The Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera certainly has an astonishing amount to offer. In fact, it goes beyond the enormous zoom range. A sensitivity range, a decent resolution, many video and audio possibilities and, naturally, the extensive photographic options, make the Canon S3 an attractive camera for everyone. You are not likely to lose your way around the Canon PowerShot S3 IS; everything on the camera is well-arranged, and has been set up according to the familiar Canon method.
Canon PowerShot S3 IS - Photography
It doesn't take long to activate the Canon S3 IS; in fact, the camera needs less than a second to be ready to capture your first shot. A remarkable performance, especially considering the fact this camera has a lens that extends. The camera reacts rapidly to the shutter release button, and the shutter release lag is minimal. All buttons are properly positioned and most can be operated by the right thumb, without the need to remove your hand from the handgrip. The advantages of the rotating and tilting LCD display become more than apparent when you are capturing your images. You no longer require lying down on the ground in order to achieve a "low" position or angle, and it is now significantly simpler to capture a shot overhead without losing your view. Or, for the sake of vanity, capture a self portrait.
Canon S3 IS digital camera - Green mode
There will undoubtedly be a large group of users that will operate the Canon PowerShot S3 IS solely in the green mode; allowing the camera to make all decisions for them. It should be said, however, that the flash does not flip up automatically; it needs to be pulled upwards. A slight shortcoming, in my opinion. A future successor would definitely benefit from a flash that does flip up automatically in the green mode. Granted, a text signalling the fact that the flash should be flipped up does appear, yet for those who use the green mode, this is still likely to cause a certain degree of inconvenience. It is, after all, precisely this green mode that should ensure an effortless operation, without requiring too much thought or input.
Canon PowerShot S3 IS - Native language
An exceptional plus point is the fact that the Canon PowerShot S3 IS can be set in a vast amount of languages, which greatly improves the chance of being able to work with the camera in your native language. In the end, this is always slightly more pleasant than a foreign language, no matter how well you may master it. The Canon S3 will certainly provide you with sufficient information. Both the shutter speed and the aperture are shown, and you can also opt for a histogram. If this proves to be too much, there is an additional setting that allows only the most necessary information to be displayed.
Canon PowerShot S3 IS - Video mode
Personally, I needed a while to get used to the fact that, upon starting the camera, I saw not only the amount of images I could capture, but also the amount of space left for a video clip. At first, you find yourself slightly puzzled as to how the Canon S3 IS can be changed from the video mode. It doesn't take long, however, to realise the Canon PowerShot S3 IS does not come with a separate video mode. If you push the shutter release button, a photo is taken. If you push the red button, a video clip is recorded. Come to think of it, this is about as easy as things get. Remarkable, in fact, that we don't see this from other brands.
Canon S3 IS camera - Zoom buttons
As a dSLR user, I'm not a fan of zoom buttons. Personally, I prefer a ring around the lens, mainly because a zoom button generally does not allow you to frame accurately, not to mention that it slows things down considerably. I have to say "generally", because the Canon PowerShot S3 IS proves to be a positive exception to the rule. Upon pushing the switch all the way down, the camera zooms in fast and large steps. If the switch isn't moved entirely, however, you are able to frame with considerable accuracy. This was indeed a pleasant surprise.
Canon S3 IS - Film and Capture images at the same time
Not only do you have the option to zoom accurately, it is also a virtually soundless process. Perhaps not quite that significant for photography, yet all the more when recording a video clip. It can even be called reasonably unique that the user is able to zoom in during filming. To top it all off, you also have the option to film and capture images at the very same time! During filming, just push the shutter release button. The camera will simply focus and capture a photo; not in the low video resolution, mind you, but in the full 6 Megapixels, a truly unique feature! The same can be said for the ability to record sound in stereo; after all, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS is equipped with two small microphones on its front side. In addition, the sound can be filtered; by a wind filter or through an adjustment of the sampling rate. Summing everything up, it becomes perfectly clear that the Canon S3 IS is more than just a photo camera; it is in fact a true multimedia device!