OV735
Topic Author
Posts: 832
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:49 am

P&S Camera Lifespan?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:21 pm

Hi,

I'm not 100% sure if this is the right forum to ask such a question, but perhaps some of you can offer a bit of advice.

I've had my Canon PowerShot S3 IS for about a year and a half now, with around 8500 shots taken. Lately I've noticed that the sensor's sensitivity has started to degrade rather fast. If in the beginning I would have no problem getting a 1/100-1/60 exposure with ISO 80 and F3.2 in a cloudy autumn afternoon, then now at the same settings I'm down to the exposures in the range of 1/40-1/20.

Do you think it's a normal aging for a point & shoot camera, or could it be a technical fault? I was planning of getting a dSRL in late 2008/early 2009 and was hoping to live with the S3 until then, but the lousy performance has got me worried if it'll last.

For background information, the camera has been operated in various environments temperature-wise, ranging from -30 to +30 degrees Celsius. I have always tried to keep it from humidity as best as I could, and it hasn't taken any serious falls or hits either.

I'd appreciate any help or information about this, thanks.
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: P&S Camera Lifespan?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:39 pm

I would say there's something wrong with the camera. A camera should be good for a few years service if its well looked after. Are the photo's properly exposed? It could be a problem with the meter if not. My little Kodak DX4330 is still going strong after 5 years, although it doesn't get much use these days.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
CalgaryBill
Posts: 618
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 12:27 am

RE: P&S Camera Lifespan?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:03 pm



Quoting OV735 (Thread starter):
If in the beginning I would have no problem getting a 1/100-1/60 exposure with ISO 80 and F3.2 in a cloudy autumn afternoon, then now at the same settings I'm down to the exposures in the range of 1/40-1/20.

That's an incredibly subjective scenario to base any conclusions on. Your meter can't tell the condition of the sensor, so the problem as you describe it would be a metering problem as Dazbo5 mentioned. If your meter isn't metering properly, then your pictures won't be exposed properly - what you describe above should result in overexposed shots. The easy way to test that would be to visit a camera store, have them meter a shot and compare the results.

However, if you just want to justify buying a dSLR then yes, your S3 is probably toast.  Wink

B
 
eddl
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:54 am

RE: P&S Camera Lifespan?

Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:19 pm



Quoting OV735 (Thread starter):
I've had my Canon PowerShot S3 IS for about a year and a half now, with around 8500 shots taken. Lately I've noticed that the sensor's sensitivity has started to degrade rather fast. If in the beginning I would have no problem getting a 1/100-1/60 exposure with ISO 80 and F3.2 in a cloudy autumn afternoon, then now at the same settings I'm down to the exposures in the range of 1/40-1/20.

I have been to Estonia in the last few weeks. In cloudy conditions I have been shooting ISO 400-640 the whole day to get an acceptable shutter speed. With an ISO value of 80 the exposure time of 1/20-1/40 second sounds pretty OK. I don't see a problem here.

Phil / EDDL
 
OV735
Topic Author
Posts: 832
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:49 am

RE: P&S Camera Lifespan?

Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:47 am

Thanks for your input. I use the camera in aperture priority mode with a fixed ISO setting (80 or 100) most of the time, so it will select the suitable shutter speed accordingly. The photos don't come overexposed, but the automatic shutter speed seems to have considerably slown down in similar conditions. But it's probably true that the "cloudy autumn afternoon" is not the best nor the most accurate description of lighting conditions so it could possibly be just me. Perhaps I'll let Canon take a look at it.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 2):
However, if you just want to justify buying a dSLR then yes, your S3 is probably toast.

And if it's not toast now, then, well, accidents happen?  

Anyway, thanks for the help everyone. Phil, I hope you're having a good time in Estonia.

[Edited 2007-12-05 16:48:54]

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