Kyocera Finecam S3 Review

Steve's Digicams

First Look posted 5/7/01
Full review posted 7/2/01

Click on the S3 camera for a QTVR tour

The Kyocera Finecam S3 is the world's smallest high-quality 3.34 megapixel digital camera. The size of a credit card, the Kyocera Finecam S3 shoots incredibly crisp, sharp images in a sleek, state-of-the-art advanced digital device. The Finecam S3 utilizes the latest in digital technologies to capture up to 2048 x 1536 pixel images rivaling conventional 35mm film. It also captures 15-second motion video sequences with 320 x 240 resolution that can be played back on the LCD or your television set.

The 3.34 Megapixel CCD, the image capture element for the Finecam, works in conjunction with a high-resolution all glass, 2X zoom lens ensuring image quality that exceeds 200 line pairs per mm. The camera is equipped with a high quality Polysilicon TFT Color 1.5" LCD and offers a 35mm equivalent of 38-76mm. The lens is all-glass construction and contains 3 aspheric elements offering the user the finest optical zoom available.

The Kyocera Finecam S3 records images on a postage-stamp sized 16MB MMC (MultiMedia) or SD (Secure Digital) cards, the latest in digital storage technology. Your images can be saved in JPEG compressed format with one of three quality levels or as uncompressed TIFF for the highest possible quality for printing. The camera is supplied with an external SD/MMC USB reader to save your battery power for taking pictures. Also included is the popular ArcSoft PhotoImpression 3.0 software, for easy-to-use photo editing and creative design on your PC.

The Kyocera Finecam S3 features Epson's revolutionary new PRINT Image Matching technology, enabling it to work perfectly with the newest generation of EPSON Stylus Photo printers. With PRINT Image Matching, critical image specific parameters for printing are recorded by the Kyocera Finecam S3 and saved in each image data file. PRINT Image Matching-enabled Epson Stylus Photo printers use this information to ensure that they accurately reproduce the image created by the camera.

The Kyocera Finecam S3 offers an array of automatic and user selectable manual shooting and flash modes, including:

  • Macro, which allows photography as close as 3.5" from the lens

  • Aperture Priority (wide open or fully closed)

  • Manual focusing

  • 4 Flash modes (Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in or Flash Off)

  • Color modes (Color, Sepia or Black & White)

  • White Balance (Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Cloudy, Fluorescent, or Manual Pre-set)

  • Exposure compensation (+/- 2EV in 1/3EV steps)
The body of the Finecam S3 digital camera is made of durable stainless steel. The camera outfit includes a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, AC Charger/Adapter, 16MB MMC card, SD/MMC USB card reader with extension cable and video cable.

The Finecam S3 will be shipping in May 2001 at a street price of $699.

Physical Views

Kyocera Finecam S3

Kyocera Finecam S3

Kyocera Finecam S3

Kyocera Finecam S3Kyocera Finecam S3

Kyocera Finecam S3

Kyocera Finecam S3

The Finecam S3 is the same size and depth as a pack of cigarettes, and there's no Surgeon General's warning connected with its use.

Continue on to
Page Two

Finecam S3 Specifications

Digital still camera with record, playback, and erase modes.
Imaging Device:
1/1.8" square-pixel interlace readout system CCD with 3,340,000 pixels gross, 3,240,000 effective.
Recording media: SD Memory Card, Multi-Media Card (MMC)
Recording Capacity (Guideline) and Image Dimensions in Pixels (when using 16MB SD Memory Card, all pictures taken in the same mode).
Super Fine: About 10 (2048 x 1536)
Fine: About 20 (2048 x 1536)
Normal: About 64 (1024 x 768)
TIFF-RGB (non-compressed): About 1 (2048 x 1536)
Movies (15 seconds each): About 2 (320 x 240)
Image Format: Complies with JPEG standard (Exif ver. 2.1)
DCF Standard (Design Rule for camera File systems),supports DPOF.
2x optical zoom lens, f=7.8 mm - 15.6 mm (35mm equivalent 38-76mm), F2.8-3.5
Focusing Range:
About 90 cm - infinity.
In Macro Mode:
About 10 cm - 90 cm (at wide-angle setting).
Exposure Control/
Metering Method:
CCD multi-area evaluation,center-weighted, and spot metering.
Control Method:
Programmed AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Long Exposure modes.
Exposure Compensation:
+2.0 EV to -2.0 EV (in 1/3 steps).
Aperture Control:
Automatic, or manually settable to F2.8 or F6.2.
Automatic Exposure Linkage Range:
EV6 to EV16 (at equivalent ISO 64).
White Balance:
Automatic, manual (preset),outdoor (daylight/clouds), indoor Tungsten/Fluorescent).
CCD electronic shutter and programmed electronic shutter
with independent aperture control (1 sec-1/2000 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec, 8 sec).
Focusing control:
Video feedback auto-focusing (single AF, continuous AF modes), and manual focusing.
True image zoom viewfinder.
Built-in flash, recycling time about 6 seconds (on full battery charge, at room temperature, based on Kyocera testing standards). Flash range about 90 cm - 2 meters.
Recording Modes:
Flash modes (auto flash, red-eye reduction, forced flash, no flash, red-eye reduction forced flash*); macro recording mode, landscape recording mode; color modes (color, B/W, sepia); white balance (Auto, daylight, tungsten, cloudy, fluorescent, preset); AE modes (programmed, F2.8; F6.2); focus (AF/MF); long-exposure (OFF/2 sec/4 sec/8 sec); sensitivity (standard/2x/4x); metering modes (evaluation; center-weighted; spot).
* Settable during long-exposure mode.
Playback modes:
Multiple image display; protect; erase (single image); all erase (erases all images in folder DCIM); image rotation (right/left 90 degrees); slide show; DPOF setting.
*Note that files (and folders) recorded on other manufacturer's cameras and devices cannot be erased by this camera.
Setup modes:
Date; memory card format; electronic tone ON/OFF;
auto power off setting function ON/OFF and time setting (time until camera power turns off automatically); AF mode selection (continuous or single-image); mode lock ON/OFF (preserves mode setting data); digital zoom ON/OFF; display language setting (Japanese/English); video output standard (NTSC/PAL); file number reset; default reset.
LCD monitor:
Built-in, 1.5" 110,000-pixel polysilicon TFT color LCD monitor; size: 521x218 pixels.

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.