The PowerShot A3100 IS, priced at $179.99, comes in red, silver, and the blue shown here, each with a silver panel on the side. The small dot above and to the left of the lens is the mono microphone; the larger dot is the self-timer indicator lamp.
A colorful, conservative-looking camera
The 2.7-inch 230,000-dot LCD is framed by a black bezel. The lens zoom toggle also controls zoom levels during playback. There's a dedicated button to start face detection mode while shooting (with the smiley icon), another to move into playback mode. Each leaf on the four-way controller also provides direct access to key camera functions, a useful strategy on a small camera body without a lot of room for extra controls. The DISP button toggles different screen display layouts.
Learn the four-way controller icons and gain direct access to key record and playback functions
The right side of the camera has a single port, covered by a tethered door, that's used for both data and AV connections, along with the connecting point for the wrist strap.
The unadorned left side
I/O port and wrist strap connector
The top of the camera maintains the two-tone theme. It's concave in the center, which provides a nice little resting place for your left index finger. The small speaker (the line of three dots) is far enough from the edge so it won't be covered accidentally, and the shutter is placed well for convenient access. Having the mode dial on the far outer edge also works nicely, with a knurled outer edge that's makes it easy to turn with the side of yourfinger.
The camera top has a rounded indent.
The latched battery / memory card compartment is on the left. The plastic tripod socket feels a bit flimsy: we'd be careful not to overtighten and strip the threads.
Beware the plastic tripod socket.