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My wife has the same camera and she loves it. I tested it myself and was pleased at the quality and lighting the camera features. I myself use the Fuji FinePix.
To call the Canon S3 IS a ‘point-and-shoot’ would be to akin to calling a BMW a town car. It’s the amateur photographer’s dream, in that it has all the tools that make having such a size of camera completely worthwhile. Not that it’s any bigger than the palm of your hand. And while we’re on the metaphor of cars, it makes all other point and shoot cameras like puny, wimpy smart cars.
The Canon S3 belongs in a category of its own, in particular because it can do so much, despite the price and its size. My first reaction upon purchase was that it was so small- it fit snugly in my hand, and yet it felt rugged and strong enough for the bumps that I would undoubtedly subject it to.
I wasn’t keen on purchasing those 10MP cameras that have recently made their appearance- my personal experience was that more megapixels meant a larger photo size, but didn’t translate well into better pictures. I wanted something solid, something built to take good photographs, one that gave me enough control over the shots I’d take.
Enter the S3 IS.
The 12x optical zoom is powerful enough to satisfy the macro enthusiast. The aperture and shutter priorities provide you with enough control over your photograph, but take care of enough so that the pictures you want *right now* are fantastic. Of course, if you want more control, there’s the manual option too. If you’re taking a quick shot of a squirrel scampering across the field, there’s the sports shot, and a quick thumb movement will have you ready in no time. For those moments you just can’t wait to fumble around, the S3 is the tool to have. And while on any other camera a 12x optical zoom will do you no good because any small jitter will blur your photograph, the S3 has Image Stabilization (hence the ‘IS’), making for some very very impressive photography.
With a flip out screen, you don’t have to stand on your tiptoes next time you’re at a parade, guessing at the right angle to get some shot or other. In fact, if you rotate your camera, your LCD screen content will move from landscape to portrait, automatically.
I’m also a big fan of the viewfinder. The conventional viewfinders do their job perfectly, but there’s nothing like seeing everything you need while also seeing the thing you’re shooting. And there’s no need to have your face 5 inches from the screen just to be able to make sense of the LCD, no need to flip out the screen every time - the viewfinder has everything you see on the LCD.
Controlling the flash is also really easy- if the flash is down, it’s off. No need to press buttons or go through menus or disable the autoflash. The lenscap, I’ve heard, is a bit of a disappointment for some. For a person such as myself who is inclined to activate the lens before removing the lenscap, it does its job splendidly.
In short, the S3 is the perfect upgrade from the standard in-my-pocket point and shoot that provides satisfactory pictures you just might print someday. The S3 furnishes pictures you’re going to want to print and share- it’s fast when you need it, but with the options you want to compose a beautiful shot. It does justice to the moments you capture.
Check out some of the pictures taken with my Canon S3 IS on my Flickr page.