Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Canon PowerShot S2 IS Review

Almost as soon as it was announced in February 2004, the PowerShot S1 IS - Canon's long-awaited successor to the Pro 90 - made its way into dpreview's top 5 cameras (based on visitor clicks), a position it held for the best part of a year, despite stiff competition. There have been few compact cameras as eagerly awaited as the S1's successor, which finally arrived at the end of April 2005. In the 14 or so months between the S1 and the S2, the 'super zoom' market has grown immensely, with affordable 5MP image-stabilized models from Panasonic, Konica Minolta - and now Sony with its H1. This means the S2 IS has a lot more to prove than its predecessor, and has to stand its ground in a considerably more competitive marketplace.

The good news is that the S2 is no 'minor upgrade' - almost every aspect of the S1's specification and performance has been improved or refined, the body is entirely new and some of the most serious problems found on the original model have been addressed. But is it enough? Let's find out...starting off with the headline specifications;

  • 12x optical zoom (36-432mm equiv.)
  • 5.0 million effective pixels
  • 1.8-inch tilt-and-swivel LCD monitor
  • Color electronic viewfinder
  • Optical Image Stabilizer (3 modes)
  • Ultrasonic motor (USM)
  • Extra-long movie mode with enhanced VGA resolution and stereo sound
  • Canon DIGIC II processor with iSAPS
  • PictBridge and Canon Direct Print compatible – no PC required
  • Six new 'special scene' shooting modes

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