Canon announced a long-awaited upgrade to the S series cameras .

Major improvements of the S5 IS over the S3 IS are: (Wonder what happened to "S4"?)

8 MP instead of 6 MP
Hot Shoe
2.5" screen over 2.0"
Facial recognition software which helps with focus and exposure of people

Same 12-1 zoom + up to 4x digital zoom.
Only complaint, the widest angle is about equivalent to 35mm lens. (A wide angle adaptor has a street price of $150 - changes to about a 24mm wide angle field of view.)

$499 list - available in June
Uses same accessories as S3

This is a great higher-end pro-sumer" camera for someone who doesn't need interchangeable lenses (Or in my case doesn't want to be tempted to own every lens in the catalog.) And for someone who wants a more compact camera.

You knew this was coming if you follow the pricing of the Canon S3. You can now find them under $300 - had been listed at $399.

If you are unlikely to make prints larger than 16x20", The S3 IS is a good camera to consider. It has an "Auto" mode for the most inexperienced photographer plus lots of other creative functions including some "scene" modes that adjust automatically for snow, beaches, fireworks, etc. to help with the trickier exposure type settings.

I've owned a couple of Canon cameras of this type now and really like them. Compact size and weight.

I know our photographers committed to digital SLRs aren't going to be drawn to this model, but the average person looking for a first digital or upgrading an older model will do well to consider the S3 at under $300 or the S5 at $500.

Both have Image Stabilization (IS) and also create videos with the push of a dedicated button.