Good things come in small sizes.
Despite the recent rise in popularity of DSLRs, thanks to lower entry prices and higher adoption rates, Point and Shoot cameras still reign supreme in the worldwide consumer marketplace. The reasons are simple enough: point and shoot cameras are cheap, small and get fairly decent as technology improves, but most of all they’re really easy to use.
As such, we’ll be looking at two of Canon’s newest offerings for the point and shoot market, the IXUS 105 and the PowerShot A3100 IS released earlier this year. Both the cameras cost about the same with the IXUS 105 costing AED 749 ($204) and the PowerShot A3100 IS costing AED 649 ($177). Both the cameras are also similar in terms of features as well, supporting 12.1 megapixels with 4x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilizer. ISO levels go up to 1600 and movies are recorded at the age old standard of 640×480 at 30fps. The captured images show up on a 2.7” LCD, recorded on SDHC cards. The Smart Auto mode on both the cameras selects from 18 preset modes, giving you the most optimal capturing mode depending on the situation.
The big difference between the two is that the IXUS 105 uses the new DIGIC 4 processor, while the PowerShot A3100 IS still rolls on with the DIGIC III chip inside. The lens on the IXUS 105 comes in the shape of a 5 – 20mm F/2.8 – 5.9, giving a nice 28mm wide-angle view; the PowerShot A3100 IS is 6.2 – 24.8mm lens with F/2.7 – 5.6. Beyond just a technical standpoint, the IXUS 105 has an upper hand on the PowerShot A3100 IS because it looks incredibly sexy compared to the boxy looks of the latter.
The basic layout of the IXUS 105 is better than the PowerShot A3100 IS only because the Zoom button is conveniently located on the shutter button. On the other hand, the PowerShot A3100 IS provides a full control wheel for all the various modes available, something the IXUS 105 doesn’t have at all since it’s designed with complete ease of use in mind. You might also notice that there are no more viewfinders built-in carrying over from the previous models; the big 2.7” LCDs at the back do a decent enough job.