Kyocera – Finecam S3 review

very small 3.3 megapixel digital camera
Photo of Kyocera – Finecam S3
£340 + VAT

Digital cameras have the potential to get really small. The only part which takes up any real room is the lens mechanism, but Kyocera, which bought Yashica some years back, has even condensed that down in the Finecam S3. Although the camera has a 2x zoom lens and a further 2x digital zoom, it has the same width and height as a credit card. It’s about 30mm thick, but is still light and slips very easily into even a small pocket.

The compact dimensions are made possible partly by the use of a 16MB Secure Digital/MultiMedia Card – about the same size as a stamp – and partly by the rechargeable Lithium ion battery pack. Even with its small size, it’s well-featured and easy to use and its silver or gunmetal body (your choice) makes it more robust than plastic-cased digital cameras.

Most functions of the Kyocera Finecam S3 are controlled by five buttons, mounted as the four points of the compass with one in the middle. There are extra buttons for macro, flash, switching on the 37mm LCD display and calling up the settings menu. A rotary switch selects record or playback and a final pair of buttons adjusts the zoom level.

The camera uses a 3.3 megapixel CCD to capture pictures of up to 2,048 by 1,576 pixels, of which it can store up to 19. At a resolution of 1,024 by 768, this increases to 64. Its 38mm-76mm, 35mm equivalent lens uses all-glass elements and, with the well-engineered auto-focus, makes for a camera you can easily use for quick snaps.

If you want to take more time over your shots, though, you can set aperture priority and manual focus, to give you more control. As usual, you can use the viewfinder or LCD screen to compose your picture.

A USB cable is supplied with the Kyocera Finecam S3 for transferring your pictures, or you can use the Secure Digital/MultiMedia card reader, also included, which fits any USB port. A copy of ArcSoft’s PhotoImpression software provides above-average photo manipulation for a bundled application.

Company: Kyocera

Contact: 0118 935 6300


Verdict
The Kyocera Finecam S3 is a very compact 3.3 megapixel camera with 4x zoom and a 16MB memory card for storage. The Yashica-built device is easy to use, pocketable and takes a well-balanced picture. At the price, it beats Canon's Digital Ixus cameras on CCD resolution and memory card capacity. It really is a sophisticated miniature, digital camera.