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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:33 PM   #1
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All,

Hi. I picked up a S3 from B&H a few weeks back. I was looking for something with more features, MP, and optical zoom than my A80 (which has been great!). I'm partial to Canon and liked what I saw and read about the S2/S3 over the H5. Anyways, as is fairly well known, the higher ISO settings on the camera result in more noise than a politician speaking. I'm am...maybe a "advanced beginner" or "begining intermediate " in terms of photographic know-how and skill and wanted a nice camera that I could mess around on and learn how to use various manual settings of a camera (eventually I want a sDLR but can't fathom dropping the coin just for something to learn on). Anyways, so far, I'm am unhappy with the resulting pictures (except for macro...it's got an GREAT macro mode....and the lens is sweet). I leave the camera on P most of the time and never use AUTO. I usually keep the ISO below 200.

Can anyone recommend a good book that would help me learn to set the camera up (settings)? Anyone have any experience with the "Short Course" series? There's one available for the S3.

Or might I just return the S3 (while I still can)and drop a little moreto get a D50 (even though it's contrary to what I had planned) and just learn on that? The D50's price isn't too bad since it's been superceded. I guess it'll be going away soon but don't know.

I like the S3's inmost respects so far......just need to be able to get better results. If it makes any difference, I tend to take pictures of people when friends are over, scenery, and cars.....LOTS of cars (in outdoor and indoor settings).

TIA
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:50 PM   #2
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Hi,
you didn't mention actually what are the thinks you not like in shoots?
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 2:00 PM   #3
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er....would that be helpful? :G Ha, ha, ha...sorry about that.

Basically, it's grainy/noisy images...a common complaint from what I've garnered but I am not about toplace all the blame on the camera. Somepix havecome out okay but I think I've ended up with more grainy ones than not. Except for New Year's, I don't really have anything planned (in terms of major camera use) until the Chicago Auto Show next February so I have a little time to learn and experiment. I'm more concerned with the product return window in the event I opt for a dSLR. A dSLR at this point is way advanced for me at this point I think.

Anyways, I thought I brought some sample images I took yesterday with me to work, but...I guess I didn't copy them to my thumbdrive.I takensome experimental shots under various conditions (direct sunlight, flash, indoor lighting, flourescent, etc...). If they'd be helpful, I can post them up and link to them later tonight.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 8:03 AM   #4
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I to have an S3IS and the picture quality is actually better than I expected. I've owned both the S3IS and H5 and compared them side by side and as far as noise goes compared to the Sony H5 the S3IS retains much more detail at higher ISO's thanthe H5 (probably because the in-camera NR on the Sony is a bit stronger)You are right about using ISO's 80-200 but even 400 and 800 are actually quite usable with some NR applied thru software like photoshop. Granted you will onlywant to do smaller prints but still alot of detail with the sensor/NR combo of the S3. For example I have a Fuji F30 and noise levels are very low, but at the expense of strong NR resultingin less sharp images. I'm surprised that you are having so many issues with grain/noise belowISO200. Are you sure they aren't just oversharpened?That can also give the appearance of noise in photos. A little hint about using higher ISO'sexperiment withthe exp. comp. it will help. I use the 'custom' function and set sharpness, contrast, saturation etc. in the camera before shooting it really works great. Pluswith the superb IS system the S3IS has I can usually shoot at a lower step/ISO than I could normally get awaywith and images are still clear. I took a trip to Disney World this past summer and was very impressed withmy S3IS photos. Of course now I have a DSLR and am even more impressed. But for the picture quality you can get with the S3IS(if you don't use the 'auto' setting, which I think is just there so the camera manufacturers can say they have one) plus the video andmacro plus the ease of use factor, IS zoom, Canon's color representation, etc.., theS3IS is very hard to beat. If you don't mind messing/experimenting with the camera settings and doing a little post-processing...keep shooting!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 8:11 AM   #5
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I to have an S3IS and the picture quality is actually better than I expected. I've owned both the S3IS and H5 and compared them side by side and as far as noise goes compared to the Sony H5 the S3IS retains much more detail at higher ISO's thanthe H5 (probably because the in-camera NR on the Sony is a bit stronger)You are right about using ISO's 80-200 but even 400 and 800 are actually quite usable with some NR applied thru software like photoshop. Granted you will onlywant to do smaller prints but still alot of detail with the sensor/NR combo of the S3. For example I have a Fuji F30 and noise levels are very low, but at the expense of strong NR resultingin less sharp images. I'm surprised that you are having so many issues with grain/noise belowISO200. Are you sure they aren't just oversharpened?That can also give the appearance of noise in photos. A little hint about using higher ISO'sexperiment withthe exp. comp. it will help. I use the 'custom' function and set sharpness, contrast, saturation etc. in the camera before shooting it really works great. Pluswith the superb IS system the S3IS has I can usually shoot at a lower step/ISO than I could normally get awaywith and images are still clear. I took a trip to Disney World this past summer and was very impressed withmy S3IS photos. Of course now I have a DSLR and am even more impressed. But for the picture quality you can get with the S3IS(if you don't use the 'auto' setting, which I think is just there so the camera manufacturers can say they have one) plus the video andmacro plus the ease of use factor, IS zoom, Canon's color representation, etc.., theS3IS is very hard to beat. If you don't mind messing/experimenting with the camera settings and doing a little post-processing...keep shooting!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 8:12 AM   #6
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Sorry I'm new to this forum, somehow this message posted twice.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 1:34 PM   #7
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Photofreak777 wrote:
Quote:
Sorry I'm new to this forum, somehow this message posted twice.
nOOb! j/k

I agree that the IS is great on the camera and the 6MP is great for me 'cause I like to make wallpapers out of car pix from time to time and occassionallyprint 8x10's of car for my garage wall. The macro mode, from what I toyed with, works superbly with the S3! I'm still used to my A80 where my pix came out pretty great without post processing and minimal userinput (I left it in P with a few minor tweaks). I mostly just changed the lighting and flash settings.

Like I said, I'm not super-advanced or anything so maybe I just need to learn to set exposures and whatnot more. I just dl'ed the ebook for "A Short Course in Canon PowerShot S3 IS Photograph" and am considering "Complete Digital Photograph" that someone suggested to someone else in another thread (although the summary didn't seem to be quite what I need). Hopefully, I can learn what I lack from that. Tips are welcome though.

I've seen some great pictures taken by other people of varying skill levels so there's hope yet. I ordered Canon's lens adapter/hood with some 58mm filters from B&H so I better learn to use the camera. lol I'll post some pix up when I get a chance to take some more. Owned by work these days so it might not be 'till the weekend.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 1:59 PM   #8
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Another great S3IS photo... keep shooting! :-)
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 2:50 PM   #9
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Hi, where did you dn'lded that ebook from? I'd like to get it too.

I have S3 too and I'm peretty hapy with it but still need to learn more adnavced tunning and tips of the camera. Please give me the link or send me the book on e-mial.
Thank you.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 2:58 PM   #10
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mofo13 wrote:
Quote:
er....would that be helpful? :G Ha, ha, ha...sorry about that.

Basically, it's grainy/noisy images...a common complaint from what I've garnered but I am not about toplace all the blame on the camera. Somepix havecome out okay but I think I've ended up with more grainy ones than not. Except for New Year's, I don't really have anything planned (in terms of major camera use) until the Chicago Auto Show next February so I have a little time to learn and experiment. I'm more concerned with the product return window in the event I opt for a dSLR. A dSLR at this point is way advanced for me at this point I think.

Anyways, I thought I brought some sample images I took yesterday with me to work, but...I guess I didn't copy them to my thumbdrive.I takensome experimental shots under various conditions (direct sunlight, flash, indoor lighting, flourescent, etc...). If they'd be helpful, I can post them up and link to them later tonight.
That's really intersting everybody is really happy with Canon less noise in lower ISO, you should have other problems.
If you mean bad light conditions and higher ISO so the noise is normal, but the picture has details, so Canon policy is to keep low NR and I'm happy with that, just have a look at such pic made by Sony or better Panasonic, there is no noise , but where is details. We do not need photoshop in our cameras, ne need real photo then you can postprocess it with whatever software you have. If you get the pic from Panas .. how can you restore details if you are happy with noise?
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