Aperture Priority

The Finecam S3 is unusual among ultra-compacts in that it allows you to select aperture, however as with most compact lens designs there are only two available apertures which are labelled as F2.8 and F6.2 (at wide angle). These apertures equate to:

  • At wide angle (38 mm equiv.): F2.8 / F6.2
  • At telephoto (76 mm equiv.): F3.5 / F7.6

Selecting the F6.2 / F7.6 aperture does give you a little more depth of field:

F3.3, 1/39 sec F7.2, 1/9 sec

Macro focus mode

The Finecam S3 does quite well in macro mode as long as you set zoom to full wide angle, at this setting we found you could get close enough to get a frame coverage of approximately 5 cm (2 in) which is really rather good for an ultra-compact.

Low Light Focus

In a new addition to our reviews we'll now be measuring the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away. Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus.

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), if the subject were less easy to focus upon then you would need more light.

* At any sensitivity

The S3 isn't built to focus in low light, needing 4.3 EV of light before it can focus on our ideal AF target you may need even more light to focus on something with little contrast (such as human skin).

Internal Flash

The S3's tiny flash manages to create plenty of coverage, it's rated as having a range of 2.5 m at wide angle and we had no reason to doubt that. However, as you can see below there was a strange colour cast on skin tones when using the flash.

Skin tone test (Caucasian skin), using the flash with skin tones I noticed a strange muddy yellow blobs on certain parts of the skin. Skin tone test (Asian tanned skin), the muddy yellow blobs are even more visible with tanned skin. Very odd, and not very nice.
Colour chart flash exposure. Good exposure, accurate colours without any noticeable cast. Strong dark blue (something which most compact digital cameras miss). Built-in flash obviously has enough power to cover the camera at full wide angle 2 m (6.6 ft) away from a wall.