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S2 information inside.
The S2 sure does sound awesome. Based on specs and my experience with Sonys, I was leaning towards the Sony DSC-H1 for a 5MP image stabilized mega-zoom, (also considering the Panasonic FZ5 and maybe the KM Z5) but the PowerShot S2 seems to offer more features and performance for the money. I just may switch back to Canon if they have improved AF speed and low-light sensitivity compared to the S70 I used to own. Here's the official Canon webpage link with tons of info: http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/pss2is/index-e.html According to the preliminary specs, some features the Canon S2 has that the Sony H1 does not (in no particular order) are: 1. Flash exposure bracketing.

2. Flash exposure adjustment (12 steps).

3. Focus bracketing.

4. AE/EF Lock.

5. Swing-out/twist LCD.

6. Auto rotate of image during playback.

7. Manual focus point zoom.

8. Being able to zoom while shooting a movie (Sony doesn't mention this).

9. Being ablt to take a still while shooting a movie (interrupts movie though).

10. Superfine quality mode (lower jpeg compression).

11. A much faster, deeper burst mode (2.4fps until card is full versus 0.7fps for 9 shots).

12. Front and rear curtain flash sync.

13. 2s, 10s and custom self timer (Sony only has 10s).

14. Top shutter speed of 1/3200s and user selectable too (versus 1/2000s in Auto/Program, only 1/1000s in shutter priority or manual).

15. Super Macro mode (min distance is 0cm(!) versus 2cm).

16. Panoramic stitch assist.

17. Intervalometer.

18. Downloadable camera sounds and themes.

19. Sound memos and sound only recording.

20. Stereo sound recording.

21. My Color mode (9 color maps).

22. Custom mode.

23. PC controlled shooting (via USB).

24. Better software package (usually).

25. More control over IS modes (off, continuous, shot only, panning).

26. Moveable Spot AE (follows AF point).

27. More direct access control buttons (versus menu picks).

28. 10X LCD zoom (versus 5X on the Sony).

29. More control over AF frame position (the S70 had 100's of positions - I assume the S2 will too. The H1 has only 3).

30. Ever so slightly faster lens (F2.7-F3.5 versus F2.8-F3.7).

31. Cheaper media (SD versus Memory Stick/Pro).

32. Six preset WB settings (versus five).

33. Minimum ISO of 50 (versus 64 for Sony but will have to wait for reviews to see actual effective ISO).

34. Four movie modes (versus three). The advantages of the Sony are: 1. Live record mode historgram.

2. Bigger 2.5" LCD (but same resolution and not swing out/twist).

3. Two AA batteries instead of four (may not last as long though).

4. 30s maximum shutter speed (verus 15s for the Canon).

5. More still image resolution settings (3:2 setting for no crop 4x6's).

6. Smart Digital Zoom.

7. Metal body.

8. 32MB internal memory.

9. Multiburst mode. There are probably others I've missed and who knows, maybe Sony will add some features or come out with a pro variant now that Canon has published their specs. Too bad they both don't have a Raw mode or a flash hot-shoe. We'll have to wait and see which lens is better, which sensor/image processor is better for detail, dynamic range, noise, etc., which has faster AF, lower shutter lag, a more powerful flash, better battery life, etc., but it sure seems like Canon has a knockout winner with the S2. Maxx..

Comments (8)

Brendak, A very useful way to accurately determine if the exposure is correct before taking the shot. Check my April 22nd post #19 in the DSC-H1 forum. Maxx..

Comment #1

Maxx, thank you for all your help, I really appreciate it. It sounds like a very handy featureI don't know how I missed that post in the H1 discussion! I guess all camera's have different pluses so it's very hard to get *everything* from one. The canon still seems to have *almost* everything...

Comment #2

Yep, too bad Canon didn't add a live histogram to the Digic II image processor. Maybe it's because they also use that chip design in their DSLRs, which don't typically have live histograms either, because the image sensor is not exposed to the image until the shutter opens during the shot. I think the S2 pros still outweigh the cons. I am worried about the plastic though, especially in silver. I'm sure plastics have improved since my Nikon SLR body crack incident, but I find the silver finish usually rubs off of plastic after a while, or it scratches off easily. I wonder if Canon will ever offer the S2 in black here in NA. Maxx..

Comment #3

They were idiots not to include live histogram in a market tier that emphasizes it (and rightfully so). But the other entries are missing the boat on some key items too, so there you have it. I wouldn't worry about the plastic too much. I think my Canon A300 has been beat to hell and back but no problems. And if you look at CAD blowups of the more complex digicams you'll see why they often choose plastics for some substrate and surface assemblies. Not only for cost, but to get things to market in a certain form factor in the allotted time.

The trick some use with their simpler designs is to put a thin shell of aluminum over thin plastic to make it seem more durable, but ironically, these things often break easier because when they take an impact on the thin metal shell it dents, and breaks the thin plastic underneath. The thicker plastics are often more bulletproof and so those designs often just take a scratch. Lousy if a screw or bolt area are underspec'd though... Damned if you do, damned if you don't ; } - - Of course none of us should be dropping these things or slamming our backpacking stoves or mountain bikes into them anyway, and every one of them at any price should have a magnesium shell that takes advantage of tachyon tunneling to displace the innards somewhere/somtime else so that the cameras can remain compact yet indestuctableAnd so it goes...

Comment #4

Yes, a lot of the silver SLRs in the 80's had a thin aluminum shell over plastic panels to give the impression they were metal and thus more expensive. While it is easier to manufacture complex plastic cases, I think it is used mostly due to cost. I've seen some pretty complex metal cases. When I was involved in the design of some portable (hand-held) datacom test equipment, we first went with an aluminum case, but later replaced it with plastic to reduce cost. It was significantly cheaper. To no surprise I've found quite a few complaints regarding the silver finish coming off of plastic digicams (some Canons too, like the SD110) from normal use.

I've not had good luck with silver painted plastic on other devices such as PDAs and remote controls either. Maxx..

Comment #5

The silver color bothored me a bit too, I was really hoping it would be black but then I thought hey it's just cosmetic and the best looking camera is not necessarily the best...

Comment #6

I've been a little mixed about the color. Black objects can be a little more inconspicuous, a good choice for candids, especially when larger. But they also heat up worse in the summer, etc. If the S2's anything like the S1 it should at least seem attractive in fit and finish, feel ergonomic (to my hands anyway) and once in the hand fairly un-noticable for something with that much zoom. I went through this with the FZ20 which allowed me the choice; I chose black. But it was definitely an object that was not as fully concealed by the hand(s), and didn't feel quite as solid in some areas as the S1, in spite of the S1's more outwardly complex silhouette.

But still the Sony could place ; } EDIT: I do like the articulated screen for it's enhanced shooting angle possibilities, but also because it can be folded face-inward, which in a daypack or vehicle offers some nice protection...

Comment #7

What is the purpose of having several IS modes? Why wouldn't you just want to leave it on all of the time? Is seems like just one more thing to think about. Is is a battery conservation thing?..

Comment #8

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