Updated (August 2012): Compare the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS vs Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS vs Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Winner
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

53

Canon PowerShot S3 IS

43

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Really small
Size
Standard size (104×70×80 mm)
Light-weight
Weight
341 g
 

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot S3 IS

Aperture
Wide aperture
f/2.7
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Digital
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/3200 of a second

Items often bought with the SX500 IS or S3 IS

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot S3 IS.

differences

Advantages of the Canon SX500 IS

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Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2"
Help
More than 50% larger screen
Wide angle
Much better wide angle
24 mm vs 36 mm
Help
More than 30% better wide angle
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
461k dots vs 115k dots
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Zoom
More zoom
30x vs 12x
Help
Around 6.5x more zoom
True resolution
Significantly higher true resolution
9.8 MP vs 5.9 MP
Help
Capture around 70% more detail in your photos
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
720p @ 25fps vs 480p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots high resolution HD (720p) video but at a lower frame rate
Weight
Lighter
341 g vs 510 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
Size
Slightly smaller
104×70×80 mm vs 113×78×76 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
1,600 ISO vs 800 ISO
Help
The SX500 IS's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Sensor size
Slightly larger sensor
1/2.3" 6.16x4.62mm vs 1/2.5" 5.75x4.31mm
Help
More than 10% larger sensor
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
1,600 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Lowest price
Cheaper
$166.00 vs $317.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $151 cheaper (around 50% less)
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Learn more about
the Canon SX500 IS

Advantages of the Canon S3 IS

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Aperture
Significantly wider aperture
f/2.7 vs f/3.4
Help
At its widest zoom, the S3 IS's lens captures slightly more light (0.7 f-stops)
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Macro focus
Better macro capability
0.0 cm vs 1.0 cm
Help
Almost the same
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Digital vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
1.5 fps vs 0.8 fps
Help
Around 90% faster continuous shooting
Fastest shutter speed
Significantly faster max shutter speed
1/3200s vs 1/1600s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness
Slightly thinner
3" vs 3.2"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Canon PowerShot S3 IS Learn more about
the Canon S3 IS
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent super zooms, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Canon PowerShot SX500 IS 53
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        43 Canon PowerShot S3 IS Canon PowerShot S3 IS
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digicams

              Common Strengths
              Macro focus Good macro capabilities Help
              SX500 IS1.0 cm
              S3 IS0.0 cm
              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              SX500 IS1,600 ISO
              S3 ISNone
              Waterproof Not waterproof Help
              Stay on land
              Sensor type Lower-end sensor types Help
              CCD
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              SX500 IS3.2"
              S3 IS3"
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              SX500 IS0.8 fps
              S3 IS1.5 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              SX500 IS1,600 ISO
              S3 IS800 ISO
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              SX500 IS720p @ 25fps
              S3 IS480p @ 30fps

              Compared to recent super zooms

              Common Strengths
              Size Fairly small Help
              SX500 IS104×70×80 mm
              S3 IS113×78×76 mm
              Thickness Thin Help
              SX500 IS3.2"
              S3 IS3"
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              SX500 IS$166.00
              S3 IS$317.00
              Common Weaknesses
              External flash No external flash support Help
              Less expandable
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Sensor size Very small sensors Help
              SX500 IS1/2.3" 6.16x4.62mm
              S3 IS1/2.5" 5.75x4.31mm
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              SX500 IS461k dots
              S3 IS115k dots
              Zoom Poor zoom Help
              SX500 IS30x
              S3 IS12x

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

              Super zoom

              $305 - $350

              Zoom Has significantly more zoom
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX520 HS

              Super zoom

              $239

              Zoom Has slightly more zoom
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon PowerShot SX530 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX530 HS

              Super zoom

              $279 - $280

              Zoom Has significantly more zoom
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Size Is slightly larger

              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

              Super zoom

              $149 - $536

              Focus points More focus points
              Weight Slightly lighter
              Screen resolution Lower resolution screen
              Canon PowerShot SX510 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX510 HS

              Super zoom

              $235

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

              Super zoom

              $199

              Zoom More zoom
              Focus points More focus points
              Screen resolution Lower resolution screen
              Aperture Slightly narrower aperture
              Nikon Coolpix L820

              Nikon Coolpix L820

              Super zoom

              $210

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor
              Size Larger
              Weight Heavier
              Sony CyberShot DSC-H300

              Sony CyberShot DSC-H300

              Super zoom

              $168

              Aperture Wider aperture
              Battery life Significantly longer battery life
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Significantly thicker

              Canon PowerShot S3 IS Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $495 - $649 body only

              $581 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Size Larger
              Canon PowerShot S2 IS

              Canon PowerShot S2 IS

              Super zoom

              $229

              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster
              Lowest price Slightly cheaper
              Macro focus Much worse macro capability
              Screen size Smaller screen
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Lowest price More expensive
              Canon PowerShot A3100 IS

              Canon PowerShot A3100 IS

              Compact

              $240

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Size Smaller
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Macro focus Significantly worse macro capability
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

              appearance

              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Canon PowerShot S3 IS
              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Canon PowerShot S3 IS
              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Canon PowerShot S3 IS

              discussion

              Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
              PowerShot SX500 IS
              Canon

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              Canon PowerShot S3 IS
              PowerShot S3 IS
              Canon

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