Excerpt: The Canon S3 IS was hoped to be a great camera for me - an intermediate user and mom of kids in sports. The zoom is great - you can really get close to the action - and the adjustments made for some great pictures on the LCD display. My problem came when I printed the pictures - they are all grainy and a bit fuzzy and don't look anything like the LCD display. This and the weight of the camera has prompted me to find an alternative - there are many new digital cameras...
Summary: I used this camera for a year before giving it away and replacing it with a Nikon D40. I have some good things to say about it, but it has some very serious problems. First, the good: * Fast startup time for a point-and-shoot. * Long zoom lens. Not the sharpest nor the most distortion-free, but acceptable for its weight and price. * EVF is useful when there is too much sunlight to use the screen. * Lots of features. * Movie mode is quite respectable.
Summary: I was really disappointed in this camera. When I first got the camera I noticed the pictures were very noisy. My Nikon point and shoot had much better quality. Then right before the warranty went out the lcd screen stopped working. I have tried to find my receipt but haven't had any luck. So- I probably have paid 500 for a camera I got to use for nearly a year. Not a good deal. I strongly urge you to look for another camera.
Summary: I purchased the S2 in 2006 and 16 months later, the zoom lense stopped coming out. I called Canon to ask for their suggestions, knowing it was out of warranty, and they suggested the upgrade to the S3 for $185. So this is how the S3 came into my possession. Except for an increase in the pixels, there are no upgrades. However, it seemed to me that the diameter of the lens is smaller--I noticed this when looking through view finder.
Summary: I spent a lot of time searching for the right camera, and the S3 IS seemed to have it all. I read shining upon shining review, but didn't do a Google search for specific S3 IS defects, problems, etc. Big mistake. I ordered the S3 from Amazon and the problems began as soon as I took it out of the box. There was something loose and moving around inside the camera, I went online and saw that several other S3 owners had the exact same problem.