(Mobilemag) The era of the two-in-one camera for capturing vacations, birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations, baby’s first steps or any other family function or momentous milestone has arrived thanks to Canon and the all new PowerShot S1 IS digital camera. Indeed, capturing moving video memories of special occasions is no longer a reason for compromise when it comes to image resolution, sound reproduction and movie “clip” duration from a digital camera.
Canon’s new PowerShot S1IS digital camera offers 10x zoom, optical Image Stabilization technology, and the ability to capture 640 x 480 high-res movies at up to 30 frames per second for an estimated selling price of $499.
“With this new PowerShot S1 IS digital camera, Canon pushes the optical imaging envelope as consumers enjoy the quality of a digital still camera with video capabilities substantially enhanced over other digital cameras,” stated Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc, a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). “At the same time, the camera’s 10x zoom combined with Canon’s advanced Image Stabilization system gives still photographers greater flexibility and stability for long-range, hand-held telephoto shooting.”
Unlike other digital cameras with short duration movie mode features that capture a clip ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the resolution, the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera captures full 640 x 480 high-res movies at up to 30 frames per second, ensuring smooth video motion. What’s more, individual movie clips can now last as long as one hour depending on the capacity of the memory card or the charge in the battery.
Hashimoto emphasized that the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera equipped with a fast, one-gigabyte compact flash card — now readily available and easily affordable in the digital marketplace — will record a solid-hour of continuous movies. Additionally, the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera is compatible with Type 1 and Type II CF cards up to and over 2GB in size, making its movie capture capability “virtually unlimited for all practical purposes.”
The movie mode enhancements also include the ability to zoom and change auto exposure and auto white balance settings during a movie clip. They feature enhanced 16 bit sound quality with 22 KHz sampling frequency (double that of any other PowerShot camera model in movie mode) and an easily accessed movie start/stop button on the back of the camera are impressive advances, the PowerShot S1 IS is first and foremost, a Canon digital camera.
With its 3.2 megapixel CCD imaging sensor and exclusive DIGIC image processor, the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera provides the high quality resolution, color and low noise consumers have come to expect from Canon digital technology starting with the fast f/2.8-3.1 image stabilized 10x zoom lens (38-380mm equivalent) that makes tack-sharp long telephoto shooting positively practical. When the optical zoom is augmented with the camera’s 3.2x digital zoom, the range effectively becomes the equivalent to a 1,216mm lens. Despite its extensive optical range, the lens is ultra-compact and retracts securely into the camera when it is powered down.
Renowned for the virtuosity and quality of its “glass,” Canon designed the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera’s lens with 11 elements including one aspherical element to reduce size and weight and ensure image sharpness, particularly at wide-angle settings. Thanks to Canon’s optical Image Stabilization technology, users have the flexibility of actually shooting at shutter speeds two stops lower than would otherwise be possible.
Similar to SLR models, PowerShot S1 IS digital camera users also enjoy the flexibility of a full array of exposure control settings including ProgramAE, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual Mode and full-auto P.I.C. modes.
Fast Focus And Zoom
The PowerShot S1 IS is equipped with a single-point TTL AF system that achieves sharp focus quickly and silently. Although the AF frame is normally positioned at the center of the viewfinder, the user can move it freely to almost any section of the picture area using Canon’s innovative FlexiZone AF/AE system. The new camera also features manual focus override as well as a Focus Bracketing function. Close focus is possible down to 3.9 inches at the wide-angle setting and 3.1 feet at the maximum telephoto setting, which fills the frame with subjects as small as 3 x 4 inches.
The PowerShot S1 IS also offers high-speed and variable speed virtually silent zooming thanks to its Canon Ultrasonic Motor (USM), a feature it shares with the new, top-of-the-line PowerShot Pro1digital camera. The silence of the USM is particularly beneficial in the S1’s movie mode to preserve and enhance the quality of the audio recording.
With the use of Canon’s new optional Conversion Lens Adapter, the PowerShot S1 IS accepts an optional Tele-Converter that increases the optical range of the lens to a maximum equivalent of 608mm and an optional Wide Converter that yields a 24.5mm equivalent at the widest zoom setting. There is also an optional underwater housing rated for use at depths as low as 130 feet.
The camera’s compact ergonomic design includes strategically placed controls for convenient telephoto and movie shooting; a large rubberized grip, which makes holding the camera easy, well balanced and secure. The grip even includes a soft back and bottom to maximize comfort during long periods of shooting. The PowerShot S1 IS also features a variable-angle 1.5 inch, 114,000 pixel LCD Monitor that can be folded in or out and has the same range of movement found on the popular Canon PowerShot G5 and A80 digital cameras. While there is no optical viewfinder, the PowerShot S1 IS features an electronic, eye-level viewfinder with approximately 114,000-pixel resolution and built-in diopter correction, giving users the choice of viewing their subject on the monitor or through the viewfinder.
For all of its features, versatility and capabilities, the camera is powered by four easily accessible AA batteries and accepts either Alkaline (disposable) batteries or rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries. Alkaline batteries are rated for approximately 120 shots before they need to be replaced, while Canon Alkaline NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride NB4-200 AA-size batteries) provide peak performance and approximately 550 shots on a single charge.
The DIGIC Difference
Canon developed the proprietary DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) image processor specifically for use with its line of digital cameras. The technology combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. Because it was specifically designed for use in digital cameras, it is also capable of handling JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); Auto Exposure; Auto Focus; Auto White Balance control and most other functions of the camera or camcorder. The result is a product that offers faster auto focus than ever before, faster image processing, better image quality and longer battery life.
Direct Printing Plus
Direct Printing significantly expands the appeal of the PowerShot S1 IS digital camera by making it simple, quick and convenient to produce high-quality photos without the need for a personal computer. Beyond its Direct Print capability with Canon’s Card Photo Printers and acclaimed Canon Direct Photo Printers, the camera is also compatible with PictBridge, an industry protocol that offers the flexibility of direct printing to other brands of PictBridge compatible printers.
The PowerShot S1 IS digital camera supports Exif Print, a worldwide standard that transfers important camera settings and data from the camera to the printer ensuring the photos you print will look true to life. Moreover, DPOF 1.1 (Digital Print Order Format) lets users specify the images to be printed or execute batch printing of selected images.
In stores April, the Canon PowerShot S1 IS digital camera kit includes two dedicated software CDs, four AA Alkaline batteries, a neckstrap, a lens cap, USB and AV cables and a 32MB CompactFlash card as well as printed manuals and a Canon USA limited warranty card. The estimated street price will be $499.00.