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Canon S1 IS Digital Camera

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Scott Dautel, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Well-Known Member

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    Hey all ... remember this thread.

    Well, after lots of discussion, I think Mark, Andrew & I all decided to pull the trigger on the Canon S1 IS 3.2 MP digital camera. Funny thing is I was the last to bite ... just got mine a week ago. (BestBuy $355.- open box special - I'm VERY happy with the deal).

    Anyway ... HTF threads disappear quickly and I wanted to resurrect this discussion since us pathetic HTF gadget freaks are always looking for the latest & greatest.

    I have to say that the Canon S1 IS is my 4th digital camera, but the 1st that I'm 100% THRILLED with. I've had 2 Kodaks (with moderate satisfaction, but too many fuzzy shots). Well ... I guess I diddn't know what I was missing. The new Canon S1 IS is really superior to anything I've ever had before. Also, I can now really agree that MP stats are overated. The Canon optics are the real winner here. Also, Canon's "stitch mode" (uses optional software + shooting in stitch mode) allows you to "stitch together" 2,3,4 shots to make up to a 12 MP shot if you want ... so forget the MP stats. The 10x Optical zoom with optical image stabilization is the ticket. I'll try to post a few demo shots, but you can find them on the web.

    Anyway ... for those of you shopping this summer, here's a thorough review I'm still referring to (better than the Canon manual).

    Scott
     
  2. Michael Toguchi

    Michael Toguchi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update, Scott. I am looking at that exact camera and am kind of hesitant because of the low MP rating. But if you say the optics are as good as they are, I may have to take the plunge! I have an older Canon S10 that takes decent shots, and have been itching to upgrade. But of course, the financially stable person in my life will need to approve first, which may be hard to come by considering I recently picked up a new DV camera. [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Well-Known Member

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    I have been deciding between the Canon S1 IS and the Panasonic DMC FZ10 because they both have Image Stabilization. I'd love to see some pics that you post for the camera. Love the movie mode but purple fringing and 3.2 MP do kinda make me sway away from the Canon. I bet its a good unit though. Have fun and do post those pics. Also, being the HTF, don't forget to make lots of 640 x 480 movie clips at 30 FPS [​IMG]
     
  4. BobV

    BobV Well-Known Member

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    This album of mine is all shot with the Canon S1 IS.
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    For the most part I've been pretty happy with my S1. What I really like is the extra long zoom with the stablizer, the built in flash, its movie mode and the fact it uses CF cards that I already owned. Where its not so strong is it eats batteries so use rechargeables (not uncommon in digicams), its low light abilities isn't as good as the A60 I had before and it lacks a true macro mode. Its also not that fast at locking in focus...but that's somewhat understandable given the long zoom on the lens but it can be a little annoying when you're trying to capture something moving quickly like a small child (mines 15 months old!). That said there's ways around that issue since I now just lock focus before (press shutter half way down to lock focus) I need to take the shot that way its virtually instant and it just becomes habit.

    Really from what I've seen with my S1 vs the other camera's I've owned the S1 isn't without its faults but its very good at what it does well and that's being able to capture images that would not normally be available to most digital cameras with its long zoom lens and capture quality video when you need to.

    My next camera will likely be a dSLR to move up in the image quality and get the different lens etc but I'll still keep the S1 for your more typical day to day shooting since you can't always lug around a dSLR[​IMG]

    Here's some photo's from my S1 at a scaled down resolution.

    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/misc/lgtree.jpg
    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/misc/lghairbell.jpg
    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/misc/lgrock.jpg
    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/misc/baseball.JPG
    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/misc/step.JPG

    Here's two good links for you.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1010

    http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...ort_by=&page=1
     
  6. JasonMC

    JasonMC Well-Known Member

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    I am extremely interested in this camera. I'm just concerned about the focus difficulty. This would be my second digital camera, my first being a Kodak version that I bought 2 yrs ago. I'm going to the store to check it out in the next two days. Is the focus problem a show stopper in your opinion?
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    No not at all its just a little different then your typical short zoom camera...and likely an issue with all the long zoom models. It can be annoying but its typically not really an issue for 95 percent of the shots I've taken.
     
  8. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Well-Known Member

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  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Anyone tried taking photos with the S1 in large convention room settings with so-so lighting?

    I'm also just a little concern with the lack of a manual-assist lamp for the auto-focusing. But otherwise, it sounds like a neat little camera.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Never tried the S1, but my Canon G3 has AF-assist lamp, and I (and many others) never found it to be all that useful anyway. Afterall, there is a problem w/ parallax that makes the AF-assist lamp target shift off axis from the actual AF target as you zoom in and out. Also, typical AF-assist lamps are too weak to help beyond maybe 6-7ft anyway.

    Your best bet might be to master the (albeit very weak) manual focus capabilities of these cameras w/ a little understanding of DoF principles instead. That's what I did mostly w/ my G3 in low light. For example, you can probably get everything in focus from ~2.5ft to near infinity w/ a setting like f/5.6, focus distance ~5ft, full wideangle (ie. ~35mm). Since the sensor and lens on the S1 are smaller than the G3, I'd think f/5 would be small enough to do the same. Another example: if you're shooting 1/2 height adults horizontally, f/3.2, focus distance ~15ft at most focal lengths upto ~140mm (35mm equiv) would probably work -- I actually have this dialed into one of the custom modes on my G3.

    You can find out more about DoF and figure out some workable settings over here (or just getting more familiar so you can make good guesstimates on-the-fly):

    http://dfleming.ameranet.com/dofjs.html

    _Man_
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The reason I mentioned the low light photo-taking requirement is because Dragon Con is coming up, and I pretty much practice the art of Guerilla Photo-Taking while at the convention, so I need a camera that focuses quickly and snaps the photo when I seen an opportunity for a good shot, which can be transient at best. Now the 10X zoom intrigues me because it would allow for more covert photo-taking if I opted for that route.

    I'm still pretty close to clicking on the "Buy" button for this camera, though.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    BTW, I thought this was a nifty comparison feature for photos taken by different cameras of the same subjects and conditions:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

    Unfortunately for Chris, the Panasonic FZ10 isn't one of the models that has photos taken for comparison purposes.
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    I'll let you know next weekend when I get back from the ESRI conference in San Diego
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I did go by Circuit City to get some hands-on experience with the S1 and it's pretty nifty. The zoom really does go from 1x to 10x in 1 second, though it's a bit of a pain to get to something in between 1x and 10x, but I like the smoothness of the zoom.

    How do you get the flash to pop up? I tried pressing the flash button on the left side near the top of the camera body, but I think the flash pop-up mechanism was stuck or something.

    The manual focusing can be a little painful using the LCD screen. I don't really like the EVF all that much due to the honeycomb effect of the image of the EVF. The swivel LCD screen is a nice feature.

    The shutter lag wasn't a issue for the demo shots I took (no CF card in the demo camera), so that's a good thing. I like how easy it was to change the shutter speed and aperture size in manual mode.

    Too bad OneCall is now out of stock on the camera, and won't have them in stock until next Tuesday or Wednesday. I wonder if they'll be at the same low price as they were this week.
     
  15. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    It'll pop up automatically if its required and you haven't blocked the flash from fireing
     
  16. JasonMC

    JasonMC Well-Known Member

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    I purchased this camera a few days ago for a trip to Washington DC. I really like it. The zoom is great and really came in handy taking pictures. The image quality is excellent as well.

    I do have some sort of a rubber ring coming out from the base of the lens. I assume this isn't good. What is it?
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    So if there's no CF card installed, the flash probably won't pop up at all?
     
  18. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member

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    Doubt it since it won't try to take a photo...at least that's what I would think. I haven't tried to take a photo with no CF card installed.
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, I've placed my order for the S1 IS, let's hope the online retailer doesn't screw me over (I hope to have it in 10 days or less because I want to use it on the first weekend of September and would welcome a week or so to get acclimated to the camera).

    I wound up ordering it from Buydig for $335 including ground shipping.
     
  20. TimDoss

    TimDoss Well-Known Member

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    I've had the S1 IS for about a week now and so far I am
    extrememly happy with it's outdoor performance... I took it to Sea World over the weekend and ended up with very nice clear pictures, even at full zoom. It captured Shamu mid jump perfectly. Auto focus is pretty slow, so it helps tremendously to have manual focus and auto focus lock.
    This is my first camera with manual controls, and so far I love it... shot mostly in apperture priority.
    Low light performance so far has been hit and miss, definitely
    need to play around with the settings(flash, shutter speed, ISO settings) to see what works best. Based on the outdoor
    photos I took I wouldn't hesitate recommending this camera to
    anyone, and can only assume that my mediocre indoor shots are due to lack of experience.
     

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