Canon S3 or S5....?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rohit, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Rohit

    Rohit Guest


    I am having canon A310 and learning photography using it, and now
    planing to get other new one. I have seen Canon PowerShot S3 IS and
    S5, now confuse between these two. Or if you already know any other
    good model which helps more in learning, please let me know. I'd sure
    appreciate a suggestion.

    Thanks in advance.


    NT: Please route me to correct group if I have posted in wrong group.
    Rohit, Jul 22, 2007
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  2. Rohit

    BaumBadier Guest

    Both will be excellent cameras.

    The S5 cripples a few of the nicer features that were available in the S3, but
    you may find having the hot-shoe and larger LCD on the S5 important if you plan
    to use external flash-units or rely heavily on using the LCD for composition.
    Most seasoned photographers find little use for an LCD except in difficult
    shooting situations where you can't easily position yourself to see through the
    EVF. However, people have reported that the EVF and LCD are a bit brighter in
    the S5 compared to the S3. This could be important in bright daylight
    conditions. On the downside, the Intervalometer feature in the S3 was removed in
    the S5. You can't take a sequence of photos unattended over a long period of
    time. Doing things like recording the opening of a flower, or the phases of a
    lunar-eclipse all automatically. Things of that nature. Plus the high-speed
    continuous mode was reduced from 2.4 frames per second to 0.9 frames per second.

    Now for one of the biggest deciding factors. The S3 is supported by CHDK, a
    firmware enhancement that add many dozens of new features to the camera.
    Battery-level indicator, multiple histogram options, over-exposure and
    under-exposure alerts (CHDK's "Zebra Mode"), and many many more. Including the
    capability to write your own automated scripts for your camera or use ones
    already written for you. Plus, if you want to have access to RAW files (data
    directly from the sensor, unaltered), you can do that too with CHDK. The S5 does
    not have RAW file support.

    Most of these things (except for battery-level indicator, and
    under/over-exposure alert methods) will not be important to the beginner. But
    they will be important to a beginner that wants to eventually learn about these
    things and grow into what their camera can do.

    Read more about it here: and here

    There are no plans to write CHDK for the S5, because it is based on the Digic
    III processor. There are reports that Canon made sure that 3rd-party programming
    could not be added to the S5 or other Digic III cameras.

    If you want a very capable camera at a higher price then get the S5. If you want
    one of the best values in digital photography at the moment (or ever) as well as
    getting a camera that you will never outgrow, get the S3. IF you can find it.
    They are selling out fast. If you are lucky you can get one for as little as
    $100 to $200 now. That's $300 to $400 less than an S5. (Check your local Sears
    stores for the $100 deals, but most of them were sold out to re-sellers that now
    list them on E-bay at extortion-level prices.)

    There is little to no difference in the resolution and image quality between the
    two, even though one is 8-megapixels (S5) and the other is 6 (S3). So that
    shouldn't be your deciding factor. You will have to decide between available
    features and what is most important to you. If value and more advanced features
    are more important then get the S3, you won't be disappointed in the least. If
    having the newest on the market is more important then get the S5.

    BTW: You can get a nice slave-trigger from Adorama for $33 so you can use any
    flash-unit that you want with the S3 in any of its modes (it compensates for all
    pre-flash modes). As well as it turning any flash-unit into a swiveling and
    tilting flash for bounce-flash photography. This more than makes the hot-shoe
    feature of the S5 obsolete. You will lose the TTL (through-the-lens) flash
    metering that you get on the S5 (with Canon's overpriced dedicated flash-units,
    costing almost as much as the camera itself) but most people that are seasoned
    photographers rarely depend on TTL-flash anyway. I never like what auto-flash
    metering chooses on any camera and always have to manually compensate for its
    limitations, if the camera allows that is.

    Link to slave-trigger:
    BaumBadier, Jul 22, 2007
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  3. Rohit

    AAvK Guest

    "Canon S3 or S5....?" ............................. NEITHER! Go for a Fujifilm s9100. PLEASE!
    AAvK, Jul 22, 2007
  4. Rohit

    Gladiator Guest

    Gladiator, Jul 22, 2007
  5. Rohit

    ray Guest

    Why? Do you have fuji stock?
    ray, Jul 22, 2007
  6. Not if that, like most Fujifilm models, uses those nonsensical xD-Picture

    I think anyone buying a compact camera today would be making a big mistake
    buying any model that doesn't take SD cards, which have become the standard
    for such things. That means most Fuji and Olympus cameras are out.

    Neil Harrington, Jul 23, 2007
  7. I still very much prefer CompactFlash which just has no issues unless SD
    with e.g. stupid 2GB limits, different versions (does the reader support
    SDHC or SD or SD over 2GB or ...), etc, etc.

    Jürgen Exner, Jul 23, 2007
  8. Rohit

    AAvK Guest

    Image quality is superior, due to their own proprietary "super CCD" and their own lenses, which
    are way hyper sharp. They also are the very best with high ISO noise quality, and you can read
    that on - see samples at both sites: I have the
    s6000fd, as far as function it is a tad limited (just a tad) but the image quality is second to few.

    AAvK, Jul 23, 2007
  9. Rohit

    AAvK Guest

    NOPE! Great image quality all around is my point, as in my previous reply.
    Price is awesome online as well.

    AAvK, Jul 23, 2007
  10. Rohit

    AAvK Guest


    But a "card" is HARDLY a reason to surpass a superior system of awesome image quality.
    Do the research and see the review samples... which are far more the point even if the Xd
    is a shot more expensive. Fuji cams have awesome sharpness and color, best high ISO noise
    qualities. Useable images at ISO 1600, Canon P&S beasties can't do that.

    On the *bay I paid 1/2 the cost for an "M" type 2 Gb Xd, $40 as opposed to $80 or more in
    stores. But the "F" type is twice as fast at accepting the image processed onto the card.

    AAvK, Jul 23, 2007
  11. ... and the lack of image-stabilisation will be a major drawback for

    David J Taylor, Jul 23, 2007
  12. Rohit

    Clive Guest

    Since the release of the S5, prices for the S3 have plummeted. Got mine
    for £200 (S3). Great camera. Seeling points that clinched it for me?

    AA batteries and SD cards (I have lot's of both)

    Clive, Jul 23, 2007
  13. Rohit

    John Ortt Guest

    I have an S3 which I have owned since last christmas and I love it! (I also
    have an Ixus 50 and a 300D SLR).

    I bought the S3 because my wife and I are planning to take a year travelling
    the world and I wanted a capable camera for my trip.

    The Ixus 50 was never a contender as although it is very small and fits in
    your shirt pocket it doesn't have the versatility required for the variety
    of situations we will encounter.
    That left the 300D, but it has a number of drawbacks such as:

    far more conspicuous (especially being silver)
    far bigger and heavier (ignoring the lenses)
    doesn't record sound
    doesn't record video
    doesn't take AA batteries (very important if you lose your charger!)

    and most importantly I would have to buy a big zoom lens to make the camera
    any good for safari shooting which would cost at-least £200 for one I would
    be happy with (closer to £1000 for the one I wanted!).

    In the end I decided to spend the money I would on a lens on an entirely new
    camera with a super zoom.

    At the time I tried the Canon S3IS, the Panasonic FZ7 and another one which
    was slightly larger and only 10x zoom (which I can't remember the name of).

    I chose the S3 simply because having used a lot of Canon cameras in the past
    the menus seemed fairly intuitive, I liked the feel of it and it had all the
    functions I required.

    The other cameras were both good bu the S3 won it by a margin for me.

    As to the S3 or S5 debate it all depends on how much cheaper the S3 is than
    the S5 and how much the changes matter to you.

    They are both very good competent cameras and I would be surprised if you
    were not very happy with either.

    Good luck and happy shooting.

    John Ortt, Jul 23, 2007
  14. Rohit

    John Ortt Guest

    Another thing I should have said is that since buying the camera I have been
    amazed by the quality of the video.

    I am now planning to leave my video camera at home as well as the 300D!

    I will need a lot of memeory cards but thankfully they are nice and small
    and very light to carry.
    John Ortt, Jul 23, 2007
  15. Rohit

    Ray Paseur Guest

    I have the S3, as do many of my professional and serious photographer
    friends, who can have any camera they want and often own dozens of cameras.
    We all like the S3, especially at its rather low price. It's the sort of
    thing you can carry with you all the time, so it gets used a lot. The S5
    does not seem to be a big enough upgrade to warrant spending $200 more. S5
    advantages include "face recognition" technology that may help with auto-
    focus. You might want to read the user opinions on DP Review:
    Ray Paseur, Jul 23, 2007
  16. Sure. Compact Flash is fine too, but I think virtually all new compact and
    ultracompact cameras (other than Olympus and Fuji) use SD cards.

    Neil Harrington, Jul 23, 2007
  17. Indeed. I'm not at all familiar with the Fuji model mentioned, but if it's a
    superzoom without image stabilization that alone should put it out of the

    Neil Harrington, Jul 23, 2007
  18. If the system really were that superior you'd have a point. I strongly
    doubt that that's the case, though. The major brands are all extremely
    competitive as to image quality.

    Neil Harrington, Jul 23, 2007
  19. Rohit

    HokusPokus Guest

    While I greatly value the IS in my Canon camera, the only reason I bought the
    Canon camera was for its other features that no other camera has all in one.
    44.1kHz stereo sound recording and high-quality video, both priceless for nature
    recordings where monaural recording fails to pick up the realistic ambiance of
    nature. I have found too that many high-frequency sounds from nature (bird and
    insect songs especially) fail to get recorded properly in monaural for some
    reason. Or at least they aren't duplicated back to human hearing with the same
    brilliance as when recorded in stereo. The swiveling LCD with an add-on loupe
    viewer is also invaluable for those macro shots at ground level, or when up in a
    tree or grappling on a cliff-face where only an arm-reach will get your lens
    close to the subject. Or for travel documentation where you need to have
    yourself in the image and have it framed properly.

    I looked at the Fuji cameras, and unless Canon does something similar for image
    quality and high ISO capability by increasing the sensor size in future models
    (or developing some new sensor technology to give the same advantage in smaller
    sensors), I won't be buying Canon again. The Canon camera I have now does what I

    My next camera will be a Fuji for the high ISO capability. You have to remember
    that IS is giving you on average a 2-3 stop advantage for slower shutter speeds
    (a stop or two more in the right hands). Now imagine being able to take the same
    or better quality images at the same shutter speed just by increasing the ISO,
    2, 3, or even 4 stops. This gives you the exact same advantage as the IS gives
    you, but with one reason better. You can now stop the motion of your subject at
    higher shutter speeds too, not just the shake of the camera. IS will stop camera
    shake. Higher ISOs will stop that plus all other motion in your image. Not to
    mention getting longer night-time exposures that are noise-free.

    If Fuji included IS then it would be a no-brainer. I'd buy the Fuji without
    question. Having IS in a Fuji would give me a 6-7 stop advantage. Don't get me
    wrong, I still love all the extra features of my Canon, especially the scripting
    ability when I use CHDK with it, and its remote-shooting, intervalometer, and
    with the right remote-shooting software even motion-detection shooting for
    wildlife-surveillance photography. But now that I already have those my next
    camera will be one with better high ISO performance and better image quality.
    That would be the Fuji.

    I don't care about what storage format is used in a camera. That will become
    obsolete in a few years no matter what camera you buy. Just buy enough storage
    at the time of owning the camera to fit your needs, no matter the format. It
    would be no different than if I was able to buy 500 rolls of Kodachrome film 35
    years ago and keep reusing it indefinitely in my SLRs today.
    HokusPokus, Jul 23, 2007
  20. Rohit

    Gladiator Guest

    Ok, looking at reviews of Fujifilm now but dpreviews doesn't have a
    review of the s9100, guess s9000 is close enough.
    Gladiator, Jul 23, 2007
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