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Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Powershot S3 ISI’ve wanted to get a more advanced Point and Shoot Digital Camera for a while now and yesterday I decided to pick up a PowerShot S3 IS, after a fair amount of research. I learned that this class of digicams is called “super zoom compact”. The main features that sold me on the S3 are the movie mode and the Image Stabilization. After playing with it last night and this morning, I think the model is a keeper. It definitely takes better pictures than my PowerShot SD450… but the SD450 is much smaller so it’s not really a fair comparison.

DPReview gives the camera a decent review here.

I did find one dead pixel on the LCD so I will go back to the store and swap for a different one. Check out some of the pictures I took with the camera here.

9/6/2007 Update

The Canon PowerShot S5 IS is the latest model in this series. The major changes are higher resolution (8MP vs 6MP), Digic III, larger LCD, and higher ISO.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. I recently got a Powershot S3 and quite happy with it.

    I researched the digital world extensively, desiring to upgrade from my trusty Kodak DX 3215, as it was quite limited and I needed something more robust. I looked into obtaining a strict DSLR, but the prices are in the high hundreds and low thousands…out of my price range. And I wanted the capability of shooting video. The S3 had everytning I desired…and more. The movie feature is quite nice, even at it’s lowest settings.

    Baseline prices were averaging around $399.00, with small variations. On-line deals were slightly better, but not much, and…I prefer to pick up my electronics in person to examine the product. I saw an ad from OfficeMax offering the S3 for $369.00 – with an instant $30.00 in-store rebate. They threw in a free 512mb SD card and the option to purchase a $100.00 Canon photo printer for $30.00. I took the offer, but declined the extended warrenty of $79.00 for two years. I could have waited till the prices came down some more, most likely after Christmas, but I liked the deal offered. I am happy with the purchase.

    It has plenty of zoom (12x), takes very good images, and the sharpness of the images are quite good. I have plenty of experience with my old 35mm Nikon film camera, and the S3 exceeds it in many areas. I do not miss at all lugging around various lenses and accessories, and this camera has plenty of features to satisfy the photographer.

    I have experimented with the manual controls and find them exceptional, with real time results. And as an additional benefit, everybody who has seen it, has complimented me on the purchase…even die hard strict DSLR users. I will look into aftermarket Lens hoods and tele-converters to enhance the performance.


    I needed a camera for astrophotography, and I hope this one will serve well, but one nagging observation…

    It’s remarkable that I have been able to record stars, constellations and nebulae with just the camera lens, but I find it bothersome that I cannot focus stars down to pin points, it just stops short. I don’t know if this is inherent to all digital cameras, but maybe it’s just mine.

    There are examples of my practice begining astrophotography efforts with the Powershot S3 here:

    and here

    Other than the difficulties of obtaining pin point stars, I highly recommend this camera.


    Chicago Astronomer Joe

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