Conclusion: The Canon PowerShot S3 IS took the features of the S2 IS and added a few more, enlarged the LCD and painted the body black. Now this black colored ultra-zoom has 6 megapixels, 12x optical zoom, a rotating 2 inch LCD and some other nice features. I'll start with the nice 12x optical zoom lens with an optical image stabilizer. This USM driven lens allows from precise and silent zooming.
Pros: Nice 12x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, Excellent battery life, Very good LCD/EVF visibility, Full manual controls with many accessories, Unlimited, fast continuous shooting, Fast performance, Live histogram; looks quite nice too, Excellent 0 cm super macro mode, 2 shortcuts to functions; button and place on mode dial, VGA 30 FPS movie mode with many advanced options, Very good image quality
Cons: Expensive - 6MP ultra-zooms cost less and $499 is for 7MP ultra-zooms; cost of getting rechargeable batteries and large memory card adds on to the already expensive price, "Tiny" 2 inch LCD; low LCD and EVF resolutions, No jog dial, no zoom/focus rings, Popup flash is manually raised; plastic tripod mount cracks easily, Manual shutter speed use restrictions and smallest selectable aperture is only f8, Overall performance could be faster and better; especially autofocu...
Excerpt: Canon PowerShot S3 IS was introduced at the Photo Marketing Association Trade Show in February 2006. The Canon S3 has some great features that make it the camera of the year: a 12x optical zoom lens to go with its 6.1-megapixel , 1/2.5-inch CCD and Digic II image processor, also, image stabilization . Just like on the S2, the S3’s lens cap seems to come off pretty easily.
Conclusion: Where the S2 IS offered a huge performance leap over its predecessor, the S3 IS is in reality a minor upgrade, and with good reason; there was a lot less that needed improvement. Aside from the newer sensor, the welcome addition of a direct ISO button, sports mode and marginally bigger screen, the biggest change is the paint job, which has produced a camera that looks a lot less toy-like than the S2 IS.There is a slight improvement in image quality; a bit more resolution...
Pros: Good resolution, Good color, good exposure, generally accurate focus, 12x zoom offers excellent 36-432mm range, Image stabilization works well (and can be used in movie mode), Packed with features, Very quiet, Solid construction and good handling, Fast and responsive, Stunning movie mode with high quality stereo sound, Impressive continuous (burst) shooting, 'Punchy' results straight out of the camera, Clean images at lower ISO settings, Impressively little distortion...
Cons: Occasional focus hunting at the telephoto end of the zoom in low light, ISO 800 mode is too noisy to be really useful, ISO 200 noise reduction too strong, No rechargeable batteries supplied in the box, Occasional highlight clipping due to over exposure of contrasty scenes, Viewfinder and screen can be difficult to see in very bright conditions, Images slightly soft, Chromatic aberration and purple fringing, No RAW mode, Limit to highest shutter speed usable at wide ap...
Conclusion: Canon PowerShot S3 IS - 12x optical zoom The Canon PowerShot S3 IS is not your average digital compact camera with a large zoom range. It is in fact a multimedia device. After all, this camera enables you to do so much more than take photos; you now have the choice of video clips with stereo sound, as well as the option to add audio to your photos afterwards.
Conclusion: Earlier this year I actually bought a Canon S3 IS. But after one weekend shooting in the mountains I returned it and bought another camera. Later, I received an S3 IS for this review. I handled it and took it out to the mountains again and began to doubt my earlier decision. Then I downloaded the files and immediately remembered why it didn't work for my style of shooting. Most people won't have any problem with what I consider the S3's shortcomings.
Pros: Good color and customizability of color, Good image sharpness across zoom range, Excellent physical design and control layout, Improved menu layout, Excellent build quality, Excellent battery life (NiMH cells), Excellent movie mode/stereo sound, Excellent burst-shooting mode, Very quiet, Swing-out LCD monitor, Usable electronic viewfinder (EVF), User-customizable Function button, Quick start-up, Good Macro and "Super-Macro" modes
Cons: No RAW file capability, Exposure latitude (dynamic range) is narrow, Exposure tends to blow out highlights, Auto focus is slightly inconsistent (hunts, misses), Automatic white balance indoors is too warm (manual settings better)
Excerpt: Posamezni preizkusi vseh treh fotokamer iz razreda 12X-nega zooma, ki so na našem trgu najbolj želene ( S3 IS , H5 , FZ7 ) so že predstavljeni. V rubriki Matjaževa ocena pa vam podajam svoj osebni pogled na vse tri kamere skupaj, oziroma za kakšen namen in katerega fotografa je posamezna kamera bolj ustrezna. Vse tri imajo kar nekaj pomembnih podobnih tehniènih lastnosti.
Excerpt: The new Canon Powershot S3 IS is the successor to Canon's best selling Powershot S1 IS and S2 IS digital cameras. The S2 IS was last year's most popular ultra-zoom digital camera because its 12X image-stabilized USM zoom, excellent movie mode, compact SLR style body, and full manual controls nicely met the needs and expectations of the savvy consumers who make up the rapidly expanding prosumer digital camera market niche.
Excerpt: Continue on to Page Two Powershot S3 IS Specifications Camera Effective Pixels Approx. 6.0 million Image Sensor 1/2.5-inch type CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx 6.2 million) Lens Canon 12x optical zoom with optical image stabilization 6.0 (W) - 72.0 (T) mm (35 mm film equivalent: 36 - 432 mm) f/2.7 (W) - f/3.5 (T) maximum aperture Digital Zoom Approx. 4.0x (Up to approx.