Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS 6MP with 12x Image Stabilized Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS 6MP with 12x Image Stabilized Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Manufacturer : Canon
Amazon Price : $269.99
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Avg. Customer Rating:3.5 of 5.0
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours Fulfilled by Amazon and Sold by American Warehouse, LLC
Product Description
The sleek PowerShot S3 IS digital camera offers you high resolution, an extra-long zoom, advanced yet easy-to-use movie functions plus great new shooting options. Also, with Image Stabilizer technology, images and movies taken with the S3 IS are sharp and smooth, even when the camera gets jostled. It's everything you need to capture the fun, excitement and beauty of your active life wherever it takes you.
Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #14284 in Camera & Photo
  • Size: compact
  • Color: black
  • Brand: Canon
  • Model: 1101B001
  • Released on: 2006-05-09
  • Dimensions: 3.07" h x 2.99" w x 4.45" l, 1.12 pounds
  • Memory: 16MB
  • Battery type: Alkaline
  • Native resolution: 640x480
  • Display size: 2
  • Included Software: No
  • Product Features
  • Powered by 4 AA-size batteries (alkaline batteries supplied) , stores images on SD memory cards (16 MB card included)
  • DIGIC II, iSAPS, and Flexizone AF/AE for fast, precise results , 2.3-frame-per-second continuous shooting performance
  • 12x optical zoom lens with USM and UD lens element , 2.0-inch vari-angle LCD display
  • 6.0-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 14 x 19-inch prints
  • 20 shooting modes and My Colors photo effects
  • 6.0-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 14 x 19-inch prints
  • 12x optical zoom lens with USM and UD lens element; 2.0-inch vari-angle LCD display
  • 20 shooting modes and My Colors photo effects
  • DIGIC II, iSAPS, and Flexizone AF/AE for fast, precise results; 2.3-frame-per-second continuous shooting performance
  • Powered by 4 AA-size batteries (alkaline batteries supplied); stores images on SD memory cards (16 MB card included)
  • Customer Reviews

    Most helpful customer reviews

    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
    5Great camera
    By walter1066
    There are several very good comprehensive reviews here, and I'm not going to try to replicate them. There are, however, a few points worth noting.

    First, I would definitely recommend the Lensmate lens adapter with a UV filter for everyone. Some forums have reported issues with the lens sticking while extending and retracting, and this will prevent anything like sand or grit getting into the mechanism.

    Second, I have been using a Transcend 4 gig memory card with no trouble at all. Nice to be able to get almost 24 minutes of movies on the card. Please note that each clip cannot exceed 8 minutes.

    Finally, button clutter is real. In looking at photographs of the camera, I thought some reviewers were exaggerating this issue, but they were not. I'm getting accustomed to the placement, but it is still very easy to hit a button that does something you had no intention of doing. This is the only flaw I have found with this camera, and it is certainly not a deal breaker.

    This is a great camera at a great price and I would buy one again in a heartbeat. Just think about where you are putting your fingers, and you should be fine.

    18 of 19 people found the following review helpful.
    4Nice camera - but don't trust the AUTO mode!
    By NLee the Engineer
    The Canon S3 is a very capable camera, but there is one major caveat: You should NOT use the AUTO mode when shooting under dim light. This is beacuse the camera may automatically selects the highest 'film speed' of ISO=800. This will produce extremely noisy, grainy, or pixelated images. The same problem occurs in Sports mode as well.

    To avoid this problem, you should manually set ISO=200 or lower, then shoot in 'P' (Programmed mode) instead. Of course, now the exposure time is increased by 4x, so camera shake may be a problem even with image stabilization.

    If image quality under low light condition is critical to you, your best choice is to upgrade to a digital SLR.

    [The following section is for geeks only]:

    In order to explain the root cause of noisy images at high ISO, I have to tell you a secret: the so called 'film speed' for digital camera is a big scam. Unlike film camera world (where a film with higher ISO number means it has higher light sensitivity), the digital camera's optical sensor has a fixed sensitiviity. The signal amplitude from each pixel is proportional to the integral of light intensity and exposure time. To simulate a higher 'film speed' (from 200 to 400, for example), a digital camera simply reduces the exposure time by half (which means the signal amplitude from sensor is reduced by half), then multiply the signal by 2x afterwards. However, noises from the sensor is also multiplied by 2x in this process. That is why images always become 'noisier' at higher ISO number.

    The problem with noisy images is made worse by the "mega-pixel arms race", where camera makers continue to cram more pixels onto the same sensor area. The old S1 has 3.2 mega-pixel on its 10mm by 7.5mm sensor. The new S3 has 6MP in the same area. So the amount of light falling on each S5 pixel is only 50% that for the S1. The S1 can produce reasonably noise-free images at ISO=200. For the S3 sensor to produce the same signal strength, it needs 2X longer exposure time, which means ISO=100. That is why when you shoot the S3 at ISO=800, the noise problem is 8X worse compared to shooting the S1 at ISO=200.

    The only reliable way to improve signal-to-noise ratio is to increase sensor area. Professional DSLR typically have full-frame sensors (36x24mm, or 10x larger than the sensor in S3). Those can operate up to ISO=1600 or even 3200 and still produce almost noise-free images. Pro-sumer DSLR such as the Rebel XT have samller APS-C sensor (22.5x15mm, or 4x larger than the sensor in S3). So those can only operate satisfactorily up to ISO=800.

    38 of 38 people found the following review helpful.
    5A Superb Semi-Pro Camera That Novices Will Love.
    By Amazon Customer
    I researched cameras for six months before I had the money to buy. I wanted a mega zoom with a good feature set and high quality video, since I knew I couldn't also afford a video camera. It shoots such good pix in auto mode, that I find myself rarely using the other settings, at least so far. You can shoot photos while shooting video or shoot video while in still photo mode. The video is high quality, AVI at 30 frames per second, which I believe is better resolution than standard TV. You can use the 12x optical zoom while shooting video. Most digital still cameras shoot video at just one focal length. The camera has two mikes and records CD quality stereo sound when shooting video, though you can set it for lower sound and picture qualities if you like. The built-in flash does an excellent job, and with the standard setting I have yet to get red eye.

    Image stabilization works very well and is essential with a 12x zoom, especially when shooting video or low light stills. Picture quality is just wonderful in both video and still picture modes. After buying the camera and a 2 gig SD card, I took a bus trip through 28 states visiting friends, shooting hundreds of photos and about 10 minutes of video. The results were great.

    Photo stitching software comes with the camera and it is excellent. I had been concered about the very limited wide angle capablity, equivilent only to a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera. But by taking overlapping photos I got wonderful panoramas and group photos without the usual wide angle distortion and with more detail. While this works best with a tripod, with a little care you can shoot by hand and get excellent results.

    The batteries are AA. Get a charger and NiMh rechargable batteries. The nice thing is, if your batteries die, you can get a set from the store [uses 4] in a pinch. I was able to shoot 10 minutes of video plus about 150 pix on the batteries that came with the camera. I could have done better, but I spent at least a couple of hours with the camera on, fooling with menus and settings and reviewing the photos and videos.

    At best resolution and least compression, a 2Gig SD card will hold 715 photos or 15 minutes of best quality video. 4 Gig cards are available, and if you intend to shoot a lot of video, I would strongly recommend one. Also, the faster the card the better. Slow cards won't keep up with best quality video, and time between still shots will be longer. If the card doesn't advertise it's speed it isn't fast enough! Get 133x or 150x speed. This translates to 20mb or 22.5 mb per second. In theory the camera's single shot limit for video is one hour, but it's a non-issue as the 4 gig cards will only hold 30 minutes of best quality video.

    Things I don't like: 8 gigs for an hour of video is way to high. MPEG2 DVD's will hold up to 4 hours in the same space. The view screen should be bigger in this class of camera. It's better than the previous model -two inch versus 1.8 inch- but it really needs to be larger...that said it's adequate for my old guy eyes, and if I had to give up the ability to adjust the screen to get a larger size I wouldn't. I would also like to set the zoom to a slower rate of zoom when shooting video. Rate of zoom is adjustable, by how far you move the lever, but the throw is too short to be precise.

    Basically, if you can do without the camera fitting in your pocket you will be very hard pressed to do better than the Canon S3IS.

    See all 616 customer reviews...
    Editorial Reviews

    From the Manufacturer
    The sleek PowerShot S3 IS digital camera offers you high resolution, an extra-long zoom, advanced yet easy-to-use movie functions plus great new shooting options. Also, with Image Stabilizer technology, images and movies taken with the S3 IS are sharp and smooth, even when the camera gets jostled. It's everything you need to capture the fun, excitement and beauty of your active life - wherever it takes you!

    Successor to the popular PowerShot S2 IS, the latest addition to the PowerShot S-series incorporates a 6.0-megapixel CCD sensor, Canon's renowned optical Image Stabilizer technology, and video functionality rivalling that of dedicated digital video camcorders. Sporting a striking new finish in gunmetal grey, the compact PowerShot S3 IS answers the demands of advanced photographers with several improvements over its predecessor, including an increased sensitivity range of ISO 80 to ISO 800, a larger 2.0-inch vari-angle LCD screen, widescreen (16:9) recording, new movie features, and an additional Sports mode.

    Canon PowerShot S3 IS features:

  • 12x optical zoom lens with USM and UD lens element
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • 6.0-megapixel CCD
  • Larger size 2.0-inch vari-angle LCD
  • 30-frame-per-second (fps) VGA movies with stereo sound and Photo in Movie feature
  • DIGIC II, iSAPS, and Flexizone AF/AE for fast, precise results and 2.3 fps continuous shooting performance
  • 20 shooting modes and My Colors photo effects
  • High ISO Auto and ISO 800 for low light flexibility
  • Widescreen (16:9) recording

    The PowerShot S3 IS caters for serious photo enthusiasts seeking extended zooming flexibility and fully featured movie recording in a versatile compact digital stills camera.

    Still the most powerful zoom in a Canon digital compact camera (36 to 432mm, f2.7-f.3.5), the PowerShot S3 IS's lens incorporates the same leading technologies used in Canon's professional EF lenses. An Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) drives rapid and near-silent zoom operation; an Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element significantly reduces chromatic aberration in telephoto shots; Canon's optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology counteracts camera shake to reduce image blur when shooting stills or recording video, essential for handheld shots at longer focal lengths. IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower for reliable flash-free photography in low light conditions.

    The PowerShot S3 IS's 12x optical zoom combines with digital zoom to deliver 48x magnification for recording both stills and video. For even wider framing options, optional wide and telephoto converter lenses extend the focal length from wide 27mm to super-tele 648mm (35mm film equivalent) for an impressive 24x optical zoom. A Super Macro mode and optional Close-Up lens 500D (58mm) allow for detailed macro photography. (Optional wide, telephoto, and close-up lenses not included--must be purchased separately.)

    Increased ISO speed
    In addition to Image Stabilization, the PowerShot S3 IS features a new High ISO Auto setting and ISO 800 to further extend the camera's low light shooting capabilities. High ISO Auto automatically sets exposure using the higher range of ISO sensitivities, enabling faster shutter speeds in low light and increased image stability at the telephoto end. A dedicated ISO button allows for easy switching between ISO sensitivities.

    Movie functions
    Powerful video functions make the PowerShot S3 IS far more than just a high-performance digital still camera. A dedicated movie button means users do not need to switch modes to start recording, so spontaneous moments can be instantly captured in full motion. Users can record smooth 30-frame-per-second VGA quality movies of up to 1 GB with stereo sound, or create 60-frame-per-second QVGA clips for sharp slow-motion playback. The Movie mode also allows users to pre-select exposure and white balance, zoom throughout the camera's focal range, and manually adjust focus while shooting. A Photo In Movie feature enables the capture of full resolution digital stills during video recording.

    Creative shooting
    The PowerShot S3 IS offers 20 shooting modes including full Manual mode, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Speed Priority. Together with 2.3-frame-per-second continuous shooting, a new fast-shutter Sports mode with improved autofocus accuracy provides unprecedented capabilities for capturing action sports sequences. Special Scene modes--such as Night Snapshot and Snow--assist with tricky lighting conditions, while Color Accent and Color Swap modes enable dramatic color effects to be applied to both images and movies. Canon's My Colors photo effects have been enhanced for this model, and can now be applied to images both before and after shooting.

    The PowerShot S3 IS features a new Widescreen mode (2816 x 1584 recording pixels) for capturing still images in 16:9 format--perfect for viewing images on widescreen television or printing wide (10 x 20-centimeter) photos with a Selphy Compact Photo Printer.

    Printing and other features
    A new, dedicated Print menu simplifies printing of multiple images. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. New PictBridge features include the ability to print shooting data and optimize faces in portrait shots when connected to a compatible Canon PIXMA printer. The camera's ID photo and movie stills features are also available when connected to a Selphy CP Series Printer. A handy Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems. (Printer not included--must be purchased separately.)

    The camera's menu system now features support for Arabic, bringing the total number of supported languages to 23.

    Canon technologies explained

    Optical Image Stabilizer
    Canon's lens-shift-type optical Image Stabilizer counteracts the camera shake caused by slight hand movements. Vibration sensors detect the angle and speed of movement and send this information to a processor, allowing the camera to compensate. This adds stability to hand-held, telephoto, or moving shots and enables shooting at shutter speeds of up to three stops slower with no noticeable increase in image blur.

    Canon's purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid autofocus, and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and color reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.

    iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimizes key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analyzed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space--a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to autoexposure, autofocus, and auto white balance before image capture occurs.

    9-Point AiAF
    Canon's 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Autofocus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.

    FlexiZone AF/AE
    FlexiZone AF/AE lets users manually select the focus point from almost any point in the frame by moving the autofocus window in the viewfinder. Exposure is linked to the focus point to ensure that the chosen subject is accurately focused and exposed.

    Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens technology
    No matter how well engineered, conventional optical glass lens elements cause chromatic aberrations which can 'soften' images and appear in photographs as fringing around the outside edge of subjects. Canon's Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) glass has special optical properties to successfully reduce these aberrations. Especially effective in super telephoto lenses, UD glass helps to deliver crisp, sharp, high-contrast images.

    What's in the Box
    PowerShot S3 IS body, AA-size alkaline battery (x 4), SD memory card SDC-16MB, lens cap, neck strap NS-DC4, Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM, USB interface cable IFC-400PCU, stereo video cable STV-250N