Difference between Canon S3 IS and a DSLR?


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Frank

My wife has seen the amazing pictures these expensive $600+ DSLR cameras will take and now she is not happy with the $100 point and shoot we have always used.

I found a good deal on a Canon S3 IS and I was wondering what the big difference between it and the expensive DSLR's will be. I do not want to take up photography as a hobby but I want a Camera that will take a very good digital picture.

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qdave

You dont get interchangable lenses and some other controls which only dslr's have.

I think that instead of S3 is, you should go with nikon d40. it's cheaper too. You should look into it.

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blackice912

Or go with the Canon XS for a tiny bit more. :)

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chrisj1968

in shooting pictures, point and shoots give the user a large depth of field shots each time. DSLR's allow the user to adjust every aspect of the shot, depth of field, exposure, ISO speeds, aperture, shutter speed AEB( auto exposure bracketing) and more.

point and shoots allow for some things like ISO and maybe video. DSLR's like the 1Ti from canon now has video..*shudders*

DSLR's from my professional opinion are used by enthusiasts like your wife all the way up to pure pro's.

point and shoots don't offer the shot controls necessary that DSLR's do.

look into the Canon 1Ti at 15MP and move up every 5 MP increment as it has to do with the density of sensors on the photo sensor.

I went from a 5MP kodak point and shoot to the now 10.1 MP Xti that I have now. best purchase I ever made

Edited by ChrisJ1968
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Bubbabyte

I can speak from experience as i own an S3IS as well as a Rebel XT. The S3IS is a great camera, however it is limited in alot of areas. The ISO on the S3 is horrible at anything over 400, whereas with my Rebel i can shoot at 1600 and has a useable picture, mind you newer SLR's are even much higher. Also, you may think that having built in zoom and IS on your camera is a good reason to go with the S3, however again you are limited to what the lens can do. You can only shoot at f3.5 being wide open.. where as my cheap 50mm lens can do f1.8 to get a new depth of field, something the S3 was never really capable of doing. The IS is a nice bonus, however it's not needed unless you are shooting at full zoom in all honesty. Overall pictures are much more crisp coming from DSLR. Here is an example of mine.

687512063_8301521bd3.jpg

Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1600)

Aperture: f/3.5

Focal Length: 15.6 mm

Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV

2434606191_93fa451011.jpg

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)

Aperture: f/1.8

Focal Length: 50 mm

ISO Speed: 100

As you can see from the pics the difference depth of field can make. And because you can shoot at a low aperture you're able to keep the ISO low making indoor shots a breeze. I was not able to take indoor shots with the S3 unless i used a flash.

However i will tell you that i wouldn't have been able to go to an SLR if i didn't have my S3. It was a great beginner camera and taught me a lot about photography.

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Frank

Just as a FYI, I have been offered the S3 for $170.00.

I also don't see my wife playing with the manual controls. What she is looking for is point and shoot capability with a better picture.

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chrisj1968
Just as a FYI, I have been offered the S3 for $170.00.

I also don't see my wife playing with the manual controls. What she is looking for is point and shoot capability with a better picture.

Let her do it. you might find she is an excellent photographer without even having known it.

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NiteJammin

Also have to remember that the sensor on a DSLR is a lot larger than the point a shoot, you can take a picture at a lower iso or faster shutter speed than a point and shoot since it can take in a lot more light. Another thing to remember though is a DSLR weighs more than the S3IS, I dont mind carrying my XS around but that's me, its something to consider. One nice thing about the XS is it does have a live view, I personally have only toyed with it some but some people can not figure out how to use a camera any more through the view finder. The Nikon D40 is an awesome camera, if you want a good solid cheap DSLR it is the way to go.

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crazzy88ss
Just as a FYI, I have been offered the S3 for $170.00.

I also don't see my wife playing with the manual controls. What she is looking for is point and shoot capability with a better picture.

You're on a photo forum. Everybody's gunna say DSLR. I laugh at point and shoots now. They're toys to anybody who can use a DSLR properly.

If she just wants point n shoot ability, go for the S3 @$170.

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Prince Charming

The most significant difference is the physical size of the imaging sensor, and what that entails. The S3's sensor will be around the same size as most P&S, or approximately the size of a fingernail. The DSLR will have either a slightly smaller than 35mm frame, or a full 35mm frame sensor, which is vastly larger. This means a few things. The photosites are bigger, as the effective number of megapixels is roughly the same, but on a bigger sensor, so the sensor has a far better sensitivity to light as each photosite is exposed to more light across its surface area. Equally, the ability of the sensor to resolve fine details is improved.

Finally, the larger sensor size means that depth of field is decreased, allowing the user to actually have control over the depth of field, be it shallow or deep, wheras the limiting size of a P&S sensor does not allow for a shallow depth of field except under rare circumstances.

The side benefits of a larger imaging area are larger diameter lenses, enabling secondary autofocus systems that do not require the main CMOS/CCD sensor, and as a result, are far far quicker (this is also the reason for a DSLR's mirror and reflex design). The inside and outside edges of the lens are used to detect the phase difference, and correct until the phase difference goes away, and the image is in focus. This happens in a fraction of the time it takes a contrast-detect system on the main sensor to accurately focus, and the phase-detection autofocus lock can be maintained, without the main sensor, using far less battery power.

DSLR's design also allows them to use a large optical viewfinder. You see through the lens, without any processing done by the sensor. And it's a joy to use.

Summary; far better light sensitivity with far lower noise, far better resolving power, control over depth of field, far quicker and more accurate autofocus, vastly better battery life, optical viewfinder.

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lawtai

The Nikon d40 would be a good choice. It's geared towards people who are new to DSLR's and very consumer friendly. You can still basically do a lot of the point and shoot photography but it will at least give you the ability to learn more and improve photography skills.

I believe you can get a d40 for under $500.

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the evn show
I also don't see my wife playing with the manual controls. What she is looking for is point and shoot capability with a better picture.

Any point and shoot is capable of producing an amazing photo: just look at some of the photos produced by a camera phone for evidence of that.

You get a lot more flexibility out of a dSLR but that isn't terribly valuable without the creative ability and knowledge to back it up.

If I were in your position I'd snag a good quality entry level dSLR and let her play. Something like the Nikon D40 would be a reasonably affordable and in full auto mode it'll make a very good "point and shoot" too. You get a better quality lens, a larger sensor, and all of the same point-and-shoot logic when you put it into full-auto mode.

The way I see it: buy her a dSLR, go out and get wasted with the boys and when you get home, rather than being ****ed off she'll just take pictures and show you in the morning. $200 not to get yelled at when you come home drunk is a bargain. ;)

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  • 4 months later...
RockLobster
in shooting pictures, point and shoots give the user a large depth of field shots each time. DSLR's allow the user to adjust every aspect of the shot, depth of field, exposure, ISO speeds, aperture, shutter speed AEB( auto exposure bracketing) and more.

point and shoots allow for some things like ISO and maybe video. DSLR's like the 1Ti from canon now has video..*shudders*

DSLR's from my professional opinion are used by enthusiasts like your wife all the way up to pure pro's.

point and shoots don't offer the shot controls necessary that DSLR's do.

look into the Canon 1Ti at 15MP and move up every 5 MP increment as it has to do with the density of sensors on the photo sensor.

I went from a 5MP kodak point and shoot to the now 10.1 MP Xti that I have now. best purchase I ever made

He was asking about a Canon S3, the S3 is not a point and shoot, it has full manual mode, aperture and shutter priority modes, program mode and auto, so can be used as a point and shoot in auto mode in the same way as a DSLR can in its auto mode.

It also has 3 metering modes, pattern, evaluative and spot metering. It has ISO speeds from 80 to 800, focus bracketing and exposure bracketing, macro and super macro modes, single frame shooting, continuous and timer modes and a pretty good video mode. it can take pretty good night shots with exposurs up to 30 seconds

The main consideration for choosing between the Canon S3 and a DSLR are the interchangable lenses on a DSLR, the S3 has a built in zoom lens this means you will never get pictures as sharp as you would with a single focal length lens on a DSLR having said that, you will probably find most DSLR users keep a zoom lens fixed on it most of the time for convenience, my main reason for using an S3 rather than a DSLR is the compactness of the S3 although there are times when I wish I had the sharpness of a single focal length lens.

At the end of the day you will pay a lot more for a DSLR especially when you start buying extra lenses for it, but I expect you will get sharper pictures than you would with a Canon S3, at the same time you may find you would have the Canon S3 with you more often than a DSLR as the S3 is smaller and more compact.

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crazzy88ss

It's good to see that canon sales reps are registering on neowin.net and reviving old threads.

If the S3 isn't called a point and shoot, what is it called?

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Prince Charming

Lol @ canon sales rep. S3 is a point and shoot, or if you want to push definition, a superzoom point and shoot. See earlier point about sensor size which is the major distinction between the S3 and a DSLR.

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crazzy88ss

It was rhetorical question to the poster since they clearly have an agenda.

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