Product Type: Canon digital cameras
Newest Review: ... camera like this up to your eye when composing and taking a shot. Despite the relatively small screen size, menus and icons show up o... more
I'm a powershot with my Canon PowerShot S2IS
Canon Powershot S2 IS
Member Name: logberg
Canon Powershot S2 IS
Advantages: Easy to use and great results
Disadvantages: I found manual a bit arduous to read in beginning
My son's wedding day was not the best time to be handed a brand new digital camera to record such an important day's events. I bawked a little at the challenge, asked a few questions and off I went.
Well, half an hour later I handed it over to my techno nephew and he took on the role of unofficial photographer of our family event and I am so pleased he did.
Then, upon arriving home I got out the Canon PowerShot S2 IS and had a play .... what fantastic results but when it came to downloading the wedding pics I just about went mad. Time to read the manual. Well they do recommend to read the instructions before setting out on a new appliance, apparatus and of course the same goes for cameras.
Actually I found reading the manual a bit difficult in this book but as I got used to the camera the instructions came clearer.
I am absolutely gobsmacked at the quality of photos this camera takes and how easy, quick and efficient it is to take a pic, click a button around, and see to them instantly in front of me. If I don't like it I delete it and start again.
Now, on the subject of deleting I must tell you the most frustrating thing about this camera. I stand corrected but it seems you can delete a picture without it giving you a second chance to change your mind. Now I know this because of a sad and sorry tale I will now share with you.
My companion, who actually owns the camera, and I went out to visit friends for a summer New Zealand barbecue. I took about 40 frames, over half an hour, of the most spectacular sunset: one frame was so unbelievable that I showed it to all at the party and he decided to take it inside and put it on the television so the aged 93 year old nanna could see it properly. Fate determined it to be a bit of a challenge for him in his state of inebriation. I begged him not to play around with it and not to destroy my ''award winning'' sunset picture.
Allas, he listened not, and without trying he deleted the ''double sun'' photo which I was already seeing as an award winner or the very least, pride of place as a feature in the lounge room for years to come. (In actual fact he deleted 60 photos which I had taken that day and had not had time to download into the computer.)
It was a quiet trip home. He headed for the manual and tried to retrieve the ''treasured shots'' but to no avail. I went to the camera shop and the man tried to technically get it back but we had used the camera again and that made it a futile exercise.
But, it has made me read the manual fully, I am now more conversant with the style of the book and can relate better to the instructions.
IT PAYS TO READ THE MANUAL
The book clearly sets out how to prepare the camera, the basics of shooting a picture, playback, erasing (we are professionals at that!), useful shooting functions, shooting advanced functions, playback advanced functions, camera setting, additonal features and an appendix where you learn about troubleshooting, care and maintenance and tips and information, to name a few.
It has three pages on precautions and warnings so one could take from this it is a piece of dangerous apparatus but to date it has not done anything hazardous to my health. (It was nearly hazardous to my companion's health but I restrained from removing him from the human race!).
FITS MY LIFESTYLE ... but does it fit his?
Now that I have settled in with the camera I can say it is easy to use, it is so convenient to tote around, it is just magnificent in the quality of photos and options it gives you as an amateur photographer. It is all I will ever need and more so.
I've used it at two family weddings, camping with grandkids, site seeing some great New Zealand landscapes, beautiful garden shots and of course the barbecue with the amazing sunset. It's fair to say I've hit the zoom button a thousand times, it really does bring the shot into perspective, concise and better viewed when you finally print it out.
It takes the stills to perfection and we have also made three movies: short but sweet. That is another story, believe it or not my companion has thrice taken a movie and wiped around 30 still pics in the process. I demanded he come with me to the shop he bought it at and learn what he was doing wrong. The owner of the store took time to read the manual and show us what should be done and he says there is no way the camera would have done that: it must have been operator error.
Now in defence of my dear companion, the camera actually has a lot of buttons on the back bit (the side that faces you when you take the pictures) and it is easy to put your thumb or fingers on a button erroneously. Now I've got used to it I don't accidentally touch a wrong button but for a while it was a problem.
PRETTY IMPRESSIVE FEATURES
Some features which camera buffs will appreciate include the fact that, along with your computer/laptop you have a ``Peter Jackson'' film team at your finger tips (New Zealand film producer of Lord of the Rings and King Kong). You can attach sound memos to images, do a slide show, make a movie, rotate images in the display, use continuous shooting: all this is possible if you take the time to read the manual.
You can view the images on a television set and we have done this, it really is neat to see them so big and due to the quality of the camera, so bright, colourful and concise.
The camera operates on auto which is the mode I mostly use but you can choose from the following: AUTO where the camera automatically selects settings according to the image compostiion type and IMAGE ZONE where the camera automatically selects settings according to the image composition type like portrait, landscape, night scene, my colours, stitch assist, movie and then there is CREATIVE ZONE where the user selects the exposure aperture or other settings to achieve special effects like P: programme AE, TV: shutter-speed priority AE, AV: Aperture-priority AE, M: Manual Exposure and C: Custom.
I've not tried all of these yet and time will see me venture forth into this creative zone. True blue photographers would settle into this quite comfortably I am sure.
DON'T PANIC... all will be revealed
I was a bit perturbed when a peculiar icon appeared on the pics when I was viewing them in the camera (one of the things which set my companion going the night he deleted my sunset pic!!). It turns out that it is the Histogram. The man in the retail outlet explained this to us. It is a graph that lets you judge the brightness of the picture you've just taken. The greater the bias to the left in the graph, the darker the image. So it figures that the greater the bias toward the right, the brighter the shot. The instruction book tells you how to adjust the exposure compensation and if you don't want to see the icon you just press the disp button and it disappears. If only my friend knew that on the erroneous ''editing'' night I would still have my award winning sunset picture. (I hope you don't think I am harping on!)
I AM IMPROVING
This camera is user friendly now I've got used to it. I must confess I freaked out when handed it on such an auspicious occasion when I recognised I had no time to learn about it before using it. If you buy it, ask plenty of questions in the shop, ask for some free lessons and be sure you can go back and ask questions after you've started using it when some little things creep up on you.
There will obviously be things I have still to learn about it but to date I am so pleased he bought it and the challenge of learning all it does is still ahead of me. What a journey.
THOSE ALL IMPORTANT SPECIFICATIONS
For camera buffs I guess you will want to know some specifications and as there are so many I thought I'd pick out what are important to me, a very amateur ''consumer''. (I don't confess to understanding them all!)
Camera Effective Pixels: approximately 5.0 million
Image Sensor: 1/2.5 inc CCD (Total number of pixesl: approx 5.3million)
Lens: 6.0(W)-72.0 (T)mm (35mm film equivalent:36-432mm) f/2.7 (W)-f/3.5(T).
Digital Zoom: Approximately 4.0x (Up to approximately 48x in combination with the optical zoom.)
Viewfinder: Colour LCD viewfinder. Picture coverage rate 100% Dioptric Adjustment -5.5 +1.5m -1 (dpt)
LCD Monitor: 1.8inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT Colour LCD (115,000 pixels, picture coverage 100%)
Shooting distance: Normal AF: 50cm (1.6ft) - infinity, (w)/90 cm (3.0ft) - infinity (T). Macro: 10-50 cm (3.9 in - 1.6ft (W), Super Macro: 0-10 cm (0-3.9 in) (W)
ISO SPEED:AUTO, iso 50/100/200/400 Equivalent.
Built IN Flash: Auto, on, off.
Self timer: Activates shutter after approximately 1-sec/approx 2-sec delay. Custom timer.
Recording media: SD Memory Card.
Data Type: Still imaages: Exif 2.2 (JPEG), Movie: AVI (Image data: motion, PJEG, Audio-data, WAVE (Stereo).
Surely that's enough!
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
When we went back to the shop to have some urgently required lessons, the camera had dropped to NZ$699 (GBP 263) approximately.
AND IN CONCLUSION
I've taken hundreds and hundreds of photos since I first clutched it so nervously in my hand. I am now confident in my use of it, I love it and wonder why I put off using digital for so long. Our grandchlidren have never looked so good on still and movie shots!!!!! We have so many memories stored in the computer and on CD - what a summer it has been with our new camera ''marvel''.
I'm almost a Power Shot with this Canon PowerShot S2IS and after spending some more time reading the manual I'm sure we will be even more pleased than we are now.
DO I RECOMMEND IT ......sure do!
Yes, it is an attractive camera with a really suitable 'viewing' window for those who want to step up a cog or two with their photography hobby - who knows you may yet be walking the red carpet at the Oscars with your home movie on your PowerShot. It wil be a short movie but I'm sure a good one!!!
Summary: I love my Canon PowerShot S2Is
|Ease of use:|