Canon Powershot S50 Review

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Canon Powershot S50


Full review posted 04/04/03


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon Powershot S50
Click to take a QTVR tour of the S50


The Powershot S50 is the "big brother" of the 4.0 megapixel PowerShot S45 and is aimed at the advanced user who wants full photographic control in a compact digital camera. The S50 is the first 5.0 megapixel PowerShot camera and features a high-resolution 3X f/2.8 optical zoom lens and a compact, silver or black aluminum exterior. The S50 employs Canon's exclusive "DIGIC" Imaging Processor to help improve overall image quality and increase processing speed.

Other features include a full range of exposure modes; Program AE with Shift, Shutter speed-priority, Aperture-priority, Full Manual, AE Bracketing and a host of pre-programmed "Image Zone" modes. A 9-Point AiAF autofocus system with manual focus option, nine White Balance settings, three selectable metering modes, multi-mode flash with selectable Second-Curtain sync modes and an improved Movie Mode that captures clips up to 3 minutes in length with sound.

Even when the camera is set to record images in one of the JPEG settings, the PowerShot S50 allows the captured image to be saved as a RAW file after it is recorded. This feature can be accessed at any time during the Review period immediately after the image is captured, and is particularly useful when the white balance or other planned effects were not obtained, or when resolution, contrast, saturation or sharpening needs to be modified in the execution of the final image. RAW images can be processed after storage by means of the bundled software.

The S50 provides users with a simple and effective way of creating very high-quality prints without the need for a computer. The camera can be directly connected to the optional Card Photo Printer CP-100 as well as several Bubble Jet Direct Photo Printers including the S830D and S530D.


Powershot S50 Features:

  • 5-megapixel CCD with RGB primary color filters
  • Image sizes of 2592x1944, 1600x1200, 1024x768 and 640x480
  • JPEG compressed and Canon raw image format
  • Canon 3x optical f/2.8-4.9 zoom lens (35-105mm in 35mm format)
  • 1.8-inch color LCD viewfinder/monitor
  • ISO settings of Auto, 50, 100, 200 or 400
  • Shutter speeds from 15 secs to 1/1500
  • Noise reduction for 1.3 sec or longer time exposures
  • Program AE (with Program Shift), Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual.
  • Image Zone modes: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast Shutter, Slow Shutter, Stitch Assist and Movie.
  • Movie capture with sound, 15fps @ 320x240 or 160x120 up to 3 minutes
  • Exposure Metering: Center-Weighted Average, Spot, and Evaluative
  • Manual focus with distance readout and the portion of the image covered by the active focusing point is enlarged while focusing.
  • AF assist focusing illuminator for dim to dark environments
  • User-selectable exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, auto exposure bracketing and white balance
  • Playback histogram function with over-exposure warning
  • CompactFlash Type II slot compatible with Microdrives
  • Canon NB-2L lithium rechargeable battery pack

The Canon Powershot S50 is fully compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X as well as earlier versions of each operating system. It comes with ZoomBrowser EX 4.0 (for Windows) and ImageBrowser 2.7 (for Mac); PhotoRecord 1.6 (Windows only); PhotoStitch 3.1, Apple QuickTime 5.0, CP-100 Print Driver 2.1, Acrobat Reader 4.0, File Viewer Utility 1.0, and RemoteCapture 2.6 (for Windows and Mac). RemoteCapture enables the USB-connected S50 to be controlled by a compatible personal computer.

The Powershot S50 is available now with a street price of $699.





Physical Views



Canon Powershot S50

Canon Powershot S50

Canon Powershot S50

Canon Powershot S50 Canon Powershot S50

Canon Powershot S50

Canon Powershot S50



Canon Powershot S50

The Powershot S50 compared in size to a CD.



Canon Powershot S50

The Powershot S50 and the compact Sony DSC-P72.









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Canon Powershot S50 Specifications

Effective pixels: Approx. 5 million
Image sensor: 1/1.8 inch CCD (Total number of pixels: approx. 5.3 million)
Lens: 7.1 (W)-21.3 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent 35-105 mm)
F2.8(W) -4.9 (T)
Digital tele-converter: Max. approx. 4.1x
Optical viewfinder: Real-image zoom viewfinder, picture coverage = approx. 82%
LCD monitor: 1.8-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, picture coverage = 100%
Autofocus method: TTL 9 point AiAF (1 point measurement is possible) Focus lock and Manual focus are available
Shooting distance:
(from tip of the lens barrel)
Normal AF: 50 cm (1.6 ft.) - infinity
Macro AF: 10 cm (W)/ 30 cm (T) - 50 cm
(3.9 in. (W)/ 11.8 in. (T) - 1.6 ft.)
Manual focus: 10 cm (W)/ 30 cm (T) - infinity
(3.9 in. (W)/ 11.8 in. (T) - infinity)
Shutter: Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter speeds: 15 - 1/1500 sec.
1.3 sec. or more shutter is available in Shutter-Priority mode or Manual mode
Slow shutter speeds of 15-1.3 sec. operates with noise reduction
Light metering system: Evaluative metering, Center-weighted average metering, Spot metering (Center or AF Point)
Exposure control method: Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE or Manual exposure control
AE lock is available
Exposure compensation: +/- 2.0EV in 1/3-stop increments
Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) is available
Sensitivity
(equivalent film speed):
Auto, ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200 and ISO 400 equivalent
White balance: TTL auto white balance, preset white balance (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H or Flash) or Custom white balance (Custom 1 / Custom 2)
Flash: Auto, On, Off
Red-eye reduction On: Red-eye reduction auto / Red-eye reduction
On / flash Off
Red-eye reduction Off: On / Off
Flash range: (When sensitivity is set to AUTO)
35 cm - 4.8 m (1.1 ft. - 15.7 ft.) (W),
35 cm - 3 m (1.15 ft. - 9.8 ft.) (T)
(When sensitivity is set to ISO 100 equivalent)
55 cm - 4 m (1.8 ft. - 13.1 ft.) (W),
55 cm - 2.5 m (1.8 ft. - 8.2 ft.) (T)
Flash exposure compensation: +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments, FE lock is available
Shooting modes: Auto
Creative zone: Program, Shutter Speed Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual and Custom
Image zone: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast Shutter, Slow Shutter, Stitch Assist and Movie
Continuous shooting: High-Speed continuous shooting: Approx. 2.0 image/sec.
Standard continuous shooting: Approx. 2.0 image/sec.
(Large/Fine mode with LCD viewfinder off)
Self-timer: Approx. 2 sec./10 sec. shutter release delay
PC-connected shooting: Available (USB connection only. Use the supplied software RemoteCapture.)
Storage media: CompactFlashTM (CF) card (Type I and Type II)
File format: Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF-compliant
Image recording format:
Still images JPEG (Exif 2.2)* or RAW
Movies AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG, Audio data: WAVE [monaural])
JPEG compression mode: Super fine, Fine or Normal
Number of recording pixels:
Still images
Large 2592 x 1944 pixels
Medium 1 1600 x 1200 pixels
Medium 2 1024 x 768 pixels
Small 640 x 480 pixels
Movies
320 x 240 pixels (Approx. 3 min.)**
160 x 120 pixels (Approx. 3 min.)**
Approx. 15 frames/second

** The data in parentheses refer to the maximum movie length per shooting
Replay modes: Single (Histogram displayable), Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor)
Slide Show
Sound annotations (up to 60 sec.)
Image output to Card Photo Printer CP-100 / CP-10 and Bubble Jet Printer with the direct print function
My Camera Settings (Customizing): The Start-up Image, Start-up Sound, Shutter Sound, Operation
(customizing): Sound and Selftimer Sound can be customized using the following methods.
  1. Using the images and sounds recorded on the camera.
  2. Using downloaded data from your computer using the supplied software.
Interface: Universal Serial Bus (USB) (Normal or PTP selectable), Audio/Video Output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source:
  1. Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (type: NB-2L) (supplied)
  2. AC Adapter kit ACK 700 (optional)
  3. Car Battery Charger Kit CBC-NB2 (Optional)
Operating temperatures: 0 - 40°C (32 - 104°F)
Operating humidity: 10 - 90 %
Dimensions (w x h x d): 112 x 58 x 42 mm (4.41 x 2.28 x 1.65 in.)
excluding protrusions
Weight: Approx. 260 g (9.2 oz.) (camera body only)


The Canon Powershot S50 kit includes:



  • Powershot S50 Body (silver or black)
  • Wrist Strap WS-300
  • Battery Pack NB-2L (with Terminal Cover)
  • Battery Charger CB-2LT
  • CompactFlash Card FC-32M (32MB, with Case)
  • AV Cable AVC-DC100
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
  • Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk (CD-ROM)
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite Disk (CD-ROM)






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