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S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 11, 2006 03:01PM
Bought one after the recent price drop, knowing that is was most similar to the S2 IS we got last year to supplement the S1 IS from the year before. I love the format of these cameras for my gimpy old, non functioning very well, hands. I've taken many thousands of pics w/ the S1, and a few thousand w/ the S2. My biggest gripe w/ the S2, was that it lost the sports mode that the S1 had, forcing me to save a custom setting to replicate it, or shoot in Tv (shutter priority) mode, both of which can be hard to see to confirm when outside in the usual bright skies of the L.A. area during Baby Buzz's sporting events. With the S2, I occasionally snagged the wrong custom setting by mistake, and didn't get the pictures as desired, but w/ the right setting, the pics were spot on for the most part. ISO topped out at 400 on the earlier cameras, and I usually shot at 100 or 200, now the S3 goes to ISO 800, and regains the lost sports mode from the S1.

I'm not sure this is a good thing... I shot a little over 100 pics this weekend in sports mode w/ the new S3, only to find them incredibly grainy/noisy compared to anything shot w/ the S1 or S2. Unfortunately there is nothing in the manual, or online about the underpinnings of the sports mode setting. Judging by the results, it appears that the ISO must be cranked all the way up. I called Canon, and the tech couldn't find any substantive info, but guessed the same thing. Sports mode on the S1 was great; mostly just set it and forget under normal conditions; that is what I was hoping for w/ the S3.

I'll have to shoot a bunch w/ the S3 in Tv mode and the ISO at various lower levels in the next few days to compare, and if the noise and grain improves substantially, to what it should be, that should confirm that sports mode on the S3 cranks the ISO unnecessarily high. If the grain and noise are still prevalent, I'm guessing that just means the S3 I received has an abnormally noisy sensor, and I'll send it back, whereupon I'd hope that sports mode would be improved.... tough to figure out what results to hope for.

Another "feature" of the S3 and its sports mode implementation, is that it overrides the review setting, and is always in continuous shoot mode, but doesn't let you set it to high speed continuous shoot (burst) mode. The S1 let you shoot single sports shots and keep the review feature on, which I liked for baseball, and turned off for soccer. More testing is definitely needed. These S series are so close, I keep hoping for perfection...

Buzz
==



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: September 11, 2006 04:37PM
The meta data ought to tell you what the ASA was when the image was taken. You can get it in review mode; or at least you can on my G3....
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Body Pulls Apart, A Bit --- Your too?
Posted by: Sam*
Date: September 11, 2006 05:16PM
I have an S2 and am generally quite satisfied.

One weird thing is that if you pull on the hand grip with your right hand and hold your left hand study you can pull the body apart, a little bit. I was ready to send mine back when I got my hands on someone else's brand new S2 and it did the same thing. Maybe we should both send ours back. Makes me a little nervous. Anybody else notice this on any of the S series cameras?

Sam*
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 11, 2006 05:53PM
will check for meta data, was aware of size, shutter, and aperture, but not sure about film speed equivalent...

can't grip hard enough to notice any body movement; maybe that's a good thing... will try some more test shots at Baby Buzz's practice in a little bit...



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: Body Pulls Apart, A Bit --- Your too?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: September 11, 2006 05:54PM
Quote
Buzz
ISO topped out at 400 on the earlier cameras, and I usually shot at 100 or 200, now the S3 goes to ISO 800, and regains the lost sports mode from the S1.

???

My S2 goes to ISO 1600.

Quote
Sam*
I have an S2 and am generally quite satisfied.

One weird thing is that if you pull on the hand grip with your right hand and hold your left hand study you can pull the body apart, a little bit. I was ready to send mine back when I got my hands on someone else's brand new S2 and it did the same thing. Maybe we should both send ours back. Makes me a little nervous. Anybody else notice this on any of the S series cameras?

I've taken 40 or 50 thousand shots with my S2, and its body is still very sturdy. I got it in the fall of '02.




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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: pRON aHOLIC
Date: September 11, 2006 05:59PM
Quote
Buzz
These S series are so close, I keep hoping for perfection...

Buzz
==

That's when they try to talk you into their dSLR.



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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 11, 2006 06:07PM
well, its nearly as big as a dSLR...





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: pRON aHOLIC
Date: September 11, 2006 06:10PM
That's why the next step up is the very compact rebel XT/XTi for people that want SLR features but not too much more added bulk.



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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: September 11, 2006 06:22PM
*sigh*

I guess I missed the I called Canon, and the tech couldn't find any substantive info bit in the middle of all that.

I was thinking of the Fuji S1/S2/S3.




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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: September 11, 2006 06:52PM
you know, in the world two inches outside your eyeballs, people have no idea what you're talking about. S3 IS????



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 11, 2006 07:20PM
hey elmo,

in the world two inches outside of your eyeballs, you are a dick.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2006 07:21PM by Kraniac.
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 11, 2006 08:15PM
test shots in S3's Tv mode at Baby Buzz's practice were noticeably improved, but still nowhere as sharp and noise free as the S1 or S2. I didn't get to try a whole lot of variations, but the selected shutter speeds I used today from 1/500 to 1/1000 sure seemed quite a bit slower than advertised as well. I'll put the S3 through a few more paces, but if it doesn't start living up to it promising predecessors, it's probably going back for an exchange. I haven't tried the other modes and settings yet, so to be completely fair, I'm reserving final judgment until those are tested, too...



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: September 11, 2006 08:51PM
Quote
Kraniac
hey elmo,

in the world two inches outside of your eyeballs, you are a dick.

Ah, name calling. On web forum, the last refuge of the incompetent.

Nothing you say changes the fact: Buzz's post made no sense. He could have been talking about peanut butter for all anyone knew.

Buzz knew what he was talking about, but when you're the only one who knows what you're saying...



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 11, 2006 09:35PM
Never overestimate the intelligence of a single person...a bitter, condescending, nitpicking, one upper who regularily insults the intelligence of whomever he deems to be inferior (on the internet). One who comprises a group of one, sitting at computer, pissing in an empty bean can.

I'll take incompetent over pathetic any day.

Nothing changes the fact: Your post was piss and vinegar, totally condescending, reeking of dick. There were many other ways to phrase your objection to his lack of clarity. You chose the a-hole tone and that pretty much says it all, Elmo.
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: MartyStickle
Date: September 11, 2006 09:45PM
I don't know, but I understood Buzz perfectly. Maybe we both like peanut butter.
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: bfd
Date: September 11, 2006 11:15PM
Glad you like the camera, Buzz. bfd's been impressed with his so far. It's a much better choice to take places where you don't want to attract unwanted attention with a dSLR and lens set-up but still want to get some decent pictures.

The 1.5x teleconverter and the conversion lens adapter (with lens shade) is a worthwhile investment if you're going to be shooting outdoor sports.
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 12, 2006 02:46AM
Hi Buzz (and baby Buzz). Here's an interesting thread on dpreview.com that relates to what you're trying to acheive. bfd you may be interested as well.

[forums.dpreview.com]
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: September 12, 2006 06:34AM
Quote
Kraniac
I'll take incompetent over pathetic any day.

That you would "take" incompetent at all, speaks volumes.



Quote

Nothing changes the fact: Your post was piss and vinegar, totally condescending, reeking of dick. There were many other ways to phrase your objection to his lack of clarity. You chose the a-hole tone and that pretty much says it all, Elmo.

You may choose to perceive the world however you like. That doesn't make it so.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 12, 2006 06:38PM
thanks vision63, read the thread in the link, and it seems to confirm every point I alluded to;

S3 sports mode is low continuous shoot only, no access to high speed
it uses high ISO w/ no info in meta data
no review option
no way to overide ISO setting
Canon ain't talking
etc.

will take more test shots through the weekend, then re-evaluate. It is more responsive than the S1 and S2, but the "usual style" pics of the kid are just not as crisp yet as w/ the earlier models, and that's what we're looking for... anyone know how to test the sensors to compare?



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: S3 IS; First Impressions...
Posted by: GeneL
Date: September 15, 2006 12:48AM
I bought an S3 IS for my S/O on the 2nd and, so far, I really like it. Cost $351 at Best Buy with a promotional coupon. Also bought their four year warranty for $60 and got one year no interest using my BB card. I had ordered one from Costco online but it wasn't going to make it for Mavis' birthday and it came to a little over $400 with shipping, so it was a wash against the price with the warranty.

To keep it simple, I've been shooting on either Auto or Time preferred settings. The results look excellent on my G5/Dell 20.1" widescreen.

I haven't printed any of the shots yet, but even when I zoom in the quality is excellent, even with the flash shots I took. This was a biggie for me, since I had returned a SD 550 and a SD600 because of terrible flash performance. Outdoor picture quality was great on both but good flash performance is a must for us.

I had been looking for a versatile (12x zoom and OIS) compact and easy to use camera and from my initial impression Mavis is going to be very happy using it.

BTW, I purchased the Lensmate 52mm adapter along with the clip-in lens cap and Hoya UV filter.

Thanks for the tip Buzz smiling smiley

For the money, I feel that the S3 IS was a good choice.

I had also considered the Panasonic DCM FX7, but all the reviews that I found pointed to a problem with greater sensor noise than the S3. Also, I like the fact that I can use AA alkaline batteries as a backup to rechargeables. On top of all its other features, I felt that Mavis would appreciate the S3's excellent movie taking ability.

I just don't think I could have done any better for around $350.

As I always say, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

GeneL
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