Canon S2/S3 IS


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2006
well i was looking into a new digital since i am getting back into last canon had the dreaded E18 error :(

was looking to get back into photography, camera with a good manual controls as well as automatic, good for macro and good battery life (aa's preferably)..which lead me to the s2/s3. i am also trying to find "me eye", but since i played around with my friend's old canon a1 with a macro lense and got some good action shots of spider feeding and mating :)

some people say the s3 isn't worht the 100$ difference, but for me i think it is around a 40$ difference(best buy discounts, i get stocking price+5%)

which one would be worth it?..i was also looking into a 1gig SD card & the energizer 15 minute rechargble's to go with the camera. if you have any other opinions on cameras that would be great.


macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
I'd say it's worth the price difference to get the S3 - it has a slightly better sensor in it which means that a photo shot at ISO 200 on the S2 has about the same amount of noise as a photo shot at ISO 400 on the S3. Plus the S3 looks better. :)

If you don't need the long zoom range, then the Canon A620 is also good - and the image quality of the lens is better (since it doesn't have to cover such a wide zoom range).

If you're getting serious about photography and don't need the video capabilities, then you may consider stepping up to a Canon 350D or Nikon D50 - although that can quickly become a very expensive hobby, since to get the same zoom range and macro capabilities as a Canon S2/S3 you'll need the camera plus two or three lenses.


macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2006
I agree with the above. I have the S2 IS and for me, at least, the S3 IS isn't worth the extra money. Although I bought the S2 a year ago when the S3 wasn't available. It is a great all around camera to learn on with it's automatic features and manual controls. The macro and super macro modes are excellent. However, like above, if you are serious into getting in to photography and can live without the video features I would get the Canon Rebel XT or Nikon D50, or some camera around there. Yes, it will cost you a little bit more, but a DSLR gives you the option of automatic just like the S2/S3 and of course has all the manual controls that you would like to learn. I would skip the S2/S3 and save some money in the long run and go with a cheaper DSLR if you are that into photography. That way you won't be in the position that I am right now where I'm kicking myself for not getting a DSLR last year instead of my S2. But it sure is a great camera...

EDIT: You can get a refurb D50 from for $440. Of course this is body only, but I'm just trying to point out that with these cheaper DSLRs, it does make it a hard decision. I would personally go for the refurb D50 and the Sigma 18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (which is an good all around lens). This will run you about $675 US however. On the other hand, you can get great zoom range, awesome macro, and full manual features with an S2/S3 for a few hundred less than that. I'm sorry, I wasn't sure where I was going with this post, you need to let us know how serious you want to become, lol...

I'll just put it this way. My advice would be: If you think you are (or will be) serious enough to ever get a DSLR, I would get it now...


macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2005
At the Airport. UK
i agree with the above poster. the S3 wasnt worth the money for me.....images were big enough for my needs with 5MP, and the extra 0.2" screen space wasnt enough to justify almost £80 extra...i put it towards extra storage. canon is the way to go, and i think its gonna be the closest thing to a DSLR you can get before actually getting there.....if that makes any sense.



macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2003
For me the new features in the S3 were not substantial enough to warrant the increase in price when I purchased an S2 about 3 months ago. We upgraded from a Canon S45. My wife and I just love our S2, the movie mode and big zoom are wonderful. $100 might not sound like a alot, but with that extra cash I picked up two sets of hi capacity NimH batteries with a fast charger and two 2GB SD cards. :)


macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2006
Under the sun
I'm going to get the s2 at the end of summer. the s3 wasn't worth the extra 100 bucks for me. the s3 is more a minor upgrade than a completely different camera like the s1 to s2 was. I can get a s2 for $340. $100 is a lot of money I could use for other things


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2006
since my mom said she will match my price, i have 180$ now, she still has to pay me for working today(20$ worth, and hse owes me 66$ for shoes), then working for her and my dad tomorrow moving and paitning things, that should equal out to 30$ or so ..keep working days at a time and then have enough for a nikon d50 pack with discount?

i could get the outfit now if i wanted to and she amtched me, but to get back into it and buy a DSLR would be a bit overkill..

so i will go with a decent p&s for now, get a new computer soon(dad is introducing me to a tech guy from a fortune 500 company wednesday and he is gonna help me make a layout of my new computer :) ), then when i feel i have the money i will upgrade to DSLR