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Canon S2 IS first impressions

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Iain, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Iain

    Iain
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    OK JohnG asked about my thoughts on the S2 IS in another thread, I thought it would be best to start a new thread as there is quite a bit of interest in this camera.
    I've had the camera almost 2 weeks now :thumbsup: getting used to vast array of options but still not tried many.
    This is my first digicam/serious camera for that matter, so this is by no means a pro review. For that look at JohnG's link here

    OK the pro review covers whats in the box so I'll get straight to the camera, it has a very substantial feel to it, OK its plastic but solid with a good weight to it, nice to hold. On switching on it powers up in less than a second, some have complained about the lens cap being loose fitting, it looks like a suede friction ring on the inside of the cap. Mine stays on no problem, I think the main function of this design is that on power up the lens extends and pushes off the cap so you're ready to go without fuss. Though over time I think it will be a problem for the cap to stay on.
    Next the flip out LCD screen at first I thought this to be a gimmick only to be used for self portraits but it lets you shoot overhead or down low easily and provides good protection for the screen when it is turned back to face into the body. It provides a nice crisp image with good colours, I didn't try brightness boost in bright light so I cannot comment on that. The menu system is very intuitive so I was taking pictures before opening the manual.
    :boring: right I'm getting too carried away with stuff that's been covered in the review so here's my good points and bad points.
    Good
    nice feel, ergonomics, button placement
    everything is open to manual control, with little or no menu delving
    takes nice pictures- but this is an art I'm just learning
    good AF system
    excellent zoom see pics below
    enough room to grow and then some
    battery life top notch
    excellent burst mode
    0cm macro
    nice video mode at a pinch- see below
    good software bundle
    you can control the camera over USB, ie shutter release/speed, aperture, zoom etc
    USB2
    nice range of addons
    allot more that I've not uncovered yet

    Bad
    use of the 4-way rocker for manual focus- I find it tricky to get right
    flash could be better
    original batteries only lasted a day, use rechargeables
    measly 16MB SD card included
    only about 7 mins of video on a 1 Gig card- but that's what camcorders are for right, plus it does pick up camera noise quite a bit
    only supports JPEG but the DIGICII processor does a great job in keeping them clean

    I would say most of the bad points are minor but the manual focus will take a bit of getting used to, I will definitely go for a focus ring when I upgrade to a DSLR in 3 or 4 years but even then the S2 will still have allot to offer. So overall I'm very pleased with the camera, I'm just taking my first steps into what I feel will be an enjoyable and valuable hobby.
    In the first week of owning this camera I've taken 400+ pics some in auto but most in one of the manual semi-manual modes. I bought a good book to give me a grounding in the the theory and techniques involved in photography "How To Do Everything With Your Digital Camera" by Dave Johnson.
    So here's some of my S2 pics, I would appreciate any criticism/advice regarding the pics and any further reading to help me on my way :thumbsup:

    Macros
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    wideangle
    [​IMG]
    zoom
    [​IMG]

    various
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    well I hope your still awake after that

    Cheers Iain
     
  2. seany

    seany
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    I had the S1 Ian. My lens cap was always falling off, almost all digital cares lens extends when powered up, it's not designed to push the cap off. Your meant to take it off first.

    The wide angle shots (though not wide angle at 72mm) look to have a lot of noise in them. I don't know if that because you've used photoshop to lighten them , but i suspect its the ISO. Noise is a common problem with digital compacts at high ISO's

    But there are some good shots there.
     
  3. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    so, whats your fave camera then Seany..? - which one you got now..??

    I just bought a canon g5 from ebay - refurbished, but was only 200 quid...I'm happy with that... ;)
     
  4. mjw123

    mjw123
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    Iain,

    I exploded pics 3 and 4 of the macros to full size and they look a little on the soft side - don't know if this is the caemera or technique but i'd expect a bit sharper personally. Maybe a quick sharpen in PSP or Picasa might help.

    Mike.
     
  5. seany

    seany
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    They do look a little soft as mike said. But you've not had it long and anybody can get a soft shot with any camera.


    I have a 20D now Mr cat, had it about 9 months now. G5 is a very good camera
     
  6. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    cheers, but so's the 20D - way out of my league, price wise anyway..!
     
  7. Iain

    Iain
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    Hi Seany
    The wide angle shot was at 6mm(36mm- 35mm equivalent), I agree there is allot of noise in that shot but the ISO was only 100 which doesn't bode well. But in defence it was just a quick and dirty shot to illustrate the zoom, taken in one of the partial auto modes on my first outing. I'm sure I could do better now that I'm more acquainted with the camera. None of the images have been tweaked in any way apart from being reduced in size for hosting purposes.

    mjw123
    Yep got to agree with you there, on several reviews of the S2 people were saying that the pictures were too sharp and advised that it be turned down in the camera settings. I took their advice and turned it down, this is one of the many in camera tweaks that I'll need to experiment with. I'll post up another macro at the 3 sharpness levels to see if I can improve this. I don't doubt that poor skill was also a factor but I'll get better.

    Thanks for input guys, of to practice.

    Cheers Iain.
     
  8. seany

    seany
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    A few shots, does not tell you alot about a camera. I recall one time i took my S1 to a lake and the light was that strong i never got a single decent photo.

    There was a lot of noise in that shot it's true, but that does not go to say it'll be the norm.

    Please post some more when you get round to to:)
     
  9. seany

    seany
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    Sorry Iain i was looking at the zoom's exif there
     
  10. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Thanks for that review mate, I'd be interested in your views over the coming weeks :)
     

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