Canon Powershot S3 IS - Opinions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lincoln, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. Lincoln macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have a couple of Canon digital SLR's and they are great if I'm going somewhere to take pictures. However, I'm looking for something that I can keep in my rucksack when I go to work or visit friends/family.

    So I am looking for a smaller compact camera that I can take with me on such occasions. It needs to have an image stabalised lens with a reasonable zoom on it, be light and also have a good "video" mode.

    After a lot of research, the Canon S3 IS seems to fit the bill.

    Has anyone used this camera? What do you think of it and does it work well with the Mac? Finally, if you didn't like it, what was wrong and did you pick something else?

    Thanks in Advance.:D
     
  2. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #2
    It seems S3 is a decent P&S digital camera. But, it seems a little bulky.

    DP review on Canon S3 IS

    I am also in the market for a compact P&S digital camera for a leasurely picture-taking. while using my Canon SLR digital for more purposeful picture taking sessions.

    SD 700 seems a very good P&S with relatively wide aperture range.

    DP review on Canon SD700 IS
     
  3. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #3
    Canon Powershot S2 - Great Little Camera

    I know your asking about the S3, but this is my experience with the S2.

    I've had the S2 for a few months, roughly 1500 pictures. It's done everything I've asked and I'm still finding things about it I didn't know it could do. The battery life is amazing. I bought some rechargeable batteries, that if I were not using I was charging. However, I wanted to see how long they would last so I have not charged since the end of June - Over 400 pix. I have not had to recharge.

    The photo quality is as good as my Rebel XT (same processor)and a lot smaller. I like taking the dogs out for walk and the S2 goes into my MountainSmith fanny pack every time. I've done Macro/Wide Angle/Wild Life/Sports/Night time. The video is simply outstanding. I got mine from Adorama for like $289.00. With the few upgrades to the S3, I didn't see the need to spend the Xtra 25%! The reviews have said the same thing.

    I use this A LOT more than my Rebel XT now. I highly recommend this camera. You can't got wrong.

    Coachingguy
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    love it love it love it

    hi, i actually just bought this camera last week. i had a powershot S410 that i had dropped (oopsy!) and broke the door. it still works with an elastic, but this was a great excuse to get a camera with 12x optical. what a fantastic piece of hardware!

    great photos; easy to use; great ergonomics (and i have small hands so ergo is key for me); i haven't tried the video yet, but i imagine it will rock too.

    everything i read says this is a fantastic substitute for an slr. i was going to go the slr route, but i'm clueless as to the technology etc..

    good luck,
    keebler
     
  5. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks for the replies.

    Looks like I'll be getting one of these then. I'll have to wait until after the WWDC keynote in case anything is released that I need:rolleyes: to buy first.
     
  6. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #6
    I also have an S2. I used it happily for the last year, until I got my 350D. I still take it along most places, mostly because I don't have a dedicated macro lens for my 350D yet, and because, as coachingguy pointed out, the video is superb. I haven't tried the S3, but I know another MR-poster here who recently got one, Gekko513, and he is very pleased. Maybe he will see this thread and post a bit of his experiences. :)

    Both the S2 and S3 are a bit bulky, but they're still extremely portable.
     
  7. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

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    #7
    Addendum...

    The rebel XT I was refering to was the digital. I've got a Tamron 70 - 300mm Zoom to go with it. The comment that the S2 & S3 are bulky is relative. While they may be bulky compared to other PS digitals, they are not bulky compared to digital SLR's. That's the convienence factor. My S2 goes with me everywhere. I live in Northern MN, a highly wooded area with an abundance of Wildlife. Having the S2 in the truck with me when I travel has allowed me to get some great shots.
     
  8. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I agree completely, bulk is relative. For someone used to a "flatter" P and S, the S2 and S3 might seem bulkly, but I think the extra bulk is worth it. They're still easy to stash in a purse or bag.

    I'm planning on keeping my S2 for the sort of situations where I decide not to drag my 350D, but where good shots just might appear. And when I go to China next week, they're both going with me. :)
     
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #9
    A slightly OT resurrection...

    but it is related to the S3. :eek: I've ordered it even thought it's a great deal more camera than I need at this point; but I'm hoping I can grow into it (and I'll be taking a couple of photography courses during the school year, too).

    Anyhow, I'm a bit iffy on which rechargeable batteries are suitable. I know they take x4 AA batteries, but aside from that and the minimal stats that the Canon site states, I have no real world experience w/ any rechargeable batteries.

    I'd love it if someone could point me in the right direction, and links are more than welcomed. :p

    I've heard good things about this set, but I'm wondering if there are cheaper/ better solutions other than OEM Canon equipment? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EVQ0OU/ref=ord_cart_shr/104-7403721-7651930?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance&n=502394
     
  10. Fotograffiti macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    Sold my Digital Rebel and bought an S2

    Most of the opinions you are going to get are going to be for the S2 at this point but being that they are very close to the same thing as the S3 they should help you out. I bought a Digital Rebel and used to it for awhile and really liked it, except for the fact that I found myself always carrying around a camera bag and changing lenses. On the advice of my brother who had the S1 IS, I bought the S2 and have found that I am willing to take it more places because the size makes it much more convenient. The quality is great and the video is surprisingly good. I end up using this to take videos of our baby more than my regular video camera because of convenience. Sometimes in low light conditions it can come out a little grainy but it is not that big of a deal. I love the macro and super macro modes that make it easy to take really close pictures quickly. I think the menus are easy to flip through and change settings on the fly.
    If you are on a budget I don't see alot of reason to spend the extra money on the S3 over the S2 unless you like the black. From the reviews I have seen the slight increase in megapixels doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference in picture quality. If the camera would shoot in RAW mode I would no doubt upgrade but unless there is other things I am not familiar with I didn't think it justifies almost a $200 price difference.
     
  11. Fotograffiti macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #11
    Rechargable batteries

    I haven't seen a reason to use anything other than Energizer rechargables.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=pd_bbs_2/102-8568225-6776938?ie=UTF8&s=photo

    I also have a couple of friends who use the same thing in their Powershot S2 IS cameras and you can get them just about anywhere. Hope this helps. *S*

     
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #12
    Thanks for the recommendation and the link! :D
     
  13. iAndrew27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #13
    I bought my Canon S3 IS about 4 weeks ago... I love it.
    Brought it to Alaska with me on Vacation, took amazing shots. Zoom is really good. (turn the Digital Zoom off) The lens is fantastic.
    Lots of features (most of them ive never used). Just really used Auto, Landscape, Portrait, Macro and Super Macro. Its my first "high end" camera, before I had a Canon A60.
    Also did some picture takiing up in the Rocky Mountains last weekend, a little day trip. Again some amazing shots. (and im not really a good photographer... yet)
    I havent used it on a Mac yet, because I just ordered a MacBook. But im sure it will work because Mac specific installation CD's came with the camera, and it has the Mac logo on the box. So I dont forsee any problems.
    The only downfall is that its a little to big to just take it with you on some trips. But thats not really a con, because that wasnt its target market. I need another camera that can fit in my pocket and isnt to bulky to take on those occasions I dont need a fancy camera.
    If your looking for a nice point and Shoot, tons of features, big zoom, and relativly compact... then buy this camera.

    Any other questions, just ask. I'll do my best to answer them. :)
     
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