|Canon - Exposure and colour rendition
Used in practice the Canon S2 IS delivers well exposed pictures. They standard contain good contrast, in some situations a rather strong contrast, but in general this will be appreciated. Images that show a lot of difference between shadow and light areas tend to loose some detail in the so-called highlight. While on the other hand a lot of detail remains in the standard and shadow areas of an image. Here and there the camera could use small over exposure to obtain a slightly increased exposure. The images taken with flash turn out excellently and the subject is correctly and precisely exposed. The standard exposure hardly needs any correction or none at all for most images. This is a comforting idea, especially for the novices among us. Concerning the colour rendition, the Powershot S2 IS performs very well. Saturation is perfect and we don't encounter any strange colour distortions. The outstanding white balance in combination with a precise exposure makes the camera extremely user friendly if we may say so.
Powershot S2 IS - Optical lens and Macro
The large optical range of the Powershot S2 IS is a powerful feature. The lens performs well, but in wide angle as well as telephoto some purple fringing is shown around some subjects on the image. This phenomenon, known as chromatic aberration, is quite common, and it's mostly visible on extremely enlarged images. This is also the case with the Canon S2 IS. The wide angle performs well, a slight distortion is visible, but you will always find this in a more or lesser gradation. The telephoto shows almost no distortion, and delivers an excellent performance. In close-up mode, the Canon S2 digital camera offers two choices: standard macro and super macro, this latter one stays behind as far as sharpness of the image is concerned. The corners are soft and slightly unclear. We made several images in the same setting but the results remained the same. The standard macro has a fine sharpness with rich detail. The problem with the internal flash at macro images is unfortunately also present on the Powershot S2 IS. In super macro the flash is deactivated, but the standard macro does allow the internal flash to work. And the images taken in standard macro with the use of the flash show a shadow area at the bottom of the image, caused by the flash.
|Canon Powershot S2 - Noise and evening shots
Canon has to live up to its reputation when it comes down to controlling digital image noise. A phenomenon that appears when high ISO values are used at which the image sensor needs more energy and as a result causes annoying digital noise. The low ISO images made with the Canon S2 IS look really fine as far as noise is concerned. The ISO 50 and 100 images are actually 'clean', although when enlarging to a great extend you can still detect some noise. But not of any importance. If we higher the ISO values we meet something that could be defined as the consequences of noise at ISO 400. The images seem less sharp and the detail somewhat 'woolly'. The general values are fine and printing a 13x18cm size up until ISO 400 doesn't cause any problems. Larger prints require ISO 200 or less. The camera performs excellently when taking evening shots. The auto focus is precise and in combination with the AF assist lamp photos can be made effortlessly under various difficult light circumstances. Also here the images taken with high ISO values, like ISO 400, suffer from noise which is rather common on images made in twilight or dark circumstances.
Canon S2 IS - Electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor
Due to the fact that the S2 IS is equipped with a 12x optical zoom, it is technically impossible to use an optical viewfinder. Therefore the camera contains an electronic viewfinder placed right above the LCD monitor. The rendering of both monitors is precise and they offer practically the same, about 100% image reproduction. In practice, the LCD monitor is the most useful one to work with. Various settings are shown in the record mode, as graphics or numbers. Pressing the DISPLAY button lets you swap from rendition with or without electronic viewfinder, or the captured image with or without image information. In play mode all relevant information of the captured image is shown, from image number to histogram with which the exposure can be checked. Using the zoom button during play mode, the display shows an index of nine captured images. And when that happens you'd really wish for a larger monitor. The multi-controller lets you select an image that can be completely enlarged and the zoom lets you zoom in 10x digitally.