Canon PowerShot S2 IS Review
Timing & Performance
We praised the S1 IS for its excellent overall performance, but thanks to the new DIGIC II processor the S2 IS is considerably faster in virtually all areas, and offers significant improvements in key areas such as focus speed and shutter lag - despite the higher pixel count and larger file sizes. In use the S2 IS feels very responsive indeed, with the improvements in focus speed particularly welcome. It should be noted that the difference between the S1 and S2 focus speed isn't as great as our figures might indicate - they are an average, and the S1 IS suffers far more from hunting issues (where it struggles to fix focus). In a direct shootout with an easy subject, the S2 always beats the S1, but only by around 0.1 to 0.2 seconds: that's still quite an improvement, but it's more about focus accuracy than actual speed. It's also worth noting that in our shootout tests the S2 IS was consistently beaten - by a small margin - by the Sony H1, Panasonic FZ5 (using the high speed focus mode) and Konica Minolta Z5 - the three fastest focusing 'superzoom' compacts.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2592 x 1944 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 2,350 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512 MB SanDisk Ultra II SD card. The green figures are those with a measurable, material improvement over the S1 IS, the red figures are those where performance is lower than the S1 IS.
Power: Off to Record
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||
|Power: Record to Off||Lens retracted and all activity ceased||
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty||0.0|
|Record Review||Image displayed||
|Mode: Record to Play||
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens not extended||
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (10x)||0.9|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||36 to 432 mm (12 x) full speed||1.0|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||36 to 432 mm (12 x) low speed||5.5|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Electronic Viewfinder||
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||1.6|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (red-eye reduction off) *2||1.6|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (red-eye reduction on) *2||1.8|
|*1||This is an average figure for 'normal' photography, though there are occasions where the S2 IS struggles to fix focus at the long end of the zoom with low-contrast subjects, when the time can extend to as much as 1.5 seconds|
|*2||In this test the subject distance is only 2 feet (0.6 m) - the recycle time will increase at greater subject distances, and if the batteries are running low.|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. Media used for these tests was a 512 MB SanDisk Ultra II SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
The S2 IS has two continuous shooting modes (standard and high speed), both of which allow you to shoot pretty much indefinitely (we gave up waiting after about 70 shots) with a fast card. The standard continuous mode shows the normal live preview between frames, but the high speed mode only shows a very brief review image after each shot (no live preview).
Frames in a burst *1
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine||Continuous||1.54 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||Continuous||1.42 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Normal||Continuous||1.54 fps||50+||n/a|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Super-Fine||Continuous||1.54 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine||Continuous-High||2.32 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||Continuous-High||2.08 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Normal||Continuous-High||2.33 fps||50+||n/a|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Super-Fine||Continuous-High||2.33 fps||50+||n/a|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||With the shutter release held down. With a fast card it is impossible to fill the buffer|
We were pretty impressed with the continuous shooting capabilities of the PowerShot S1 IS, and the S2 IS offers significantly better performance; up to 2.3 frames per second with no limit on the amount of shots you can take, showing just how much faster the DIGIC II processor is than its predecessor. It's still not as fast as some of its competitors - the Panasonic FZ5, for example - but the buffering is superb (and the standard continuous mode retains the live preview, which is actually quite a rarity, and makes keeping up with moving subjects much easier).
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 512 MB SanDisk Ultra II SD card.
Time to store
File size *1
Images on a *2
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine||~0.8||~0.3||2,350 KB||195|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||~0.6||~0.3||1,395 KB||347|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Normal||~0.5||~0.3||620 KB||687|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Super-Fine||~0.6||~0.3||1,440 KB||302|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||~0.5||~0.3||870 KB||542|
|*1||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
With write times averaging around 0.8 seconds for a Super Fine JPEG the S2 IS is certainly fast - around 3.0 MB/sec, thanks again to the DIGIC II processor.
Jun 21, 2005
Apr 22, 2005
Jun 16, 2008
Jun 16, 2008
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.