Thursday, July 06, 2006

Canon Powershot S3 IS

[Pic Courtesy dpreview]

I finally upgraded my A510 and became the owner of a Canon Powershot S3 IS yesterday. Longtime readers will remember that the last time I was shopping around for a camera, I had picked the Powershot S2 IS as my dream camera. So it was natural that the S3 IS, Canon's upgrade(relatively minor one though) to the S2 IS, was my dream pick this time around. I eventually ended up buying the A510 last time due to budget restrictions but this time, the dream became real and the S3 IS is now in my hands.

Unlike the last time, the selection process was pretty short this time. Having decided on the "ultra-zoom, compact" category, there weren't as many entries to consider as the last time. Based on the reviews, the only real competition to the S3 IS came from Sony's DSC-H2 and Panasonic's DMZ-FZ7. I didn't consider the latter much but the former has gotten great reviews and since it is cheaper, uses only 2 AA batteries and comes with rechargeable batteries and a charger, it provides more bang for the buck. But the A510 has made me wary of cameras using only 2 AAs since the flash takes a while to recharge and I had to wait a frustrating 4-5 seconds between shots when using the flash (this was a huge pain any time I had to pictures indoors). And my partiality to Canon when it comes to cameras finally made me go with the S3 IS.

The S3 IS is no D-SLR but comes pretty close. It has 6 MP resolution and a huge 12X optical zoom. Unlike the S2 IS, which came only in silver, the S3 IS also comes in black. It has image stabilization, which is crucial when using the large zoom, and its 'super' macro mode allows macro shots at distances of 0cm! Ofcourse it has all the usual bells and whistles like full manual controls, preset modes for fireworks, snow, etc., an AF-assist lamp and a flip-out LCD. There are also some 'cool' features like the ability to snap a photo with only 1 color(all other colors show up as black & white) or take a photo with 1 color swapped with another. Improvements over the S2 IS also include a live histrogram when taking pictures. I pretty much never use the movie mode on cameras but the one on this camera is supposed to be the best in the business.

Let the clicking begin!

16 Comments:

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Prasanna said...

balaji, it luks so majestic and absolutely minblowing.How abt the weight of the camera. Is it a bit heavy to carry? Waiting to c some snaps taken using it.

 
At 12:02 AM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

Congrats. I have S2 IS and the movie mode is amazing. So naturally, S3 IS movie mode should be too good too!
Its really a good buy. 12X Zoom is very very very good!

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

prasanna, once we've got used to the thin, lightweight, compact camera, this is defly heavier. but not too heavy and it doesn't feel bulky...

ferrari, yeah that post where u talked about getting the S2 IS was one of the catalysts that got me thinking about a new camera :) so double thanx :)

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger visithra said...

oh drool drool - new cam - i so love cameras n watching ppl buy them -

 
At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Jaimi said...

oh that is sweeeeeet!
Cams are such good toys.

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

Balaji, I actually own one of the other cameras that you thought of - the Panasonic FZ5S (though not the same model number, it has the same 5MP & 12X optical zoom too). I tried to stay away from Canon, not bcos of any particular demerit but just didnt want to get a Canon :) The Panasonic has treated me pretty well so far. But the problem with these 12X optical zoom cameras are they are very bulky and when you do any outdoor activity like hiking, it is difficult to carry this around. So, it is probably a better idea to own a slimmer camera, in addition to this one :))

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Balaji
Check this out.

Take close up of your kids outside. Zoom in and take the shot.

Look at the skin tone. Is it yellowish? ( It can be corrected easily by any software) but I noticed it.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Nice camera :). I love canons! I don't care what anyone says... those darlings rock!

Congrats on your new camera and I'm looking forward to seeing some awesome photographs :D

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous ram said...

one of my friends is a big-time shutterbug and he, along with his friend, has taken some breathtakingly beautiful pics...have a look:
http://deep-shots.blogspot.com/

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a Canon SLR too. Bought it some 5-6 years back. It is a beginner's camera, and shoots well. I am no great photographer though, even if I want to think so.

I always thought Nikon produces the best cameras. At least, most popular photographers seem to be carrying one. I hope to get an upgrade soon:-)

-Kajan

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger KK said...

Congrats balaji on your upgrade...Hoping to see some awesome pictures from your new Cannon S3.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

visithra/jaimi, my sentiments exactly :)

filbert, looks like the way i felt about panasonic is the way u felt about canon! but yeah, the moment i held it i could see that it would be a pain lugging it around on hikes and stuff. but then again, i dont do so many of those :)

narayanan, the first shots i took were closeups of the kids. but took the pics indoors and skin tone came out perfect. will try it outdoors too...

merino, thanx. and me too :)

ram, yeah they have some nice pics of the washington-oregon area...

kajan, not sure if nikon has any cameras in this category. they're supposed to have the best D-SLRs but didn't want to go that high :)

kk, thanks. i'm hoping for that too :)

 
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