Why is the Canon Powershot S3 so inexpensive?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. 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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    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Nov 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    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
    Phil Wheeler, Nov 19, 2006
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  3. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Cgiorgio Guest

    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" <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:pEZ7h.709$...
    >
    > 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/
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    Cgiorgio, Nov 19, 2006
    #3
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