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Old Mar 6, 2006, 3:41 PM   #1
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I'm brand new to the site- so if there is a thread that covers this already- please point me to it. Since everyone has a different situation and uses cameras for different purposes, I figured I'd be best off starting a new thread.

I'd like to pick up a digital camera and I'm trying to decide between the Canon S2 IS and the Canon A610. They both seem like great cameras, but I'm struggling to decide.

I love the 12x (and 48x) zoom on the S2- but I have pretty shakey hands to start with- am I going to have troubles using the S2? Is the Image Stabilization feature going to help me enough? I also love the "my colors" feature- I thought only the S2 had it, but was surprised to find the A610 has it as well.

I'm not one to bring cameras to parties- I'd like a camera for vacations- so mostly for nature scenery. That may be me convincing myself that I don't care about the size of the camera- the S2 is definitely too big to lug around to parties...

So I guess the pros of the A610 are the size and price while the S2 has the zoom and IS. Anything else I'm missing?

Any thoughts for the experts are much appreciated! Thanks!
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 4:15 PM   #2
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I don't own a A610, and haven't looked closely at it, but from reading the forums here and elsewhere...

The A610 and A620 are newer and widely praised for image quality (newer /different sensors). You should check out the full sized sample images in the reviews of these three cameras. Image quality includes stuff like coping with contrast, noise in the shadows and colour aberation (e.g. purple fringing in high constrast areas), so don't just look at the number of pixels.

The extended zoom range on the S2 IS takes you up more of a learning curve.

The S3 will shortly be released.

Otherwise it comes down to the usefulness of the x12 zoom - it's great for getting closer to things that are already close; it's great for zooming in on things in the near distance; over longer distances its usefulness depends on the amount of dust or haze in the air. The more you zoom the more light you need - so at highest zoom, you need good daylight, flash, or a tripod.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 5:27 PM   #3
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It's probably not correct to compare two cameras which are really for different uses.

The S2 IS is more of a DSLR-like camera, for novice enthusiasts who are just getting into the finer, more complex aspects of photography. Best used with a tripod, especially at night time and at long zooms. Comes with Image Stabilization as well.

The A610 is the little brother of the A620, and does not have image stabilization found on the S2. It is for the casual photographer, and is cheaper. It is not an ultra-compact camera, so despite it being lighter than the S2, don't expect it to fit that well in your pocket either. However, it is a good all-round camera, and has good start up times.

Check ZDnet's review here : http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Canon_P...1475448-2.html

If you are considering other cameras, and don't mind not having a swivel screen, you can check out other cameras like the Panasonic Lumix LZ2, which has good image quality and comes with built in image stabilization.

http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Panason...-31389589.html


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Old Mar 6, 2006, 9:06 PM   #4
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Thanks guys... I'm really stuck on the S2- the Lumix is a good recommendation- heck it even has 6x zoom- but I love the photos I've seen come out of the S2 (even by complete novices). I do have some 35mm photography experience (alright alright- I took a semester in high school, but I did love it!) so I like the versitility of the S2. Perhaps I'll grab a small tripod as well and carry everything around in a little case.

Plus I can pick up the S2 for $320- not a bad deal.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 9:50 PM   #5
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captal wrote:
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Thanks guys... I'm really stuck on the S2- the Lumix is a good recommendation- heck it even has 6x zoom- but I love the photos I've seen come out of the S2 (even by complete novices). I do have some 35mm photography experience (alright alright- I took a semester in high school, but I did love it!) so I like the versitility of the S2. Perhaps I'll grab a small tripod as well and carry everything around in a little case.

Plus I can pick up the S2 for $320- not a bad deal.
I have had an S2 since it first hit the market (I also have other digicams), and the S2 is my all time favorite digicam. Since the S3 is about to come online soon, you will be able to buy a new S2 for far less than I paid.

Enjoy it. There is no "perfect" camera, as that would preclude future improvement, but as digicams go, the S2 is small, light, and pretty awesome. With memory cards getting cheaper all the time, it also makes an outstanding movie camera that can also take full 5mp stills along the way, and the click sound can be edited out of the movie on your PC.

I might buy an S3, but the S2 seems to be closer to the S3 than the S1 was to the S2. The S3 would have been a no brainer if Canon put either a hotshoe, or a flash data port on it, but that would have made the S3 more attractive than it's higher priced models.

Meanwhile, I think you will be delighted with a discount priced S2. It's outstanding glass alone is well worth the difference in size between it and it's more pocket sized brethren.

Voyager
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 9:59 PM   #6
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Voyager13b wrote:
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It's outstanding glass alone is well worth the difference in size between it and it's more pocket sized brethren.

Voyager
That made me smile- interesting way to put it :G

Thanks for the advice- with the price coming down it seems like a no-brainer- especially since the S3 is so much pricier for not that much more camera.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 4:45 PM   #7
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Let's see, I happen to have the LZ2, A610 and just got my S2 last Friday (posted a topic here with my impressions. IMO, the LZ2 has 6x optical zoom andan excellent IS (better than the S2 but it only has half of the zoom). It produces great pictures, well saturated and very sharp. Little needs doing in terms of PP. It uses only 2 AA, it has a 2.0" LCD and two SCN settings on the dial, which let you choose and set two of your favorite scene modes for fast access.The A610 is fast, it hasmovable 2.0" LCD and it takes great pictures. It offers a wide range of manual controls (Tv, Av, P, M, C) as well as the ability to lock exposure (a huge plus for me). The down side is the fact that it uses 4 AA, thus it is much heavier than the LZ2 (a little bulkier too) and it has only a 4x optical zoom. The S2 is in a different category all together, mainly because of its 12x zoom. It's reasonably fast (the Sony H1 is much faster), it produces nice overall pictures, with great colors and well saturated. It has a few nice features like the Shortcut button, whichyou can setto perform your favorite action (AE lock, ISO, etc.) and a dedicate buttonto record movies as well as all the manual controls offered by the A610.On the down side, the flash does not pop-up automatically (very annoying), the lens cap does not stay on (also annoying), its IS is on the poor side and AF is really bad in both macro mode andlong zoom range. So, If I had to choose between these three, I'd pick the A610 for practicality. If you are looking for a 12x zoom, I'd check the Sony H1. I think it's a much better camera.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 5:46 PM   #8
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Does the H1 have the sweet "My Colors" feature that the S2 has? I think that's one of the coolest things I've seen
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 7:02 PM   #9
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Tullio wrote:
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... its IS is on the poor side..
That's not something that I've seen criticised - so I thought I'd check. The only reviews I've seen that attempt to compare stabilisation report that the IS is on par with Panasonic (FZ5 generation), and both Panasonic and Canon are better than H1 by a small margin - but the reviewers did say they were was no definitive test (see the dpreview reviews).

From reading some of the reviews and forums I think stabilisers are a bit overplayed - they only make a steady hand steadier, they don't correct shake in general.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 9:30 PM   #10
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No, the H1 does not have the "my color" feature. I guess it can be a lot of fun indeed. Believe it or not, I have the A610, which has this feature but I never used it. I should try it one of these days.

Yes, there is not much IScomparisson done between the 12X cameras. I've played with my friend's Z5 and I think it has the best IS of all. The S2 has three IS settings, one of them being PANNING. Has any one used it? Is it more or less effective thanSHOOTING? The H1 ISis alright. Actually some of the very few shots I lost withmy H1 weretaken with the zoom at full range. So,the S2 may indeed have a better IS than the H1 but I think the Z5 is the winner here.
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