbnailCanon A2300
A3100 IS vs A2300
Canon-PowerShot-A810 front thumbnailCanon A810
A3100 IS vs A810
Canon-PowerShot-A3400-IS front thumbnailCanon A3400 IS
A3100 IS vs A3400 IS
Photography Glossary
Canon-PowerShot-A4000-IS front thumbnailCanon A4000 IS
A3100 IS vs A4000 IS
Canon-PowerShot-A1300 front thumbnailCanon A1300
A3100 IS vs A1300
Canon-PowerShot-A2400-IS front thumbnailCanon A2400 IS
A3100 IS vs A2400 IS
Canon-PowerShot-A1200 front thumbnailCanon A1200
A3100 IS vs A1200
Canon-PowerShot-A3300-IS front thumbnailCanon A3300 IS
A3100 IS vs A3300 IS
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Canon-PowerShot-A3200-IS front thumbnailCanon A3200 IS
A3100 IS vs A3200 IS
Canon-PowerShot-A2200 front thumbnailCanon A2200
A3100 IS vs A2200
Canon-PowerShot-A800 front thumbnailCanon A800
A3100 IS vs A800
Canon-PowerShot-A3100-IS front thumbnailCanon A3100 IS35-140mm
Canon-PowerShot-A3000-IS front thumbnailCanon A3000 IS
A3100 IS vs A3000 IS
Canon-PowerShot-A490 front thumbnailCanon A490
A3100 IS vs A490
Canon-PowerShot-A495 front thumbnailCanon A495
A3100 IS vs A495
Canon-PowerShot-A1100-IS front thumbnailCanon A1100 IS
A3100 IS vs A1100 IS
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Canon-PowerShot-A2100-IS front thumbnailCanon A2100 IS
A3100 IS vs A2100 IS

Canon A3100 IS Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pros and cons of the Canon A3100 IS based on factors that are generally viewed as useful in a camera.

built-in flash
good zoom range (35-140mm 4.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Optical)
very good min ISO (100)
can't switch lens (fixed lens mount)
display is not selfie friendly
does not have HDMI port
does not have headphone port
does not have mic port
does not have Time Lapse recording
external flash not possible
lack of aperture priority mode
lack of phase detect AF
lack of RAW support
lack of shutter priority mode
low MP (12MP)
low res video (640 x 480 pixels)
manual mode not available
no manual focus
pixelated screen (230 thousand dot)
screen is fixed
screen is small (2.7 inches)
sluggish at full zoom (f5.6)
sluggish max aperture (f2.7)
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
wide angle not the best (35mm)
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Canon A3100 IS Sensor features

The sensor dimension on the Canon A3100 IS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 12MP and features a native ISO range of 100 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW files are not saved so you have less margin for error.

The graphic below displays the A3100 IS's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The A3100 IS sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS sensor size Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon A3100 IS dimensions

Canon A3100 IS weighs about 0.36 lbs (165 gr / 5.82 oz) and the dimensions of the camera is 97mm x 58mm x 28mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 1.1"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 gr and the Canon A3100 IS is on par as compared to its competitors.

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The following is a pic of the Canon A3100 IS with a softdrink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS dimensions scale

The top view below will provide the button arrangement on the A3100 IS.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS topview buttons dials

Canon A3100 IS Lens features

The A3100 IS has an inbuilt lens offering a focal range of 35-140mm making it a 4.0 x zoom which is not amazing nevertheless it is going to be convenient in certain scenarios.

At it's widest 35mm, it will have an aperture of f2.7 and that's rather sluggish and not the best in low light situations and you might struggle to capture a shallow depth of field. You will also have to up your ISO setting producing noisy files. For the long end, 140mm comes at f5.6 making it very sluggish and you may have to apply slow shutter speeds.

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Canon A3100 IS Connectivity

The A3100 IS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras which include NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to copy pictures and at times adjust camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Some apps also give a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external screen. Virtually all cameras will allow you to charge the battery through the USB socket.

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Canon A3100 IS Video features

The maximum video quality on the Canon A3100 IS is 640 x 480 and it can record in Motion JPEG format. 480p is terrible by today's requirements. You should try to get at least FUll HD quality for video. The body doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone socket so you have absolutely no control over your sound. It is probably best to find an alternative camera if you require better sound in your video clips.

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Canon A3100 IS Weather Sealing

Canon A3100 IS doesn't have weather proofing so damp conditions may damage the camera.

Canon A3100 IS Display and Viewfinder

The Canon A3100 IS includes a 2.7 inch fixed display having a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The ViewFinder details regarding Canon A3100 IS are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are very handy during bright outdoor conditions which may make the camera display washed out and hard to view.

Canon A3100 IS Shutter features

Canon A3100 IS continuous shooting speed is 1.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/1600 seconds.

Photography Glossary

Canon A3100 IS Flash and Hot shoe features

Canon A3100 IS boasts just built in flash with missing external flash ability.

Canon A3100 IS Autofocus features

Canon A3100 IS boasts only Contrast Based AF and lacks Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot faster & accurate as compared to Contrast Based autofocusing.

It includes 9 focus points to pick from. Canon A3100 IS has no manual focusing. Manual focusing option can be good during low light situations or you want to have more accurate focusing control.

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Canon A3100 IS Battery life

The general Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has the highest possible (470) battery life within this group of cameras.

Below is a list of Small Sensor Compact cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Canon A3100 IS for different forms of photography

The following chart provides a summation of the Canon A3100 IS for different forms of photography. To understand more, check out the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Canon A3100 IS

The Canon A3100 IS receives a score of 21 which is subpar, and means the camera is not really appropriate for portrait images. Photographing portrait images favors greatly towards sensor resolution, support for RAW files together with the capability to utilize external lighting.

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lack of manual focus
no manual control
no external flash support
low MP (12MP)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Canon A3100 IS Street photography features

Having a moderate points tally of 56, the Canon A3100 IS is reasonably adequate for street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
no articulating screen
small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format

Canon A3100 IS Sports photography advice

A subpar sports photography points total of 25 indicates the Canon A3100 IS is not really appropriate for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have good focusing and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
painfully slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
lack of shutter priority mode
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
does not have phase detect autofocus

Canon A3100 IS Travel photography factors

Portability is really crucial in picking a camera for travel. On the whole, the Canon A3100 IS gets a modest 51 for a travelling camera which makes it reasonably adequate to purchase for your vacations.

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flash built-in
lack of Timelapse mode
low megapixels (12MP)
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
slow maximum aperture (f2.7)

Landscape photography with Canon A3100 IS

For anyone who is looking to pick a camera for landscape photography, the most important aspect will be image quality. The Canon A3100 IS at it's subpar grade of 27 as a landscape camera is not really appropriate in the current market.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
no manual focus
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not good (35mm)
sluggish max aperture (f2.7)
tiny screen (2.7")
manual exposure not available
sensor resolution low (12MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format
does not have Time Lapse mode

Canon A3100 IS as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera ought to offer a moving screen, microphone input and preferably IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Canon A3100 IS is not really appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a subpar rating of 25.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
wide angle not fantastic (35mm)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.7)
screen is not selfie friendly
video quality not great (640 x 480 pixels)
lack of mic socket

Canon A3100 IS Alternatives

If you are trying to find replacements to the A3100 IS, below is a selection of the top ranked cameras that fall in to the family of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart listed below will give you an overview of the A3100 IS compared to it's top ranking competitors listed earlier.

These are various other cameras you may regard as alternatives. To look at a complete comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Canon PowerShot A3100 IS
Small Sensor Compact
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW images
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Total focus points
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
35-140mm (4.0x)
Largest aperture
Macro focusing range
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display size
2.7 inches
Resolution of display
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
15 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/1600 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Set WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
3.00 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video format
Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
165 grams (0.36 pounds)
Physical dimensions
97 x 58 x 28mm (3.8" x 2.3" x 1.1")
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2, 10, Custom, Face)
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
Storage slots
Retail cost