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123 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in class !
This is a fantastic camera and the 12x zoom is phenomenal. I looked at a number of superzoom cameras including the Panasonic FZ7 and decided that this had the best range of features in its class. I wanted a camera that I could grow with, so the manual features do not dissapoint. The camera also functions well as a simple point and shoot when required with an ultrafast...
Published on 25 May 2006 by Mr. J. Day

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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems with digital noise
This camera can take razor sharp superb images, proving your ISO setting is either 80 or 100. Use anything higher than that and you will get digital noise (grainy images). For its class, getting digital noise at ISO settings above 200 is expected, but getting significant digital noise at 200 is disappointing.

Most of the time, I take pictures during daylight...
Published on 24 July 2006 by SharonUK


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123 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in class !, 25 May 2006
By 
Mr. J. Day (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
This is a fantastic camera and the 12x zoom is phenomenal. I looked at a number of superzoom cameras including the Panasonic FZ7 and decided that this had the best range of features in its class. I wanted a camera that I could grow with, so the manual features do not dissapoint. The camera also functions well as a simple point and shoot when required with an ultrafast startup time.

The fact that it takes standard AA batteries is also a plus point. Last weekend the batteries ran out on me while in the Lakes, so I just popped into the nearest shop to buy some cheap alkalines.

Some reviews have criticised the screen for being too small. It may be smaller but the flip out screen is a boon which no other manufacturer seems to offer. It is great for ground work or above peoples heads.

Finally, the movie mode produces excellent results but there is a catch which in my view is the only negative point for the camera. At full resolution (640x480 30fps) it chews through 1Gb of card space in about 8-9 mins !!! 1gb (or an hour) is also the maximum length of a single clip of video, so some storage headaches here. Canon do not use MPEG4 so hence the large file size, however the results are excellent and a big plus is the abilty to use the optical zoom for video which is silent in use.

All in all a superb camera which I would definately recommend, a good compromise between a compact and an SLR.
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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant images, 2 Sep 2006
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
Have recently purchased this camera to replace my Panasonic FZ-20. I purchased the Panny because of it's standard Leica lens as I wanted the best. But to be honest, I was always a little disappointed with the results from it, especially when using the zoom to it's maximum. I mean, what's the point of buying a camera with 12 x Optical if you aren't going to put it to use. The images I got from it were never as sharp as I expected them to be, always a little "fuzzy"....

My first reaction with the Canon? It knocks spots off of the Panny in this respect without a shadow of doubt. I have taken quite a few pictures at maximum zoom and printed them out and the quality is fantastic. Pin sharp.

The zoom is almost silent in it's operation and a lot, lot quicker than the Panasonics in going from wide angle to telephoto. It's taking some getting used to!

I haven't had much time to play around with the manual settings, most of my piccies have been taken in "auto" mode but this camera never lets me down. The autofocus is very quick to get a lock, with a lot less "hunting" than my previous camera.

Downloading images onto the PC is a doddle too.

Most buyers of this camera will be tempted by it's zoom capabilities. Based on my experience with the camera to date, they won't be disappointed.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Feb 2007
By 
S. Broadbent "cyberspaceexpress" (Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
I bought this camera as a compact to carry with me when it is not practical to take my D-SLR with me, (Nikon D200). I wasted money buying a Samsung NV 7, and have spent a long time carefully evaluating different options.

I am finally satisfied with a compact digital camera. The S3 IS is a bit on the bulky side and only just fits in a jacket pocket. Images shot at over 400 ISO are very noisey and will not enlarge well.

However this camera is very well designed and a delight to use. It has virtually every feature you could want including a movie mode which I never use. The eye level view finder option is very useful, although not as clear as I would have liked, but very usable. The tilting LCD screen is brilliant, and the option to fold it away for protection is something all cameras could benefit from. Image quality is fine between ISO 80-200 and usable at 400. The image stabilization is excellent, the best I've tried and is a very real benefit. Overall this is an excellent well balanced camera with full manual control, ideal even for advanced photographers. I strongly recommend it.
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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems with digital noise, 24 July 2006
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
This camera can take razor sharp superb images, proving your ISO setting is either 80 or 100. Use anything higher than that and you will get digital noise (grainy images). For its class, getting digital noise at ISO settings above 200 is expected, but getting significant digital noise at 200 is disappointing.

Most of the time, I take pictures during daylight and outside, so a lower ISO setting is fine.

If you use auto settings and the pre-programmed modes, then generally the camera tries to keep the ISO setting as low as possible. This may result in blurry images in low light as the shutter speed will slow down, but otherwise, you will see very good results with this camera.

The 12x zoom is great and the ability to add a tele converter lens to this camera is useful. The focus at the long end of the zoom is excellent - much better than other camera's in this class. The camera also takes fantastic close ups using the super macro option.

This camera is fast to react. The zoom is very fast, but once you get used to it, easy to control. The menus are good.

I also like the fact that it does have the manual settings, such as aperture priority and shutter priority.

I found I had to up the brightness on the electronic view finder as it's difficult to see. In bright light, it's still quite difficult, especially if you, like me, wear glasses - the answer is to take your glasses off - but that is quite inconvenient.

Overall, the digital noise is the main thing that disappoints me with this camera. Other cameras in this class don't have digital noise at ISO 200 (the Panasonic Lumix, for example). Some of them even have noise reduction software (Sony DSC H5).

The other slight disappointment is that there is no option to have RAW images on this camera.
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106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class Camera, 12 May 2006
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
Having read the reviews, I was keen to purchase the S3 on its release. My first impression was its size. How do they manage to get all the facilities normally found on a good SLR into such a small case?

The camera is easy to use, yet extremely flexible. The shutter lag is noticeably shorter than my previous camera; you can fire off several rapid consecutive shots. I purchased a high speed card to make sure it wrote to memory quickly - good investment; and the 4 NiMH batteries (purchased separately) don't want to die. Super macro mode allows close ups of tiny daisies (you'll use whatever you can find to try it out) which fill the PC screen with brilliant clarity. Who needs interchangeable lenses, when the S3 sports a 12x zoom which will go from wide angle to max telephoto in 1 second (you can vary it to zoom slowly too). The results so far have been excellent. Well worth the investment!
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, 24 Aug 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
An absolutely wonderful, feature rich digital camera, just got mine and im not the least bit disappointed.

It takes sharp, high resolution images, and great close upshots using the 12x zoom, or the super macro feature allowing you to get as close as 0cm away from the subject!!!!,

The reason why I have given it 4 instead of 5 stars is the fact that some may contain digital noise.

However this problem can easily be fixed by using software such as (Neat Image), freely available for download.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera - but a few shorcomings, 8 Jun 2007
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
This is great camera with a long focal range and with accessory lenses to make it even wider - the TC-DC58B adapter makes it over 600mm !

In using long zooms turn off the IS ( Image Stabilisation ) and use a tripod for best results.

I have one major complaint with this camera - no REMOTE facilty, either infra-red or cable. This is disappointing. You can use the timer set to 1 sec, but thats's no substitute.

Also the Aperture range is a bit limited - f8 is the maximum - but that's ok, and the motorised zoom is a bit slow.

It has a movie facility - you can get 7-8 minutes of avi on a 1 GB SD card - use a fast card like Sandisk Ulta or Extreme for this. 1 GB is the maximum - using a 2 GB card won't get you a continuous 15 mins movie.

All in all it's a good camera and gives loads of options from auto to manual. It uses 4 x AA batteries that's great !

I would have liked a manual zoom instead of a motorised one , but ... ok.

The S5 is due out in JUly - still no remote and no RAW files.

It uses the same chip as the S3 but just crams more pixels into it - but you can record an hour of continuous movies with a 4 GB SD card.

I won't be upgrading to the S5 - buy the S3 whose price should come down - the S5 is no massive upgrade to the S3. A few extra pixels aren't worth the extra.
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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good camera, 9 Sep 2006
By 
Stone (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
I'm not a photo expert but this is a significant improvement over the Minolta Dimage F200 I had before. The 12x optical zoom is excellent and battery life is very good. I bought the camera in early August and the batteries have just given up in early September after some heavy use including video clips and lots of picture reviewing. The video mode is easy to use, there's a red button that will activate it no matter what mode is set on the dial and the quality is pretty good (including the sound). However, on one of the interior videos I shot the video appeared OK on the viewfinder but was very dark when played in windows. Windows Movie Maker cleared that up though. The other problem is the 1GB limit. That sounds a lot but because the video is not compressed it will use up the whole card in about 10 minutes if set on high resolution.

Overall picture quality seems very good but it does get a bit grainy at ISO 200 on low light shots. That's possibly because I haven't optimised the settings but other reviewers have mentioned this problem. Outside shots are very good with very natural colour rendition and little sign of chromatic aberrations (purple fringes).

Overall I have no hesitation in recommending this camera for people who want a camera that just works in Auto mode but also allows for some fairly sophisticated configuration options and has a great zoom lens. It gets 4 stars instead of 5 because the video isn't compressed and the ISO 200 images are too grainy.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect.....almost, 14 Aug 2007
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
When looking for a camera there are a number of questions you need to ask.

For this camer, the following applies

Is it good for beginers - Yes
Is it good for the serious user - Yes - plently of options to fiddle!
Does it have image stabaliser - Yes
Does it have zoom - Hell yes! 12X
Is battery life good - Yes - on holiday in Italy useing 4 X rechageable AA with full quality pictures on a 1gb card i took 300 + pictures plus 2 videos and did not have to change the batteries at all. Use the viewfinder instead of the LED and it is astonishing
Is the LED good - Yes, not as big as some others, but its swivel ability gives you so many options. But you should not use it all the time when you have an electronic view finder. It folds away and so does not get finger marks
Are the resulting pictures good - Yes. Minimal tweaking on editing progs like Picasa2 will sharpen and boost the contrast a little.
Is it good in doors - Not bad, could be better, just be sure to keep the flash on
Action shots - Yes - very good.
Panorama shots - Yes, and the Canon stich program and editing software is blinding!
Video - Superb, with sound, more than enough for the casual takes.
Heavy - Not really, nice balance if held properly.
Down side (hence the 4 star and not 5) - Lens cap keeps falling off. Although a big improvement on the S1, the zoom is still a little slow on focusing. Unlike the S1, you have to manually raise the flash.

Summary - a lovely camera, with more than sufficient pixel (6mp) any more and you probably would not gain anything. Zoom of 12X is brilliant, no need to even think of digital zoom. Handles well, and over all as an owner you would not be feeling you have wasted your money. You would be hard pushed to get this much packed into any other camera with such a superb inbuild software.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of equipment, 25 April 2007
By 
Yvette "yvette_msn" (ILMINSTER, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon Powershot S3 IS Digital Camera[6MP 12 X Optical] (Electronics)
This is a great camera for budding enthusiasts, the quality of the pictures is very high with no real visable signs of any fringing which has been a real problem with other cameras I've owned, and the features are resonably straightforward if you are prepared to go through the manual. The zoom lense is impressive obviously the IS struggles at the top limit of the focal range so a tripod is needed. Movie shooting mode is excellent with several options available ranging from 15fps to 60fps and a widescreen tv viewing option. It also has the usual pre-set 'creative shooting' features to assist in certain condtions, and the aperture priortiy and shutter priority which give you a certain amount of manual control. Overall this is the first digi camera that I can say I will not be upgrading for the forseeable future as it does everything I want.
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