Latest Update: rewritten page completely, with more info and more reviews.
What Is It?
Canon’s superzoom compact, with a 12x optical zoom range. Now being replaced by the S3 IS, but still available, and with some real bargains to be had whilst it’s on its way out.
- Megapixels: 5
- Optical Zoom: 12x (36-432mm equiv)
- Size: Large for a compact, not much smaller than an SLR.
- Optical Image Stablizer
The S2 IS also has an ultrasonic motor for the autofocus, making it quick and quiet in use.
I’ve actually tried one of these, and it was much better than I expected. With so many features for relatively little money, I expected it to feel a bit cheap. It doesn’t. The build quality is up to Canon’s usual standard, and the camera feels good and solid. I think, if it was me, I’d be saving up and waiting for the S3, as the extra features will probably be worthwhile, but it’s not an easy choice – the S2 is going for some very good prices at the moment. If only it was black, it would make all the difference 😉
In an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace Canon had to make the successor to the S1 IS something more than a mere upgrade, and no one can deny they did just that, bringing improvements to virtually every aspect of the camera’s performance.
All-in-all I really like the PowerShot S2 and it gets my highest recommendation. I think the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 is more of a “photographers” camera with its sturdier construction, manual focus ring, and hot shoe, with the S2 being more of an all-around tool for still and video shooting.
If you’re looking for a good “all around” camera with great features, a long zoom lens, image stabilization, and a really excellent, well-integrated movie mode, all at an affordable price, there really isn’t another model on the market that’ll fill the bill the way the Canon S2 IS does. Highly recommended, and an easy “Dave’s Pick.”
The Canon PowerShot S2 IS takes the PowerShot S1 concept we examined precisely 1 year ago, and moves it to its next evolutionary level.