We bought an S2 for J to use in our coming Europe trip (yeah!), because she finds the picture quality from her S230 too inferior compared to my Digital Rebel (what da ya expect). In one of the European travel websites we found this guy Luc making really nice pictures, and he said he just bought an S2, so we got one too. The 12x zoom can save me from changing lenses when using my new 24-70 L and 50 fixed.

The new S3 doesn’t seem too much of an upgrade from S2, S2 is a nice S1 upgrade, and S1 was a much waited Pro90 IS upgrade, and Pro90 is my first digital camera bought in 2000. Life comes full circle 🙂 A comparison of major features of the Pro90 line, with my current 300D and dream 5D:

Pro90 IS

S1

S2

S3

300D

5D
Date

2001-01

2004-02

2005-04

2006-02

2003-08

2005-08
Pixel (million)

2.6

3.2

5

6

6.3

12.7
Sensor size (mm, inch)

7.18×5.32

5.27×3.96 1/2.7″

5.76×4.29 1/2.5″

5.76×4.29 1/2.5″

22.7×15.1

36×24
Zoom and 35mm-eq

10x (37-370)

10x (38-380)

12x (36-432)

12x (36-432)
Aperture

2.8/3.5-8

2.8/3.1-8

2.7/3.5-8

2.7/3.5-8
Shutter

1/1000-8

1/2000-15

1/3200-15

1/3200-15

1/4000-30, bulb

1/8000-30, bulb
Continuous drive (fps, max)

0.6, 5

1.7, 24

2.4, no

1.5/2.3, no

2.5, 4

3, 60
LCD size (mm)

1.8

1.5

1.8

2.0

1.8

2.5
Weight (g, incl battery)

680

469

505

510

645

895

Here’re some nice features on S2 that I didn’t know it has:

  • MF-point zoom: in MF, when adjusting focus point, the focus block is magnified. Otherwise it’s really hard to get precise focus in the tiny focus block in the small LCD.
  • Flash sync: 1st-curtain or 2nd-curtain. I heard of front/back curtain, which is the same thing, whether flash when shutter just opens or is about to close. It makes a big difference in slow synchro, e.g. if you shoot a moving car at night, 1st-curtain makes the headlight trail goes in front of the car, which is weird, so you’d use 2nd-curtain.
  • Shortcut button: there’s one button where you can assign to a variety of functions, including very useful ones like ISO and AE Lock. Even my DRebel doesn’t have this (the hacked firmware provides it).
  • Video zoom: together with 640×480 30fps and stereo mic and no time limit, it’s perfect for our travel video clips. 7min fills up 1GB, though.
  • Take picture during video shoot: the video will be blacked out briefly, but you won’t miss a still picture opportunity while shooting video.
  • It has a speaker so you can hear audio during video playback. Also you can put any audio file on SD for playback during self-timer. It’s also for voice annotation but I don’t feel that’s useful.

Now if only it has GPS!

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