Canon PowerShot S3 IS Review
The PowerShot S3 IS will look very familiar to anyone who has used its predecessor - it is almost identical externally, save for the more serious looking gunmetal paint job and the larger screen. As with it predecessors, the 'miniature SLR' design works well, no space has been wasted, and a lot of attention has been paid to handling and ergonomics. The only other change is a welcome one; the addition of a dedicated ISO button. With the current fashion for simple, minimalist cameras that eschew buttons and switches in favor of menu-driven control it is a real treat to use a camera designed first and foremost for taking photographs. It looks a lot nicer in black than its silver predecessors, and the S3 IS feels, and in most cases operates, like a real camera.
In your hand
The handgrip is excellent and the most important controls (zoom, shutter, shooting mode) are all perfectly placed for one-handed operation (though with a 12x zoom lens you may want to put the other hand to use too!). Despite the plastic construction the S3 IS feels robust and well balanced and handles beautifully. At over half a kilo fully loaded it is still one of the heaviest cameras in its class, but it does offer excellent stability without over-straining the neck strap.