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Canon launches new PowerShot S3 IS; improved monster zoom compact

Canon is pleased to announce the launch of the 12x optical zoom PowerShot S3 IS. Successor to the popular PowerShot S2 IS, the latest addition to the PowerShot S-series incorporates a 6.0 Megapixel CCD sensor, Canon's renowned optical Image Stabiliser technology and video functionality rivalling that of dedicated digital video camcorders. Sporting a striking new finish in gunmetal grey, the compact PowerShot S3 IS answers the demands of advanced photographers with several improvements over its predecessor, including an increased sensitivity range of ISO 80 to ISO 800, a larger 2.0" vari-angle LCD screen, widescreen (16:9) recording, new movie features and an additional Sports mode.

The PowerShot S3 IS features:

12x optical zoom lens with USM and UD lens element
Optical Image Stabiliser

6.0 Megapixel CCD

Larger size 2.0” Vari-angle LCD

30fps VGA movies with stereo sound and Photo in Movie feature
DIGIC II, iSAPS and Flexizone AF/AE[1] for fast, precise results and 2.3 fps continuous shooting performance

20 shooting modes and My Colors photo effects

High ISO Auto and ISO 800 for low light flexibility

Widescreen (16:9) recording

The PowerShot S3 IS caters for serious photo enthusiasts seeking extended zooming flexibility and fully featured movie recording in a versatile compact digital stills camera.

Still the most powerful zoom in a Canon digital compact camera (36 – 432mm f/2.7-f.3.5), the PowerShot S3 IS’ lens incorporates the same leading technologies used in Canon's professional EF lenses. An Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) drives rapid and near-silent zoom operation; an Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element significantly reduces chromatic aberration in telephoto shots; Canon's optical Image Stabiliser [2] (IS) technology counteracts camera shake to reduce image blur when shooting stills or recording video, essential for handheld shots at longer focal lengths. IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower for reliable flash-free photography in low light conditions.

The PowerShot S3 IS's 12x optical zoom combines with digital zoom to deliver 48x magnification for recording both stills and video. For even wider framing options, optional Wide and Tele converter lenses extend the focal length from wide 27mm to super-tele 648mm (35mm film equivalent) for an impressive 24x optical zoom. A Super Macro mode with 0cm shooting distance and optional Close-Up lens 500D (58mm) allow for detailed macro photography.

Increased ISO speed
In addition to Image Stabilisation, the PowerShot S3 IS features a new High ISO Auto setting and ISO 800 to further extend the camera's low light shooting capabilities. High ISO Auto automatically sets exposure using the higher range of ISO sensitivities, enabling faster shutter speeds in low light and increased image stability at the telephoto end. A dedicated ISO button allows for easy switching between ISO sensitivities.

Movie functions
Powerful video functions make the PowerShot S3 IS far more than just a high performance digital still camera. A dedicated movie button means users do not need to switch modes to start recording, so spontaneous moments can be instantly captured in full motion. Users can record smooth 30fps VGA quality movies of up to 1GB [3] with stereo sound, or create 60fps QVGA clips for sharp slow motion playback. The Movie mode also allows users to pre-select exposure and white balance, zoom throughout the camera's focal range and manually adjust focus while shooting. A Photo In Movie feature enables the capture of full resolution digital stills during video recording.

Creative shooting
The PowerShot S3 IS offers 20 shooting modes including full Manual mode, Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority. Together with 2.3 fps continuous shooting, a new fast-shutter Sports mode with improved auto focus accuracy provides unprecedented capabilities for capturing action sports sequences. Special Scene modes – such as Night Snapshot and Snow – assist with tricky lighting conditions, while Colour Accent and Colour Swap modes enable dramatic colour effects to be applied to both images and movies. Canon's My Colours photo effects have been enhanced for this model, and can now be applied to images both before and after shooting.

The PowerShot S3 IS features a new Widescreen mode (2816 x 1584 recording pixels) for capturing still images in 16:9 format – perfect for viewing images on widescreen television or printing wide (10 x 20cm) photos with a SELPHY Compact Photo Printer [4] .

Printing and other features
A new, dedicated Print menu simplifies printing of multiple images. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. New PictBridge features include the ability to print shooting data and optimise faces in portrait shots when connected to a compatible Canon PIXMA printer. The camera's ID photo and movie stills features are also available when connected to a SELPHY CP Series Printer. A handy Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to

Windows or Mac systems.
The camera's menu system now features support for Arabic, bringing the total number of supported languages to 23.

Pricing and availability
The PowerShot S3 IS will be available from early May 2006, priced at £449.00 RRP inc. VAT/ €649.99 RRP inc. VAT.

The PowerShot S3 IS has been rated at 'highly recommended digital camera' by different reviewers.

[1] See Technologies Explained

[2] See Technologies Explained

[3] Depending on memory card speed and capacity.

[4] Requires Paper and Ink Set KW-24IP and Wide size Paper Cassette PCW-CP100.

Canon digital camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS picture and review information.

Additional Information

The PowerShot S3 IS comes bundled with the following Canon Software:

ZoomBrowser EX 5.6 (Windows), ImageBrowser 5.6 (Macintosh): For organizing and editing images, movies and slideshows.
PhotoStitch 3.1: For creating panoramic photos from multiple images (Windows and Macintosh).
Also included is ArcSoft's photo manipulation software PhotoStudio.

The bundled software supports Windows 98 (SE), Me, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Macintosh OS X v10.2-v10.4. The PowerShot S3 IS supports PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Macintosh OS X.

Purchasers of the camera are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.

A complete range of optional accessories is available to extend the functionality of the PowerShot S3 IS:

Tele-converter 1.5x lens (TC-DC58B)
Wide-converter 0.75x lens (WC-DC58A)
Lens Adapter/Hood Set (LAH-DC20)
Close-Up Lens 500D (58mm)
High Power Flash HF-DC1
Soft Case (DCC-90)
Compact AC Power Adapter (CA-PS700)
Battery and Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
The camera is compatible with MMC/SD cards, and comes supplied with a 16MB Canon card.

Technologies Explained

Optical Image Stabiliser
Canon's lens shift-type optical Image Stabiliser counteracts the camera shake caused by slight hand movements. Vibration sensors detect the angle and speed of movement and send this information to a processor, allowing the camera to compensate. This adds stability to hand-held, telephoto or moving shots and enables shooting at shutter speeds of up to three stops slower with no noticeable increase in image blur.

Canon's purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.

iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.

9-Point AiAF
Canon's 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.

FlexiZone AF/AE
FlexiZone AF/AE lets users manually select the focus point from almost any point in the frame by moving the auto focus window in the viewfinder. Exposure is linked to the focus point to ensure that the chosen subject is accurately focused and exposed.

Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens technology
No matter how well engineered, conventional optical glass lens elements cause chromatic aberrations which can ‘soften’ images and appear in photographs as fringing around the outside edge of subjects. Canon’s Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) glass has special optical properties to successfully reduce these aberrations. Especially effective in super telephoto lenses, UD glass helps to deliver crisp, sharp, high contrast images.




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