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Old Jul 19, 2005, 6:22 AM   #1
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I've done a fair amount of reading on this topic and have come up with the following points so far. Wondering if anyone would like to add some more pros or cons for each camera. What would be very useful is if people would like to also list how important each item is in the great scheme of things, e.g. if i can buy an aftermarket lens cap for the Canon S2, then the dodgy one they include would obviously rate lower on the importance scale.
  • Canon S2 IS – Pros
    • USM zoom motor
      Stereo sound + zoom in video
      Super high quality video
      Separate video record button
      SD memory
      4xAA batteries (long battery life)
      Flip and swivel screen
      0cm macro focus
    Canon S2 IS – Cons
    • Felt flimsy
      Dodgy lens cap
      Small (1.8") screen
      No live histogram when taking photo
    Panasonic FZ20 – Pros
    • Good manual focus method
      lower shutter lag
      faster focus
      SD memory
      Solid construction and feel (metal body)
      5cm macro range
      Very low chromatic aberration
    Panasonic FZ20 – Cons
    • Proprietary expensive Li-Ion battery
      Poor movie mode (320x240)
      LCD/EVF does not gain up in low light.
      Long wakeup (4s)

thanks!
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 6:34 AM   #2
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One other item is the physical size of the cameras. The FZ20 is much larger than the S2. This is neither a pro or con, it just depends on what you want. The S2 is much more compact, but the FZ20 feels much more like an SLR.
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 6:35 AM   #3
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One other item is the physical size of the cameras. The FZ20 is much larger than the S2. This is neither a pro or con, it just depends on what you want. The S2 is much more compact, but the FZ20 feels much more like an SLR.
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 7:05 AM   #4
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Don't forget that the Canon's flash won't activate automatically !

You have to pop it up by hand ( ! ) to operate !

Huba.
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 7:14 AM   #5
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Huba wrote:
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Don't forget that the Canon's flash won't activate automatically !

You have to pop it up by hand ( ! ) to operate !

Huba.
yes, i found that rather lame, is this a sucky feature or a no big deal thing?
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 7:23 AM   #6
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I have not read the complete FZ20 review, neither have I had any hands on experience with it, but the impression I get is that its more of a photographers camera than the S2. With lower shutter lag, and faster focus. The fact that the EVF does not gain up in low light sounds like a HUGE negative. It depends on dark it has to be before it becomes unusable.

The S2's LCD and EVF reflects how the captured image will look. If point it at the moon, put the shutter speed on 1/1000, iso on 50 and the apperature on f8, I will see a virtually black screen. If I put it on 15 seconds, iso 400 and f3.7, I see a glowing moon that looks almos like the sun at dusk.

The S2's dodgy lens cap - to me its just tight enough. If you forget it on when you turn on the camera, it gets popped off by the extending lens. It will however not come of by just shaking the camera. something has to nudge it for it to come off. Its not ideal, but I think its the best balance. You dont want some poor fool like me frying the motor when he forgets the lens cap on.

On the flimsy part, thats true. The buttons "feel" like the could stop working any moment. That is not to say that they will stop working any moment though.

While the stereo sound is nice, its mostly a gimmick if you ask me. The camera would probably only be used for movies about 10% of the time, max. Same goes for the zoom in video.

The battery issue was discussed in another thread.

What I think:
  • Although the FZ20 does have many important features, the real question is, how much better than the S2 is it? EG. lower shutter lag - 1ms faster, 50 ms faster? Same for faster focus?

    On the video. 640x480 30fps gives you 8 min on a 1gb card. Thus I will almost never use it.

    I would look at the availability of add on lenses for the FZ20 as well. The Canon has a 0.75 and a 1.5 converter I think, which is nice for expandability. If the FZ20 has more and better, you need to think about that as well.

    For me personally, the S2 was more expensive than I realy wanted to pay, and the FZ20 even more so. That plus the fact that I have to pay even more for the extra battery kinda made it easy for me to decide. Paying more for a camera with the roughly the same specs and less features did not appeal to me. But then again this is my first camera with adjustable apperature, shutterspeed, iso or optical zoom. The S2 felt easier to start with than the FZ20.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • EDIT::mmm,I copies & pasted your breakdown of the pros & cons and commented on each. It did not post. Too lazy to do it over again. Basically all the Pana's focus and shutter lag type features I think are very important, if its much better than that of the S2
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 7:26 AM   #7
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I like it that the flash doesnt pop up automatically. Now I dont have to fiddle with buttons to disable it, I just dont pop it up. I often prefer to take photos without a flash, as a flash irritates people, then they want to break your camera.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You do get a warning when you focus that your flash is not up.
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 9:24 AM   #8
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Carrots wrote:
Quote:
I like it that the flash doesnt pop up automatically. Now I dont have to fiddle with buttons to disable it, I just dont pop it up. I often prefer to take photos without a flash, as a flash irritates people, then they want to break your camera.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You do get a warning when you focus that your flash is not up.
I do agree that it's annoying for the flash to popup automatically, however i like the push button on cameras like the FZ20. The flash won't automatically pop up as needed, however you just press the button to make it pop, rather than lifting it by hand. That was just another part of the camera that felt flimsy to me. The difficulty lies in the fact that the Panasonic had the feel i liked best, but the Canon edges it out feature wise. Not sure which of the 2 is the higher priority. I'm going to get another feel of them tomorrow with the wife (she will use it more than me anyway) so that may settle the issue.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Jul 19, 2005, 9:38 AM   #9
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I did not get the "feel" of the cameras before I bought them. The S2's in one of the bigest chains of department stores in Johannesburg were sold out in 2 days! In all of the stores!I was lucky to get a display model. Even pro camera stores does not have stock of all the cameras.

But I must agree, nothing feels so good as a solid well constructed metal body.

Some stupid drunk womandropped my 99% plastic Fujifilm A202 on a concrete pad, and the batteries went flying. It still worked 100% afterwards. I am curious to see if the S2 can take the same punishment. There is only one way to find out, and it wont be with mine!!!!
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