Canon Powershot S5 IS Review

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Canon Powershot S5 IS


Review posted 7/19/2007


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon S5 IS
Click to take a QTVR tour of the S5 IS


The PowerShot S5 IS is the successor to last year's 6-megapixel PowerShot S3 IS digital camera. This new compact inherits many of the features of its predecessors, like optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, professional-grade optics and extensive movie functions while introducing a host of new features designed to increase the photographer's success rate.

Powered by Canon's DIGIC III image processor, Face Detection Technology improves focus, exposure and flash output for people shots while the new Red-Eye Correction feature effectively solves red-eye problems in captured photos. An increased sensitivity range of ISO 80-1600 complements the optical IS system for extended low light performance.

Other key advancements include a larger, higher resolution 2.5" vari-angle LCD, additional shooting modes and extended video recording. The compact design incorporates a new hot shoe that provides compatibility with selected Canon EX Speedlite external flashes2, adding to an accessory list that includes Wide, Tele and Close-up converter lenses.

Benefiting from Canon's 70 year heritage in optics, the 12x optical zoom lens (f/2.7 - f/3.5, 36-432mm) incorporates the same leading technologies used in professional EF lenses:

  • Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology suppresses blur when taking stills and minimizes image shake when shooting video footage. Canon's lens-shift type IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur.
  • An Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) delivers rapid, responsive zooming with virtually silent operation, reducing the risk of sound interference on movies and or when shooting wildlife subjects.
  • An Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element curbs chromatic aberrations at longer focal lengths to ensure faithful colour reproduction and sharp definition.

Optional Wide and Tele converter lenses extend the focal length from a wide 27mm extreme to super-tele 648mm (35mm film equivalent). A Super Macro mode with 0cm shooting distance and optional Close-Up lens 500D (58mm) allow for detailed macro photography. Safety Zoom3 allows users to extend the camera's zoom range without interpolation affecting image quality - images can be captured at up to 24x zoom with enough resolution for lab-quality postcard (10 x 15cm) prints. Photographers can also enable the Digital Tele-Converter3 feature for added telephoto reach (1.6x or 2.0x) on every shot, without the reduction in aperture typically caused by optical tele-converters.

Responding to user feedback, the vari-angle LCD has been increased from 2.0" to 2.5" as well as screen resolution is sharper at 207k pixels. The LCD can be twisted in any direction to allow shooting from awkward positions - such as waist height or with the camera held above the head.

When flash photography takes users beyond the abilities of the built-in unit, the new hot shoe gives them the option of using an external EX Speedlite flash or slave flash setup to achieve naturalistic or dramatic lighting effects.

In addition to Face Detection in movies, the PowerShot S5 IS retains a dedicated movie button so that users can instantly record without having to switch from stills shooting mode - ideal for catching those once-off moments. A new Long Play mode significantly extends recording time for VGA quality movies while maintaining a smooth 30fps frame rate. Stereo sound recording for audio files and movies is now adjustable to 64 levels, and includes a wind noise filter for clear, crisp sound quality. The convenient Photo In Movie feature enables the capture of full resolution stills during movie recording.

Canon's DIGIC III processor introduces several new features engineered to return better photos, more easily. Face Detection AF/AE/FE automatically detects up to nine faces within a scene and optimizes focus, exposure and flash output accordingly. The system performs accurately with large groups and when subjects are distant or move within the frame. Unique to the PowerShot S5 IS, Face Detection AF/AE can also be activated when recording movies, with focus and exposure continuously adjusted for moving subjects. Because the technology is hardware-based, it operates at the same rapid speed as Canon's standard AiAF.

Canon also enhanced the 'My Colors' mode found in the PowerShot line. Where previously, users could only enable 'My Colors' while shooting, the current iteration permits captured images to be retouched as well, without the need for special software applications or tools. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red; lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects.

Like all PowerShot digital cameras, the PowerShot S5 IS digital camera works seamlessly with Canon's petite SELPHY Compact Photo Printers - an essential PowerShot accessory. Consumers simply connect their S5 IS digital camera to a SELPHY printer - such as the SELPHY CP510 and CP710 models. Press the lighted Print/Share button, and within seconds , images emerge. Presto! It is that simple. Canon's SELPHY Compact Photo Printers are PictBridge compatible. They work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras and offer excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera. At 28 cents-per-print , printing photos directly from a digital camera is both easy and affordable.


Powershot S5 IS Features:

  • 8-Megapixel CCD for images up to 3264 x 2448
  • Canon 12x zoom (36-432mm equiv.) with Optical Image Stabilization
  • Super Macro closeup focus to 0 inches!
  • Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for HDTV display
  • Articulated 2.5-inch Vari-angle color LCD flips forward and rotates 270°
  • Program AE, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, full Manual
  • Image zone modes: Portrait, Landscape, Night scene and Stitch assist
  • Interval shooting and Exposure and Focus Bracketing
  • Movie w/stereo sound, 640x480 or 320x240, 30fps or 15fps
  • Shutter speeds from 15 secs to 1/3200 sec in Manual mode.
  • Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (Center or AF-point)
  • High-speed 1.5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Up to 60-second sound memos for still images
  • Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation is adjustable
  • ISO sensitivity: Auto, High ISO Auto or 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 presets
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Fill, Red-eye reduction and Slow-sync modes
  • New flash hot shoe for using Canon EX Speedlites
  • SD/SDHC/MMC memory card compatible, 32MB included
  • Powered by four standard AA type batteries
  • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed data transfer to host computer
  • PictBridge and Canon Direct Print compatible


The PowerShot S5 IS digital camera is available now for an estimated selling price of US$399.99.

Physical Views



Canon Powershot S5 IS

Canon Powershot S5 IS

Canon Powershot S5 IS

Canon Powershot S5 IS

Canon Powershot S5 IS

Canon Powershot S5 IS





Canon Powershot S5 IS

The Powershot S5 IS and a standard CD for size comparison






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Powershot S5 IS Specifications

Type of Camera
Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 12x Optical/4x Digital/48x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) System
Image Capture Device
Type
8.0 Megapixel, 1/2.5 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Total Pixels
Approx. 8.3 Megapixels
Effective Pixels
Approx. 8.0 Megapixels
Lens
Focal Length
6.0-72.0mm f/2.7-3.5 (35mm film equivalent: 36-432mm)
Digital Zoom
4x
Focusing Range
Normal: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity (WIDE), 3.0 ft./90cm-infinity (TELE)
Macro: 3.9 in.-1.6 ft./10-50cm (W)
Super Macro: 0-3.9 in./0-10cm (W)
Autofocus System
TTL Autofocus
Viewfinder & Monitor
Viewfinder
0.33-inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD electronic viewfinder
LCD Monitor
2.5-inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD screen, Vari-angle type with wide viewing angle
LCD Pixels
Approx. 207,000 pixels
LCD Coverage
100%
Aperture and Shutter
Maximum Aperture
f/2.7 (W) - f/3.5 (T)
Shutter Speed
15-1/3200 sec. (settable in Tv and M)
Exposure Control
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, High ISO Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600 (Standard Output Sensitivity. Recommended Exposure Index)
Light Metering Method
Evaluative*, Center-weighted average, Spot**
* Control to incorporate facial brightness in Face Detection AF
** Metering frame is fixed to the center
Exposure Control Method
Program AE, Shutter Speed-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Manual; AE Lock available
Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
White Balance
White Balance Control
Auto, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash), Custom
Flash
Built-in Flash
Auto, Auto w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On w/Red-eye Reduction, Flash Off; FE lock, Safety FE available
Flash Range
Normal: 1.6-17 ft./50cm-5.2m (W), 3.0-13 ft./90cm-4.0m (T)
Macro: 1-1.6 ft./30-50cm (W) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)
Recycling Time
12 sec. or less (battery voltage=6.0V)
Flash Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Shooting Specifications
Shooting Modes
Auto; Creative: P, Av, Tv, M, C; Image: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Indoor, Night Scene, Color Accent, Color Swap), Night Snapshot, Super Macro, Stitch Assist, Movie
Self-Timer
Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./10-sec. delay, Custom
Wireless Control
Not available
Continuous Shooting
Approx. 1.5 fps; AF/LV: approx. 0.9 fps
Image Storage
Storage Media
SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
File Format
Design rule for camera file system, DPOF Version 1.1
JPEG Compression Mode
Still Image: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movie: AVI (Image: Motion JPEG; Audio: WAVE (Stereo))
Number of Recording Pixels
Still Image: 640 x 480 (Small), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3), 2,048 x 1,536 (Medium 2), 2,592 x 1,944 (Medium 1), 3,264 x 2,448 (Large), 3,264 x 1,832 (Widescreen)
Movie: 640 x 480 (30 fps/30 fps LP), 320 x 240 (60 fps/30 fps) available up to 4GB or 60 minutes
Number of Recordable Images
  Small/N Small/F Small/SF Medium3/N Medium3/F Medium3/SF Medium2/N
File Size 84KB 150KB 249KB 278KB 558KB 1,002KB 445KB
32MB 270 171 111 99 52 29 64
SDC-128M 1,118 711 460 411 217 121 269
SDC-512MSH 4,317 2,747 1,777 1,590 839 471 1,041
  Medium2/F Medium2/SF Medium1/N Medium1/F Medium1/SF Large/N Large/F
File Size 893KB 1,602KB 695KB 1,395KB 2,503KB 980KB 2,060KB
32MB 32 18 41 20 11 29 14
SDC-128M 136 76 173 87 49 123 59
SDC-512MSH 529 295 671 339 190 479 231
  Large/SF Widescreen/N Widescreen/F Widescreen/SF
File Size 3,436KB 736KB 1,540KB 2,601KB
MMC-16MB 8 39 18 11
SDC-128M 35 166 79 47
SDC-512MSH 139 642 307 183
Time of Recordable Movies
  640 x 480 320 x 240
30 fps 30 fps 60 fps 60 fps
File Size 2,006KB/sec. 1,046KB/sec. 1,406KB/sec. 746KB/sec.
32MB 13" 25" 19" 34"
SDC-128M 58" 1' 48" 1' 21" 2' 24"
SDC-512MSH 3' 48" 6' 59" 5' 17" 9' 19"

Note: N=Normal F=Fine SF=SuperFine
Storage Capacity varies depending on camera settings. This data is estimated from Canon's standard shooting conditions. Figures for Movie Mode represent total capacity of the particular media.

Playback Specifications
Playback Modes File
Still Image: Single, Magnification (approx. 2x-10x), Jump, Auto Rotate, Rotate, Resume, My Colors, My Category, Histogram, Index (9 thumbnails), Sound Memos, Slide Show, Red-eye Correction
Movie: Normal Playback, Special Playback, Editing, Auto Rotate, Resume
Erasing Specifications
Erase Modes
Still Image: single image, select by date, select by category, select by folder, all images
Movie: part of movie, all of movie
Interfaces
Computer Interface
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B jack)
Video Out
NTSC/PAL
Audio Out
Stereo
Other
Memory card slot; direct connection to Canon CP and SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, PIXMA Photo Printers and PictBridge-compatible printers via camera's USB 2.0 Hi-Speed cable
Power Supply
Power Source
1. AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4)
2. Rechargeable AA-size NiMH Battery (x4)
3. Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700
Shooting Capacity
Still Image: approx. 170 shots (AA-size Alkaline Battery); approx. 450 shots (AA-size NiMH Battery)*
Playback Time
Approx. 12 hours (AA-size Alkaline Battery); approx. 15 hours (AA-size NiMH Battery)*

* LCD screen on. The above figures comply with CIPA testing standards and apply when fully-charged batteries are used.

Physical Specifications
Operating Temperature
32-104°F/0-40°C
Operating Humidity
10-90%
Dimensions (W x H x D)
4.60 x 3.15 x 3.06 in./117.0 x 80.0 x 77.7mm
Weight
Approx. 15.9 oz./450g (camera body only)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)


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