Canon S3 IS and grainy photos.

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by skid2964, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. skid2964

    skid2964 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon S3 IS and I kind of new to the photography thing.

    I enjoy taking photos in low light and my Canon seems to create pictures that are more grainy than I expected. I have played with the ISO settings but I am still not happy. I thought it was me until I started reading where others have the same complaint that the S3 just doesnt do as well in low light.

    Maybe Im expecting too much performance from my S3, I know it won't perform like a DSLR, but I would like to know which Point and shoot in this class does BEST for low light, if any perform adequately at all! is there a camera in this class that performs better for this purpose?

    All opinions and/or corrections are welcome.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cameras with small sensors will usually produce a fair amount of noise/grain at higher ISO settings. That's why many of us use DSLR cameras....because they have larger sensors which can produce better image quality with less noise.

    Technology is always improving...and newer cameras are usually better than the older ones. For example, the S5 IS, is probably better than the S3 IS.

    One solution is to always use the lowest ISO setting. That will probably mean that when shooting in low light, you will need to use a tripod and the self timer. An alternative would be to use flash or find another way of adding more light.
     
  3. skid2964

    skid2964 TPF Noob!

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    This is the case even with entry level DSLR's? like the Nikon D40, Rebel Xti or Pentax K100D? I can get almost-as-nice photos as the more expensive DSLR's, just less features or range of features? Or are the sensors that much better per dollar spent?

    I have been considering getting one, the lessor models aren't much more than the S3 or S5.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, even the entry level DSLR cameras have very good sensors. The price difference us usually in the extra features and the build quality of the body.

    At the top end, some Pro level DLSR cameras have larger sensors than typical DSLR cameras (Canon 5D & 1 series...Nikon D3)...but those are very expensive.

    I almost always try to dissuade people from buying $300-$500 'digi-cams' because you can get a DSLR starting around $500...and they are much, much better.

    Sure, it might cost more with an SLR because the lenses a interchangeable and can cost a lot of money...but they are a much better investment than a digicam.
     
  5. nymtber

    nymtber TPF Noob!

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    I keep my S3 IS set to ISO 80 and it takes wonderful pictures! Sure sometimes the flash is needed, sometimes even a tripod, but its worth it. I wish I could afford a digital rebel, but I dont want to lug around all that weight. Most of the time my Camera is with me im walking with my girlfriend or Im out in the woods where a SLR type camera with big lens would slow me down/get in my way.

    Indoors and low light with these cameras gets really tricky, the only way to learn how to use them is to experiment...its digital, if you dont like the pictures, delete them!
     
  6. photogmatt

    photogmatt TPF Noob!

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    ISO noise is bad on the S3, like the poster above said you're best just keeping the iso under 400, unless you want to use a Photoshop noise plugin afterwards which makes it a little more acceptable. (Noise Ninja for example)
     

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