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CANON POWERSHOT S5IS or similar camera

 
 
Gloworm5
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-15-2008
I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection
is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a
number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the
same path. I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and
truly would like your help. Here are a few reasons I chose this
camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300-
$400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good
luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last
camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife
bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a
good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really
impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before
using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip
where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I
took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt
she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At
night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos
onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the
difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been
happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large
HDTV(65").

I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want
a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the
projects. Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera. I have
also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the
Nikon Coolpix 8700. But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old
design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want
to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual
adjustments as I gain experience.
 
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ray
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      05-15-2008
On Thu, 15 May 2008 12:39:29 -0700, Gloworm5 wrote:

> I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
> weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection is
> overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a number
> of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the same
> path. I am not tied to this camera in any way.


I would suggest you actually look through the electronic viewfinder on
one. Then I'd suggest you look through the electronic viewfinder of
another long zoom camera with a decent EVF. The canon s51s (and it's
predecessors) uses only about 110k pixel EVF - others (including Kodak)
use twice that many. A lot of folks cannot stand the pixelation on the
canon - maybe it won't bother you, but I'd strongly suggest you compare on
acutal cameras in your hand before you buy.
 
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Doug Jewell
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      05-16-2008
Gloworm5 wrote:
> I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
> weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection
> is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a
> number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the
> same path.

I have an S2 (2 generations older, but very similar). It's
not a bad camera, but it's not stellar either. I haven't
used the S5, but a couple of things i've found with the S2
that might give you a bit of an idea of the S5 - I doubt the
S5 would be worse in any way, and a fair chance that they
have significantly improved some of the issues with the S2.

THE GOOD
Size, weight and general handling - it's a nice cam to use,
intuitive, buttons seem to be in the right spot etc.
Lens quality - The lens is pretty good. Reasonably sharp for
a 12x lens.
Variable speed zoom - you can push lightly on the zoom ring
and it will zoom in and out very slowly, push a bit harder
and it zooms quickly.
Image stabiliser - works very well.
Video mode - IMO the S2 truly is also a video camera. In
fact I have barely used my video camera since I got it.
Video is sharp, smooth, good quality, and very convenient to
put an SD card in a reader to access the videos.
Superb battery life - well over 100 shots from stock
standard alkaline batteries.

THE BAD
Focus is slow, especially in low/medium light and at long zoom.
Electronic Viewfinder - the canon viewfinder is very low-res
which means it is grainy. Impossible to judge focus accuracy
in the EVF.
Flash Refresh is too slow
Very limited highlight dynamic range - it blows the whites
very frequently. It got to the point that for all landscape
photos I used -1 exposure compensation, and auto-bracketing.

THE UGLY
Images taken at 400ISO are dreadfully noisy. I would imagine
with the higher resolution of the S5 that noise would still
be quite bad.
My camera has a hot red pixel that shows up on every photo
and is very noticeable, but it is "within spec" so I
couldn't get it fixed under warranty.

As I said - this is based on a camera that is 2 generations
older than the S5, so some of the bad may have been
corrected. In all I'm reasonably happy with the S2, although
since I got my SLR I haven't used it as a still camera. It
was worth the purchase price even for it's video capabilities.

I would suggest that it is not a bad choice in camera, and
if you like the feel of it, then go for it.

>I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and
> truly would like your help. Here are a few reasons I chose this
> camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300-
> $400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good
> luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last
> camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife
> bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a
> good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really
> impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before
> using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip
> where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I
> took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt
> she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At
> night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos
> onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the
> difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been
> happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large
> HDTV(65").
>
> I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want
> a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the
> projects. Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera. I have
> also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the
> Nikon Coolpix 8700. But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old
> design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want
> to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual
> adjustments as I gain experience.

 
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measekite
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-16-2008


Gloworm5 wrote:
> I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
> weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection
> is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a
> number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the
> same path. I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and
> truly would like your help.

I chose the S5 and do like it. However the EVF is low quality and makes
it more difficult to accurately frame the photo.
> Here are a few reasons I chose this
> camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300-
> $400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good
> luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last
> camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife
> bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a
> good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really
> impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before
> using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip
> where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I
> took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt
> she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At
> night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos
> onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the
> difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been
> happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large
> HDTV(65").
>
> I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want
> a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the
> projects.

The S5 is great at that.
> Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera.

Absolutely!

The only other camera in its class that I considered is the Panasonic
FZ18. There is a lot I liked about that camera but choose the Canon S5
because it produces less noise and has a more balanced processor
producing less smearing than the Panasonic. The Panasonic (no
articulating LCD) has a much better viewfinder and a longer and wider
zoom. I thought the Canon has a slightly easier to use menu system and
may be easier to step up to a DSLR later.
> I have
> also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the
> Nikon Coolpix 8700.

While I have used Nikon (film) and think they are great I do not like
their Point and Shoot line. They lag way behind Canon. The DSLRs are
competitive but I do not like the D40/50/60 but the D80, D300 etc are great.
> But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old
> design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want
> to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual
> adjustments as I gain experience.
>

I think the next rev will bring substantial changes but that is probably
a year away. The S5 is a real nice camera. The results produce nice
8.5x11 enlargements that do have some cropping.
 
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measekite
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-16-2008


MG wrote:

"Gloworm5" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:978879fd-d00a-4b09-a977-4093be9...oglegroups.com...



I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the same path. I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and truly would like your help. Here are a few reasons I chose this camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300- $400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large HDTV(65"). I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the projects. Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera. I have also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the Nikon Coolpix 8700. But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual adjustments as I gain experience.



Have a look at the Panasonic FZ8. Also have a look at the Panasonic FX18. Lots of zoom, but the photos may not be as good as the S5 or FZ8. It may be a compromise that suits you, though. MG

The Canon S5 has lower noise and better color but the FZ18 is a nice camera.  I would not consider the FZ8 since the FZ18 is much better.




 
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measekite
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      05-16-2008


ray wrote:

On Thu, 15 May 2008 12:39:29 -0700, Gloworm5 wrote:



I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the same path. I am not tied to this camera in any way.



I would suggest you actually look through the electronic viewfinder on one. Then I'd suggest you look through the electronic viewfinder of another long zoom camera with a decent EVF. The canon s51s (and it's predecessors) uses only about 110k pixel EVF - others (including Kodak) use twice that many. A lot of folks cannot stand the pixelation on the canon

I own a Canon S5.  I love the camera.  I hate the EVF.  It sucks.


- maybe it won't bother you, but I'd strongly suggest you compare on acutal cameras in your hand before you buy.

 
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measekite
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-16-2008


Doug Jewell wrote:
> Gloworm5 wrote:
>> I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
>> weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection
>> is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a
>> number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the
>> same path.

> I have an S2 (2 generations older, but very similar). It's not a bad
> camera, but it's not stellar either. I haven't used the S5, but a
> couple of things i've found with the S2 that might give you a bit of
> an idea of the S5 - I doubt the S5 would be worse in any way, and a
> fair chance that they have significantly improved some of the issues
> with the S2.
>
> THE GOOD
> Size, weight and general handling - it's a nice cam to use, intuitive,
> buttons seem to be in the right spot etc.
> Lens quality - The lens is pretty good. Reasonably sharp for a 12x lens.
> Variable speed zoom - you can push lightly on the zoom ring and it
> will zoom in and out very slowly, push a bit harder and it zooms quickly.
> Image stabiliser - works very well.
> Video mode - IMO the S2 truly is also a video camera. In fact I have
> barely used my video camera since I got it. Video is sharp, smooth,
> good quality, and very convenient to put an SD card in a reader to
> access the videos.
> Superb battery life - well over 100 shots from stock standard alkaline
> batteries.
>
> THE BAD
> Focus is slow, especially in low/medium light and at long zoom.

Corrected in the S5
> Electronic Viewfinder - the canon viewfinder is very low-res which
> means it is grainy. Impossible to judge focus accuracy in the EVF.

Still stinks
> Flash Refresh is too slow

About average
> Very limited highlight dynamic range - it blows the whites very
> frequently. It got to the point that for all landscape photos I used
> -1 exposure compensation, and auto-bracketing.

I use about 1/3 stop less all of the time.
>
> THE UGLY
> Images taken at 400ISO are dreadfully noisy.

Noisy but usable. I stay at or under ISO 200
> I would imagine with the higher resolution of the S5 that noise would
> still be quite bad.
> My camera has a hot red pixel that shows up on every photo and is very
> noticeable, but it is "within spec" so I couldn't get it fixed under
> warranty.
>
> As I said - this is based on a camera that is 2 generations older than
> the S5, so some of the bad may have been corrected. In all I'm
> reasonably happy with the S2, although since I got my SLR I haven't
> used it as a still camera. It was worth the purchase price even for
> it's video capabilities.
>
> I would suggest that it is not a bad choice in camera, and if you like
> the feel of it, then go for it.
>
>> I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and
>> truly would like your help. Here are a few reasons I chose this
>> camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300-
>> $400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good
>> luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last
>> camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife
>> bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a
>> good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really
>> impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before
>> using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip
>> where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I
>> took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt
>> she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At
>> night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos
>> onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the
>> difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been
>> happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large
>> HDTV(65").
>>
>> I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want
>> a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the
>> projects. Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera. I have
>> also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the
>> Nikon Coolpix 8700. But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old
>> design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want
>> to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual
>> adjustments as I gain experience.

 
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measekite
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-18-2008


Bob Cunningham wrote:
> On Fri, 16 May 2008 09:05:55 -0700, measekite
> <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>
>> Gloworm5 wrote:
>>
>>> I am a newbie here and to the photography hobby. I have spent several
>>> weeks looking for my next camera. Please forgive me but the selection
>>> is overwhelming. I have come to like the Canon PowerShot S5IS for a
>>> number of reasons but I would like help from those that have taken the
>>> same path. I am not tied to this camera in any way. So, I really and
>>> truly would like your help.
>>>

>> I chose the S5 and do like it. However the EVF is low quality and makes
>> it more difficult to accurately frame the photo.
>>
>>> Here are a few reasons I chose this
>>> camera. I like the size and feel. It is in my budget window ($300-
>>> $400). I have had several Canon cameras and I have always had good
>>> luck with them. I started back with my classic AE-1 35MM and the last
>>> camera I bought over a year ago was the Canon PowerShot A540. My wife
>>> bought a Pentax Optio a number of years ago and it was and still is a
>>> good camera with a lot of modern features. I was never really
>>> impressed with it that much though. I had to read the book before
>>> using it each time I got it out. Recently my wife and I took a trip
>>> where we both took our cameras. My wife took less than 30 total and I
>>> took over 500. My wife took another 100 or so with my camera. I doubt
>>> she will ever pick hers up again. We were vacationing in Colorado. At
>>> night I would take the card out of the camera and transfer the photos
>>> onto my laptop to review them. My wife and I were blown away by the
>>> difference. And, after burning them onto a CD, we couldn't have been
>>> happier and were very surprised at how well they looked on our large
>>> HDTV(65").
>>>
>>> I have another hobby making items from wood with my scroll saw. I want
>>> a camera that will allow me to make nice close-up pictures of the
>>> projects.
>>>

>> The S5 is great at that.
>>
>>> Please tell me if I am looking at the right camera.
>>>

>> Absolutely!
>>
>> The only other camera in its class that I considered is the Panasonic
>> FZ18. There is a lot I liked about that camera but choose the Canon S5
>> because it produces less noise and has a more balanced processor
>> producing less smearing than the Panasonic. The Panasonic (no
>> articulating LCD) has a much better viewfinder and a longer and wider
>> zoom. I thought the Canon has a slightly easier to use menu system and
>> may be easier to step up to a DSLR later.
>>
>>> I have
>>> also looked at good used cameras. One I seemed to like a lot is the
>>> Nikon Coolpix 8700.
>>>

>> While I have used Nikon (film) and think they are great I do not like
>> their Point and Shoot line. They lag way behind Canon. The DSLRs are
>> competitive but I do not like the D40/50/60 but the D80, D300 etc are great.
>>
>>> But, this camera seems to be about a 4 year old
>>> design or so it seems. I would sincerely appreciate any advice. I want
>>> to learn more and I want to have the ability to make manual
>>> adjustments as I gain experience.
>>>
>>>

>> I think the next rev will bring substantial changes but that is probably
>> a year away.
>>

>
> Since Olympus has 18X (SP-560) and 20X (SP-570) optical
> zooms, I imagine Canon is trying hard to catch up.
>

That would be nice but I think that to maintain the great image quality
and lower noise I think they need to redesign the lens as well as
increase the size of the sensor. That would likely add to the size and
weight. I think that is their challenge. That is why they are lagging
behind because they are not willing to make the compromises the other
mfg made.
>
>> The S5 is a real nice camera. The results produce nice
>> 8.5x11 enlargements that do have some cropping.
>>

>
> I started looking at the Canon SX100, then in about $100
> steps to Canon S5 and Canon G9. I'm sorely tempted by the
> 1024x768 video of the G9, but the S5 has more optical zoom,
> and the telephoto attachment for the G9 is about another
> $100.
>
> In comparing cameras, I find it quite helpful to go to
> http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/compare.php , where I can
> select any three cameras and list their features
> side-by-side in a three-column table.
>
> Any comments on the G9?
>
> My Canon S45 is still a lovable little package, but tempus
> fugit and tempters beckon.
>

 
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