Expert Review of Canon PowerShot A3300 IS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Silver
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS is a budget device, typically in a simple retro look which features 10 Megapixel, the best news is that it is a superzoom and features 10x image stabilised optical zoom lens along with a big 3 inch screen. Majorly similar to its predecessor, Canon PowerShot SX110 IS, this device adds up a single Megapixel to the resolution and also accompanies some other good features like Scene recognition and Face self-timer, both courtesy of Canon's latest DIGIC 4 processor. One can easily shoot a landscaping view in this device with the 10x optical zoom with a 360mm 35mm equivalent maximum range, a maximum aperture maximum aperture of f2.8-4.3 and effective optical image stabilisation allow you to make the most of this even in poor light. At the wide angle end of the range though, Canon PowerShot SX120 IS isn't such a hot panorama and at the widest focal length of 36mm (35mm equivalent) you'll often find yourself with your back to the wall. Canon PowerShot A3300 IS provides a wide range of exposure control settings which makes it easily a suitable choice for more casual photographers as well as the professional bodies. . At one end of the scale it offers Easy and Program AE modes with fully automatic exposure control, scene recognition and improved face recognition to produce great results in almost any situation. The camera also offers manual focussing.
Design and Build Quality
The styling of this device remains consistent and doesn’t change drastically from its predecessor, Canon PowerShot A3300 IS . With the dimensions of 111mm x 70mm x 45mm the camera is really comfortable to hold in the hand with a moulded grip on the front right for your fingers and a raised lip on the rear edge for thumb support. The black plastic finish looks and feels a little cheap though and the plastic mode dial, which has a less than positive click action, does little to dispel that impression. Despite that the camera seems likes it is well engineered to cope up with any kind of rattles and shakes. In the closed position, the manually activated flash unit sits flush with the top panel and protrudes a short distance above the lens. In the open position its a good distance above the lens, reducing the potential for red-eye. The device has one up over its arch rivals, an integral lens cover which opens and covers automatically with power on and off so you don’t really have to worry about any kind of dirt sans scratches.
Focus and Face Detection
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS features several autofocus modes which include face detection. For examply in the Face AiAF mode, which can be selected using a dedicated button which lies on the rear panel, the camera locks onto and tracks up to 35 faces. Canon's DIGIC 4 processor has improved on the face recognition of earlier models and in good light at closer distances Canon PowerShot A3300 IS quickly identifies and tracks faces even when turned almost to full profile. When face detection isn't in operation the Canon PowerShot A3300 IS uses a centre frame auto focusing system with the choice of two frame sizes, normal and small. An AF-Point Zoom feature magnifies the centre frame or main subject's face for a more accurate checking of the focus. You can lock the focus for subsequent shots by pressing the right (manual focus / macro) button.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS has a 10x optical zoom lens with a range of 6mm to 60mm, which varies from 35mm equivalent 36mm to 35mm equivalent 360mm. That makes it a heavy hitter at the telephoto end. Of course there's going to be a price to pay for that and it's at the other end of the range. At 36mm, Canon PowerShot SX120's maximum wide angle setting really only just qualifies for the name. In the off position Canon PowerShot SX120 IS's lens barrel protrudes 13mm from the body and when you power-up the camera, the lens extends to 47mm and is ready for action in just under two seconds. The zoom action is smooth and swift, if a little on the noisy side, taking around two seconds to cover the entire range. The rocker action is precise and positive and it's possible to jog it through 22 discrete steps in either direction, although the steps when zooming-out took longer and were a little clunkier than zooming-in. With a maximum aperture of f2.8, reducing to f4.3 at the maximum zoom setting, the SX120 IS is a good low-light performer. It's low light shooting capabilities are extended using Canon's optical image stabilisation to steady the image and reduce the potential for blurred photos caused by camera shake.
Screen and Menus
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS contains the similar 3 inch screen which sports 230,000 dot pixels at a LCD panel, the same as its predecessor. The screen is just like any other screen from Canon PowerShot series with good high contrast it is easy to see outdoors in almost any condition. In capture mode the A3300 IS's menu system is displayed by pressing the menu button at the bottom of the rear panel. The menu is divided onto two tabs, one of which features settings you're unlikely to need to change that often – LCD brightness, date and time, language settings and the like. This tab is also where you'll find card formatting.
A letdown, the power derived comes from pathetic twin AA batteries which die in like 200 shots, to add fuel to the fire, disposable alkaline cells are provided with the device, mostly which are replaced by NiMH rechargeable batteries which last for 450 shots are can be charged over and over for an average 500 times. The upside of using AA's is it's relatively inexpensive to carry several sets and, in an emergency, it's usually easy to get hold of replacements. On the other side of the balance sheet, they weigh a little more than a proprietary Li-ion battery and, as we've seen there can be performance issues with flash.
Canon PowerShot A3300 IS’s another letdown comes here, it can shoot videos just in VGA quality i.e 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second. Options available are 320 x 240 pixel size and also 640 xx 480 LP setting, the speciality of this is that it pushes a higher compression in the devie which allows it to fit double the length of the footage into the same space as the standard compression VGA mode. The maximum length is one hour or when the file reaches 4GB - whichever happens first.
The heart of Canon PowerShot A3300 IS, like any other Point and Shoot camera is its sensor which is a CCD with dimensions 1/2.5 inch, features are 10 Megapixels and sensitivity range of 80 to 1600 ISO with a 3200 ISO scene preset operating at a greatly-reduced resolution of two Megapixels. You can shoot JPEG images with two levels of compression – normal and fine – but there's no Raw or Super-fine options.
Good low light performance
Integral lens cover
Full Manual control over exposures
Poor wide angle coverage (36mm equiv)
Flash needs to be manually raised
Noisy zoom motor
No HD video nor optical zoom when filming