Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Review

Review Date : Fri, 8 May 2009

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Canon A2100 IS product image
Canon A2100 IS product image Canon A2100 IS product image Canon A2100 IS product image Canon A2100 IS product image

The Canon PowerShot A2100 IS - with 6x optical zoom and Image Stabilisation, is Canon's new compact snapper the ideal pocketable point and shoot? The What Digital Camera Canon A2100 IS review investigates...

Pros: Image Stabilisation, 3in screen, super close-up macro mode, face detection
Cons: Screen views poorly from many angles, no full manual mode, body on the chunky side, main menu is cumbersome

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Review

The Canon PowerShot A2100 IS is a 6x optical zoom (36-216mm as 35mm equivalent), 12.1 megapixel, image-stabilised compact camera – part of the Canon PowerShot A-series of cameras, ideal for your point and shoot photos. If you’re looking for a point and shoot compact camera that’s easy to pick straight up and shoot with then the Canon PowerShot A2100 IS is one of many compacts that may make its way onto your shortlist. But what, if anything, does the A2100 IS have to offer that’s above and beyond the generally high standard of other compact cameras out there? The What Digital Camera Canon A2100 IS review investigates…

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS - Features

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS review sample image

 The PowerShot A2100 IS comes equipped with a 6x optical zoom that, while not particularly wide angle, has an equivalent zoom range of 36-216mm (as a 35mm equivalent). From portraits to mid-level zoom the A2100 IS offers a good range; at least the kind of ‘normal’ range that will be of use for many a situation. While not pushing to superzoom standards, the A2100 IS does offer a more extensive range than many of the 3x or 4x optical zoom compacts on the market – perhaps a notable sale point if you’re looking for that extra bit of zoom without going overboard.

Image Stabilisation – as the ‘IS’ in the PowerShot A2100 IS title stands for – is the order of the day, offering lens shift in order to help correct for camera shake and keep images sharp. Playback on the A2100 IS’s 3in 230K dot LCD screen provides an ample size for viewing your shots, too.

Exposure modes don’t come in huge abundance, but all the basics are there – from options to shoot portraits through to landscapes and even a movie mode, the Canon AS2100 only lacks a fully manual mode. In its defence, however, the Program mode (P) does allow for manual ISO, white balance, metering and colour mode controls – a fairly extensive list that permits ample creative control for an entry level compact.


Canon PowerShot A2100 IS - Design

The Canon PowerShot A2100 IS is a simple fare of boxy body dressed in a black finish. It feels weighty in the hand – further added to by the inclusion of AA batteries. While some may prefer a heavy feel, as it does feel sturdy, it does feel bulkier than many other compacts on the market.

The back of the A2100 IS is dominated by its 3in screen, with a standard d-pad to the right for controls. Additional buttons for display, face detection, playback, main menu and quick print also feature. Scene modes are quickly accessed from the thumbwheel on top of the camera, which, judging from the A2100 IS’s other poor main menu system, is an effective relief to select the desired shooting modes.



The Program mode (P) is a great feature that provides a number of additional controls – ISO, white balance, colour modes, metering, continuous shooting – via on screen menu control. Here the control is much more intuitive and easy to use. Flash, macro, exposure compensation and self-timer are still accessible from this point too, meaning that a wide range of creative controls can take place to get the shot you want – be that in black and white, sepia toned, or one of many other tinted colours.


The Canon PowerShot A2100 IS is a good all-rounder. With a broad zoom range, Image Stabilisation and basic feature set, it's an ideal contender for the point and shoot entry level market. Though it does come at a little bit of a raised asking price and ? as much as this is consistent with Canon's recession-based price hikes ? it's worth shopping around for a better price. The A2100's macro mode is the shiniest gem of them all meaning that, realistically, you'll be able to shoot all manner of photos quite happily. Be that quirky close-ups, posed portraits or zoomed-in 200mm shots to pick out your subject. Perhaps the image quality drags its heels a little, but for everyday use the PowerShot A2100 IS, in general, ticks the boxes.

Compact Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed



Design 15/20
Image Quality 15/20
Performance 18/20
Value 15/20
Features 16/20
Overall Score 79%