Canon Powershot A2100 IS Brief Review


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  • 12 megapixels
  • Movie mode with sound (60 minutes / 4GB)
  • JPEG file format
  • 6x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • Lens-shift image stabilization
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 3.0-inch LCD display
  • Secure Digital memory card storage
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2009-04-01
  • Final Grade: 82 4.1 Star Rating: Recommended

Canon Powershot A2100 IS Review
The flagship Canon A2100 IS is a nice point-and-shoot digital camera intended for novice or beginner users, and updates the A-series design to make for a more compact, user-friendly camera. <B>By Michael Patrick Brady</B>
By , Last updated on: 8/21/2014

The Canon A-series has evolved quite a bit in the last few years. A-series cameras have long been intended for casual or novice users, with solid automatic functions and a little opportunity for adjustment should the photographer grow bolder and more adventurous over time. That hasn't changed. What has changed is the form factor and shape. The A-series has grown sleeker, more stylish, and more compact. It's still not completely pocket friendly, but it has come a long way.

The Canon Powershot A2100 IS is the current top-of-the-line A-series digital camera, their flagship point-and-shoot model, which blends accessible features with an affordable price tag. It's a decent camera, user-friendly for beginners and those who want quick-and-easy photography on the go.

The A2100 IS has a 12.1-megapixel sensor and a 6x image stabilized optical zoom lens. It's primarily an automatic camera, and has 'intelligent auto' capabilities.

Design: A Subtle Slant

The A-series was known for the bump grip, a rounded protrusion on the right hand side of the camera that made for a handy place to grasp. It was also large and kind of annoying at times, preventing you from putting the camera in a pocket without some degree of difficulty. It also housed the AA batteries; previous A-series models required four AAs, which required a lot of room. The A2100 still uses AA batteries, but only two of them, which reduces the size of the camera. The A2100 loses the bump grip, and replaces it with a gradual sliding slant that is wider on the ride side, where the batteries are, and very slim, almost ultracompact slim, on the left-hand side. The wide right-side is still comfortable enough to grip, not as steady as the old bump grip was, but the trade off is definitely worth it.

The top of the camera is fairly standard: a large, responsive zoom lever, on-off button, and the mode dial. The mode dial is rather thick and locks tightly into place when you select a mode. The downside is that its solid locking makes it a little hard to turn and change modes, especially on the fly. Changes must be made deliberately and carefully. The back of the camera is occupied by a large, 3-inch LCD display and the standard array of buttons providing access to playback, menus, 'Face Select' mode, and the basics like flash, macro, timer, and white balance. The layout is nice, intuitive, and the buttons are kept very close to the body of the camera. They don't stick out and are easy to use.

The body is made of plastic and is lightweight. Still, it feels solidly built and durable.

Performance: Good Images

The Canon A2100 IS uses the DIGIC IV image processor, which Canon claims to be faster and more efficient than previous versions. This processor is present in most newer Canon models and the A2100's 12-megapixel sensor puts it in league with the SX200 IS or the SD780 IS.

The image quality of photos taken with the A2100 IS was good. Nothing mind blowing, but definitely a satisfactory experience. As you can see in the sample photos provided with this review, colors are bright and clear, and the images look very crisp. Macro mode, as seen in the photograph with the fire hydrant, is very good, capable of capturing slight details and nuances that might otherwise be missed.

The intelligent auto mode on the A2100 IS was helpful, but did not seem as responsive or quick-to-action as on other cameras that have this feature, like the Panasonic FS15 or Sony W290. Face-detection auto focus is responsive and can grab most faces head-on, but the 'Face Select' mode, which allows you to specify one face to track around a scene, was difficult to use and its value was not ever fully apparent.

All in all, the A2100 IS performs like you'd expect a Canon digital camera to perform. It's solid, strong, and consistently good. Since it's a camera aimed at beginners, it's not outfitted with lots of bells and whistles, it's designed to be appealing, approachable and easy-to-use.

Conclusion: A Fine Choice for Novices

Novice photographers who simply wish to take simple shots of their families or friends will enjoy the simplicity of the A2100 IS. It's perfect for snapping memories of birthday parties, vacations, or other special events, as it lets you let the camera do all the work and not have to worry about wide variations in quality.

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LG Reviews

Top quality optics, dependability, and convenience of use are just some of the reasons that customers choose Canon digital cameras. One of the top makers of digital cameras in the world today, Canon has attained a reputation for creating some of the best digital cameras and digital SLRs available on the market. Canon cameras are inevitably on the camera wish list of any consumer that desires a high quality camera.

Canon is not generally a cheap brand by any means. In spite of this, Canon digital cameras have achieved the best buy status. This proves that you get great value for the extra money. In the past few years, Canon has begun releasing several types that are more inexpensive, without cutting quality.

Canon cameras come in two main types—the smallest is the Powershot line, compact, point-and-shoot cameras that still maintain a reasonable level of image quality. Canon Powershot cameras range from budget point-and-shoots like the ELPH 115 to an advanced compact with a 1.5” sensor, the G1X Mark II. Typically, if you are going to buy a point-and-shoot on nothing but the reputation of the brand, Canon is a pretty safe bet.

The second type of Canon camera is the EOS line—the DSLRs. The EOS line has a solid reputation as well for performance across the board, including video. Canon has a wide range of options available too, from top of the line full frame professional models to small, entry-level DSLRs.

While other manufacturers are concentrating on mirrorless models and packing more power into smaller cameras, Canon doesn't seem to be following that trend exactly. They've released some smaller DSLRs like the SL1, but haven't been putting time into mirrorless models. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal opinion, but the models that are out there are, more often than not, solid performers.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.