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Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Ilse Jurriƫn : February 21th 2006 - 16:00 CETupdated
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CanonCanon PowerShot S3 IS : The Canon PowerShot S3 IS is 6 Megapixel hybrid digital camera that is equally at home with photo enthusiasts and digital diehards as it is in the hands of the point-and-shoot "where do I press?" set. Remarkably, whether engaged in VGA quality videography at 30 fps with stereo sound recording, high-resolution still photography, or capturing both at the same time, the Canon S3 IS remains easy to use. The successor to the five Megapixel S2 IS, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS enhancements begin with Canon's newly designed 6 Megapixel image sensor that together with Canon's DIGIC II image processor dramatically reduces "noise" for better image quality and achieves ISO equivalent speed ratings ranging from 80 to 800.
Canon PowerShot S3 ISCanon S3 IS - Image stabilizer
This increased sensitivity allows the use of faster shutter speeds, thereby reducing the effects of camera shake and subject blur during hand-held photography in low light. Adding to that unshakeable quality is the Canon S3 IS digital camera's shift-type optical image stabilization system. Unlike electronic image stabilizer systems that typically cause degradation of image quality, Canon based its Lens Shift type of Image Stabilizer system on the advancements in the development and refinement of Canon's EF and video lenses.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera - Accessories
This Image Stabilizer provides up to three stops of camera shake correction in shutter speed equivalent. It is essential when engaging the camera's retractable 12x optical zoom lens because the extension of a long lens magnifies camera shake in direct proportion with the amount of lens magnification employed. (For those seeking still greater optical capabilities, Canon offers an optional 1.5x Tele Converter, a 0.75x Wide Converter and a high-quality dual element Close-up Lens).

Canon PowerShot S3 - Optical zoom lens
The Canon S3 IS digital camera's 12x zoom lens has an equivalent film focal length of 36-432 mm (f/2.7 at wide angle and f/3.5 at telephoto). Despite the extraordinary range of the zoom lens, it retracts securely into the camera when it is powered down. The optical zoom can be augmented by the camera's 4x digital zoom raising the maximum (35mm equivalent) focal length to that of a 1728mm lens. What's more, this UD lens features a high-speed silent zoom function powered by a micro motor USM drive, increasing ease of quiet, non-intrusive image capture. For extreme close-ups, the camera's macro and super macro mode permit shooting a subject as close as 0-inches from the end of the lens barrel.


Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera - Video clip
In addition to recording in high-quality VGA (640 x 480 pixels) movie mode at 30 fps, the user can increase the frame speed to 60 fps in QVGA (320 x 240) movie mode. Similarly, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera also features a QVGA 320 x 240-pixel setting with a choice of 30 or 15 fps. Continuous movie recording is possible up to a maximum file size of 1GB or 60 minutes, whichever comes first, (depending on the capacity of the user's memory card and its data write speed). What's more, regardless of the mode dial position or even whether the camera is in capture or playback mode, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera automatically starts and stops recording movies with the simple press of a button on the camera back.

Canon S3 IS camera - LCD monitor
Newly enhanced for the Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera thanks to the model's new 6 Megapixel image sensor, MovieSnap enables the user to capture high-resolution 6 Megapixel still images while recording movies, ensuring that memories of milestones are preserved for video view as well as for picture frames, photo albums and email sharing. True to its hybrid nature, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera's larger 2.0 inch Vari-Angle LCD screen swings out (as is common on video cameras) permitting the user to compose shots including self-portraits without having to twist and maneuver into uncomfortable positions.

Canon DIGIC II imaging processor
True to the PowerShot tradition, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera has many of the latest advances in Canon technology including the proprietary DIGIC II imaging processor. The processor enhances picture definition, vibrancy, and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras' start-up, auto focus, shutter response, playback, and image processing speed while reducing power consumption by 35 percent compared to the original DIGIC chip. Consumers benefit from accelerated image transfer speed (when used with a USB 2.0 compatible computer, printer, or other peripheral), thanks to the inclusion of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port. The USB 2.0 port is backwards compatible (at no increased speed) with computers featuring standard USB 1.1 connections.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS - Special effects
Canon's PowerShot S3 IS camera features a Sports Mode that allows users to select high shutter speeds and the camera automatically selects the appropriate aperture for capturing beautiful action shots. The Canon S3 IS camera also includes a new widescreen 16:9 ratio resolution setting that facilitates creating panoramic-style prints. Additionally, the new model supports 23 languages (now including Thai and Arabic). The Canon PowerShot S3 IS camera has an improved direct printing function that permits greater flexibility in print settings, including a face brightener setting for backlit photos.

PowerShot S3 IS - Image processing
Canon also enhanced the 'My Colors' mode found in the new PowerShot line. Where previously, users could only enable 'My Colors' while shooting, the current iteration permits captured images to be retouched as well, without the need for special software applications or tools. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red; lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects. A color accent setting turns all colors but the one selected by the user to monochrome and the color swap mode enables users to alter specific colors in an image by sampling another color from the same image or any other image on the camera's memory card. So, 'My Colors' provides PowerShot users with an incredible range of creative photo effects that can be accessed directly in the camera with no need for post-processing in a computer.

Canon S3 IS digital camera - Direct Print
Like all PowerShot digital cameras, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera works seamlessly with Canon's petite Selphy Compact Photo Printers, an essential PowerShot accessory. Consumers simply connect their S3 IS digital camera to a Selphy printer, such as the Canon Selphy CP510 and CP710 models. Press the lighted Print/Share button, and within seconds, images emerge. Presto! It is that simple. Canon's Selphy Compact Photo Printers are PictBridge compatible. They work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras and offer excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera. At 28 cents-per-print, printing photos directly from a digital camera is both easy and affordable.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS - Price and Availability
The new 6 Megapixel Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera will be available in May for an estimated selling price of $499.99. Canon will debut the new Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera in its booth during the Photo Marketing Association (PMA 2006) exhibit in Orlando, Fla., from February 26th - March 1st, 2006.

About Canon USA, Inc.
Canon USA delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2005, with global revenues of $31.8 billion.

Updated : Canon PowerShot S3 IS review
"All the positive sides of the PowerShot S2 IS seem to have found their way to its successor. The Canon PowerShot S3 is an exceptionally compact digital camera that is easily carried along. The DIGIC II processor ensures a fast and proper processing of the image information, just as was the case with its predecessor." Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot S3 IS review now to find out about our experiences with this digital compact camera.

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