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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little camera
This is the ideal camera for me. I was looking for a digital camera that was very small, so that lugging it around would not be a chore. I wanted a camera that was very easy to use, high-resolution, and under .... This camera fits the bill perfectly.
Nice features:
I like the storage medium --
It comes with a 16 MB MMC card; that's a little small, so I...
Published on September 9, 2001 by Laure Chipman

versus
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small high resolation camera with some faults
I was taken in by the fact that this is very small camera and takes high quality photos. Those qualities are very useful as far as they go, but I have paid a price for them. I think the size technology has reached the point of diminishing returns. The convenience of being able to plop the thing in your shirt pocket must be balanced by the detriments you don't find out...
Published on August 22, 2001 by David Crippen


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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little camera, September 9, 2001
By 
Laure Chipman (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
This is the ideal camera for me. I was looking for a digital camera that was very small, so that lugging it around would not be a chore. I wanted a camera that was very easy to use, high-resolution, and under .... This camera fits the bill perfectly.
Nice features:
I like the storage medium --
It comes with a 16 MB MMC card; that's a little small, so I bought a 64 MB card as well. (It would be nice if you could select the card memory size as an option, so that you don't end up with an extra one you don't need...) To transfer pictures to the PC, you put the memory card into the provided USB card reader, and the pictures just show up as files in Windows Explorer. Couldn't be simpler.
The controls are fairly intuitive to use --
There is a 3-setting switch to go between Set Up/Review Pictures/Take Pictures modes.
There are 2 buttons for zooming in/out.
When reviewing pictures, the zoom in button zooms in on the picture in the LCD window.
There's a button for macro/infinite/automatic focus.
There's a button for flash mode: off/on/auto/fill-in.
The Menu button gets you to other options.
Pictures come out fine with the default settings --
There is some fine-tuning of the settings that you can do, but I have been completely satisfied with the image quality using the defaults.
Caveats:
Yes, the battery life is not spectacular. But then, in researching cameras, I have noticed that everyone complains about the battery life on every camera. I have found that if I just turn the camera off after each shot, the battery will last the duration of a typical outing. To recharge, you plug the camera into the charger; no need to remove the battery.
The movie mode is not very useful. But then, I wanted a still camera, so I am not disappointed. My digital video camera takes lousy stills, too.
The camera comes with this little "hand strap" you can attach, but I would've preferred a neck strap. I think the hand strap just makes it more likely that you'll whack the little thing into something. Much safer to just put it in its little bag and into your pocket.
The camera by default remembers your previous settings when you turn the camera on again. This is usually what I want, but some people may find the alternate "restore default settings" mode to be better for them. I have made a few mistakes when the camera turned on in High Resolution mode, or with flash off, when that is not what I expected.
In summary, this is a nifty little camera!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't have it all!, October 28, 2001
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
As I use digital cameras since they came out for business and private and thus buy at least one camera a year, I have seen a lot. My conclusion: If you want it all, buy a Sony! I have an S85, but the S70/S75 is nearly as good. The DSC-P1 would be my next choice, but Sony seems to have discontinued it. Strange.
If you want small, the S3 is as good as it gets. The picture quality is EXCELLENT and nearly matches the Sony. If you like to spend full days taking photographs, this one is not for you. The battery takes several hours to charge and there is no display to tell you when it is done! The rechargable battery lasts really for half an hour. But that will allow you to fill a 64MB stick with 30-60 high quality snapshots depending on the mode. The tiny flash and only a 2x zoom say it all.
This is the ideal camera to carry around ALWAYS, for which the Sony is too big. If you go on a photo trip buy a Sony S85. The Kyocera S3 is not perfect. But there has to be a tradeoff between size and features. You can't have it all!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, very small, high-resolution camera!, August 29, 2001
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
Kyocera Finecam S3
This is a fantastic camera! It is a great high-resolution, point-and-shoot, digital camera for the amateur photographer in a package so small that you WILL take it with you. This is my first digital camera. I borrowed a Kodak 1.3M camera, and after countless hours of research was about to buy the Cannon S20 when I saw a reference to the Kyocera Finecam S3. After some investigation I found that Kyocera is the parent company for Yashica/Contax. I am familiar with Contax because my first camera is a Contax 139 which I bought 20 years ago and have loved ever since. Contax has the exclusive license to distribute world renowned Carl Zeiss T* lenses. I wanted a digital camera that took very good pictures and was small enough that I would be willing to carry with me. I have found over the years that quite often I will not have even a point-and-shoot camera with me because I don't want to carry it. This camera is so small (the length and width of a credit card) that it easily fits in the pocket of my jeans.
The optics on this camera are fantastic, it takes great pictures. I bought a 64MB memory card and always shoot in the high-resolution mode because it is easy to cut a picture down later on the computer. Other than buying a larger memory card, this camera comes COMPLETE with rechargeable battery, 120/240v charger, carrying case, USB adaptor and some OK software.
The movie mode is pretty wimpy. It looks a bit like a 1960's home movie and there is no sound. But then again this is NOT A MOVIE CAMERA. My mother enjoys the short-grainy movies of her grandchildren. The viewfinder is small, but you can zoom in 2x and pan around when viewing a picture.
The con's of the camera are: 1) The battery will only last about 32-64 pictures, then you have to recharge.
2) The memory card that comes with it is too small. Buy a bigger one.
3) The flash is only good for 8-10 feet (like most point-and-shoots).
4) There is no setting to make the LCD panel default to OFF.
5) It takes about 1.5 seconds to actually take a picture. Maybe most digitals are like this.
6) The movie mode is only 320 X 240 and there is no sound. But remember, this is a STILL camera, not a camcorder.
The pro's are:
1) Great still pictures including macro mode.
2) So small that you will take it with you.
3) Nicely designed and built. Easy to use controls.
4) No nose prints on the display because it is right beneath the viewfinder.
5) Rechargeable battery included (although is it proprietary).
6) Charger is 120-240V.
7) Has automatic lens cover to keep the lens clean.
8) Options to display more or less in the LCD panel.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small high resolation camera with some faults, August 22, 2001
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
I was taken in by the fact that this is very small camera and takes high quality photos. Those qualities are very useful as far as they go, but I have paid a price for them. I think the size technology has reached the point of diminishing returns. The convenience of being able to plop the thing in your shirt pocket must be balanced by the detriments you don't find out till you start using it.
1) The battery life is ridiculously short. Minutes after a charging the little battery icon starts shortening. There is no way to get through a full day of shooting.
2) The LCD monitor is really too small to do other than loosely frame photos. Eats up battery power like a shark.
3) The 15 second movie option ludicrous. The photo quality is so jaw droppingly bad people come from miles around to laugh at it. Whoever designed it must be hiding out in Argentina.
This camera is perfect if you are so jammed up you simply can't carry it in any other than your small purse of shirt picket and you don't need many shots at one sitting. The photo quality is excellent but the battery capacity is poor and the movie option is a hoot. I was not bothered by the relatively meager telephoto capacity. Don't expect any flexibility at all.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little in size but carries a big punch!, February 14, 2002
By 
Justin Wiese (Durango, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
It's small enough that you will actually carry it with you, and it has a high enough mega pixel that you can print 8X10. This is not a professional camera! It is a point and shoot. (darn good point and shoot though) If you are buying this for the 15 second AVI don't, go and buy a digital camcorder. There are two accessories that I would recommend; first a 64 MB or higher MMC, second an additional battery.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent camera with one big problem, March 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
Well I have owned this camera for a while now and I am somewhat pleased by it but I have run into a major problem which I have confirmed on other sites. The memory card does not always capture the image you think you got. In other words you take a picture and it does not wind up on the memory chip. Obviously this is a huge problem. This problem seems to happen more often when the batteries are low but the battery is so small that it is almost always low. Basically you have to keep checking to see if the picture is there. Not very good.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You can't have it all ..., November 5, 2001
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
I wrote a review before, but it seems to be lost.
Now that I have the S3 for some time more, it makes anyway sense to update it. The S3 is neat because of its size. What is not nice is that the camera is unusable in low light. The flash works at most 8 feet and tends to badly overexpose on a normal setting. Resetting the camera sensitivity for the flash is not acceptable. As the flash, as the battery suffers from the small size. Not very usable. Where the S3 was practically unusable, the Sony DSC-S85 made perfect pictures with and without flash.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some flaws, but you'll take it everywhere and get good pics, July 13, 2002
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
The Kyocera/Yashica Finecam S3 is the same camera as the Konica Digital Revio KD-300Z, with a slightly different look to the front panel. It's a great little camera. You could, if you wanted, complain about some of its limitations -- yes, it's slow, the zoom is only 2x, focus is a bit soft, the range of resolutions is more limited than it should be, battery life is terrible, the camera body gets hot, the lens motor is a tad noisy, movies have no sound, the LCD always comes on after power-up (even if you turned it off previously), and the flash is weak. But so what?
The Finecam S3 is the only 3 megapixel camera I know that's small enough and solid enough for me to carry all the time. It's smaller than my cellular phone and fits in the tiny breast pocket of my microfibre cycling vest. It offers a remarkable range of manual controls -- from aperture to ISO sensitivity to white balance to focus. Moving from photo to photo in View mode is faster than on any other camera I've ever used. The build quality is outstanding. It remembers most settings when you turn it off, which some other cameras don't. It's usable by a rank amateur, but if you know what you're doing you can take very good pictures using the manual settings.
It has a raw TIFF mode, a decent optical viewfinder, very close macro focusing (6 cm), an all-metal body, and an above-average package bundle that includes a 16 MB MMC storage chip, a USB card reader and extension cable, a soft leatherette pouch, a video-out cable, and power cords for both 120 V and 240 V standard outlets. The controls are logical and surprisingly usable (despite their tinyness) after a quick read through the thorough manual. Newer versions of the Mac OS and Windows recognize the SD card reader without new drivers. Most important, you'll take the camera with you when you'd leave even a Nikon CoolPix 775 behind.
Its only competitors are the Canon Digital ELPH/IXUS models, but they are 2 megapixel cameras without as much manual control, and maybe the larger and more expensive Fuji FinePix F601. The price has come down too, since the design is now a year old, and it is an excellent deal. Grab a spare battery and a 128 MB SD card, and you're set.
Or buy a 3 megapixel camera that's faster and takes better pictures -- then leave it behind for that perfect shot because it's too lumpy to carry. Your choice. If you want a tiny camera that's still capable, the Finecam is a good bet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst camera ever?, September 4, 2003
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
This is a terrible camera currently on my second one as first the camera would not stay on.
With the new one the battery life is measured in minutes. In dark settings its impossible , just takes ages to get a shot. Unacceptable delay in pressing shutter and image been taken. The movie mode is unreliable. I could go on.
What a waste of money
Geoff
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the trouble..., April 29, 2003
By 
E. Reynolds (Kailua Kona, Hawaii) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kyocera Finecam S3 3MP Digital Camera with 2x Optical Zoom (Electronics)
I bought this camera and loved it at first but after a couple of months it began to have problems. The first problem was that it just stopped charging the battery. I sent it in for service and it now charges but freezes up all of the time, I have sent it in three more times at my expense and the problem has not been corrected. The last time they blamed it on the battery but I have two and even with a fully charged battery the problem persists. I for one will never buy another Kyocera product and would recommend that you consider a different brand also.
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