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Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Digital Camera Review

FeaturesHandlingPerformanceVerdictSpecification 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: 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.

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

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Pros

Mode dialExcellent image qualityMacro modeCreative filtersLow light mode

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Cons

Battery life not as long as it could beContinuous shooting isn't fast enough

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

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: Digital Photography Review

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Canon introduced the PowerShot A3300 IS and A3200 IS at CES 2011. Similar to their predecessors (the A3000 IS and A3100 IS), the latest duo are powered by Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries. The A3300 features a 16Mp sensor and 3.0" LCD while the A3100 IS comes with a 14Mp sensor and 2.7" LCD. Both share wider-angle 28-140mm equiv. image-stabilized zoom lenses (compared to the 35-140mm lenses on the cameras they replaced), and upgraded video from VGA to 720p HD recording with H.264 compression.

Body type Compact
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type CCD
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Focal length (equiv.) 28–140 mm
Max aperture F2.8–5.9
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 230,000
Max shutter speed 1/1600 sec
Format MPEG-4
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MMCplus/HCMMCplus
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 149 g (0.33 lb / 5.26 oz)
Dimensions 95 x 57 x 24 mm (3.74 x 2.24 x 0.94″)

See full specifications

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS -

Announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS replaces the A3100 IS at the top of Canon’s A-series compact range. With a redesigned body shape, 16 Megapixel sensor, stabilised 5x optical zoom and 3 inch screen the PowerShot A3300 IS delivers easy to use point-and-shoot modes with basic control, but no manual exposure modes. A new LIVE View Control mode provides results-based control over exposure compensation, saturation and white balance. The A3300 IS also offers 720p HD video shooting which is an advance on its predecessor, though, disappointingly, you can’t use the optical zoom while shooting.

Launched alongside the PowerShot A3300 IS, the cheaper A3200 IS looks identical, but has a 14.1 Megapixel sensor and a 2.7 inch screen. If you’re not planning on making A2 sized prints and can live with the slightly smaller screen, this represents good value for money and you even get the same 720p HD video as on the more expensive model. Both models come in a range of fun colours, Red, Blue, Pink and Silver for the A3300 and Orange, Aqua, Pink and Silver for the A3200.

We’ve compared the PowerShot A3300 IS with its more competitively priced, but slightly less well-equipped sibling the PowerShot A3200 IS. But Canon isn’t the only manufacturer to have announced new 2011 models and we’ve tested these two A Series PowerShots alongside the similarly priced 16 Megapixel Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5. Like the PowerShot A3300 IS, the Lumix FS18 / FH5 also has a lower resolution stablemate in the form of the 14.1 Megapixel FS16 / Fh3 and we’ll be looking at that in another review too.


The PowerShot A3300 IS is both smaller and thinner than its predecessor and the body shape has had the more distinctive features, notably the cylindrical right end, designed out. Looking at the evolution of A-series body shapes it’s easy to draw the conclusion that some IXUS DNA has entered the picture: the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS shares the familiar IXUS ‘choc ice’ shape, albeit with slightly less smooth contours due to the positioning of the mode dial on the top right corner.

Alongside the mode dial is a large flush-mounted shutter button with a zoom collar surround as opposed to the thumb-operated zoom buttons of its predecessor. A step further to the right locates the slightly recessed on/off switch, which requires a firm push to activate, something that isn’t going to happen by accident.


The back is dominated by the screen, a 3in panel on the A3300 IS and a 2.7in one on the A3200 IS, to the right of which is a recessed panel with a control pad surrounded by four buttons for Face selection, playback, display and the menu.

There’s only one connection port on the right side to which you can connect either a USB cable to download images and video, or an AV cable to connect the camera to a TV. There’s no HDMI port on the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS though. On the bottom, as you’d expect, there’s a centrally mounted tripod bush and a hinged door opens to reveal the combined card and battery compartment. The PowerShot A3300 IS/ A3200 IS takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.

The A3300 IS / A3200 IS feels solid and well-built and is a comfortable camera to hold and shoot with. Though nowhere near as slim as the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5, the extra thickness does provide a more confident grip particularly on the left corner where it flares to accommodate the built-in flash. If you’ve got large hands this is something you’ll be glad of, although the downside is that it’s not quite as pocketable as slimmer compacts like the FS18 / FH5.

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The PowerShot A3300 / A3200’s mode dial is made of black plastic and sits in a detent at the top right corner of the body. Looks-wise, this isn’t one of Canon’s finest efforts, with angles converging all over the place, but in operation it works effortlessly well. The dial is easily gripped between thumb and forefinger and the click action is very positive. As with all Canon mode dials, you can turn it through 360 degrees so to get from Program mode to Movie mode you just keep turning, there’s no need to reverse and go back the way you came.

The seven shooting modes are clearly labelled: following the P for Program mode, there’s the new LIVE mode, Auto, Easy, SCN, from which you can menu select scene modes using the Func button, Creative filters, Discrete mode which disables the flash and audio and finally movie mode.

The PowerShot A3300 / A3200 has a built-in flash which has a quoted range of four metres at the wide angle lens setting. In the default auto mode it fires when conditions require it, but it can also be forced on or off and there’s a Slow synchro mode, all of which are selected using the right button on the control pad. There are two methods of guarding against red-eye, a physical one, which illuminates the AF assist LED mounted on the front panel just below the flash, and a software red-eye correction filter that can be applied automatically at the time of shooting or subsequently.

The flash provides fairly even illumination, though at the base 80 ISO sensitivity setting you’re limited to well under the four metre range. The flash takes around six seconds to recycle between shots which is a little on the slow side and about twice as long as the Lumix FS18 / FH5 takes.

The PowerShot A3200 / A3200 uses an NB-8L Lithium Ion battery which provides enough power for around 230 shots using the CIPA (Camera Imaging Products Association) testing standards. It’s charged outside the camera using the supplied charging unit. Remaining power is displayed on screen using a three segment battery icon which turns orange when the power is running low.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS coverage wide

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS coverage tele

5-25mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)   5-25mm at 25mm (140 mm equivalent)

The PowerShot A3300 / A3200 has a 5x optical zoom which starts at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28mm and extends to 140mm. This is a big improvement on the A3100’s 4x zoom and it’s all been added at the wide angle end of the range. To give you idea of exactly how much of a difference it makes, in addition to our usual wide and tele comparisons above, below we’ve compared the 28mm wide angle setting of the PowerShot A3300 / A3200 IS alongside the 35mm (equiv) of the older PowerShot 3100 IS. It’s clear how the new models are capturing a comfortably broader field of view.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS coverage wide

Canon PowerShot A3100 IS coverage wide

5-25mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)   6.2-24.8mm at 6.2mm (35 mm equivalent)

When you switch the power on the cover opens and the PowerShot A3300 / A2300’s three segment matt black lens barrel extends by 22mm. The camera is ready to shoot in a fraction over two seconds which, though not blisteringly fast, will be quick enough for most situations.

The zoom is smooth in both directions, though the audible whine that accompanies it could get a little irritating. We managed to nudge it through 11 discrete steps, a fair degree of control on a 5x optical zoom. The f2.8 maximum aperture is brighter than many compacts in this price bracket and at the maximum telephoto and of the range you get a respectable f5.9. The aperture closes in more or less even steps as you progress through the zoom range. Compared with the Lumix FS18 / FH5’s maximum aperture of f3.1-6.5, the PowerShot A3300 / A3200 has a small light-gathering advantage, but the one major disappointment with this lens is that you can’t zoom it during video recording, though given the motor whine that would undoubtedly be picked up by the mono mic, it’s perhaps not such a bad thing.


Canon PowerShot A3300 IS: IS off/Continuous

100% crop, 5-25mm at 25mm, 1/10, 100 ISO, Program mode, IS Off.


100% crop, 5-25mm at 25mm, 1/10, 100 ISO, Program mode, IS Continuous.

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS has optical image stabilisation that shifts the lens elements to compensate for camera shake when shooting at slow shutter speeds – it’s what the IS in the model name stands for.

IS can be turned off or enabled in one of three modes – Continuous, Shoot only and Panning. Continuous is useful if you’re having difficulty framing shots at the maximum zoom range due to camera movement, but uses a lot of power. Shoot only activates the IS with the first press of the shutter release and Panning activates the IS in the vertical plane only so you can pan to follow moving subjects without the IS interfering.


To test the image stabilisation on the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS we took a series of shots at the maximum focal length of 140mm (equivalent) in Program mode changing the shutter speed by adjusting the ISO sensitivity. The shots were made with the IS turned off and then repeated with IS in Continuous mode.

The crops above are from shots taken at 100 ISO with a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second. The crop on the left was taken with IS turned off, the one on the right with it enabled in Continuous mode. Ordinarily, at this focal length you’d expect to get a steady hand-held shot at shutter speeds of 1/140 or faster. So it’s fair to say that the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS manages between three and four stops of image stabilisation, about what we’ve come to expect from Canon’s effective IS system. Image stabilisation isn’t only good for telephoto shots of course, and combined with an f2.8 maximum aperture it makes the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS a great camera for shooting in all kinds of low-light situations.

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Like most Canon compacts, the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS has Face AiAF, which detects faces in the frame and adjusts the focus and exposure accordingly. Other compacts with the DIGIC 4 processor that we’ve tested have excelled at face detection and the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS is no exception. It’s quick to focus on faces and holds on to them once acquired. Though it becomes a little less sure of itself in low light, the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS does well at identifying faces at a distance and when turned almost to full profile. All detected faces are framed and you can switch the main subject by pressing the Face selector button on the back panel.

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS also has Smart shutter scene mode which automatically takes a series of up to 10 shots when a smile is detected. The smile threshold on the PowerShot A3200 / A3300 IS is pretty low, the merest glimmer of a smile being enough to activate it. Other Face activated options provided by the DIGIC 4 include Face self-timer, which activates the countdown when a new face enters the frame, and the self-explanatory Wink self-timer.

If a face isn’t detected in the frame the PowerShot A3200 IS / A3200 IS reverts to nine-area AF. You can also select Centre AF with the choice of two frame sizes and the option of Tracking AF. The latter worked very well in good light, but under dimmer conditions it lost the subject all too easily. Servo AF, which can be chosen independently of the AF mode, continues to adjust the focus while the shutter release is half-pressed.

The major physical difference between the PowerShot A3300 IS and A3200 IS are their screens: the former has a 3in screen, while the latter has a slightly smaller 2.7in screen, although both share the same 230k pixel resolution. Both also share a traditional 4:3 aspect ratio which means the view when taking and playing back full resolution images fills the screen. The same is true for standard resolution movies, although for HD movie shooting the 16:9 image is letterboxed with thick black bars top and bottom.

The screens on both models are bright and contrasty and easy to see in most conditions though, as with all screens, bright sunlight is their undoing. Though the difference between a 3in and 2.7in screen isn’t massive it does make a difference both when composing and playing back, particularly if you like to make use of the various playback display modes that Canon compacts offer, we’ll talk more about those shortly.

Comparing the screens of the PowerShot A3300 IS (3in) and the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 (2.7in), you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s almost nothing in it. The Lumix FS18 / FH5 screen area looks almost the same as that on the PowerShot A3300 IS, but it has a large rebate area, so to get a proper comparison you need to turn both cameras on and see the actual image area. When you do that, it’s clear that the PowerShot A3300 IS has significantly more to offer.

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS provides a menu system arranged on two tabs which is activated by pressing the Menu button at the bottom of the rear panel.

In shooting modes, the two menus list all the available Shooting settings on one tab and Camera settings on the other. Canon’s recently introduced Hints & Tips feature provides a brief explanation of the function of each setting as you select it using the control pad.

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Camera Settings mostly contains the kind of things you set once then forget, like sound options, LCD brightness and power saving settings; it’s also where you go to format cards. Shooting settings include AF mode, digital zoom, red-eye correction, display overlays, and image stabilisation.

The Func.Set button at the centre of the control pad provides quick access to a selection of frequently used settings tailored to the selected shooting mode. In Program mode it includes ISO sensitivity, white balance, colour rendering, continuous shooting, metering mode and image size and quality. It would be nice to be able to customise this menu to add, for example, AF mode and stabilisation settings – two options which are available on the Lumix FS18 / FH5. With the mode dial in the SCN position you can use the Func. Menu to select the scene mode, and likewise to select creative filters in that shooting mode. The ony other criticism we’d make of this arrangement is that the control pad on the A3300 IS / A3200 IS is almost flush mounted and we often had difficulty in depressing it suffuciently far to activate it. In playback mode the camera settings tab is joined by print settings and a slideshow menu which also includes category tagging features and some basic in-camera editing options.

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A2300 IS is a fully automatic compact. Although in Program mode it allows you set the ISO sensitivity and some other settings, exposure control is fully automatic. In Auto mode the camera uses Canon’s Intelligent Auto system which employs scene detection to figure-out what you’re trying to photograph. Canon’s scene detection determines whether there are people in the scene, whether it includes blue skies, if the subject is backlit, how close the subject is and whether it’s day or night. Scene detection on the A3300 IS / A3200 IS appears to have progressed from its predecessor in that it now also differentiates between static and moving subjects. An icon appears in the top right of the screen to tell you what the camera thinks it’s looking at – and it usually (though not always) gets it right.

Intelligent Auto is also at the heart of Easy mode – a version of Auto mode which disables virtually all user-selectable functions and turns the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS into an idiot-proof point-and-shoot automatic. In Easy mode you can use the zoom and toggle the flash between auto and off, that’s it. The camera operates in Face AiAF mode, but the face select button is disabled, as is the Func Set button, the menu button, the self-timer and everything else bar the playback button. In playback mode functions are also restricted, you can use the delete button and the Func.Set button starts a slideshow.


The mode dial on the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS has undergone a radical transformation, losing the multiple scene mode options on its predecessor and adding some new innovations. The P Auto and Easy mode positions remain. Live View Control provides results-based controls with direct feedback on the screen. Pressing the Func.Set button displays on screen sliders for exposure compensation, saturation and white balance – except they’re not called that, but simply labelled Dark/light, Neural/Vivid and Cool/warm. Using the control pad to select and adjust the sliders provides immediate visual feedback on the screen. You can, of course, achieve the same results in Program mode, but this approach is easier, more direct and intuitive.

The newly introduced Creative filters mode provides six in-camera special effects which are displayed live on the screen. The six effects are Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Poster. Some of these are self explanatory, others will be familiar from their use elsewhere – though it’s possible the craze for the tilt-shift lens effect emulated by the Miniature effect may have passed you by. The examples below give a far better idea than any mere description.

Fish-eye mode


Miniature mode


Toy Camera mode


Monochrome mode


Super Vivid mode


Poster mode


The SCN position provides menu access to 10 screen modes, many of these – Portrait, Landscape, Kids and pets, Snow and Fireworks, will be familiar and we’ve already mentioned Smart shutter. If you like to shoot at night there’s a Long exposure scene mode that sets the aperture wide open and lets you select an exposure up to 15 seconds long. The low light mode, which sets the exposure between 1600 and 6400 ISO has been upgraded from 2 to 4 Megapixel resolution.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Movie Mode

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS can shoot HD video at 1280 x 720 resolution, a step up from the VGA top quality setting of its predecessor. 720p HD video is recorded at 30fps, encoded using the H.264 codec and saved in a QuickTime wrapper, in other words as a .mov file. The longest you’ll be able to shot continuously for is ten minutes, which will give you a file around 1.5GB in size.

Standard resolution video can also be recorded at 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 sizes, also at 30fps and are encoded using the H.264 codec and saved as a .mov file. At the 640 x 480 VGA resolution you’ll get a lot more footage on a card – around 50 minutes on a 4GB card compared with about 22 minutes of HD footage.

While you can’t use the Creative filters in movie mode it does offer a Miniature effect movie mode that blurs the top and bottom of the frame and shoots at slow frame rates to speed up the action at normal playback speeds. There are three speed options – 5x, 10x and 20x, so filming for 60 seconds at each would deliver playback times of 12, 6 and 3 seconds respectively.

While it’s great to have HD video recording, the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS does have a one limitation. You can’t use the optical zoom while recording, though, as we’ve said before, given the noise level of the zoom motor, you might not want to even if you could. You can at least use the 4x digital zoom though, albeit with the loss in quality that entails, and that’s more than you can do with the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS sample video 1: outdoors, sunny, handheld panning with digital zoom

Overall HD video quality from the PowerShot A3300 IS is good and handheld stabilisation is a plus, but the digital zoom is no substitute for optical zooming.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS sample video 2: outdoors, sunny, tripod panning with digital zoom

In this tripod-mounted panning shot, the PowerShot A3300 IS runs into trouble when pointed directly into the sun as is the case with all compact that use CCD sensors.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS sample video 3: indoors, low-light, handheld panning

The PowerShot A3300 IS over-compensates a little for the outdoor light in this interior low-light panning shot.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Continuous shooting and sensor

The PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS has a quoted continuous shooting speed of 0.8 frames per second. In our tests it performed marginally slower at 0.7fps, but at speeds slower than a frame a seconds that margin is pretty irrelevant. It was at least consistent and will shoot continuously at that rate until the card fills up. Continuous shooting is one area in which the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 has the edge over the PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS. The FS18 / FH5 High speed burst mode claims 6fps, albeit at reduced resolutions. Though in our tests it failed to reach the quoted speeds it nonetheless has a good deal more to offer than the A3300 IS.

The sensor resolution is the second difference between the PowerShot A3300 IS and A3200 IS, at 16 and 14 Megapixels respectively. Files are saved as JPEGs using one of two compression settings, Fine and Normal. Maximum resolution Fine image file sizes are around 3.5MB. Shutter speeds range from 15 to 1/1600 (1 to 1/1600 in Program mode) and the ISO sensitivity range runs from 80 to 1600 ISO with a Low light scene mode extending the range from 1600 to 6400 ISO at lower resolutions.

To see how the quality of the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS and A3200 IS measure-up in practice, take a look at our real-life resolution and high ISO noise results pages, browse the sample images gallery, or skip to the chase and head straight for our verdict.

Canon A3300 IS Review

A3300 IS Summary

The Canon PowerShot A3300 fits the needs of the casual snapshooter to a tee, with a good wide-angle to fairly long telephoto reach and smart features that make getting quality photos easy. It's worth a closer look.

Imaging Resource rating

4.5 out of 5.0

Canon PowerShot A3300 ISOverview

by Mike Pasini and Stephanie BoozerReview Posted: 04/28/2011

The Canon PowerShot A3300 is based around a 16-megapixel, CCD image sensor coupled to a 5x optically-stabilized zoom lens that offers focal lengths ranging from a useful 28mm wide-angle to a moderate 140mm telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/2.8 to f/5.9 across the zoom range. Images on the Canon A3300 IS must be framed and reviewed on its 3-inch LCD panel, as there's no true optical viewfinder on this camera. The A3300 display has a resolution of 230,000 dots (~76,800 pixels, with three dots per pixel).

The Canon A3300's sensor allows sensitivities ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 1,600 equivalents, which extends to ISO 6,400 in Low Light mode. Exposures are determined using Evaluative, Center-weighted Average or Spot metering, and direct control of shutter speed or aperture isn't possible on this camera (except for a "Long Shutter" mode which lets you choose shutter speeds between 1 and 15 seconds). 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3EV increments. Seven white balance modes are available on the Canon A3300 IS - Auto, Manual, or five presets. The PowerShot A3300 IS's built-in flash strobe has a range of 13 feet at wide-angle, dropping to 6.6 feet at telephoto, and recharges in ten seconds or less.

The PowerShot A3300 offers Canon's Smart Auto mode, which intelligently selects optimal settings automatically for you, based on 32 predefined shooting situations. Ten manually selected scene modes are also available, and the camera includes Creative Filters such as Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Poster Effect. A new Discreet mode disables the camera's sound, flash and AF assist beam for shooting in quiet situations.

As well as still images, the PowerShot A3300 IS can capture video clips at 720p HD resolution (1,280x720 pixels) at 30 frames-per-second, a first for the Canon A-series. VGA (640x480) and QVGA (320x240) resolutions are also available. Miniature Effect is available during moves, which drops the frame rate to as low as 1.5 fps. The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS stores images on SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus cards, and draws power from a proprietary NB-8L rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Battery life is rated at 230 shots on a charge, to CIPA testing standards. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 high-speed data and NTSC / PAL standard definition video.

The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS began shipping from late February 2011, priced at around US$180. Available colors are grey, red, blue, silver, and pink.


Canon PowerShot A3300User Report

by Mike Pasini

It's been nearly a year since we mourned the demise of the Canon A Series digicam. You know, the PASM modes with the AA batteries in a chunky plastic box you were nearly embarrassed to pull out at a party. Except it took great pictures. And taught you the craft.

So we're over it. Really.

But when we pulled the Canon A3300 IS out of the box and turned it on, we wondered if we had really recovered. It's so small it should be sold as a keychain, but its controls are not for the arthritic and never mind modes helpful for learning photography.

Then we looked at the Canon A3300's images. It was as if we'd just bought new specs. We hadn't realized what we'd been missing. Vivid, crisp shots. Nothing at all like the texture-less things we saw from the Panasonic ZS10.

An epiphany dropped into our lap. Canon is onto something, we thought. They've attacked the cellphone dictatorship with the passive resistance of a tiny camera with big quality. History has spoken. Put your cellphone down. Pick up an A-Series camera and have some quality fun. It's easy.

Well, except for one thing.

Look and Feel. No kidding, it should come with a key ring. The Canon A3300 fits in your pocket or purse, smaller than a wallet. But it doesn't give up the big screen.

And for those of you comparing it to last year's model, the Canon A3300 has the advantage of a Zoom ring around the Shutter button, rather than a Zoom toggle on the back panel.

The controls are way too stiff for my taste. And they don't seem to break in. The good news is that the Mode dial's stiffness keeps it from easily changing while the Canon A3300 rides in a pocket. But if you hand this to a friend or relative to take your picture, I guarantee you they will press the Mode dial to trip the shutter three times before you tell them the Shutter button is further to the left.

There is no grip to speak of on the Canon A3300 (apart from three small thumb bumps on the back), but let me ask you if you've ever bothered about a grip on your cellphone? Didn't think so.

I have to say the Canon A3300 is an attractively sculpted camera. And you can get it in red, black, blue, silver, or pink.

Controls. The Canon A3300's two-tone design helps organize the controls into a hierarchy of their own. But they don't break down into black and silver (or color) controls. They break down, instead, into controls that draw your attention because they contrast with their setting and those that don't.

So within the Canon A3300's black trim on top, you have the nearly invisible Zoom ring (you feel that and don't have to look for it), the invisible Power button (which you don't need to see either), and the black Mode dial, which is large enough to notice but doesn't distract you. The contrasting control within the black trim is the Shutter button, the one thing you do want to keep an eye on.

Same scheme on the back panel where the four-way navigator arrows are black and everything else is, like the panel, silver. This is a very smart arrangement that highlights the controls you are most likely to need while keeping handy ones you expect to look for.

So what are the controls? Let's take the tour.

On top from left to right, there is a very tiny one-hole microphone just under the second three in the model name, a three-hole speaker, the slightly-recessed Power button, the Shutter button surrounded by the Zoom lever, and the Mode dial.

On the Canon A3300's back panel to the right of the 230K-pixel, 3.0-inch LCD is the four-way navigator surrounded the Function/Set button with arrows doing double duty: Up handles Rotate/EV, Right cycles through the Flash modes, Down is Delete/Self-Timer, and Left is Focus modes (Macro, Normal, Infinity).

Above the navigator are the Face Select button to cycle through the recognized faces, selecting one to focus on, and the Playback button, which functions as a Power on/off control as well (without extending the lens).

Below the navigator are the Display button to cycle through the simple display options and the Menu button. Display is also used in Smart Shutter Scene mode to select between Smile, Wink, and Face self-timer triggers. Between the navigator and the Display button there is a small green status LED.

On the right panel above the unusual but functional eyelet for the wrist strap, there's a flap covering the AV/USB port. Canon provides only a standard video out cable with the A3300.

Lens. The 5x optical zoom in the Canon A3300 ranges from 28 to 140mm in 35mm equivalents, including a good wide-angle that can capture a room and an adequate telephoto for distant landmarks. It's extended by a 4x digital zoom for a total 20x zoom range. And that range is optically stabilized as well.

That's a bump up from the 4x A3100 lens, and although it's a bit shorter than that camera's 140mm telephoto equivalent, wide-angle is more generous than the A3100's 35mm.

Focusing Range extends from 1.2 inches to infinity at wide-angle to 3.0 feet to infinity at telephoto. In Macro mode, according to Canon, wide-angle gets as close as 1.2 inches and telephoto 1.6 feet. In Smart Auto, Macro mode is one of the recognized scenes.

Maximum aperture at wide-angle is f/2.8 and f/5.9 at telephoto.

Shutter speeds range from 15 to 1/1,600 seconds, depending on the mode (Long Shutter taps into 15 seconds, otherwise it's 1.0 second). ISO ranges from 80 to 1,600 with a Low Light Scene mode ranging from 400 to 6,400.

Our lens quality tests show the Canon A3300's lens to be slightly soft in the corners at both wide-angle and telephoto, with very mild barrel distortion at wide-angle, which becomes barely perceptible at telephoto. Some moderate chromatic aberration is visible at both wide-angle and telephoto.

Modes. For a simple camera, the Canon A3300 provides quite a few modes. They are all variations on automatic shooting, though, so experimenting with them won't cost you the shot.

Program mode provides the most control over the Canon A3300. You can't adjust the shutter speed or aperture, but you have some control over white balance, ISO, and other options.

Live mode uses sliders to adjust Brightness, Color and Tone as you view the image on the LCD. Just press the Function/Set button to see the sliders and use the arrow buttons to select a slider and change its value. The LCD will instantly show you the effect.

Smart Auto analyzes the scene before setting up the camera for the shot. This is where you'll find Scenes that aren't in Scene modes (like Sunset). An icon appears in the corner of the screen to indicate the situation the camera has recognized. It does it quickly and is a boon if you are switching between normal and macro focus modes frequently, as it'll detect object distance and make the change for you. But you don't have the control over exposure you do in Program mode. Fortunately, you can still select between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

In Easy mode, which functions both in Record and Playback modes, the Canon A3300 displays instructions on the screen. In Record, for example, you just press the Shutter button (although you can turn the flash on or off, too). In Playback, pressing the Function/Set button starts a slide show.

Scene mode automatically optimizes camera settings for special situations. Scene modes include Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, Low Light, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, and Long Shutter.

Creative Filters adds special effects to your stills. Creative filters include Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect (Holga vignetting), Monochrome, Super Vivid, and Poster Effect.

Discreet mode disables the flash, camera sounds and autofocus assist light. Spy mode, in short.



Smart Auto






HD Movie. 1280x720 at 30 fps. Click to download 19.5MB MOV file.

Movie mode captures clips up to 4GB or 10 minutes in length in both HD and Standard definition. HD clips are 1,280 x 720 at 30 fps while SD clips are 640 x 480 or 320 x 240, both at 30 fps. You can also shoot with the Miniature Effect filter, at 5x (6 fps), 10x (3 fps) and 20x (1.5 fps) playback speeds. Sound is recorded monaurally and digital zoom is available (except with Miniature Effect).

Menu System. Canon fans will be instantly familiar with the company's traditional menu system. And new Canon owners won't take long to figure out the two basic rules:

  • Use the Menu button to make changes to general camera behavior for Recording, Setup, Playback and Printing.
  • Use the Function/Set button to make changes to exposure settings.









In addition, the four-way navigator arrow buttons provide a few handy shortcuts as explained in the Controls section above.

Storage & Battery. The Canon A3300 includes no built-in memory for image storage, relying entirely on the SD card in the memory card compartment. The A3300 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, and HC MMCplus cards. Choose at least a Class 4 card for HD video capture.

A 4GB card will hold about 935 Large Fine JPEGs and 22 min. 5 sec. of 1,280 x 720 30 fps video.

The Canon A3300 is powered by a compact, 3.6 volt, 740 mAh lithium-ion battery. Canon estimates about 230 shots or five hours using CIPA testing standards. I had no issues with battery life. The included charger has folded plugs so you don't need a cable or cord, perfect for travel. A $70 AC adapter kit (ACK-DC60) is also available.

Image Quality. It's gotten to the point that when I see a 14-megapixel camera, I think I'm not going to have any fun reviewing the thing. In low natural light I'm either going to get unacceptable levels of noise or Impressionist-like noise reduction that wipes out any detail.

ZS10 Image

A3300 Image

So when I saw the A3300 with its 16-megapixel sensor, I thought of taking my first vacation in 12 years. To some place without electricity.

But surprise! I really liked the images the A3300 brought home. They had a level of detail I could just rub my nose in. Or, less dramatically, just pixel peep. It's not perfect, because the Canon A3300 does struggle to balance noise suppression against detail, but it does a better job than most of its higher-priced competition. But as a CCD sensor, it's not a surprise to see it doing better than most CMOS designs.

The comparison above is a little unfair because the Panasonic ZS10 is shot in partial sun while the A3300 is shot in full sunlight, increasing the overall contrast. But you can still get the idea of the difference between the two when you see the ZS10's more brushstroke-like rendering of the grass in the distance--low contrast detail--compared to the Canon A3300's rendering, which looks more like a photograph than a painting. Remember that the Canon A3300 costs $220 less than the Panasonic ZS10 and has two-million more--and therefore smaller--pixels, so it's clear that the A3300's CCD is better able to control detail despite its higher resolution.

Shooting. OK, it isn't really small enough to be a keychain, but the Canon A3300 is compact enough to fit somewhere anytime you leave the house. And because it packs such wonderful image quality along, you won't want to leave it behind.

I shot with the Canon A3300 in a variety of situations: indoors, outdoors, sun, shade, into the sun, sunset store windows at night, black and white, flowers in macro. It handled everything with ease.

Zoom Range. 28mm to 140mm to 4x digital zoom.

As usual, I stuck with Program but I tried Live and used Smart Auto quite a bit (once I realized it would slip into Macro mode for me).

But what I didn't do, for the most part, was any EV adjustment or ISO fiddling. I left that to the Canon A3300 and it handled it very well.

There is a series of gallery shots taken at -0.3 EV but that's a modest change in what were unusual circumstances. It saved me darkening them a bit in image editing software, however.

And the one Low Light shot in the gallery may not be a great shot but color was accurate (not washed out) and detail sufficient if not sharp. I wouldn't hesitate to shift into Low Light.

The image stabilizer, though, means you don't have to resort to that unless there's practically no light. There are two handheld 1/30 second shots in the Gallery, one at night of a store window and one of an interior, that are sharp at low ISOs. That shutter speed may not seem impressive, but with such a light, small camera, I'd expect problems (from my own shooting) under 1/60 second.

Under ideal lighting, you really can enjoy the detail this 16-megapixel sensor captures. Two examples in the gallery stand out. The first is the row of logs, particularly in comparison to the Panasonic ZS10 capture. And the second is the macro shot of a seed pod.

Canon claims the A-Series is now the Fun and Easy camera line-up. And it was both of those for me.

But the A-Series used to be the one to pick if you had ambitions to be a photographer and needed an inexpensive student model. Canon stuffed the previous year's technology into a nice affordable bundle and gave you complete control over it. The Canon A3300 isn't that A-Series.

This is the A-Series that will make you forget your cellphone. It takes much better pictures just as easily (and without buying camera apps).

So what's the "one thing" I warned about in the introduction?

It's still easier to share your images and video with a cellphone than with a digicam like the Canon A3300. There's no Share button on the A3300 as there is with some Kodak cameras.

But there's a better solution to that problem than a Kodak. It's a WiFi Eye-Fi SD card, which instantly turns the Canon A3300 into an image and video sharing monster, assuming you can tap into a WiFi router.

Attractive, simple, and inexpensive, the Canon A3300 has a good quality 16-megapixel sensor, a 5x lens, and turns out good quality images, and we had a good time with it. Be sure to look over the lens and image quality data below and our Pro/Con and Conclusion below!


Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Lens Quality

Wide: Sharp at center

Wide: Soft at upper left

Tele: Sharp at center

Tele: Mild blurring, upper left corner

Sharpness: The wide-angle end of the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS' zoom shows a moderate amount of blurring in the top corners of the frame (strongest at top left) compared to what we see at center, though blurring doesn't extend far into the image area. At telephoto, the difference in sharpness between center and the corners isn't as strong, though the mild blurring that is present extends fairly far into the main image area.

Wide: Low barrel distortion; hardly noticeable

Tele: A tiny amount of barrel distortion, though barely visible

Geometric Distortion: There is actually only a little barrel distortion at wide-angle (0.3%), and almost no perceptible distortion (0.1% barrel) at telephoto. The PowerShot A3300 IS' processor is definitely at work here to eliminate geometric distortion.

Wide: Moderate but bright

Tele: High, less bright

Chromatic Aberration: Chromatic aberration at wide-angle is moderate in terms of pixel count, though pixels are fairly bright. Telephoto, however, shows the opposite, with more visible pixels but less bright coloration.


Macro with Flash

Macro: The Canon PowerShot A3300's Macro mode captures a fairly sharp image with strong detail, though blurring is strong around the corners and edges of the frame (a common limitation among consumer digital cameras in macro mode). Minimum coverage area is 1.69 x 1.27 inches (43 x 32mm), which is good. The camera's flash produced an uneven exposure, with a strong hot spot in the upper left and a dark shadow at lower right from the lens. So stick to external lighting for your closest macro shots.


Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Viewfinder Accuracy

Wide: LCD Monitor

Tele: LCD Monitor

Viewfinder Accuracy: The Canon PowerShot A3300's LCD monitor showed about 100% coverage accuracy at wide-angle and at telephoto, which is excellent.


Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Image Quality

Color: The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS produced very good color, with only a small amount of oversaturation in bright reds, some greens, and some bright blues. Yellows are undersaturated just a tad, but overall saturation looks natural and pleasing. In terms of hue accuracy, the A3300 IS also performs better than average, though cyans are pushed toward blue, and bright yellows are nudged toward green. Both dark and light skintones are fairly accurate. Overall, very good performance.

Auto WB:Good, though slightly red

Incandescent WB:Too pink


Manual WB:Very good

Incandescent: Manual white balance handled our incandescent lighting best overall, though the Auto setting also produced better results than average (though just the littlest bit red). The Incandescent setting came out quite pink.

Horizontal: 2,000~2,100 lines

Vertical: 2,000 lines

Resolution: Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 2,000, arguably 2,100, lines per picture height horizontally, and to about 2,000 lines vertically. Extinction of the pattern occurred at around 2,800 lines per picture height.

Wide: Fairly bright

Tele: Good

Auto Flash

Flash: Our manufacturer-specified testing (shown at right) shows fairly bright results at the rated distance of 13 feet, though the A3300 IS raised ISO to 400 to achieve this. The telephoto test came out pretty good at 6.5 feet, though ISO was again increased to 400.

Auto flash produced bright results in our indoor portrait scene, retaining some of the ambient light by using a slower shutter speed of 1/15 second, and raising ISO to 250. The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS' image stabilization should help with the slower shutter speed, but any movement of the subject could be problematic at this shutter speed. Shot taken at ~5 feet (~1.5m) on a stable tripod.

ISO: Noise and Detail: Detail is already soft at ISO 80, due to some visible luminance and chroma noise pixels. Softness increases from there, with noise pixels becoming more pronounced. By ISO 1,600 fine detail is all but gone. See Printed Results below for more on how this affects printed images.

Print Quality: Prints from the Canon A3300 are pretty good, better than they'd seem to be based on the 100% crops above. But they're still not as big as you'd expect a 16-megapixel sensor to achieve, something we're seeing more. But it's not all bad news:

ISO 80 and 100 shots print well at 13x19 inches, but they're too soft for 16x24 and 20x30. At 13x19, low-contrast areas are still somewhat soft, especially among reds, thanks to noise suppression, but it's pretty good for a $180 digital camera.

ISO 200 shots are too soft for 13x19, but look better at 11x14.

ISO 400 images are again far too soft for 11x14, but are good at 8x10, except for those low-contrast red areas, which are quite blurry.

ISO 800 images are actually usable at 8x10 but sharpen up at 5x7.

ISO 1,600 shots are also pretty good at 5x7, but most will be happier with 4x6.

Overall it's a good performance for a low-cost pocket camera, but don't be too impressed by the 16-megapixel number, because thanks to the necessary anti-noise processing, it's only about as good as a 12-megapixel camera.


Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Performance

Startup Time: The Canon A3300 takes 2.2 seconds to power on and take a shot. That's on the fast side of average for its class.

Shutter Lag: Full autofocus shutter lag is average, at 0.55 second at wide-angle and 0.59 second at full telephoto. Prefocused shutter lag is 0.081 second, not the fastest out there, but still pretty quick.

Cycle Time: Cycle time is sluggish, capturing a frame every 2.92 seconds in single-shot mode. Canon rates the A3300's full-resolution continuous mode at 0.8 frames per second, also slow.

Flash Recycle: The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS' flash recycles in about 7.6 seconds after a full-power discharge, on the slow side.

Low Light AF: The camera's AF system was able to focus down to just above the 1/8 foot-candle light level without AF assist enabled, though the camera was able to focus in complete darkness with the AF assist lamp enabled.

USB Transfer Speed: Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon PowerShot A3300's download speeds are moderately fast. We measured 6,102 KBytes/sec.


In the Box

The retail box for the A3300 includes:

  • PowerShot A3300 IS camera
  • Battery pack (NB-8L)
  • Battery charger (CB-2LA)
  • Wrist strap (WS-800)
  • AV cable (AVC-400)
  • USB cable (IFC-400PCU)
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM


Recommended Accessories

  • Extra battery pack for extended outings
  • Protective case
  • Large capacity, high-speed SDHC/SDXC memory card. 4 to 8GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity.


Canon PowerShot A3300 Conclusion

Pro: Con:
  • Attractive design
  • 16-megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x zoom lens ranges from 28-140mm
  • Long shutter mode
  • Smart Auto mode intelligently selects optimal scene mode for your situation
  • Creative filters for fun effects
  • Simple controls
  • HD movie recording
  • Better detail than CMOS alternative
  • Very little geometric distortion
  • Good color
  • Auto white balance handles incandescent lighting well
  • Low ISO shots look good printed as big as 13x19 inches; even ISO 1,600 shots make a decent 4x6
  • Fast prefocused shutter lag
  • Below average battery life (230 shots)
  • 16-megapixel sensor resolves equivalent to a 12-megapixel sensor thanks to noise suppression
  • No ASM exposure modes
  • Only digital zoom during movies
  • Slightly soft corners at wide-angle
  • Slow shot-to-shot cycle time of almost 3 seconds
  • Slow flash recycle
  • No HDMI output (though not a surprise at this price point)


The Canon PowerShot A3300 is one of those cameras your expert buddy (um, like me) would lead you right past at the camera counter of the BigBuy Store. It's not that it's unattractive (it's nicely sculpted, actually), but it's simple. Just a lens with a Shutter button, a Mode dial, controls and an LCD.

In fact, all the interesting things about the Canon A3300 are inside. A decent zoom range for the good 16-megapixel images, optical stabilization, 720p HD video, an intelligent Auto mode, a Live view of exposure adjustments, and fun creative filters.

I wish the controls were not as stiff but I got used to them. What I didn't get used to was the gorgeous images. The little Canon A3300 captures good quality images with better detail than most digital cameras of this resolution deliver, with accurate color. Print quality was good at 13x19 inches from ISO 80 and 100 images, which is considerably larger than most Canon A3300 buyers will ever print, so I think we're safe saying that though 16-megapixels doesn't mean as much as it would seem, it's still enough to produce pretty big prints, and good quality 4x6-inch prints from every ISO offered. We have no qualms giving the Canon A3300 a Dave's Pick.


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Canon PowerShot A3300 IS / A3200 IS - Canon PowerShot A3300 IS verdict -


The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS is a 16 Megapixel compact with a 3 inch LCD screen and a 5x stabilised optical zoom lens. It sits at the top of Canon’s A series compact range which combines point-and-shoot auto exposure modes with ease of use features like scene detection, face detection, Smart shutter and a range of scene modes.

The technology works in practice too. There may be little for manual control enthusiasts, but left to figure everything out by itself in auto, the A3300 IS handles confidently and delivers good results.

Canon has added some innovative new features like results-based Live View Control, Creative filters and discrete mode and, for the first time on A series models, there’s a 720p HD video mode in addition to standard resolution recording. Annoyingly there’s still no optical zoom when filming, but with a relatively noisy zoom motor, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Compared to Canon PowerShot A3200 IS


The PowerShot A3200 IS (unavailable in some regions) is a slightly lower-end version of the A3300 IS that’s identical in all but two details. First, it has a lower resolution 14.1 megapixel sensor and secondly, a slightly smaller 2.7 inch LCD screen. The first of these is something that you might easily live without. Indeed, unless you plan to make a lot of A2 sized prints the extra resolution isn’t likely to be of any use.

The screen is a different matter. There’s no denying that having a larger screen on which to compose and review shots makes the whole business of picture taking that much easier and more pleasurable. Having said that, if you’re on a tight budget it’s something you might be prepared to compromise on.

Lastly there’s the question of image quality. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the PowerShot A3300 IS outperforms its lower reolution sibling in terms of image quality. In our outdoor resolutuon tests the crops from the PowerShot A3300 IS were better than those from the PowerShot A3200 IS. Unless you’re making big prints or heavily cropping images any quality differences are likely to be marginal though, so it’s really a straightforward trade off – a smaller screen and 2 million fewer pixels for a lower price tag.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you don’t need the big print capability that a large Megapixel count provides and can live without HD video the 12.1 Megapixel PowerShot A3100 IS is still available and now represents very good value for money. See our Canon PowerShot A3100 IS review for more details.

Compared to Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5


The Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 shares the same 16.1 Megapixel count as the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS, can also shoot 720p HD video and the two cameras are similarly priced. So much for the similarities, what sets them apart?

The FS18 / FH5 is a slimmer, more compact model – at only 19mm it’s a full 5mm slimmer than the PowerShot A3300 IS and it’s also significantly lighter. So if you’re looking for a compact that you can easily slip into you trouser pocket the FS18 / FH5 will be a better fit.

One reason the FS18 / FH5 is smaller is that it has a 4x (28-112mm) zoom compared with A3300’s 5x (28-140mm) zoom, giving them the same wide-angle coverage, but a longer reach to the Canon. Both cameras have optical image stabilisation, but neither can zoom during video recording, though the PowerShot A3300 can at least use its digital zoom. The FS18 / FH5 also has a smaller 2.7 inch LCD screen compared to the 3 inch screen on the PowerShot A3300 IS.

Finally there’s handling to consider. Though both cameras hve a variety of auto shooting modes and quick access menus, the PowerShot A3300 IS outdoes the Panasonic Lumix FS18 / FH5 in offering a wider range of fun and ease of use features. Though it has a wider range of scene modes, the FS18 / FH5 can’t compete on features like Easy shooting mode, Live View Control, Creative filters and Smart shutter options like wink and Face self-timer.

See our upcoming Panasonic Lumix DMC FS18 / FH5 review for more details.

Canon PowerShot A3300 IS final verdict.

The Canon PowerShot A3300 IS is Canon’s top of the range PowerShot A-series camera. Price-wise, it occupies the higher-end of the budget compact market and is designed to appeal to people looking for a point-and-shoot camera that offers a little bit extra while at the same time providing excellent value for money. The extra here isn’t necessarily more advanced operation or manual control, but something that adds to the picture-taking experience, making it easier, more enjoyable and producing better results.

By introducing new features like Creative filters and Live View control, Canon has succeeded admirably. With these new features, the PowerShot A3300 IS genuinely brings something fresh to point-and-shoot photography. In addition, there are other tangible improvements including a wider zoom range, HD video and a higher resolution sensor. It all adds up to a very compelling point-and-shoot compact.

Good points5x stabilised optical zoom.28mm equivalent wide angle.Creative filters and Live View Control.720p HD video.

Bad pointsDifficult to operate control pad.No optical zoom on video.No HDMI port.Poor continuous shooting performance.

Scores(relative to 2011 compacts)

Build quality: Image quality: Handling: Specification: Value:


17 / 2016 / 2017 / 2016 / 2017 / 20


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