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JohnGaltNY Sep 2, 2007 12:51 AM

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Hi all,

I'm now 7 weeks and about 1,500 exposures into my new S5 IS and I have some definite opinions at this point.

I bought the S5 as an upgrade from the S2 rather than buying a dSLR (XTi and Olly E-510 were my candidates) so let me start with I'm a SupreZoom fan. I'm too lazy to lug around a backpack of stuff. Also, I'm really not advanced enough to fully utilize a dSLR yet.

Anyhow, I really like the lens on the S5 (same as the S2) BUT I kind of wish Canon had left the S5 at 6 MP like the S3. The 1/8th sensor is definitely done. The S5 takes seriously good images but I find myself using Noiseware a lot more than with the S2. Other than that, IQ is a bit sharper than the S2/S3 and, if you kill the noise, you can crop a bit better. That's important to me since I'm not yet great at in-camera composition. If you want, take a look at the S5/S2 side by side on either of my sites.

I finally got to use the face detection this weekend and it is really a great help. I took a bunch of exposures in a dark bar room with stage lighting and the S5 not only focused on the faces but seemed to modulate the on-board flash fairly well. I got about 25 good out of 35 shots and that's the reverse of my usual ratio. Attached is one example of face detection in P mode at ISO 100.

I haven't used the hot shoe yet (my other reason for upgrading) but I have a 430 EX on order so I'll let you all know in late September what's up with that.

Battery life is as good or better than the S2 even with the 2.5" screen (rather than 1.8"). I shoot thru the EV but I review everything with the LCD so I do use it a lot.

I also like the digital teleconverters (1.6 and 2.0) although the standard 48X DZ is still a mess (at least in my hands). In addition, the live histogram, rule of thirds grid and 4x3 outline are really welcome aids to me. You may or may not care about them, but I love 'em.

On the downside, I'd like to find the guy who put the SD card in the battery holder and beat him with a stick. I don't use my reader anymore, just hook up a USB cable direct. Bummer. Also, although the tripod mount is upgraded to metal, you cannot change the SD card on the tripod.

All in all the S5 upgrade is suiting me really well. I'm still not sure the IQ is worth upgrading from the S2/S3 but the FD, Hot Shoe and the EV grid and Histo are a huge plus in my personal learning curve. Once I get the 430EX I expect to spend another year learning some more. Maybe then I'll be grown up enough for a dSLR. Or maybe not.

If anybody out there is on the fence about the S5, I hope this has helped you. Most of the stuff on my Pbase site is S5 if you'd like to go there.

shootFirst Sep 2, 2007 8:59 PM

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I must agree. I had a G5 for four years. I liked it a lot but it was very slow to focus in low light (where I always shoot) and had significant shutter delay (despite prefocus).

After 25000 pictures with the G5, I decided to try the 5S-IS. It is MUCH faster, both in focusing speed and shutter delay. It can focus in almost complete darkness. Speed is important for me since I shoot candids at weddings and need to take several shots to get a few good ones. With the 5S-IS, Ishoot up to 6 shots of a subject to get one great picture rather than 3 with the G5 to get one mediocr picture. In the first week and a half, I took about 3500 shots. The big green light projecting on my subject sometimes blows my cover, but in general, it works great.

I use an old 420EX flash with a difuser (LumiQuest Mini Softbox or Omnibounce). The color and light balance is much better than with the G5 using the same equipment.

I was worried about the AA batteries. I liked the Lithium Ion batteries on my G5. I got several cheap aftermark sets on the web that worked great. But the 5S-IS is very good on batteries (an external flash helps). I took 1100 shots the other night and only went through two sets of batteries.

Ditto on the card slot in the battery compartment. I guess it is a cost savings measure since now they only have to have one door. But it is a big pain. Changing batteries does not disturb the card but changing the card willl dump the batteries.

As far as a card, I got two 4GB Class 6 SDHC cards. I highly recommend them. SDHC has a standard speed rating so you don't have to rely on the numbers vendors make up like 150X (150 times what?!?!). These cards are fast. Images dump quickly so that you are ready for the the next shot.

The G5 has a top side LCD that is missing from the 5S-IS. I liked it but it is a small price to pay for the other improvements. Relatively, the 5S-IS is very well priced. I bought one the first day they hit the amrket for about $400. This is less than half the price I paid for my G5 which I got on a big sale.

I also have not played with all of its features. I have very specific photo needs, so once I figure them out, it takes me a while to get sround to the rest.

I can't speak for newer cameras, but if you have a G5 or older and are thinking of upgrading to a similar camera, then the 5S-IS is for you.

Vince00 Sep 5, 2007 8:26 PM

Thanks for the update guys... my S5 IS is on order and this makes me happy to here others are pleased..


donato Sep 6, 2007 3:40 AM

shootFirst wrote:

I ... Ditto on the card slot in the battery compartment. I guess it is a cost savings measure since now they only have to have one door. But it is a big pain. Changing batteries does not disturb the card but changing the card willl dump the batteries.
Frankly I never managed to dump the batteries on my S5 ...

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