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Why is the Canon Powershot S3 so inexpensive?

 
 
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
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      11-19-2006

I've been looking at the Canon Powershot S3, which seems to
incorporate a USM-type IS lens and a 6Mpix sensor into what is almost
a dSLR combination, except for the changable lenses. But with a 10X
zoom, all but the most extreme ranges are covered. The only thing
missing from the S3 that I can see is an option for an external flash.

So why is this so cheap? Is the lens as good as Canon's SLR lenses?
How's the shutter lag? How do pictures from the S3 compare to picture
from a digital Rebel?

Thanks.

-Joel


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Phil Wheeler
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      11-19-2006
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
> I've been looking at the Canon Powershot S3, which seems to
> incorporate a USM-type IS lens and a 6Mpix sensor into what is almost
> a dSLR combination, except for the changable lenses. But with a 10X
> zoom, all but the most extreme ranges are covered. The only thing
> missing from the S3 that I can see is an option for an external flash.
>
> So why is this so cheap? Is the lens as good as Canon's SLR lenses?
> How's the shutter lag? How do pictures from the S3 compare to picture
> from a digital Rebel?
>


It all has to do with the smaller sensor .. which
means the 12x (not 10x) zoom is much smaller than
a 12x zoom for a dSLR, etc. A dSLR with a 12x IS
zoom lens would be big, heavy, expensive beast. I
think the closest you can come is a 28-200 IS lens
made by Canon which sells for close to $2000 ..
and it is not something I'd want to carry.

I have a DRebel, a 20D and many lenses. I also
have an S3 IS which I use frequently because I can
have lots of capability (including movie clips) in
one small package and no lens changes. Images are
darned good!

Low light (high ISO) is where I will always use my
20D. I can get OK results at ISO 1600 and great
results at ISO 800. With S3 IS I go to ISO 400 in
a pinch, but mostly no higher that ISO 200.

But to get equivalent (really more) reach with my
20D, I carry a 17-85IS and a 70-300 DO IS (equiv
to 28-480 mm vs. 36 to 432 with S3 IS).

Phil
 
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Cgiorgio
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      11-19-2006
The powershot S3 IS is using a 1/2.5" sensor,

The Powershot S3 is using a 1/2,5" which has an active area of about 10.2 x
5.8 mm active area with 11,7 mm diagonal.
To illuminate such a small format sensor, you need a lot less glass then for
a 4/3", APS - size or a full frame sensor. Also the cost of the sensor chip
is far lower, as one can obtain about 10 times as many 1/2.5" sensors as
4/3" sensors from the same size silicon wafer while the processing cost for
the wafer is similar.

Obviously the area available for each pixel (photodetector unit) will also
be smaller by a factor of about 10 for the 1/2.5" sensor. That results in a
lower signal to noise ratio or lesser dynamic range. Under good lighting
conditions, it does not matter much, but under low light conditions and long
exposure times noise becomes a problem. Some of it can be hidden by the
camera's signal processing. If you plan to use the camera mainly outside in
daytime, the pictures from a compact camera will be of similar quality. If
you have to shoot indoors with available light, a DSLR will give you quite
visible better quality. If you opt for a compact, I would also have a look
at the Panasonic, Kodak, Sony range of superzoom cameras.


"Dr. Joel M. Hoffman" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
newsEZ7h.709$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> I've been looking at the Canon Powershot S3, which seems to
> incorporate a USM-type IS lens and a 6Mpix sensor into what is almost
> a dSLR combination, except for the changable lenses. But with a 10X
> zoom, all but the most extreme ranges are covered. The only thing
> missing from the S3 that I can see is an option for an external flash.
>
> So why is this so cheap? Is the lens as good as Canon's SLR lenses?
> How's the shutter lag? How do pictures from the S3 compare to picture
> from a digital Rebel?
>
> Thanks.
>
> -Joel
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Free Hanukah songsheets in Hebrew and English: http://liturgy.exc.com/
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>



 
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