13 Oct 2006

I’ve been wanting a new camera for a while now. My old one, a PowerShot S45, has served me well over the past 4 years, but it had started to show its age.

Having played with Roo’s PowerShot S2 IS, I’ve had its successor, the S3 on my Amazon wishlist for a few months now.

With my Honeymoon fast approaching, I decided last week to go ahead and buy it – it didn’t hurt that Jo said it would be my wedding/birthday/christmas present from her!

It arrived today along with some rechargable batteries and a slightly paltry 16Mb SD card – there are 2x 512Mb SD cards in the post.

I’m not going to do a full review of the camera here – read the one linked to above if you are interested. The only feature I feel the need to really show-off is the Super Macro mode. This enables the camera to focus at 0mm – ie objects touching the lense.

By way of comparison, check out these two photos of a spider who has been living on my window for the past couple months.
The left-hand image was taken with Jo’s new IXUS 60, the right-hand image with my new toy. The crispness of S3’s image is astounding.

Spider - IXUS60   Spider - S3IS

For some reason, macro photos of spiders seems to be the photo of choice recently.

  1. Roo ReynoldsOctober 13, 2006

    The S3 looks stunning. My S2 feels so.. dated now. 🙂

    Lovely stuff. Especially the macro comparison with the IXUS. Cripsy!

  2. andypOctober 15, 2006

    So I’ve got a DSLR, and I want a compact to slip in my pocket for the days when I don’t have the 350D with me – I’d always thought the IXUS would be a good option, but seeing this I have to wonder. That S3 shot looks superb. Just not as portable, though 🙁

  3. nolOctober 15, 2006

    Andyp: Generally, the IXUS is a great camera. The comparison shot above maybe a little unfair – I could probably have got a better shot had I not been rushing to blog about it 🙂

    I do agree about the portability – this was one of the reasons I didn’t buy the S3 earlier in the year. I went to Jessops on Friday and bought a small-ish bag for it, but it is a step up from my S45.

    I can’t recommend enough the reviews at http://www.dpreview.com – very thorough.

  4. Ron GerhardDecember 14, 2006

    some ISO 400 and 800 photos:

    Not so good, I think.

  5. Chicago Astronomer JoeDecember 17, 2006

    I recently got a Powershot S3 and quite happy with it.

    I researched the digital world extensively, desiring to upgrade from my trusty Kodak DX 3215, but it was quite limited and I needed something more robust. I looked into obtaining a strict DSLR, but the prices are in the high hundreds and low thousands…out of my price range. And I wanted the capability of shooting video. The S3 had everytning I desired…and more. The movie feature is quite nice, even at it’s lowest settings.

    Baseline prices were averaging around $399.00, with small variations. On-line deals were slightly better, but not much. I saw an ad from OfficeMax offering the S3 for $369.00 – with an instant $30.00 in-store rebate. They threw in a free 512mb SD card and the option to purchase a $100.00 Canon photo printer for $30.00. I took the offer, but declined the extended warrenty of $79.00 for two years. I am happy with the purchase.

    It has plenty of zoom (12x), and takes very good images. And the sharpness of the images are quite good. I have plenty of experience with my old 35mm Nikon film camera, and the S3 exceeds it in many areas. I do not miss lugging around various lenses and accessories, and this camera has plenty of features to satisfy the photographer.

    I have experimented with the manual controls and find them exceptional, with real time results. And as an additional benefit, everybody who has seen it, has complimented me on the purchase…even die hard strict DSLR users.

    I will look into aftermarket Lens hoods and tele-converters to enhance the performance.

    I needed a camera for astrophotography, and I hope this one will seve well, but one observation…

    It’s remarkable that I have been able to record star, constellations and nebulae with just the camera lens, but I find it bothersome that I cannot focus stars down to pin points, it just stops short. I don’t know if this is inherent to all digital cameras, but maybe it’s just mine.

    There are examples of my practice begining astrophotography efforts here:


    and here


    Other than that, I highly recommend this camera.


    Chicago Astronomer Joe

  6. Chicago Astronomer JoeFebruary 1, 2007

    Fellow S3 Owners,

    I recently obtained accessories for the S3, and a full narrative with pics can be found here:


    Among the items are: Two lens adapters, filters, Hood and other goodies.

    The S3 has proven to be a great little Camera.


    Chicago Astronomer Joe

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