Monday, May 7, 2007

Choosing Digital zoom cam: Canon PowerShot S5 IS can fight with Sony DSC-H9 or H7; Canon, you really can?

Looking for Canon S5 IsTwo days ago my friend asked me what camera to buy for home and nature shooting. He has a dog, a wife and owns a beautiful house with a nice garden. On the hand he has $300-500 for a photo camera and does not have any idea what cam he wants. On the other hand I am a friend of his, an electronic devices fan. And I got an excellent chance to check my talent as the comparison shopper. For more look through: Canon SX100 IS as a Powershot S5 IS killer.
First of all I sent him to the superstore with one mission: to hold for some time all digital cameras which he can examine from salesmen. And before shop guys will see that my friend does not want to buy any cam he can test ‘hand grip’ of the most compacts, SLR-like cams and my favorite DSLRs.
More SLR-like camera's Comparison.
So here is his summary:
- A camera which is good for him must look like a photo-cam but not like a box of cigarettes. So we say “no” to ultra compacts.
- It is crazy as ‘The comparison shopper’ when you feel yourself like a pro and run through a forest with a huge SLR and a lot of telephoto lenses. Otherwise you only want to shoot your doggy. Here I advise he say good-bye to a SLR.
- Digital cam must suit your hand and can’t weigh more than a bottle of beer. And the thought of one kilogram Sony DSC-R1 dies.
- It’s not bad for a camera to have great lens from Schneider, Leica, Carl Zeiss or Canon;
- It’s not bad for lens to have 10x or more optical zoom;
- A handy camera needs a bid size and high resolution LCD monitor;
- Sensor must capture frames, as well as make high-quality prints up to 30x40 inches (76x102 cm). So let’s put the thought of sensors under 6 MP out of our heads.
- It must be worthy so much that if my dog (or wife) breaks it, it will not trouble me.
What can I say: he wants a digital camera such as the new Canon PowerShot S5 IS but for the price of Olympus SP-510 UZ. And I had to dive into the digital market. In one of my previous posts I already made ‘The summary table of the best SLR-like cameras specification’. But this situation demands extra information about a larger number of Digital zoom cameras.
First of all: who are the gamers in the field now? There is Kodak, Olympus, Canon, Fujifilm, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic which play in the ‘prime league’. Unfortunately, Nikon left it after 2004, finishing with producing two excellent models: Nikon Coolpix 8700 and 8800. And what do those ‘big photo-guys’ have in their baggage?
At the beginning of our choosing review I want to congratulate Canon fans waiting for the next generation Canon ultra zoom. Today they have announced the launch of Canon PowerShot S5 IS with eight megapixel 1/2.5" (5.8 x 4.3 mm) CCD sensor and a twelve times Image Stabilized zoom lens, unfortunately it still offers a long reach with its maximum 432 mm equivalent.
Canon PowerShot S5 IS specifications are:
- 8.0 effective megapixel CCD; max resolution 3264 x 2448
- F2.7-3.5, 12X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 36 - 432 mm
- Optical image stabilizer
- Flip-out, rotating 2.5" LCD display up from 2-inch on the S3 (down from 3-inch DSC- H9)
- Full manual controls; shutter speeds as fast as 1/3200 sec
- Face Detection / 9-point Auto focus
- Uses DIGIC III image processor, allowing for better photo quality, faster processing times, longer movies, Face Detection autofocus, and in-camera redeye reduction
- Hot shoe for external flash (new!)
- Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with stereo sound until 4GB file size limit is reached (takes about 32 min); optical zoom can be used during recording; camera can take a full resolution still photo while recording
- Supports optional conversion lenses
- SD/SDHC memory card slot
- Uses four AA batteries; 450 shots per charge using 2500 mAh NiMH rechargeable
- Weight without batteries 450 g
- Shipping in early July abt. $499
A complete range of optional accessories is available for the PowerShot S5 IS:
- Tele-converter 1.5x lens (TC-DC58B)
- Wide-converter 0.75x lens (WC-DC58A)
- Lens Adapter/Hood Set (LAH-DC20)
- Close-Up Lens 500D (58mm)
- Canon Speedlite flash units (220EX, 430EX, 580EX)
- High Power Flash HF-DC1
- Soft Case (DCC-90)
- Compact AC Power Adapter (CA-PS700)
- Battery and Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
I think it’s a good fighter among SLR-like ultra zoom cameras and we keep silent about Canon PowerShot S3 IS. Rotation display and optical image stabilization are really useful features and it’s Canon! Still it’s a good feature especially for travelers to use AA-batteries. Sometimes I had some problems with recharging my Nikon 8700’s EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion But into the jungle. And in the next journey to Koh Chang Archipelago I already took Canon PowerShot A95 with any kilo of AA-batteries (this photos I’m posting to my The Thai Tramp blog) because my son said ‘bye-bye’ to lovely Nikon.There is just one snag; all of it cost abt. five hundred dollars. When I say: ‘all of it’ I talk not only about Canon PowerShot S5 IS. In my opinion there are all of those photo-models, super-bikes and other marketing expensive features in camera price. Do you remember Mark Knopfler’s song: ‘Money for nothing’?
What does Sony have in order? There are two new models which announced two months ago: DSC-H7 and DSC-H9, which replace the oldest H2 and H5. The new models both sport 8.1 megapixel sensors with max resolution 3264 x 2448, HDTV output, 15x stabilized zooms and - in the case of the H9 – NightShot technology for, apparently, shooting in total darkness. They have Sony’s famous Super Steady Shot Image stabilization for Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 31-465mm (35mm equiv) lens and also have automatic face detection technology. DSC-H9 takes fast-action shooting a step further. It sports a 3-inch, flip-up LCD screen so that you can shoot comfortably from nearly any position. You can hold the camera low to the ground for eye-level shots of kids, without having had to contort yourself or crawl on the ground, or hold it high for shots in the crowd. The H7 camera has a non-articulating but large 2.5-inch LCD screen for easy sharing and viewing. Weight (inc. batteries): 440 g (15.5 oz) for H9 and 405 g (14.3 oz) for H7. It costs $390 and $479. A small chance for Canon S5 to be a winner, I think.
Moreover the DSC-H5 is not a bad ultra zoom with: 1/2.5 «7.2 MP sensor (max res. 3072 x 2304), 36 - 432 mm (12 xs) lens and Image stabilization system for $380. Although Canon PowerShot S3 IS with 6MP sensor (2816 x 2112) and 36 - 432 mm (12x) zoom lens you can buy for $300.
And what we have ‘in purchase’? First of all Sony DSC-H9 and DSC-H7 are being sold right now. Whereas, ‘Canon PowerShot S5 IS’ must appear only in July. On the other hand it can appear for less money than 5 hundred dollars.
But who knows! What can smart Sony-guys make in July? In any case Canon S5 can fight only with Sony H7. But it’s only my opinion.
For more information look at my latest posts:
- Choosing SLR-like’s compare Panasonic DMC-FZ8, Olympus SP-550 and Fujifilm IS-1/S9600. Good, expensive and very expensive.
- 7 best SLR-like’s specification table; Sony DSC-H5 as a cheap & clever choice.
- Canon PowerShot S5 IS’s pros and cons.
Apropos I'm not an enemy of Compact and SLR-like cameras. I have great pictures of Japan, Thailand sights and views and images of Turkish hamam, Finnish sauna, Russian banya and Japanese 'sento'. They all are taken by Nikon 8700, Canon Digital IXUS 750 , Canon PowerShoot A95 etc. Find more in my Banya vs. Sauna or Spa blog.
CMOS for the next Canon's SLR-likeCMOS for a new SONY ultrazoomMoreover there is some important news about Canon's etc. SLR-like cameras tendency in my next posts:
So far all my claims about SLR-like cameras such as well-known Canon PowerShot S5 IS were based on the small size of a sensor and, as a result, on a big image noise and low sensitivity. But recently I have learned from Reuters that Canon inc. is ready to invest $451 million for building a new CMOS production factory in Japan. The news about the future generation of low-cost Canon digital cameras makes me happy. It’s a progressive method to attack the modern digital market. For more look through Canon PowerShot with CMOS sensor: SLR-like vs. SLR or instead?
I was gratified by Canon’s success SLR-like and HD cams only for a day because now I know that Sony corp. will invest in CMOS sensors 5 billion Yen more than Canon. Beyond dispute, Canon’s SLR and compacts cameras and HD camcorders are well-known, but Sony’s sensors are used in many digital cameras, such as Nikon D200, D80, D40, Pentax SLRs etc. Therefore, appearance of new CMOS sensors by Sony can contribute more to the modern digital market. And maybe we can get new Sony’s SLR-like cameras such as DSC-H7, H9 etc. with large CMOS sensors as well as new great Nikon’s (or other mfrs.’) Coolpix. For more look at Canon vs. Sony: 5 billion more for better ultra-zoom with CMOS sensor.
As for a new SLR-like camera's tendency, we already have three new 18x zoom gadgets: FujiFilm S8000, Olympus SP550 and Panasonic FZ18 with the same as Canon S5' small sensor size. For more details look through Panasonic FZ18 vs. Fujifilm S8000 or Olympus SP-550; Compare 18x SLR-likes and Compare Fujifilm S8000 - nothing to S9100. In my opinion some mfrs. in chase of buyers can make a 30x zoom with 1/2.5 inch sensor. Do we really need it?
I collect info about all digital cameras. Tell me what you need and we will find the one together. Feel at ease at Comments directory.


JohnnyC said...

I also didn't know much about digital cameras. But I found a site which also has a great buying guide:

I recommend checking it out...

fototramp said...

Johnnik thanks. But there are so many sites in the Net such as your ‘cubalaya’ with taciturn formal information. I have more from photo-forums, shop girls and my own experience. In any case my friend already made his choice (with my help) and I’ll necessarily write about his new Ultra-zoom. I’ll be glad to see your opinion about any photo and video devices which you use.

Omar Al-Hassanin said...

Hi Alexander,
I read your article and I found it away 2 great, thanks for this post.
Any ways, I am about to but a camera and I am confused which one to but, the DSC-H7 or the S5 IS, I was going to buy the H7 but I read that it has a problem which results in Purple fringing and I did not know what is that so I logged to wikipedia and searched that, it was not good at all, and I found that all most all of the ultra zoom Digi-cameras have this problem, I am not an expert photographer as it appears from my comment, but I shoot a lot, I shoot people, nature scenes, all most any thing,so could you help me out please!
P.S: I am not a professional, but not a beginner 2.

fototramp said...

Hi Omar al-hassanin,
There is only one thing, which distinguishes you from pro photographer: he makes money (from shooting) where you take pleasure. And if you hesitate about any troubles as purple fringing before Digital camera buying, I think that SLR camera is more interesting for you, especially if you like to shoot people. Look at my previous posts: there are a lot of good devices such as Pentax K100D or 110D and Samsung’s GX-1S or GX-1L for $425-450. And there is my ‘loving’ Sony A100. She makes me happy when I’m shooting.
If you have other questions I’m be glad to help you.

tinnunculus said...

I think that the sony isnt that good,i more prefer the S5 with hot-shoe for connecting a professional flash in the night than the nightshot,which is only for kids to have fun imo. The longer zoom range probably causes even more abberations and distortion. The tilting and rotating display is more flexible than the tilting one. They are the same resolution,the larger one only takes the space needed by buttons.

Julia said...

I think that if you want to use professional flash or any pro gadgets you need a SLR cam. But SuberShot is really a cam 'which is only for kids to have fun imo'...sorry

fototramp said...

tinnunculus, a rotating display is useful to make first steps. Thanks to Nikon 8700 I used in Thailand (look into my Thai Tramp blog).When you shoot more often you cam becomes your third eye. And speedy shooting gets more important. There are no universal devices. Having SLR Sony A100 I also shoot with my old Canon PowerShot A95 especially in sauna (next blog about Sauna.

fototramp said...

Thanks julia, I also think so and my opinion about SLR-like cameras as strange kind of photo devices I have already written in my previous post 'The summary table of the best SLR-like camera specification'.

Omar Al-Hassanin said...

Hi Alexander
It is me again, Omar; well about that money thing, I do not make money from shooting, I just do it as a hobby or as it makes me happy, and I am not a professional at all, I could be like intermediate photographer, and btw I can not afford to buy a SLR camera, it is 2 expensive and 2 professional for me. I shoot people as documentary stuff, like our days in the college, so it is not a pose photograph, I am more snapping photos than taking shots and poses.
Any ways I will try to post you some images I took earlier, just to make you see the whole picture in here.
Sorry for the long comments, and I am very glad and thankful for your tips they are wicked cool!

fototramp said...

Hi Omar
I'm glad to see you again. You are wrong about SLR: it’s not so difficult to shooting with (H5’s manual is still huge); there are some SLR cams abt. four hundreds, especially older models (Nikon D50, Canon 300, Konika-Minolta etc.). SLR accessories are more expensive but you can buy it later. But for shooting faces, people and animals (such as my crazy cat) it’s more important to have speedy device. In other hand I was shooting with canon’s compact A95 one time in Thailand and had good pictures.
I’m waiting for your photos and next (long!) comment.

Father John said...

Good review. thx. I take many pictures of people, animals, plants, scenery. I want a good camera with 8+ MP, 10+ zoom, and good quality. SLR is not good for the dry, dusty desert here (Arizona). I took 35mm film SLR through the Grand Canyon on a raft and had to clean dirt and dust and grime after the trip. Swapping lenses is not for me. I like the S5 because I have a Powershot S45 I have used and I like Canon. But is the H7 really better for me? Thanks.

fototramp said...

Thanks for your good reply, Father John
But DSLR is good even for crazy Thailand’s atmosphere, though dusty desert is as harmful as a rain forest. Apropos I have Canon PoverShot A70 as my second camera too and I like Canon. Still and all I have chosen Sony A100 for good price and great features: such as anti-shake (I already wrote about in my blog). I think it’s hard to turn to SLR-like after 35mm SLR. You may get much more interested in Pentax K10D or Samsung GX1 with weatherproof seals. As for Canon S5 and Sony H7 comparison, they are quite similar (and great) devices which can give you more various features than you need. Unluckily, they are not the same as DSLR advantages. It’s good to hold and test each camera for some time for final decision, to make the right choice. You can find more details in my 7 best SLR-like’s specification table; Sony DSC-H5 as a cheap & clever choice.
Can you send me some your Grand Canyon photos for my blog? It’ll make me happy!

Orange said...

The primary reason that I'm looking at these "SLR like" cameras instead of a real SLR is that most college and pro sporting events do not allow cameras with removable lenses into the stadium without a press pass.

The primary reasons I'm waiting on the S5 over going ahead and buying the Sony now are that I have owned a Powershot S4 for a few years now and am comfortable with the Canon controls. Also, the movie modes of the Canon seem to be superior. Having the ability to take pics while in movie mode is a definite plus. Lastly, I've been told by several people that the Canon's image stabilization is better than Sony's at this stage.

Those may or may not be good reasons to go that route, but they seem logical to me.

fototramp said...

Thanks for your reply. Your reasons are quite important for my blog. I hope you can find much interesting information about Canon S5 in my next post: Canon PowerShot S5 IS’s pros and cons. I'm looking forward to receiving your remarks after buying and testing S5. Good luck.

Michael said...

Hi guys. I red every comment here and it was educating. Although I disagree about beginner using SLR.
I am a beginner and I do take many pictures - people, streets, nature, kids. For a few years I have used Canon S1 IS and it worked great for my needs. Then my wife suggested that we buy a compact camera. So, I did a research and bought a Casio Exilim Z1000 (10Mp). It works great but, I am limited to distance. Also, in low light areas Casio is not as good as my S1 IS. So, now I am looking to buy a new super zoom camera. I am considering Canon S5 IS. Any objections or suggestions are welcomed.
Now, I red all comments about S5 IS and new Sony H9. I would not buy Sony for simple fact - their memory. I am so used to SD memory and now if I switch to Sony I’d have to buy a very expensive (compare to price of SD) Sony memory stick.
Where with new S5IS I will get 8MP, LCD almost as large as Casio's and I would not have to buy new memory cards.
About SLRs....I thought about it and is a little too complicated for me, I mean a raw image(what is it?), all settings and a lenses swaps(where lenses are more expensive than camera itself)...If anybody can, please explain to me why SLR is better than say S5 IS for a regular user as myself.
Sorry for a long comment but it is hard to express an opinion in just a few lines.

fototramp said...

Hi Michael
Thanks for your letter. The longer your comment the better I understand your problem. As for Canon S5 I posted Canon PowerShot S5 IS’s pros and cons where I attached your attention in detail to well-known old S3's features (lens and image stabilizer) in the new PowerShot S5.
As for SLR I'd recommend to test this device borrowing it from a friend for a few days or taking pictures in the store. Your personal feelings and your excitement trying speed shooting etc. mean more than all my works and other advice.
If you are worried about lens prices personally I use $220 tele with great enjoyment.
Your further questions are welcome.

rafer said...

I do not compare Canon S5 with my SLR Canon 400D. It is outstanding. I compare it with Olympus cameras I've had before. They are about the same quality level. I bought the S5 for its movable display and its good video function. The movie function is really good.

Julia said...

I also wrote about my personal experience with Canon S5. I think that it’s not good to compare this ultra-zoom with any SLRs such as Canon EOS400 or Olympus 410. Canon S5 is handy but every modern SLR can more…

fototramp said...

Unfortunately it's better to compare SLR-like with Compact because it has the same sensor size and as a result -- the same picture quality. SLR-like camera only looks like SLR but really it is a compact with bigger lens.

chief said...

I would take a look at the Sony H7 which is similar to the S5, but has a lot more to offer at a cheaper price and the same LCD size-pixels as the S5.

fototramp said...

To chief
It's better to look at the Sony H-3.
Compare 10x SLR-likes: Sony DSC-H3, Panasonic TZ2 vs Canon SX100.

Martin said...

Good Job! :)

Anonymous said...

Have you heard any rumbling about the “next generation” to the Canon PowerShot S5 IS…

retouching said...

Hi. This article is likeable and your blog is very interesting, congratulations!!