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Old Dec 31, 2005, 5:18 PM   #1
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Took the S2 out to the Zoo for first real shoot (Dec 30). 32+°F. Kodak rechargeables work well, about 3 hours outdoors and in my jacket pocket - no sign of battery warnings. Did several reviews and lots of on-off's and in-and-outs with the lens. Got kinda misty and the cam got lots of raindrops on it. No problems.

The lobby shots at the butterfly room were in "auto" just to see what it would do. All others are in Av mode, my preferred method. Notice the Bokeh in some of the closeups. The sequnce of the b'fly was in hi-speed burst - and NO viewfinder blackout - thats just plain SWEET.

Polar Bear and Seal shots were through 3" plexiglas and 10' of water (filtered but still... Please allow for reflectance/refraction/deflecton from curved surfaces.)

http://www.pbase.com/jpferguson go to S2 Zoo Samples

As time allows - more fun to follow

Jon F.

P.S. - absolutely NO post processing (pardon some bad framing)

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Old Jan 2, 2006, 1:30 PM   #2
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Hello Setiprime,

I was about to post some questions for S2 owners when I found your notes. Your first impression review was excellent and I'll definitely check out your photos.

I switched to digital when I lost my film camera about a year ago and I've been somewhat disappointed.Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't switch back to film, but I'm getting a ridiculous number of blurry pictures. I've seen marginal improvement based on tips and advice from a few helpful members, but I think camera-shake is my problem.

I'm thinking about buying an S2,and the "image stabilization" technologyisthe selling point. I'd like to have a camera that takes consistently clear photos. I find that I'm asking subjects to stay still or pose for multiple shots hoping at least one will be clear. And you can imagine that takes some of the fun awayfor both photographer and the people in the photos. (Most of my usage is casual: family functions, parties and gatherings with friends, etc.)

I wonder if you think the S2could change my digital experience. Since my A85 is equipped with the older generation DIGIC processor, its trade-in value is minimal. And my case and CF cards wouldbe useless, so buying an S2 and all the extras would be a considerable expense. (The only upside being that I've already got the NiMH rechargables.)

If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:39 AM   #3
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Boldstar - Boy, thats a tough one. I bought the S2 more as a "casual" camera. My serious camera is a 20D. Each of us have a specific use in mind and needs a lot of thinking. The S2 is a fine camera, but still has certain limitations. The IS function does help, however, the light weight/size of camera/and shooting method, all affect the performance. Consider that you will have to invest in rechargeable batteries (and charger) coupled with the SD size of CF card and you come very close to an entry level DSLR (Rebel/300D for instance). Difference between models is about $100 - $200.

Shooting style has a strong effect. If you are one who uses the LCD, this has the camera away from your body and the IS probably won't be as effective. elbows tucked in and your eye to the viewfinder will help a great deal.

Up side is the very rapid startup and almost no shutter lag. You have nearly all the manual control of a DSLR. Works for me. I would recommend a 'hands-on" try out at a retail store just to get the feel - it really helps.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 2:12 PM   #4
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Setiprime, I'm curious if you looked at or tested the Panasonic FZ30, and if so, what were your impressions compared to the S2?

I ordered both of these cameras from the BX(Air Force store). They don't have any on display with batteries, so I can't try them out. The FZ30 came in first and I put in on layaway. The S2 is in now, but I can't get both.

If you have tried the FZ30, what did you think? Thanks.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input Setiprime. I guess we're different types of users. It sounds like you're a professional that considers the S2 more of a casual toy. Me being a casual user, it's a step up from the A85 and it's probably as expensive as I'm willing to go in the short term.

I realize I'll have to fork out money for the different type of memory card as my CF won't fit, plus there would be a new camera bag. Luckily I've already got the rechargables. The A85 and S2 take the same 4 AAs.

Maybe the local camera shop will let me buy it and test it out for a few days. Then maybe return it if I can't get any better results. Like I said, I'm hoping I can improve on the clarity of my snapshots while still using the LCD.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 6:56 AM   #6
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DirtyT & Boldstar - Not thinking of S2 as a toy (casual or otherwise) just wanted something less than my 3 costly DSLR's. Yes I shoot horse events during the season.


The FZ30 is an excellent camera. Chap here at work had the original FZ10 and really liked it. I like the ergonomics.

The S2 is atad smaller so I can pack it around in my jacket a bit easier. Price difference is about $200.00 and more than I wanted to spend.

Good luck with the LCD - if you can extend your arms and get good action shots on a dull cloudy day with long focal lengths,my hat is off to you.

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 12:13 PM   #7
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Setiprime wrote:
Quote:
Not thinking of S2 as a toy (casual or otherwise) just wanted something less than my 3 costly DSLR's.

Good luck with the LCD - if you can extend your arms and get good action shots on a dull cloudy day with long focal lengths,my hat is off to you.

Hey Setiprime. Maybe I said that wrong... I didn't mean to imply that you thought the S2 was a toy. I just meant that it's a step down for you, something more casual than your DSLRs. For me it'd be an upgrade from my point-and-shoot.

I understand your issue with the LCD. Maybe I'll try using the viewfinder with my A85 and see what happens. If the photos start coming out better, maybe I won't have to make the S2 investment yet.

Thanks again for your input. And by the way, those are some great shots on your website.


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