Oct 5, 2005

Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera Review

Canon's PowerShot S2 IS is a significant upgrade over the S1 IS. Its 12x 36-432mm zoom lens, up from the S1's 10x 38-380mm glass, and its 5-megapixel resolution, up from the S1's 3-megapixels, are the most notable improvements, but Canon made additional refinements that should not be overlooked; they increased the S2's maximum shutter speed to 1/3200 second from the S1's 1/2000, its maximum continuous capture rate to 2.4fps from 1.7fps, the size of its LCD monitor to 1.8-inches from 1.5-inches, and equipped it with an AF-assist lamp.

The S2's movie mode also benefitted from several audio enhancements. The camera's feature-rich exposure system is simple enough for a beginner, yet offers advanced photographers plenty of opportunity for creativity. The beginner will enjoy the simplicity of Automatic pointnshoot mode, and benefit from the pre-programmed scene modes, including the new Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Indoor and Night Snapshot modes.

The advanced user will enjoy the S2's Program AE, Shutter-Speed priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Stitch-assist, and Manual exposure modes.
Canon Powershot S2 IS 5MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

Canon Powershot S2 IS 5MP Digital Camera
with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

DigitalCameraInfo.com have posted their Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera Review.
"The Canon PowerShot S2 picks up where the PowerShot S1 IS left off, though not perhaps in the ways some might expect: it improved upon the S1's strengths while still falling short in all the same areas. The S2 makes significant strides in the push towards hybrid functionality, adding stereo recording, manual audio controls, dual recording buttons, and a wind reduction function. The 12x optical zoom lens is extremely versatile and includes selectable stabilization settings to optimize performance and distinguish it from other ultra zoom models-and if it's not versatile enough, the user has the option to purchase compatible accessory lenses for increased wide angle and telephoto capabilities. The flip-out 1.8" LCD, which can swivel 270 degrees, is not wholly unique but not yet common either. Its 5 MP images can now be recorded to an SD card, and the improved macro mode makes those cliché shots of dew-sprinkled flower petals easier than ever.

However, still performance fell short of expectations. And while the addition of the DIGIC II processor improved the S2's performance speeds, it did not do much to help the camera's difficulty in suppressing noise. This is the major downfall of the S2. Resulting images are noisy and colors are a bit muddier than the Cyber-shot H1. All around, the S2 is a capable camera with an extremely flexible lens that justifies the $450 price tag alone; however, those looking for immaculate stills will be put off by the visible noise present in the S2's images."