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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> canon s1 IS ??
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03/29/2005 11:57:54 AM · #1
I'm a little confused. I just joined this site, so thx in advance for any advice.

I'm in the market for a new camera. I'm interested in the canon s1 IS. It has two features that are really, really important to me: 10x zoom and image stabilization. It also takes the same batteries and media as my recently stolen olympus camera. (The thieves got the camera but not the accessories.)

Is it worth it to get a 3mp camera that has the features i want? i can't find a camera that satisfies these requirements at the 4mp level in or near the Canon's price range.

Or should i go for 4mp and do without image stabilization and compatible accessories.

I'm a semi-serious amateur photographer. I want a camera for family memories and to learn how to take more serious and creative photographs. (That's also why i'm excited by this awesome site.)

thanks for any/all help,
strand

03/29/2005 12:02:57 PM · #2
IS is important on long lenses (then again on my $2k Canon telephoto I don't have it LOL) but I think it's more of a gimic to sell cameras on the one you mentioned. It doesn't hurt to have it, but you can live without it for sure. That said, if you're doing a lot of handheld lowlight photography then it would be worth it.
03/29/2005 12:05:38 PM · #3
I'd wait on the S1, hopefully Canon will put out a new one soon.
03/29/2005 12:06:56 PM · #4
I got one because I wanted the battery/card compatibility and IS, and could abide with the 3MP size (saves space when you save every photo!).

Other comparable cameras are Panasonic, Kodak, and one or two others ... all with long zoom, 3-4MP. etc. Try searching the forums for either the Canon or Panasonic -- there were several threads comparing these a while back. Also compare features/read reviews at DPReview.com.

Beware that the Canon has no optical viewfinder (EVF and LCD only) and bad shutter-lag -- it's a real problem for action shots and panning-motion shots. It has a good movie mode (full-motion with sound), including the ability to zoom while filming.
03/29/2005 12:19:49 PM · #5
I think the IS on the S1 is great. I can shoot indoors at 1/4 second no problem, even with zoom. Of course your subject must not be moving.

My only complaint about this is the usual "too-much-noise" at ISO 400, and that it has problems with autofocus at full zoom. And it's not a prosumer choice--lower resolution than my old G2 and no RAW format. The 4aa batteries are a plus and minus. NIMH batteries are cheap, charge quickly, and you can use alkaline's in a pinch. But as a minus, it's a bit of a pain to change them in the field, compared to a single proprietary battery that's keyed to fit one way.

You might look at the Panasonic line as an alternative. You can get higher MP, but still no RAW yet. And if you like the swivel LCD, which I really like for low and high shots, you will miss that on the panasonics. But they do have a bigger zoom, IS, and also more MP, depending on which one.
03/29/2005 12:57:25 PM · #6
Originally posted by Plexxoid:

I'd wait on the S1, hopefully Canon will put out a new one soon.


Waiting is almost always poor advice as it would not seem an option for someone who is without a camera.

There are always newer models on the horrizon. They do nothing for our needs of today.

Message edited by author 2005-03-29 12:59:05.
03/29/2005 01:04:44 PM · #7
Originally posted by nshapiro:

that it has problems with autofocus at full zoom.


This is my only complaint about the S1. I went from a 4MP Canon Powershot A80 to this camera for the options. The S1 IS is a 3.2MP camera and in my opinion there is not that much difference to matter. For a semi-serious photographer that will be taking family shots and learning to take better pictures it is an excellent camera. I took some of my kids when the oldest had a chrous concert. I was about 40ft away from her when I shot this.

159417.jpg

Of course this version is sized down for uploading purposes. I you want pm me your e-mail address and I will e-mail you a full sized shot so you can see. The best advice is to go to the store and play with the cameras and determine what feels best to you.

Edit: I will have to e-mail you a photo later tonight about 5 p.m. et. This will be when I am home. Also welcome and enjoy the addiction.

Message edited by author 2005-03-29 13:39:44.
03/29/2005 01:12:36 PM · #8
You will miss your c-2100 a great camera for it's day. I still have mine sitting on a shelf, PM me if you want to purchase.

I would suggest that you take a look at the 300D or 350D. I just stepped up from a prosumer and it is a new world. When you do the final math, the cost won't be much more/
03/29/2005 01:12:52 PM · #9

Depending on what you do with the photos, 3mp might be enough. Do you make prints larger then 8x10 (although I've squeezed 11x14 out of mine with good results)? Do you plan on selling your images at high end stock sites? If you answer no to both 3mp should be fine for you.

The IS works great and is a big help. The 10x zoom is worthless off a tripod without the IS. I've taken creek shots at .5 sec shutter handheld with the IS on.

Also note, the difference between 3.2 MP (Canon S1) and 4MP is very small and shouldn't be a decieding factor between two cameras.

Noise at ISO 50 is not bad at all. I set the ISO to 50 and only change it when I need to. I do all outdoor photography so I rarely need to.
03/29/2005 01:18:22 PM · #10
Originally posted by p3wiz:

You will miss your c-2100 a great camera for it's day. I still have mine sitting on a shelf, PM me if you want to purchase.

I would suggest that you take a look at the 300D or 350D. I just stepped up from a prosumer and it is a new world. When you do the final math, the cost won't be much more/


I need your calculator! :)

Canon S1 = $320

350D = $800 + $1400 for a 100-400mm lens with IS to get the equiv zoom = $2200

Now granted, with the 350D you'll get much better photo quality, all depends on what you are planning on doing with it.


03/29/2005 01:23:22 PM · #11
Side note:

I was going to buy a 300D but decided against it as I am new to photography and have kids and didn't want to be uninterested in 6 months and have a pro camera to shoot my kids plays.

He has said that right now he wants a camera to learn on. Admit a DSLR is good to learn and once you go from Prosumer to Pro the learning curve changes. I don't think he wants to spend that kind of money right off the bat. I know I didn't. Not only is it a large intial investment but it is a constant investment.
03/29/2005 11:47:16 PM · #12
So if i can summarize...
* the diff bet 3 and 4 mp is inconsequential for a photographer like me
* heard good things about s1 IS EXCEPT it has no optical shutter AND some problems with Autofocus at full zoom
* not much point in waiting for another option from canon
* consider Panasonic cams with large optical zooms, but which ones?

did i miss anything?

thanks,
Strand

Message edited by author 2005-03-30 00:26:55.
03/30/2005 12:05:44 AM · #13
There's no optical viewfinder, and there's also that annoying shutter-lag if you're into a lot of action shots.

But for family photos, portraiture, and stuff like that it's fine. If you have a large memory card (1-4 GB) you can use it effectively as a camcorder -- you can shoot full-motion (NTSC) video in clips many minutes long -- also handy on family outings.

Another advantage which didn't get much mention is the swivel LCD -- although it's a little small, you can turn it all the way around, like if you want to be in the group shot and are using the timer or (optional) remote.

Did anyone mention you can get a lens hood/adapter set for about $30, and additional close-up and telephoto lenses for under $200?
03/30/2005 07:01:26 AM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

There's no optical viewfinder, and there's also that annoying shutter-lag


Why is eveyone having problems with shuttelag? Mine works fine. Hardly any shutterlag.

Originally posted by GeneralIE:

Did anyone mention you can get a lens hood/adapter set for about $30, and additional close-up and telephoto lenses for under $200?


Where are you finding it for this price?
03/30/2005 07:29:57 AM · #15
Sorry to hear of your loss, fine cam that 2100.
I would say that it's better to have to buy new cards and batteries than to give up IS and/or long zoom. I have both a Canon Pro 90 IS and a Panasonic FZ20.
Many more stabilized long zooms to choose from these days, S1 IS being a good one.
Several Panasonic models have IS, the 4mp is FZ15 I believe, but check out the whole line, they have a very high quality lens system.
Konica-Minolta has announced it's DiMage Z5, not sure if it's out yet but worth a look.
03/30/2005 07:50:40 AM · #16
I had the s1is... for about 6 months. Worst camara I have ever had, even the sony cybershot performed better. Slow focus, poor focus... you name it. I will never ever recommend the canon s1 is to anyone. Never. Yip, nice long range, slow enough to miss everything in any event. Never again.
03/30/2005 10:07:41 AM · #17
Originally posted by gibun:

I had the s1is... for about 6 months. Worst camara I have ever had, even the sony cybershot performed better. Slow focus, poor focus... you name it. I will never ever recommend the canon s1 is to anyone. Never. Yip, nice long range, slow enough to miss everything in any event. Never again.


Yikes. Maybe you had one that was malfunctioning? I never have a problem with focus except at full zoom. And it's not slow otherwise either.
03/30/2005 10:48:43 AM · #18
I just check the contiuious shot function. Got 20 shots in 12 seconds.
03/30/2005 05:18:10 PM · #19
It sounds like there is really no consensus.

At maximum optical zoom, is the IS feature worth it?

IS shows up on the Canon S1 IS, and on Panasonic 12x 4mp and 5mp models, but not on the Olympus 10x 4mp models. The Olympus 10x 4mp's are priced higher than the 3mp Canon S1 IS (as one would expect), and the Panasonic 4mp 12x models are priced still higher (as one would also expect).

sjgleah
03/30/2005 05:22:03 PM · #20
Originally posted by rex07734:

The best advice is to go to the store and play with the cameras and determine what feels best to you.


I return to this.
03/30/2005 06:48:39 PM · #21
Originally posted by Pop O Rotsie:

So if i can summarize...
* the diff bet 3 and 4 mp is inconsequential for a photographer like me
* heard good things about s1 IS EXCEPT it has no optical shutter AND some problems with Autofocus at full zoom
* not much point in waiting for another option from canon
* consider Panasonic cams with large optical zooms, but which ones?

did i miss anything?

thanks,
Strand


No optical viewfinder shouldn't be a problem if you've been using Olympus 2100, it doesn't have one either.
Panasonic FZ5 sounds really good. It is a 5 megapixel camera with a 12X zoom and has a stabiliser. The only weaknesses I am aware of are that it has no manual focus (but I've never been able to use manual focus satisfactorily on the 2100 anyway) and no hotshoe for an external flash. On the positive side it is supposed to have very quick autofocus for a non-DSLR. It is pretty new but they are already available in some countries (though not here in South Africa - I'm waiting deperately as I want to upgrade my 2100).
If the negatives bother you, look at Panasonic FZ20. It offers both manual focus and a hotshoe, but autofocus is slower and the camera is quite a bit bigger and heavier, though a similar size to 2100.

Edit for spelling

Message edited by author 2005-03-30 18:53:23.
03/30/2005 06:51:02 PM · #22
Originally posted by coolhar:


Konica-Minolta has announced it's DiMage Z5, not sure if it's out yet but worth a look.


According to dpreview the noise on that camera is really bad. Their comparative pictures for the Panasonic FZ5 look much better.
03/30/2005 07:09:00 PM · #23
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by gibun:

I had the s1is... for about 6 months. Worst camara I have ever had, even the sony cybershot performed better. Slow focus, poor focus... you name it. I will never ever recommend the canon s1 is to anyone. Never. Yip, nice long range, slow enough to miss everything in any event. Never again.


Yikes. Maybe you had one that was malfunctioning? I never have a problem with focus except at full zoom. And it's not slow otherwise either.

You must be right. I just chatted to the guy I gave it too, yip I gave it away. He does not want to say it outright but agrees with me the camera is a slight dissapointment. Maybe I got the Monday morning/Friday afternoon product.
03/30/2005 07:33:35 PM · #24
Negatives:
There is a shutter lag, but no worse then any other comparable camera, and the focus is slow in low light (because there is no af assist lamp). Note that there is a firmware fix available at canon.com that improves the low light focus time.
If you zoom out fast (which it does zoom amazingly fast) or pan to a different subject while at full zoom it will take a few seconds to find the focus. However, I found that if you zoom in slow on the object the focus is there right away.
The electronic viewfinder is a pain in the @ss sometimes, but the swing out swivel view finder more then makes up for it.

I'm sure you read Canon's page about it so I won't repeat all the great features the camera does have. If you want to hear about the features I really like, let me know and I'll list them. I will say it's a lot better camera then I'd expect for $320, but it does not perform as well as a DSLR and does not take as high quality photos as a DSLR.
03/30/2005 08:33:40 PM · #25
Originally posted by rex07734:

Originally posted by rex07734:

The best advice is to go to the store and play with the cameras and determine what feels best to you.


I return to this.


Great advice, Rex,
AND its always helpful to collect the thoughts of your knowledgable peers worldwide.

sjgleah
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