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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Canon S3 IS

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Canon PowerShot S3 IS


Canon PowerShot S3 IS

DIWA Awards: Canon PowerShot S3 IS Wins Gold!

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Canon PowerShot S3 IS succeeds the S2 IS with 6.0MP resolution, the same high-powered 12x optical zoom lens with built-in image stabilization, and enhanced movie capabilities.

The Canon S3 IS incorporates UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens into the lens element to reduce the much dreaded chromatic aberration (purple fringing).

As in the Canon S2 IS (and S1 IS before that), the Canon S3 IS retains the Optical Image Stabilizer to reduce camera shake; and the quiet, super-smooth and super-fast ultra-sonic motor (USM).

The PowerShot S3 IS can take VGA (640 x 480 pixels) movies at 30 fps. A new movie mode now allows you to take very smooth QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) movies at 60 frames per second.

Optical zooming and recording in stereo sound is possible while shooting a movie. Additionally, digital zoom and manual focus are also available, as well as adjusting the exposure, or locking the AF or exposure while shooting a movie. Movies can be taken continuously (depending on the storage capacity of the recording media) until the clip size reaches 1GB or the clip length reaches 1 hour.

Now there's no need to interrupt your movie when you see a great shot. With the new "MovieSnap" feature, just press the shutter to capture a full 6MP still image at any time while recording a movie.

ISO setting can now go as high as ISO 800 to allow low light shooting. Super Macro mode takes you to shoot as close as the front element of the lens., i.e. from 0 to 10 cm (0 to 3.9 in.).

The Vari-Angle LCD is now 2.0 in., and a new "Print Menu" includes all the menus for printing. The Print/Share Button makes for easy direct printing and downloading of pictures. PictBridge compatibility allows for direct printing from camera to printer (regardless of the devices' brand and model) without using a computer.

The Canon S3 IS, with its great features, high resolution and a super long 12x optical zoom with image stabilization, will appeal to beginner and serious amateur photographers.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Canon PowerShot S3 ISS3 IS Home Page
S3 IS BeBit
  Image Sensor 6.0 effective megapixels
1/2.5-inch type CCD
  Lens Canon  
  Focal Length 6.0 (W) - 72.0 (T) mm (35 mm film equivalent: 36 - 432 mm)  
  Maximum Aperture f/2.7 (W) - f/3.5 (T)  
  Optical Zoom 12x  
  Shooting Distance / Macro

Normal AF: 50 cm (1.6 ft.) - infinity (W) / 90 cm (3.0 ft.) - infinity (T)

Macro: 10 - 50 cm (3.9 in. - 1.6 ft. (W))

Super Macro: 0 - 10 cm (0 - 3.9 in.) (W only)

  Auto Focus TTL autofocus (continuous or single)
Focus lock and Manual focus are available
Focusing frame: 1-point AF (fixed to center or FlexiZone AF)
  Shutter Speed 15 - 1/3200 sec.
* The shutter speed varies according to the shooting mode.
* Shutter speeds of 15 to 1.3 sec. are available in Shutter-speed priority mode or Manual mode.
* Slow shutter speeds of 15 to 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.
  Exposure Control Program, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Manual  
  Shooting Modes

Auto: Creative zone: Program, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Custom

Image zone: Portrait, Landscape, Night scene, Sports, Special Scene*, Stitch Assist, Movie

* Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Color Swap, Color Accent, Night Snapshot, Indoor

  Continuous Shooting

Approx. 1.5 shots/sec. (Large/Fine mode)
Approx. 2.3 shots/sec. (High-speed continuous shooting, Large/Fine mode)


Shooting interval: approx. 1 - 60 min. (1-min. increments)
Number of shots: 2 - 100 shots (Maximum number of shots varies according to memory card capacity.)


Activates shutter after an approx. 10-sec./approx. 2-sec. delay, Custom Timer

  PC-controlled Shooting

Available (USB connection only. Exclusive software program is included in the camera kit.)

  Movie Recording pixels/Frame Rate

640 x 480 pixels (30 frames/sec.)
640 x 480 pixels (15 frames/sec.)
320 x 240 pixels (60 frames/sec.)
320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.)
320 x 240 pixels (15 frames/sec.)
Recording can continue until the memory card is full*
(Max. Clip Size at one time: 1 GB)**

* Using super high-speed memory cards
(SDC-512MSH recommended).
** Even if the clip size has not reached 1 GB, recording will stop at the moment the clip length reaches 1 hour. Depending on the volume and data writing speed of the memory card, recording will stop before reaching 1 hour or before the recorded data volume has reached 1 GB.

  Light Metering Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (Center or AF-point)  
  Exposure Compensation ±2.0 stops in 1/3-stop increments Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) and Safety Shift is available.  
  White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash or custom  
  Viewfinder Color LCD viewfinder Picture coverage rate 100%
Dioptric Adjustment -5.5 - +1.5 m*1 (dpt)
  LCD 2.0-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon
TFT (vari-angle type) color LCD (Approx. 115,000 pixels, picture coverage 100%)
  ISO Sensitivity

Auto*, High ISO Auto*, ISO 80/100/200/400/800 equivalent

* The camera automatically selects the optimal speed when Auto or High ISO Auto is set.

  Storage Media SD memory card/MultiMediaCard  
  Battery AA alkaline batteries (included in the camera kit)
AA NiMH batteries (NB-300) (sold separately)
Compact Power Adapter (CA-PS700) (sold separately)
  Included Accessories
16MB SD Card
4 AA Alkaline Batteries
Stereo/Video Cable, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B)
Strap (Neck) & Lens Cap
Software CD-ROMs (Digital Camera Solution)

Optional Accessories

(Sold separately)

Wide Converter WC-DC58A
Tele-converter TC-DC58B
Close-up Lens 500D (58mm)
Lens Adapter/Lens Hood Set LAH-DC20
High-Power Flash HF-DC1
Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700
Battery/Charger Kit CBK4-300
  Dimensions (W x H x D)

113.4 x 78.0 x 75.5 mm /
4.46 x 3.07 x 2.97 in.

(excluding protrusions)

  Weight (Camera body only) Approx. 410 g / 14.5 oz.  
  MSRP US$ 499.99 / CDN$ 800  

All data is based on Canon's standard testing methods.
Subject to change without notice.

Sample Images



Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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