Kyocera Finecam S3 review: Kyocera Finecam S3

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Supercompact and lightweight; good design; easy operation.

The Bad Performance and exposure glitches; lackluster image quality; limited feature set.

The Bottom Line This little digicam is strong on design but has a hard time standing up to the big boys when it comes to features and performance.

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Billed as the world's smallest 3.34-megapixel camera, the 5.8-ounce Kyocera Finecam S3 is a credit-card-sized digicam that you can easily pocket. With a sharp, 2X zoom lens and easy navigation, it can handle family and student photo needs--if you shoot with care. However, it lacks the range of features we've seen on other cameras in its price range and has some unfortunate quirks when it comes to color balance and exposure. But if getting the most shooting power in the tiniest package is what you're looking for, the S3 might be just the ticket. Billed as the world's smallest 3.34-megapixel camera, the 5.8-ounce Kyocera Finecam S3 is a credit-card-sized digicam that you can easily pocket. With a sharp, 2X zoom lens and easy navigation, it can handle family and student photo needs--if you shoot with care. However, it lacks the range of features we've seen on other cameras in its price range and has some unfortunate quirks when it comes to color balance and exposure. But if getting the most shooting power in the tiniest package is what you're looking for, the S3 might be just the ticket.

Shrinky dink
How do you make a digital camera this compact? Well, to start, you use the smallest media and batteries available. The S3 uses Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMedia Cards (MMC) to store images and a lithium-ion battery pack, which resembles a plump stick of chewing gum. Kyocera chose not to support downloading images directly from camera to computer but includes a compact USB card reader instead.

We really liked the S3's solid, well-designed, stainless-steel body and efficient menu system. We were able to navigate quickly with the Game Boy-style control, which we found much easier to use than the numerous soft keys on some other cameras. Despite the camera's tiny size, its controls are all well located and convenient. It was a bit disconcerting that the front of the camera got quite warm when we used the LCD for an extended period. Though Kyocera warns of the heat issue in the manual, the company says that shouldn't be cause for alarm.

Exposure compensation
The S3 provides limited exposure control, with the choice of a program-auto mode or an aperture-priority mode, which offers only two settings, f-2.8 and f-6.3. There's also exposure compensation, and you can shoot 2-, 4-, or 8-second time exposures. We ended up having to use exposure compensation to get well-exposed flash images.

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Where to Buy

Kyocera Finecam S3

Part Number: 300130
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Compact
  • Optical Zoom 2 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 3.3 Megapixel
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/1.8"