The Canon PowerShot S2 IS is the successor to the Powershot S1 IS which was released last year. The S2 has a big 12x Optical Zoom lens (with image stabilizer), 5.0 megapixel image sensor and 30 frames per second video shooting (for up to 60 minutes and stereo sound). It shoots still images at up to 2.4 images per second at shutter speeds of up to 1/3,200 of a second.
DP Review reviews the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and write- "The appeal of the S2 IS goes beyond simple pixel-peeping; it has a class-leading feature set, a very reliable image stabilization system (the benefits of which cannot be overstated) and superb handling. It's well-priced, incredibly versatile and - above all - highly enjoyable to use."
Steves Digicams reviews the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and writes - "The PowerShot S2 IS is a very capable entrant in the megazoom digicam market. With 5-megapixels of resolution, a high-quality image-stabilized 36-432mm zoom lens, very good image quality and industry-leading support for moving images, the S2 IS offers a compelling combination of quality and versatility. It will please both the beginner and the advanced photographer with its consistently well-exposed and sharp results. The S2 IS presents a worthy alternative for consumer digicam users considering an upgrade to a consumer dSLR."
CNET Reviews has a review of the Canon PowerShot S2 IS where they give it a 'very good' rating and write - 'The successor to the image-stabilized S1 IS has more than just a slightly expanded waistline. The Canon PowerShot S2 IS boasts an upgrade to a 5-megapixel sensor (from 3.2), a 12X zoom lens (up from 10X), and a 1.8-inch LCD (vs. 1.5 inches). A Digic II processor and a high-speed USB connection speed things up. Add a full complement of manual controls, as well as high-quality video with stereo sound, and the S2 IS is sure to find its way into the hands of photo enthusiasts who want to shoot long and print big.'
Megapixel reviews the Canon Powershot S2 IS and writes - 'Without any doubt, the Canon PowerShot S2 IS is a very likeable camera, as are most compact digital cameras equipped with a long zoom. These are cameras that offer a great latitude for the photographer, allowing clear shots of both near and far subjects, a capability to which the PowerShot S2 adds a very effective image stabilizer.
Indeed, the value of the image stabilizer should not be underestimated. While a long zoom is a superb feature on a compact camera, without any stabilization its usefulness is compromised.'
Design Technica reviwes the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and writes - 'Although I liked the final stills and videos I took with this speedy, responsive camera, Canon is asking way too much from consumers to get up to speed. Granted, an experienced shutterbug will have less difficulty wading through the extremely dense owner's manual. And if you plan to simply shoot in Auto or with the various scene modes, the camera will do the trick. Yet the deal breaker for me is the manual flash. Imagine taking a critical shot, pressing the shutter then realizing you have to open the flash. In that critical moment, the memory could be gone. Toss in the fact that you don't get rechargeable batteries and a charger, and this mega zoom camera moves near the bottom of the list of available options.'
Lets Go Digital reviews the Canon Powershot S2 IS Digital Camera and writes - 'The excellent working stabilisation combined with the high resolution is pleasant to work with. It makes photographing a lot more relaxed. The effort to keep the camera as still as possible when photographing in large telephoto, is no longer an issue. The sound quality and the possibility of taking pictures during recording a video enhance the multi-media joy. The camera's hand fit is perfect, thanks to the obvious handgrip. Colour rendition and exposure are both excellent and hardly require any corrections. Add to this the remarkably economical character of the camera and Canon once again impressed friend and foe with a high quality digital camera added to the Mega zoom group.'
Pocket Lint reviews the Canon Powershot S2 IS digital camera and writes - 'The Canon Powershot S2 IS provides a superb range of features and great handling abilities in a relatively small package and gives more than adequate results at a resolution that is ample for prints up to and over A3 in size. Even with Canon�s recently announced avalanche of new cameras, it still sits neatly in the range providing an enthusiast level of performance and specification at nearly half the price.'
PC Magazine reviews the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and writes - 'We look to superzooms to get us close to the action, to help us capture important shots from afar. But a long zoom isn't everything. Although Canon's latest superzoom, the PowerShot S2 IS, has an amazing 12X optical zoom, that doesn't make up for some of the camera's shortfalls.'
Canon PowerShot S2 IS - DIGIC II
The processor even makes it possible to capture a maximum resolution digital still whilst shooting video. As well as giving camera performance a real boost, DIGIC II also improves colour rendition and white balance accuracy, as well as speeding up playback review and scrolling. A USB 2.0 Hi-speed interface is provided for super quick image and video transfers. “The Canon Powershot S2 IS represents a convergence of Canon's core imaging technologies in the areas of lens, image processing, digital still camera and digital video camera development,” commented Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - High quality optics
The most powerful optical zoom (36 - 432mm f/2.7-f.3.5) ever to equip a Canon compact camera features Canon's renowned optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, significantly suppressing blur when taking stills and minimising image shake when shooting video footage. An Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element curbs chromatic aberrations, particularly at longer focal lengths, for extremely faithful colour reproduction and sharp definition. IS can be set to off, continuous (always on), shoot only (operates with shutter release) and panning mode (only up/down movement corrected, suitable for applications such as motor-sports). Providing the equivalent of 2-3 stops, IS allows photographers to shoot with longer than normal exposures without increasing image blur, great for low light shooting at events where use of flash is inappropriate or not desirable, such as concerts and weddings. As well as driving super-fast, responsive zooming, the lens' ultra-sonic motor (USM) also delivers exceptionally quiet operation so as to not interfere with stereo sound recording on movies or where wildlife subjects might otherwise be startled. A Super Macro mode performance of 0cm and optional Canon 500D (58mm) close up lens gives the opportunity for interesting and experimental macro photography. Covering most shooting requirements, optional wide and tele converter lenses extend the zoom range to an impressive 24x – from wide 27mm to super-tele 648mm (35mm equivalent). Without conversion lenses, the Canon S2 IS has a 48x combined digital and optical zoom for both stills and movies.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - Functionality and Performance
Addition of the DIGIC II processor increases AF speed by approximately 45% and improves start up times by over 50%. With a feature that outshines many digital SLR cameras, the Canon Powershot S2 IS digital camera will shoot continually and uninterrupted at 2.4 fps until the memory card becomes full, providing users with a new realm of action sport sequence opportunity. 17 still shooting modes include full manual mode, 6 pre-set Special Scene modes for quickly optimising settings in tricky lighting conditions, and Stitch Assist for multi-image panoramas. To commence shooting video immediately supporting VGA fine (640 x 480) mode at either 30 or 15 fps, the Canon S2 IS retains the dedicated movie-shooting button. This eliminates the need to enter menu navigation, helping make sure users never miss those once-in-a-lifetime shooting opportunities.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - My colors function
Manual focus for stills and movies is available with the use of the omni-selector up/down buttons. High quality stereo sound recording at selectable sampling rates is available, either as part of movie recording, as a stand alone sound recording, or for annotation of stills. A selectable Wind filter improves sound quality of outdoor recordings made in blustery conditions. The camera's mono sound playback is extendable to stereo when connected to a suitable device with the supplied stereo video cable. Also added is the popular in-camera slow-motion replay, introduced in a selection of recently launched dedicated Canon digital still cameras. With its own spot on the mode dial, the 'My Colors' function allows 9 different colour effects to be applied in real time whilst shooting both stills and movies.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - Record movies and stills simultaneous
A new Photo-in-Movie feature lets users capture a maximum resolution still image whilst shooting a movie by simply pressing the shutter release. Movie recording is temporarily interrupted whilst the still image is captured, continuing thereafter until the user chooses to stop. The video footage and still image are saved separately and the fragmented sequence can be stitched back together with a special edit menu option in the supplied ZoomBrowser EX 5.2/ImageBrowser 5.1 software.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - Other features
Taking on board feedback from Canon PowerShot S1 IS users, Canon has increased the size of the vari-angle LCD from 1.5-inch to 1.8-inch. A Night Display function assists with framing in low light. Electronic viewfinder (EVF) brightness is adjustable to one of 2 levels. The integrated flash now has manual pop-up control. Along with the conversion lenses, other optional accessories include Canon's High Power Flash HF-DC1, a lens hood and lens adapter set to reduce flare and a Soft Case DCC-90. The Canon Powershot S2 IS digital camera is supplied with 4 AA Alkaline batteries and a 16MB SD card as standard.
Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera - PictBridge, software and online sharing
With extensive PictBridge support, the Canon Powershot S2 IS offers ID photo and movie print when connected to a Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printer such as the Compact Photo Printer Canon SELPHY CP600. Using KP-108IP media with SELPHY CP Compact Photo Printers gives 6 x 4“ (10 x 15cm) prints as low as 30 euro cents. A new Print/Share button provides one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems. Image and video library management and editing software includes ZoomBrowser EX 5.2 (for PC), ImageBrowser 5.1 (for Mac) and ArcSoft PhotoStudio, PhotoStitch for creating panoramas from multiple images, and the easy to use PhotoRecord printing application. The Canon S2 IS digital camera supports PTP for driverless file transfers to Windows XP or Mac OS X. Drivers include TWAIN (Windows 98/2000) and WIA (Windows Me). Purchase of the Canon Powershot S2 IS entitles customers to membership to the Canon Image Gateway, Canon's online portal that offers users 100MB of online 'personal gallery' space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.