True motion pictures with
high-end options Wait until you see the difference that 30-frames-per-
second VGA continuous movie recording makes in your films. You'll hear the
difference, too: the S2 IS is equipped to record in stereo, with a high
sampling rate, adjustable microphone level setting, and wind filter option
for excellent sound quality. The camera even allows digital zooming and
manual focus during movie recording.
Advanced imaging technology improves every photo DIGIC II Image Processor
Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor is designed to improve processing speed
and image quality, so the DIGIC II processor provides markedly faster
camera startup, autofocus, and playback plus it assures that every image
is more colorfully vibrant. iSAPS Technology
iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology
developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of
thousands of different photos,
iSAPS works with the fast DIGIC II Image Processor to improve focus speed
and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance. Fastest performance
standard PowerShot S2 IS supports the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed standard, so you'll
enjoy the highest possible data transfer speeds when using a USB 2.0
compatible computer. The camera's performance level is high enough to take
full advantage of super-high-speed SD memory cards as well.
See it on the big screen right and sharp, the camera's power-saving LCD
monitor measures a full 1.8 inches with a stunning 115,000 pixel
resolution. With it, you can view your scene before and after you shoot
it with extraordinary clarity. And when you're shooting at dusk
or at night, Night Display function lets you see the display clearly. It
brightens the object by reducing the frame rate on the LCD screen. A
substantial lineup of available accessories
PowerShot S2 IS lets you add value and take your photography even further
with optional accessories. Wide-angle converter and teleconverter lenses
prepare you for capturing any shot perfectly, while a high-power flash
doubles your flash range for pro-level illumination.
Direct photo printers For desktop large-format printing, try one of the
direct photo printers, which allow you to print directly in one of two
ways: plug the compatible PowerShot camera into the direct photo printer
using the supplied cable, or simply insert a memory card with supplied
adapter. You can also connect the printer to your computer for more
Print high resolution borderless images in post card size or
8.5-by-11-inch size within minutes.
What's in the Box PowerShot S2 IS body, neck strap NS-DC3, AA-size
Alkaline batteries (x4), stereo video cable STV-250N, interface cable
IFC-400PCU, SD memory card SDC-16MB, digital camera solution CD-ROM, and
Capture your family’s active lifestyle with a digital camera that can keep
up. This Canon PowerShot has a super long 12x optical/4x digital/48x
combined zoom for up-close shots and 5MP of imaging power for stunning
detail. The camera also shoots movies with an exclusive MovieSnap feature
with high-quality 30 fps VGA continuous movie recording. Includes a 1.8"
vari-angle LCD screen for clear images and
a USB 2.0 hi-speed interface for faster downloads and file transfers.
This camera delivers the goods., July 1, 2005
Reviewer: Jim Krupnik "jkrupnik"
This is a tough review to write, as it could take far more space than
alotted. Here is the short version...
Some brands of digicams sport German or other Euro lenses. Some will no
doubt argue, but after 35 years of being an active photographer, and a
tech type of person, I feel that nobody makes high end lenses better than
Canon makes them, and nobody makes more lenses that qualify as high end
than Canon either.
The lens mounted on the S2 IS is the best of it's class. Even compared to
quality SLR zoom lenses, it is a premium product. The camera is not a
pocket cam, and does not pretend to replace one. Then again, it can do
what no pocket cam can ever dream of, and can compete heads up with most
digital SLR's in the hands of most people who buy a digital SLR. Truth is,
most people who spend the bucks on a digital SLR would get far more from
the purchase of an S2 IS.
The 5mp sensor produces 8x10 prints that rival 35mm quality. The VGA movie
mode is simply awesome, and the DIGIC II chip is the same one that powers
top of the line SLR's, which means outstanding speed from startup to
shutdown. The selection of modes on this camera is incredible, yet it is
easy to make a quick shot that looks great no matter what the situation.
The continuous shot speed of 2.4 FPS is plenty when you consider that it
isn't a burst mode. If you have a 1 gig memory card plugged in, it will
shoot at the top speed until the card is full (around 600 pics at max
resolution). The intervalometer function is a real treat, as you can shoot
time lapse pics with a press of a button, and you have full control of how
often the shutter trips, and for how long.
A 1 gig memory card will give you just over eight minutes of VGA movie
time with high quality stereo sound. For most functions that don't call
for a DV tape camera, 8 minutes of high quality TV screen sized full
motion video is a long time. Consider that an old "super eight" film
camera was only good for 3 minutes per reel, had no stereo sound, and
wasn't as smooth as the S2's 30 FPS speed. Then there is the IS function.
Between reviews and first hand experience, nobody makes an image
stabilizing system as good as Canon makes it. It works in spectacular
fashion for both still pics, and movies.
OK, other reviwers will compare specs, and show that the S2 IS is the top
dog in the most useful class of cameras to hit the market in a long time.
I just want to make sure that people thinking about buying a digital SLR
look at the S2 first. I bought the S2, the lens hood, and lens adaptor, a
closeup lens for use at max telephoto, a wide angle lens, a telephoto
extender lens, a set of Hoyo UV and Polorizing filters, and a fine quality
camera bag for under $1,000. My next purchase will be a slave flash to
extend the flash range of the camera. The model offered by Canon is pretty
cheap, and there are others to consider.
The bottom line is that the S2 is larger than a pocket cam, but much
smaller and lighter than an SLR, and can beat the average SLR package to
near death right out of the box for most shooting situations. Equip the S2
with a handful of accessories, and the casual SLR owner will have to spend
thousands of Dollars on lenses, accessories, and a reasonable video camera
just to keep up.
The S2 is a major compromise if you make a living taking pictures, and
choose to spend thousands in order to make sure that you can handle every
situation that pops up, but the S2 and a full compliment of accesories
will fit in a medium small camera bag, weigh very little, and capture 95%
of your shots just as well for under a grand. And it does awesome image
stabilized still pics and movies.
I suspect that more than half of the people who buy digital SLR's would
have been far better off with an S2, and would be enjoying new features
well into the first Months of ownership. If you have the itch to step up,
and you are torn between an SLR and a S2, buy the S2. You will be thrilled
with what the UPS guy delivers. Buy the SLR in two or three more years.
They might break out of the mold, and be ready for prime time in the
consumer market by then.
Last note. I took my first pic with the S2 set to auto, flash on, at 12x
zoom. I was sitting on my couch 18 feet away from my kitchen in dim
evening light, with one incandescent light burning near my couch. I
focused on a box of Cheerios sitting on top of my refrigerator (unlike
many earlier digicams, the S2 locked on in a flash), and snapped the pic.
The box was in a 3/4 view, so I could see the side panel, and the front
face. Reviewing the pic on the camera, I was able to clearly read even the
finest print on the side panel of that box. Take a look at the print on
the side of a standard sized box of Cheerios next time you are in the
market, and imagine snapping a handheld shot from 18 feet away, and
reading every word in sharp detail on the camera display afterwards. Canon
knows how to make a proper lens. And yes, Canon does Linux. I have been
Windoze free for several years now, but free open source apps work fine
with this camera, and I heard a rumor (I will try it soon on my Xandros
box) that the Canon Win apps run under Crossover Office for Linux.
Meanwhile, the camera app included in SuSE 9.3 communicates with the S2 as
a PTP device with no problems.
Update - 7.10.05.
I have now used the camera for a little longer time, and had the chance to
compare it more closely to it's Panasonic and Sony competitors. The S2
holds up like a champ. It has (by far) the best movie functionality among
the three, and allows full and quiet use of the zoom capability of the
camera while shooting movie clips. The stereo sound has amazing quality,
and the built in wind screen function for the microphones work like a
charm. The image stabilizer also does a fine job of eliminating vertical
jitter when shooting a movie, yet does not interfere with zooming and
panning at all. The zoom rate in movie mode makes for smooth operation,
without a hint of lens motor noise spoiling the finished movie. Auto
focus, and auto exposure during movie shooting are nothing less than
spectacular. The S2 is simply the best TV quality movie taking still
camera on the market. Period.
Memory cards.. I now have two SanDisk Extreme III 1 gig SD cards. They are
flawless, and can shoot almost 600 full size pictures at a clip in 2.4 fps
high speed continuous mode without a glitch. A good set of rechargeable
batteries are able to keep up as well. None of the othe other cameras in
this class can match it. I read from one reviewer that the Lexar 32x
cards, and the SanDisk Extreme II cards work just as well. If so, it can
save you about $20 per card. The more cards you have, the more movie time
you can record.
On the primary still image side, I have concluded that it is a tight
battle between the top brands, but Canon still retains it's title as the
manufacturer of the overall best premium lenses. That's not a slap
directed at the other two, as they all represent incredible optical
quality. One area where the S2 is a clear winner is in function controls.
Once you get used to the button layout, it is possible to execute very
quick shooting decisions by pressing the right button, rather than roaming
through nested menus. The other area is the Image Stabilizer. The Canon
Image Stabilizer beats the offering from the other two hands down in both
functionality, and user control. It is so good, you can take a handheld
pic at 1/60 to 1/30 of a second at max zoom (nearly 500 mm compared to a
35 mm SLR), and clearly read the license plate of a subject vehicle
located several hundred yards away from the camera.
Try that with a handeld SLR that does not have an image stabilized lens
that alone costs more than the entire S2 package... The above issues are
among the most important in the real world, and Canon delivers. Speed of
startup, focusing, continuous shooting, and shutdown are close between the
top three cameras, and Canon is not the fastest in all areas, but it has
the best balance across the board. The final result will not only impress
those who view your work, it will also impress you. Again, the ultimate
margin from one to the next is small, but Canon offers the most complete
To sum up the update, the S2 has a very fast learning curve, outstanding
accessory lenses, and overall best in class quality. I bounced mine off
the asphalt from about three feet today with no ill effects. I wouldn't
suggest you try it, but it survived just fine. The only scratch was to the
ring of the Hoya UV filter I had attached to the lens (Thank God). If you
are looking for the top camera in the new top consumer camera class, the
S2 is it. Buy it and be real happy about how you spent your money.