The Canon Powershot S3 IS is a pretty straightforward upgrade to last year's S2 IS. It adds a 6 megapixel sensor and a 2 inch flip out LCD. Canon really markets this as a "family" camera - a way to capture kids in action, on the sports field, at a concert - but the camera has also made a name for itself as one of the top ultra-zoom cameras on the market. It's a camera that has plenty of features to keep an enthusiast happy, but is simple enough to be point and shoot when the non-photographer in the family needs to take the shot.
The centerpiece of this cameras it the 12x stabilized zoom lens. Canon's lens-shift technology provides image stabilization without a degradation in image quality, like electronics based image stabilization that rely on increasing sensor senstivity. The lens on the Powershot S3 IS has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-432 mm.
The Powershot S2 IS also made a name for itself by its nice movie mode, so Canon added a MovieSnap feature in the Powershot S3 IS. You can still capture movies at 640x480 resolution at 30 frames per second, or even 320x240 at 60 frames per second. The MovieSnap feature lets you capture a full resolution still picture during movie capture.
As with the other newly announced Powershots, the Powershot S3 IS includes the enhanced My Colors mode. Also a 16:9 resolution mode facilitates the creation of panorama style prints.
Availability: May 2006 for around $499
Other Canon cameras from PMA: