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Old Jun 13, 2006, 5:49 PM   #1
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I recently purchased a Canon S3 IS and I having several issues with the camera. I am noticing that the pictures I am taking are soft and grainy (compared to the A620). (I am getting reassurance from dpreview, other S3 IS users and CNET that the S3 IS has average image quality..which bewilders me..)

The Canon S3 IS does not have AiAF (where the camera selects between 9 AF frames), but the Canon A620 has this feature.

The Canon S3 IS lowest ISO setting is 80, while the A620 beats it and goes as low as 50.

I know both these factors are key to image sharpness.

So why should I keep the S3 IS, as the A620 is clearly superior (except for the zoom). I mainly take family pictures...and the autofocus function of the A620 is better.

Please help, if I take the Canon S3 IS back...are there any other camera in the price range that will out perform it in terms of image sharpness and clarity ?


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Old Jun 14, 2006, 1:46 PM   #2
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if you do not need 10x zoom, keep A620,.
4x zoom optics is better than 10x optics...
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Old Jun 14, 2006, 4:30 PM   #3
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A620 has a higher base res, also IS has a delaterious effect on ultimate picture quality in my experiance, big zooms are usefull but add ZILCH to actual picture quality.
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Old Jun 14, 2006, 8:36 PM   #4
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Aside the S3 softeness issue, which you did not know about until you started taking some pictures, all other factors were already known (camera specs). So, why did you buy the S3 in the first place? As an ex-S2 owner, I did not think much of the S3 based on specs and soma sample shots I've seen here and there. Do you want a good 12x zoom? Buy either the Sony H5 or H1 (only 5 MP but an awesome camera...and now, cheap as well). You will be happy with either one. I have an H1 myself and IMO, it beats the S2 (and S3) hands down. Check out the Sony forum and you'll find lots and lots of happy owners. Another good choice is the Panasonic FZ20 (an old camera but with excellent optics). Amazon has it for $299 w/ free shipping (I bought one to check it out). It's not as good as the H1 but pretty decent. The newer model (FZ7) has more MP but I've been reading about it and the reviews are not that great. Apparently the camera does not control noise very well, even at low ISO.
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 1:03 PM   #5
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Simple. Sensor size.
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 12:26 PM   #6
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Alright I bailed out early and returned the Canon S3IS. I just couldn't handle having a camera with issues esp not one I paid $450 for.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"After researching several websites and forums...I decided to go with the Sony H5. style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"And the results are breathtaking, the picture quality difference is NIGHT and DAY (compared to the S3IS). The H5 destroys the Canon S3IS for image quality.

Thanks for all the advice everyone ...
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 4:09 PM   #7
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Well DJ, as far as picture quality goes, a lot ofit has to do with personal preference. As a Sony owner I think the H seriesareexcellent performers andyou will not be disappointed.
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 6:11 PM   #8
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All the above comments are pretty much dead on correct. But you know the funny thing is the sensor in the Canon S3 is the new Sony 1/2.5 6mp with improved noise reduction algorithm. All-in-all, it's a good sensor that is working well in the SD630, SD700 IS and in the A700. However, for whatever reason it just isn't rendering as well in the S3 with the requirements of such a mega-zoom.

The Sony H1/H5 or the Pany F27 are (IMHO) superior megazooms. If you don't need a full 400+ megazoom (and many people really don't). . . then give a look to the Canon A700 (35-210). It's a lighter & smaller footprint than the S3, decent zoom range, most of the features of the S3 and many of the posted images we're seeing from this camera are superior to those of the S3. That same sensor seems to perform much better in this camera. No, it doesn't have (OIS) but then again it's not a demanding 400+ zoom either! LOL

In any event . . . good luck on your next selection!
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 10:38 PM   #9
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If you don't need the 12x zoom, then I say try the Panasonic TZ1 (10x optical zoom but on a very compact body) or the LZ5 (6x optical zoom but w/ image stabilizer, which the Canon A700 does not have).
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 1:29 PM   #10
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Tullio wrote:
Quote:
Well DJ, as far as picture quality goes, a lot ofit has to do with personal preference. As a Sony owner I think the H seriesareexcellent performers andyou will not be disappointed.

If you don't like Canon, why post to the Canon forum
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