Canon PowerShot S3 IS Brief Review


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  • 6 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom (conversion lenses optional)
  • auto and manual focus
  • auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 80-800 (High ISO auto)
  • movie mode w/sound
  • 4 AA batteries
  • 2.0 inch LCD
  • SD card storage (16MB included)
  • Release Date: 2006-02-24
  • Final Grade: 77 3.85 Star Rating: Recommended

Canon PowerShot S3 IS
6 megapixels; 12x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom (conversion lenses optional); auto and manual focus; auto and manual exposure; JPEG file format; ISO 80-800 (High ISO auto); movie mode w/sound; 4 AA batteries; 2.0 inch LCD; SD card storage (16MB included)
By , Last updated on: 8/21/2014

This camera is ancient. We recommend that you go with a much newer model like the Canon SX20. Here's what we had to say about the S3 when it was released way back in February 2006:

Canon's extended zoom camera gets a bit of a makeover. An update of the S2IS, the S3IS is a sleek camera with a cool, gun-metal grey paintjob that says this camera is here to do business. The 6 megapixel sensor and 12x optical zoom combine to create tremendously detailed and versatile images, all kept in line by Canon's powerful image stabilization technology. The S3IS also has a strong video mode as well, offering 30 frames-per-second and stereo-sound that Canon claims can rival even standard camcorders. The S3IS is a serious camera with plenty of functionality, perfect for those who want not just long-range photographs but a long-range experience.

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Top quality optics, dependability, and convenience of use are just some of the reasons that customers choose Canon digital cameras. One of the top makers of digital cameras in the world today, Canon has attained a reputation for creating some of the best digital cameras and digital SLRs available on the market. Canon cameras are inevitably on the camera wish list of any consumer that desires a high quality camera.

Canon is not generally a cheap brand by any means. In spite of this, Canon digital cameras have achieved the best buy status. This proves that you get great value for the extra money. In the past few years, Canon has begun releasing several types that are more inexpensive, without cutting quality.

Canon cameras come in two main types—the smallest is the Powershot line, compact, point-and-shoot cameras that still maintain a reasonable level of image quality. Canon Powershot cameras range from budget point-and-shoots like the ELPH 115 to an advanced compact with a 1.5” sensor, the G1X Mark II. Typically, if you are going to buy a point-and-shoot on nothing but the reputation of the brand, Canon is a pretty safe bet.

The second type of Canon camera is the EOS line—the DSLRs. The EOS line has a solid reputation as well for performance across the board, including video. Canon has a wide range of options available too, from top of the line full frame professional models to small, entry-level DSLRs.

While other manufacturers are concentrating on mirrorless models and packing more power into smaller cameras, Canon doesn't seem to be following that trend exactly. They've released some smaller DSLRs like the SL1, but haven't been putting time into mirrorless models. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal opinion, but the models that are out there are, more often than not, solid performers.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.