S200 Hands On Report

Started May 1, 2002 | Discussions thread
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StixStixStix Forum Member • Posts: 76
S200 Hands On Report

Hi all,

As a new S200 owner, I figured I would put up a quick hands-on report for those of you who, like me, have been anxiously awaiting this camera. A few brief asides:

I hope to have a picture gallery of simple samples up shortly.

I bought this S200 in the USA (California) at Target, and cancelled my Dell order (which had been placed very, very early in their queue, yet was not filled).

And my first S200 - purchased early this afternoon - had 2 very visible stuck pixels on its rear LCD screen. So beware, those of you ordering from Dell - there is a reason to check out one of these things before accepting delivery. More on that in a moment.

The S200 is highly comparable in size and build quality to the S100 and S110, both of which I've briefly used and seriously appreciated. Despite comments I've read here to the contrary, and with all respect to those who feel this way, I feel as if the body is so largely similar to the S110 that there's no grounds for complaint as to a difference. This is a sleek, simple brushed steel case with a nicer, fingerprint proof LCD in the back. Additionally, the unit is most definitely not a shade of brown, as some people have claimed. If incandescent light reflects off of it in just the wrong way, you might catch the faintest hint of such a thing, but from where I stand, it's silver as steel gets.

I have no complaints or issues with the size, unlike S330 owners who keep on second-guessing their purchases. This is a tiny, tiny camera. It fits in the palm of my hand and easily into a standard shirt pocket. It is the absolute opposite of my bulky Sony F707, which is exactly why I bought it. The zoom lens, obviously, suffers for the comparison, yet it does just as much as I want in that department: enough for decent architectural photography and entirely good human photography.

Turn on impressions are good. The screen functions quite like the S110's - not the fastest update speed I've ever seen, but not bad, either. It appears to automatically compensate for low light and attempt to make display adjustments by reducing the frame rate, a la the Sony F707. Functionality is generally as Phil described for the S330, and I have no comments yet on the moviemaking or audio capabilities of the S200.

As far as the pictures are concerned, I'm generally impressed by what I've seen so far. Colors seem quite good and the camera does a good job of focusing properly on subjects. If you're going to be satisfied with it for the long-term, it's important, from my perspective, to understand what this camera is and is not for. It's a camera for making fun 4x6's, and not one for spectacular imagery, and taken in that context it's hard to see how Canon could really screw it up...

Except for the defect issue. I was very put off that the first unit had such conspicuous stuck pixels, and moreover, I had to drive to another Target store to replace it with a seemingly problem-free unit. (My local store only had one camera.) It seems as if many camera manufacturers are not taking proper care to insure that their products are defect-free in this regard, and placing the onus upon consumers to return what they perceive as problematic. Canon, I guess, is no exception. (Nikon was the one that reallly surprised me with these sorts of problems, but now, it seems like all of their cameras have such issues.)

Hope this helps someone. I'll have more to share later if people desire it.

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