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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Canon today revealed the replacement for their fifteen month old PowerShot S50, the new PowerShot S60. Despite the name this camera doesn't have a six megapixel CCD, instead it sticks with the tried and tested 1/1.8" five megapixel CCD. The biggest external differences with this camera are its new compact 3.6x wide zoom lens which provides an impressive 28 - 100 mm equiv. and the slick new body design which is thinner than the S50. Thankfully Canon has also done away with the annoying combined zoom / 4-way controller, the S60 now has a normal 4-way direction pad, separate SET button and zoom lever.
Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 10 May 2004. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today announces its latest 5.0 Megapixel compact digital still camera, the PowerShot S60. A comprehensive array of technology firsts for the S-Series includes new lens materials which allow a reduction in lens size, enabling an elegantly sleek body shape. Also new for the S-Series is the 28-100mm focal length lens with 4cm macro, simultaneous RAW and JPEG file recording, optional 2x tele-converter and a 40m depth waterproof case. The camera includes a new pre-set white balance mode for underwater photography, Print/Share button, 15 second to 1/2000 sec shutter speeds, and a new user interface.
"We are already seeing many professional photographers carrying compact digital cameras as well as their usual kit," said Mogens Mølgaard Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "The pocket-sized PowerShot S60 is perfect for those moments when a smaller camera is needed, and with many features borrowed from our digital SLR range, will appeal to professionals and photography enthusiasts who cant afford to compromise on specifications.
Starting with the optics
Drawing on a 60 year heritage of precision optics and lens manufacture experience, Canon has equipped the camera with a new 3.6x optical zoom lens. The lens features Canon's new UA (Ultra-high refractive index, Aspherical) lens, allowing for the design of a more compact lens with no compromise on image quality. This contributes to making the body almost 8% thinner than the popular PowerShot S50 the camera replaces, even though it has a 28mm wide angle and higher zoom ratio. The 28-100mm focal length range expands to 200mm with the addition of an optional 2x tele-converter.
Updated and integrated
The user interface is dramatically improved, with an ergonomic SLR-style Mode Dial on top of the camera for shifting quickly and easily between 13 different shooting modes. Up to 180 second movies (30 seconds at VGA resolution) can be recorded with sound, playback and in-camera editing. Shutter speed range increases to span 15 sec to 1/2000 sec.
To keep the camera 'at the ready', start up time has been reduced by approximate 20% from the previous model, while an already class-leading battery capacity has been increased by 26% with the introduction of the more powerful NB-2LH battery. This performance is due in part to the incorporation of Canons DIGIC image processor. DIGIC is purpose built by Canon to execute the complex algorithms necessary to properly calculate functions such as white balance and color rendition, with no trade-off in camera responsiveness. By keeping all key functions on a single chip, size and power consumption are also reduced. The overall result is more shots at a higher rate with stunning image quality.
Fast and accurate
DIGIC also drives a 2 frames per second (High speed) continuous shooting speed, and supports 9-point AiAF for fast, accurate focusing even when subjects are not centred. FlexiZone AF/AE allows scrolling around the frame's Auto Focus areas to select the desired subject, for which exposure is weighted accordingly. The camera also includes iSAPS a type of artificially intelligent photographer's assistant that instantly analyses each scene. iSAPS makes adjustments even before the shutter release is pressed to optimise exposure, white balance and auto-focus settings in every shooting situation.
The PowerShot S60 borrows several features from Canons range of digital SLR cameras, which includes the EOS 300D and EOS 10D. One of these is the ability to record RAW files. The camera embeds a JPEG thumbnail in recorded RAW files, allowing for quick reviewing and avoiding the cumbersome wait for file conversions when all that is required is a small preview image.
As soon as the camera recognises successful connection to a direct printer or Windows computer, a blue light on its Print/Share button illuminates to indicate that printing or file transfer can commence. Connection via USB cable to any PictBridge compatible printer, such as Canon's Bubble Jet i990, enables printing without first transferring to PC. When connected to a Canon compact photo printer such as the Canon CP-330, the camera/printer combination allows for 'movie-prints' (sequential frames of a movie clip printed as thumbnails on a single card) and photo IDs (passport style ID photographs).
Membership to Canons web portal CANON iMAGE GATEWAY expands to allow uploading of movie clips. These are first compressed for faster uploading using an upgraded version of the Canon ZoomBrowser software . CANON iMAGE GATEWAY gives PowerShot S60 customers 100MB of album space on the web for storing and sharing favorite photographs and albums a private online photo gallery. Function icons, themes and sound effects can also be downloaded so the cameras look and feel is always fresh.
Software supplied includes browsing and printing software ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac). Other software includes PhotoStitch, plus photo and movie manipulation software ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression. Drivers include TWAIN (Windows 98/2000) and WIA (Windows Me). Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) support allows the camera to connect to any Windows XP and Mac OS X (v10.1/v10.2/v10.3) system without the requirement for a driver installation.
|List price|| US: $ Unknown
UK: £ Unknown
|Sensor|| 1/1.8" CCD
RGB Color Filter Array
5.2 million pixels total
|Effective pixel count||5.0 million|
|Image sizes|| 2592 x 1944
2048 x 1536 *n
1600 x 1200
1024 x 768
640 x 480
|Movie clips|| 640 x 480, 10 fps, up to
30 sec *n
320 x 240, 15 fps, up to 3 mins
160 x 120, 15 fps, up to 3 mins
|File formats|| Still: RAW, JPEG EXIF 2.2
(Super-Fine, Fine, Normal)
Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG + Wave audio)
|Lens *n|| 3.6x optical zoom
28 - 100 mm equiv.
F2.8 - F5.3
|Digital zoom||Up to 4.1x|
|Focus|| 9-point AiAF
1-point AF (any position)
AF assist beam (on/off)
|Focus range|| Normal: 50 cm - Infinity
(1.6 ft - Infinity)
Macro: 4 - 50 cm (1.6 - 19.7 in)
Center weighted average
Spot (center or Af point linked)
|Exposure compen.||+/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps|
|Shutter|| 15 - 1/2000 sec *n
1.3 sec or slower only in Manual or Shutter Priority modes
Auto noise reduction slower than 1.3 sec
|White balance|| Auto
|LCD monitor|| 1.8" TFT LCD
Modes: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Manual
Slow Sync: On, Off (1st or 2nd curtain selectable)
Red-Eye Reduction: On, Off
Flash compensation: +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Manual power selection: 3 levels
Range (ISO 100, Wide): 0.55 - 4.2 m (1.8 - 13.8 ft)
Range (ISO 100, Tele): 0.55 - 2.0 m (1.8 - 6.6 ft)
|Photo effects|| Vivid
Black & White
Custom (Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation control)
|Drive modes|| Single
Continuous High: 2.0 fps, up to 8 frames
Continuous Normal: 1.5 fps, up to 8 frames
Interval shooting: 1 - 60 min intervals, up to 100 images
|Direct printing|| Canon Card Photo Printers
Canon Bubble Jet Printers with direct print function
|Other features|| My Camera
Sound memo (up to 60 secs)
Magnify Zoom (2 - 10x)
DPOF / Transfer Order
|Self Timer||Yes, 2 or 10 sec|
|Connectivity|| USB 1.1 (inc PTP)
|Storage|| Compact Flash Type I or II
FAT 12/16 and FAT 32 support
32 MB CF card supplied
|Power|| Lithium-Ion NB-2LH rechargeable
battery (supplied & charger) *n
Optional AC adapter
|Dimensions||114 x 57 x 39 mm (4.4 x 2.2 x 1.5 in) *n|
|Weight (no batt)||230 g (8.1 oz) *n|
*n New feature / change compared to the PowerShot S50
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
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