You can only make a decent 12X optical zoom so small. You could look at the Kodak Z650 10x and Z612 12X zooms (non stabilized), or the Panasonic FZ5 or FZ7. They are a bit smaller, but I don't recommend getting a non-stabilized 10-12x zoom unless you don't mind carrying around a mono/tripod. Maxx..
Thanks, maxx. Perhaps 12x is a bit too much.. do you know of any other camera with the same specific functions of manual mode, shutter and aperture priority but with more than 5x zoom?..
There are a number of 5x zoom models, but over 5x but less than 12x, and with A, S and M modes and smaller than the S2 IS is pretty limited: Canon A700 (6x).
Olympus SP-500 UZ (10x) Those 10 and 12x Kodak Z612, Z650 and Z7590 models have A, S and M modes, and they are smaller than the S2 IS, but not by much. Also check out the Nikon Coolpix S4. It's 10X, but small because of the way it folds up. Unfortunately, I don't think it has any manual or priority exposure modes. Maxx..
Thanks again. Can you also recommend the 5x zoom models as well. Once again, I appreciate your help very much!..
I had similar concerns on size. I finally solved the problem by waiting till the SD300 went on fire sales late last summer and bougfht that for size. Then around Thanksgiving when the S2 started it's downward slide in price, I bought one of those. If I'm going some place that I know I'm going to take pictures I take the S2. I bought a Crumpler bag that works good as a shoulder or belt bag and I use it like a holster with a wrist strap. If I don't plan to take pictures the SD300 goes on the belt and I put up with less features, but it is so small you don't know it is there.