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.
This model improves upon its predecessor with a new CCD that is designed to suppress noise and offers ISO sensitivities up to 800 (a fair amount of noise in landscape photos taken just after sunset and in close-ups taken during daylight in macro mode). Like the S2 before it, the PowerShot S3 has a redeye problem.
While shooting, you can use the zoom feature with no added noise to the movie; it’s very quiet. Image stabilization is still active when shooting a movie. One interesting feature, called movie snap, allows you to trigger the shutter to capture stills while shooting a movie. Its Fast and responsive, with a comfortable design. The 2-inch LCD screen flips outward and rotates. Unfortunately, the camera still lacks raw format support.
Very good colour accuracy and saturation, as Canon usually does, including My Color Modes as described in previous models. Autofocus occurs quickly for the most part, although a sometimes focus hadn’t locked before capture. A cheap dSLR will provide better performance, and a moderately priced one will deliver better photo quality. But the Canon PowerShot S3 IS‘s combination of features, performance and relatively compact design certainly gives superzoom fans a compelling alternative. However, too few changes over the S2 IS.
• Uses a 6 Megapixel CCD (instead of 5MP)
• New ISO range of 80 – 800 (instead of 50 – 400); lower noise than previous sensor but still high at 800
• Slightly larger and heavier than S2
• New Sports scene mode
• 2 inch LCD display (versus 1.8″)
• Optical Zoom: 12X
• Media Slots: SD Card
• Spot AE point (Center, AF point)
• Continuous shooting (Standard, high speed)
• Self-timer (2, 10 secs, custom timer)
• SuperMacro mode
• S3 IS’s Four AA rechargeable batteries lasted for around 550 shots on a single charge.
• Optional accessories: Wide-angle lens, Telephoto lens, Close-up lens, Conversion lens adapter / lens hood, External slave flash