24 April 2005

New Canon S2 IS—one of the world’s most desirable compact digicams?

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Canon_S2 IS

It may only have had a 3 megapixel sensor, but the venerable Canon S1 IS was close to compact digital camera perfection. The compact 10x optical zoom was coupled with a vibration reduction system which really worked (see my previous review, Shock results with long zoom digicams), a functional, albeit small, swivelling LCD screen, excellent movie mode, good handgrip, and let’s face it, very cool styling.

The only problem was that 3 megapixels seemed like a fairly low spec for the price. But megapixels can be deceptive, and my experience was that the S1 IS took very fine pictures, better than many 4 and 5 megapixel cameras.

It has seemed a long time coming, but a replacement camera was inevitable, and now the new S2 IS is here. It’s now a 5 megapixel style machine, with an improved 12x optical zoom, larger 1.8” LCD, 2.4 fps shooting speed and added focus assist lamp. It still has an excellent movie mode, the LCD still swivels, and the camera still has Canon’s excellent Image Stabilisation system. Regular readers will know that I consider Canon’s system better than Minolta and Panasonic’s offerings. Canon have simply been doing image stabilisation for longer, through their excellent video cameras, and have become pretty good at it.

The only area in which the S2 IS is not improved over its predecessor is in size and weight. Unusually in this world of increasing miniaturisation, the S2 is a little bigger and heavier than the old S1. At 113 x 78 x 75 mm and 405g it’s no back pocket special. It’s about the same size as Minolta’s Z5, and rather smaller than the Panasonic FZ20, its main competitors. And there’s another competitor in the wings, Sony’s new DSC-H1. The Sony has an impressive 2.5” screen (although it doesn’t swivel), but is heavier than Canon and Minolta.

I have to admit, the long zoom, anti-shake digicam market segment my favourite, and it’s certainly hotting up. But I have a feeling this new Canon will be the front-runner.Go to eebahgum!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is a nice canon bc02 blog