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Canon has today announced the successor to the S1 IS, the all-new 12x optical zoom five megapixel PowerShot S2 IS. This camera is clearly aimed to compete with the other compact big-zoom club which is currently made up of the Panasonic DMC-FZ5, Konica Minolta Z5 and Sony DSC-H1. Just like the S1 IS the S2 IS utilizes a small USM (ultrasonic motor) to drive its zoom (multi-speed and quiet for shooting movies). Changes compared to the S1 include a body redesign, five megapixel CCD, a bigger zoom lens, DIGIC II, faster continuous shooting, night display function, stereo audio recording and a larger LCD monitor.
PowerShot S2 IS is a more advanced model succeeding the PowerShot S1 IS with a high-powered lens and enhanced movie taking functions.
This camera is equipped with an approximately 5.0 million camera effective pixel 1/2.5-inch Charge Coupled Device (CCD). Also, with "DIGIC II", higher resolution and high-speed processing were achieved and the startup time and response time were shortened.
This camera is equipped with a 12x optical zoom lens, which covers a 35 mm film equivalent focal length ranging from 36 mm to 432 mm, and has an f/2.7 to f/3.5 aperture.
By incorporating a UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens into the lens element, the chromatic aberration was reduced.
Same as PowerShot S1 IS, this model incorporates an image stabilizer, which reduces the effects of camera shake while shooting.
In addition, the zoom lens's super-smooth, super-fast ultra sonic motor (USM) provides all the zooming speed you need.
This camera can take VGA (640 x 480 pixels) movies with exceptional image quality at a full 30 frames per second. Furthermore, it can shoot movies even in the still image shooting modes and vice versa.
Moreover, digital zoom and manual focus are available as well as adjusting the zoom or exposure, or locking the AF or exposure while shooting a movie.
Movies up to 1GB capacity can be taken.
This camera has 13 shooting modes, the same as the PowerShot S1 IS. And, instead of "Fast Shutter" and "Slow Shutter" you can use the newly added "Special Scene Modes(*1)" to shoot an image with the most appropriate settings for the scene and with "My Colors" you can change image colors.
A stereo microphone and a function to record stereophonic sound were newly added, and the recording quality improved (16bit, 44.1k Hz) also.
This camera is equipped with a Print/Share button. This button lets you easily print your images and download images directly from the camera to a computer (Windows? /Mac OS X) by connecting the camera directly to a direct print compatible printer(*2) or connecting the camera to the computer.
This camera complies with the PictBridge(*3) industry standard and has an additional function for multiple image layout.
This camera is equipped with an upgraded 1.8 inch Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). As a function to switch images back and forth while magnified and slow motion playback for movies is available, the operability in playback mode is advanced remarkably.
This camera operates with four AA batteries and an SD memory card for the recording media. The dimension of the main body is 113.0 x 78.0 x 75.5 mm and the weight is approx. 405g.
Software for transferring your pictures to a computer, organizing pictures, laying out pictures for printing and editing still pictures and movies is included with the camera. This software is available for both the Windows and Mac OS platforms(*4).
Also, as this camera is compatible with Hi-Speed USB 2.0, high-speed image transfer with a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compatible computer is possible.
Various accessories sold separately such as conversion lenses are available. In addition, the high-power flash that extends the range of flash shooting is available as an accessory sold separately.
The most powerful optical zoom (36 – 432mm f/2.7-f.3.5) ever to equip a Canon compact camera features Canons 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 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 S2 IS has a 48x combined digital and optical zoom for both stills and movies.
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 PowerShot S2 IS 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 PowerShot 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.
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.
Simultaneous movies and stills
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.
Taking on board feedback from PowerShot S1 IS users, Canon has increased the size of the vari-angle LCD from 1.5” to 1.8”. 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 camera is supplied with 4 AA Alkaline batteries and a 16MB SD card as standard.
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