(Marble Falls, Texas)
Canon Powershot S3 IS
"I have a Powershot S3 IS I bought several years back. I would like to purchase a telephoto lens. The telephoto lens that is built into the camera does not meet my needs. What do I purchase? I do not want to spend a thousand dollars on a lens, as I use this only for taking photos for my scrapbooking hobby. I am going to see Coldplay in August, I have good seats, but I want to be able to get an intimate picture of the members of the band as they play their instruments, specifically Chris Martin when he plays his piano. I will be close to the stage, but not close enough to use the built in lens on the camera. Please advise."
Thanks for your question about the Canon Powershot S3 IS. It's hard to believe that the Canon S3 is already 10 years old, which is ancient in the world of digital photography.
By far, the biggest appeal of the S3 at the time of its release was its 12x zoom. It gives you the equivalent zoom of 35-435mm zoom. At the 435mm setting, you get an angle of view of only 4 degrees.
If you are lucky enough indeed to get close to the stage, the magnification at full zoom would be too much, unless you are shooting head shots of the performers.
The biggest liability of such an old camera is its performance in low light situations. If you're shooting a daylight concert it's no problem. If you're shooting a concert at night or inside, you likely will be very disappointed with the results you get.
The Canon S3 IS was not built as a camera with interchangeable lenses and I can't recommend any tele-extenders or cheap telephoto lens kits that would be satisfactory.
Canon S3 IS Lens Buying Advice
This is not the advice you were hoping for, but I can't recommend spending any money on a lens for such an outdated camera. You'd be better off justifying to yourself to splurge and reward yourself with a more modern camera. The small 6 megapixel sensor, the limited high ISO capabilities, the slow 2.3 frames per second make this camera challenging for you to use to get some good photos taken at your concert.
Whatever you decide to do, let me know how you make out!
Good luck, Sandra
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Written by Bruce Lovelace