CANON POWERSHOT S5IS or similar camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gloworm5, May 15, 2008.

  1. Gloworm5

    Gloworm5 Guest

    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.
    Gloworm5, May 15, 2008
    #1
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  2. Gloworm5

    ray Guest

    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.
    ray, May 15, 2008
    #2
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  3. Gloworm5

    Doug Jewell Guest

    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.
    Doug Jewell, May 16, 2008
    #3
  4. Gloworm5

    measekite Guest

    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.
    measekite, May 16, 2008
    #4
  5. Gloworm5

    measekite Guest

    MG wrote:

    "Gloworm5" <> wrote in message news:...



    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.
    measekite, May 16, 2008
    #5
  6. Gloworm5

    measekite Guest

    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.
    measekite, May 16, 2008
    #6
  7. Gloworm5

    measekite Guest

    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.
    measekite, May 16, 2008
    #7
  8. Gloworm5

    measekite Guest

    Bob Cunningham wrote:
    > On Fri, 16 May 2008 09:05:55 -0700, measekite
    > <> 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.
    >
    measekite, May 18, 2008
    #8
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