ReviewGist Report for Canon PowerShot S5
The Canon PowerShot S5 IS reached retailers' shelves in the summer of 2007. This standard Point and Shoot is on offer for the flexibility, lightness and affordability that a compact usually provides to casual picture-takers and hobbyists.
Here's a summary of the camera's features that will tell you why the manufacturer thinks it is special. But over and above the manufacturer's statements what you need to make an informed purchase is a gist of reviews that present you both the pros and cons. That's why this report also includes precise extracts of opinions from ImagingResource, ZDNet, DigitalCameraReview, Cameras.co.uk and 30 other technical experts.
What the Manufacturer Says
According to the manufacturer, the Canon S5 IS is a 8.3 Megapixel, Point and Shoot Camera sporting a 2.5 in. LCD Screen, 12x Optical Zoom, and weighing just under a pound, complete with video capability.
One of Canon's loudest talking points is what the company calls the "brain" of the new PowerShot camera - DIGIC III Image Processor supposed to be a gold standard in all Canon digital models. This is the biggest reason behind the S5 IS's superior performance including Faster start up, faster autofocus and quicker shutter response times, claims Canon. Also claimed is that the design of the DIGIC III chip results in improved image quality besides offering extra-efficient power management.
The company's press release also notes the PowerShot S5 IS digital camera's 12x ultra-zoom lens which is capable of optical focal length range of 36 - 432 mm (35mm film equivalent). That range, Canon says, is covered quickly and quietly by the use of an ultrasonic motor (USM) drive that always forms part of Canon's high-end autofocus SLR lenses. This zoom range in turn necessitates optical image stabilization (OIS) that counters camera shake. OIS, says Canon, is better than electronic image stabilization systems that apparently use software to mask movement. So great images and smooth movies result, even when the camera is hand-held or in low light conditions.
Additional noteworthy features of the Canon S5 IS include -
- Face Detection technology including Face Detection autofocus (AF), Face Detection auto exposure (AE) and Face Detection flash exposure (FE)
- In-camera Red-eye Correction
- Print / Share button for easy direct printing and downloading
- "Auto ISO Shift" feature to increase the ISO speed setting for flash-less shooting in low light.
- 22 shooting modes from fully automatic to fully manual, and special scene settings
- MovieSnap feature to allow users to capture high-resolution stills any time during the movie.
What the Reviews Say
Image output at low ISO (80 / 100 / 200) from the Canon S5 IS is quite noise-free, The camera's faithful reproduction of colors and hues has caught the attention of experts like ImagingResource, DCRP and Cameras.co.uk. That the 'auto' setting allows the user to get great images over a wide range of ambient conditions speaks well for this Canon model, writes DigitalCameraReview. Quite understandably, several experts have noted the noise that creeps in at higher ISO settings.
Canon is likely to be proud of the fact that video output from the S5 IS is quite good, as several reviewers like NeoCamera and DCRP have appreciated the movie mode as superb and top-notch. That this model includes special high speed movie mode and unusual stereo sound adds to its attraction. Also, the optical zoom capability while filming, that too by a noiseless USM motor appears quite welcome among critics like CameraLabs.
The 12.0x zoom has been well-received, and merits the Canon S5 IS accolades from plenty of quarters, so much so that DPExpert and smh.co.au, among others, term it as 'one of the best of the pseudo SLR super zooms'. Focus speeds, choice of exposure settings and the variety of flash options have also received several nods. A couple of reviewers, notably CNet, however, have chosen to mention the somewhat loose lens cap, as well as the lens aberrations and vignetting tendencies.
The large and bright LCD display of the Canon S5 IS that flips and twists open definitely contributes positively to this Point and Shoot's plus points, notes ZDNet. The menu structure with its combination of handy setting likewise gets the model a pat on the back from DPExpert and CameraLabs. On the other hand, the reviewer writing for LuminousLandscape, is unimpressed by the small-sized buttons and the picture-to-picture speed that is termed 'tolerable' at best.
As with other siblings in the Canon S-series that come with 12x zoom lenses, this model's biggest favorable point is the ultra-zoom capability. More so, since the long-zoom includes image stabilization that allows for near-unbeatable versatility. The stellar movie modes, packed features and the near SLR-styling have all contributed to considerable success of the S-series, and S5 IS is projected as a notable member of this family, with its 8.3 megapixel resolution and the agile 2.5-inch LCD monitor.
One can confidently recommend the S5 to anyone who is keen on an ultra zoom point and shoot. For its size and price, the S5 IS is slated to be an extremely handy tool for pros. It is predicted to serve them well where the bigger DSLRs would be a no-go, once the user becomes familiar with what to expect as regards the image output.
The S5 IS is also recommended as a very useful companion for amateurs who are nowhere close to affording a full-fledged DSLR, despite the fact that this camera is 2007 vintage. If you are serious about a more recent model, then be sure to check out both Canon G12 Standard Point and Shoot and the Canon S95 Compact, especially since they are priced a little lower than the S5 IS.