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Old Oct 9, 2004, 4:38 PM   #1
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Hello guys .. please don't hate me for I will say here .. I'm a big fan on Canon's digital so all I want is for you to cure some of my fears regarding picture quality issues on Canon S1 IS. I'm about to order a digital camera and I have looked hours and hours on reviews and pictures posted on internet. My last favourite, being by far the most feature full and perfect for an enthusiast advanced amateur which needs a digital camera to make nice composed pictures and not only travel p&s pictures, is the S1 IS. I don't have to tell you all the features that makes this model a great camera.

My only fear (beside the pity that the lens start at 38mm, but you can't ask for a 28-300 can you?) is about the picture quality issues, more precisesly about the lack of sharpness (can I call it blurriness?). I have looked at many pictures taken with this camera (on pbase, photosig, photopoints and some user galleries) and I didn't find a tack sharp picture .. and unfortunately neither a sharp picture so it would fit into my quality standard. And now maybe I'm wrong .. and I stumbled only on bad photographers and bad light condition Please(!) point me to some weblink which shows a few pictures taken with the S1 that looks at their best and convince me this is a false problem and that it's best to go with the S1. I don't want to make a mistake and fell for the great feature-pack of this camera and then get quickly dissapointed by the quality of the pictures. To tell you the truth, I also tried to use the unsharp mask filter on some 3.2 mpix pictures I found on the internet and the result is worse.

For you guys having the S1, please correct me and show me some nice pics .. and for those who think the quality of the S1 is not for the real photographers, please direct me to a compact digital that outputs the best results. By the way .. my dream digital camera would be the 300D, every pictures I saw are simply Perfect (the SLR lens and sensors are other stuff), but I don't have the budget for this. I'm looking for something under 500$.

Thanks greatly!
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Old Oct 9, 2004, 9:01 PM   #2
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The S1 IS (I use one) takes pictures that are a bit soft but are low in noise with excellent color quality. I generally use a bit of UnSharp Masking to bring out edges. This camera's best feature is seldom mentioned. It is the size. I put mine in a pouch on a tool belt that I can carry even while riding a horse. Steve's pictures are good examples of what the camera can do. If they aren't sharp enough for you, then you will need to either spend more or trade off another feature, such as the long zoom. It is generally true that the greater the range of magnification in a telephoto lens, the softer the results will be. You should probably look at a 5-7MP camera with a 3x to 5x telephoto range to get the sharpness you want in a camera in or nearthis price range.

I print most of my pictures at 8.5x11 size. With a little processing, they are often stunning.:-) I too would like to use a Digital Rebel (or 20D!) but that would limit me to being just the photographer at an event, rather than a participant, due to the size and weight. Good luck making your choice!




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Old Oct 10, 2004, 7:16 AM   #3
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Hi ,I have shot just over 5000 frames on the S1 but have not used the competing ultrazoom cameras.I have seen posts from people who queried canons tech help people about the image softness of canons cameras and they were told that canon has deliberately set at a low in camera sharpening setting as default as users will get better results using unsharpmask in an image browser such as photoshop as it is a lot more sophisticated than what is built into cameras.If canon used a higher level the results are the same as unsharpmasking twice which gives poor results.I have seen comments by digital photo experts that claim almost any digital photo will be improved by some sharpening.

This camera in the right hands is capable of excellant results ,I suggest you search dpreview.com canon forum for threads by Richard Higgs who has a pbase site with some great photos on it and Tom Hootsas well.

The key thing when comparing this camera is to remember that the ultra zoom cameras that are better than this one are all significantly dearer.

I still feel if you can get this camera for the right price it is a good all round package and features like Cf card and AA batteries( use NiMh recharables the best thing since sliced bread!)and stabilised zoom are big pluses.The movie mode is a cool toy as well.

Like bitplayer I often print to 8x10 and find the results almost indistinguishablefrom photos I took on my film SLR and printed at minilab.

Like you I am waiting for the day I can afford a DSLR which would be the true replacement for my old faithfull canon EOS630 SLR which has not left the bag since I bought the S1.

Hope I have been of help Brendon


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Old Oct 12, 2004, 1:54 PM   #4
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I ordered mine from costco 10 days ago. (After loooong deliberations) So far, the only problem is that it has difficulty focusing in low light conditions. That's it. You just have to use manual mode in those cases.

Now. There's another camera that I almost ended up buying (too bad costco doesn't carry it) is panasonic lumix fz15. Check it out. It came out this month, has more features than the canon, weighs more and is much bigger too. Price is about the same, perhaps panasonic is a bit more expensive. What I DID NOT like about panasonic is the proprietary battery. Let me tell you man, I've had canon s30 for 3 years and it uses a custom canon weird shape battery. I ended up recharging it in bathrooms, vacuum cleaner outlets at museums, japanese garden at a Montreal park, under a scorpion cage in NYC Museum of natural history, etc. IT WAS A MAJOR PAIN IN THE ASS!!! The damn battery dies very quickly after the indicator lights up and then you're stuck. It pissed me off to no end. I refused to buy a second battery as a matter of principle and suffered greatly. So, keep that in mind while looking at the FZ15. Otherwise, fz15 is a fine camera i think and will continue to kick S1's ass until S2 comes out. What can I say. Cest la vie.

If you have costco membership, get it from costco! For 380, you get the camera, a canon bag ($20), a recharger and 4 rechargable batteries + 4 reg batteries. Can't beat that deal.
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Old Oct 13, 2004, 7:22 AM   #5
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The S1 I'm thinking about comes from Japan and it costs 370$. I probably then look for a leather case. I have already two pairs of rechargables. I agree with you regarding the proprietary batteries (you're on empty when they're done).

I was thinking more about the FZ3 from Panasonic, because FZ15 (and FZ20) are bigger and more expensive. What do you say about the FZ3? Not much more to offer than the S1 (same resolution, also mediocre EVF), but better Leica lens, offering f/2.8 on the whole 35-420mm range, and better quality pictures (except the vignetiing at wide angle and macro).
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Old Oct 13, 2004, 11:53 AM   #6
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well, you know, Z3 and 15 are basically the same cameras only 15 has more resolution and better body casing (more metal) i think.

I'd get the 15 because of the megapixels. If that's not important, then 3 is ok.

There's also a custom sharpness setting on the S1 that i havent tried yet (maybe somebody can comment) perhaps that makes the pics more sharp??

p.s. you're right, the Leica lens in Z cameras is better than the canon. Sad, really. Thing is, S1 has been out since Feb 2004 and it really shows. It has been eclipsed by a set of better cameras. Until S2 comes out (whenever the hell that is), those panasonic Z models are way better. Once S2 is out, perhaps it'll swing the other way - who knows.
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 8:38 AM   #7
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I am afraid you are right Coontie things do move on fast in digital cameras.I see that Photokina has now finished and no new S1 replacement announced.Another thread I saw a few minutes ago suggested that canon will soon stop shipping S1s which would seem strange to me given the current action in this segment.Some people suggested that canon was concerned that a S1 with hotshoe and more megapixels would steal 300d sales on which canon makes a lot more money .

If any body wants to see an ultimate ultra zoom camera check out Nikon 8800 ,8Mp,10x zoom,IS, hot shoe etc etc wow!! shame I cant afford it.

Here are a couple of S1 sample for Codz

Brendon
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 8:41 AM   #8
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another example for codz
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 8:44 AM   #9
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another example for Codz
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 8:47 AM   #10
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another example for codz
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