103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2004
The canon s60 feature & performance wise, falls somewhere between a point-and-shoot and a pro-sumer level 5MP digital camera. I had originally planned on getting a G5, but the G5's unwielding size and weight (although a great performer) made me consider the newly released s60. I was looking for a portable pro-sumer, 5MP digital camera, that was no bigger than our Canon SureShot 35mm film camera. The s60 (and the ultra compact s400) both have the same CCD imager as the G5, but I chose the s60's 28mm wide angle lens, extra feature set, and longer battery life over the p500's.
From my experience, taking pictures indoors with a flash seems to be the biggest hurdle for any digital camera to overcome, and the s60, while not perfect, is one of the best indoor cameras of its size I have tried. Indoors, in a moderately lit room, the s60 in AUTO mode takes true color, well exposed images within 10 feet of the subject(s). I have found that using "P" mode with the flash exposure compensation set up to + 1/3 or +2/3 works best if you are in a poorly lit room and you also wish to see the background.
While it is true that there is some barrel distortion at full wide 28mm mode, it is not enough of a problem detract from it's overall rating. All compact and ultra compact cameras I have tried have had some barrel distortion at wide field and chromatic aberation on bright objects. As far as one person's comment about the images being blurry because of inferior lens quality, I would have to disagree. The images I have taken are very smooth and have vibrant, true colors. The s60 does apply a sort or internal anti-aliasing to smooth out the images. Most of the professional portraiture cameras (like the Kodak pro cameras) do this either in software or by hardware, as most people do not wish to see every facial pore on their subject. You can chose to "sharpen" internally on the s60, or just use one pass of Sharpen in Photoshop to sharpen the images even more to suit your taste.
I also had the opportuntity to compare the G5 and s60 side-by-side, by taking photos of the same subjects both indoors and out. I could not see any noticeable difference between the two, image quality-wise. I have taken over 200 images within the last 5 days with my s60 and have been very pleased with both its image quality and ease of use.
130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2004
This is the first small digital camera that gives me most of the options, and picture quality of my SLR film cameras. And it fits in a pocket. The wide angle pictures (28mm equivalent to 35mm) are awesome. Edge to edge sharpness is superb and contrast is VERY good. The tiny ends of the corners (NOT the edges of the frame), only at wide angle, look a little soft, but not noticeable in "normal" photos. The person who says he has un-sharp edges in wide angle images either has a defective camera or has a beef to grind. The edges are absolutely no problem at 28mm.
I sent out some wide angle images to have eight 5x7 prints, and two 8x10's made into prints. When I got them back I inspected the corners carefully only to find the corners were as sharp as a tack. Turns out the frame corners are trimmed to fit regular size paper, duh!
Ergonomics are great. Controls are much improved over the previous S-series cameras. Focus is fast, my S60 takes about .60 of a second to confirm focus. If there is any shutter lag, I can't tell. The new lens finds focus in low light much more consistently than the S500. I have tried shooting all day, with some flash, and a lot of image reviews on the LCD, and I haven't run down the new high capacity battery yet. The manual options are extensive, intuitive, and very useful for achieving serious high quality prints. The ability to review an image almost instantly by pressing one button, and instantly returning to shooting mode by pressing the shutter button half way down is a real time saver.
Amazing lens quality considering at wide angle, this really a 5.8mm lens! Barrel distortion at 28mm is very acceptable and consistent with other wide angle lenses. Macro and tele shots are beautiful.
Full manual control (even focus), several auto bracketing options, and very flexible AF and AE options and features.
RAW mode. The Canon RAW software is a bit slow, but this is the way to go if you are into digital darkroom techniques and large prints.
Long Lasting battery that charges very quickly.
LCD screen is very sharp and smooth looking.
Very clean and smooth iso50 and iso100 images.
5mp. After working with other 4mp images, the extra 1mp really shows up when preparing an image for an 11 x 14 print or larger.
Small enough to take anywhere.
Build quality. Mostly metal. The battery door is plastic, but this seems to be the trend with all small cameras.
User control of in-camera contrast, sharpness, and color saturation.
Custom setting that remembers and recalls all user settings.
Won't fit in a shirt pocket or tight pant pockets well as the S500.
Sliding lens "door" takes getting used to, but seems very secure.
No anti-reflective coating on the LCD screen.
Iso 200 is somewhat noisy, and iso400 is noisy, but not as noisy as our S500 at iso400.
Histogram is only available on playback.
Battery door should latch more tightly.
No spare batteries (the new type) available yet anywhere.
Conclusion - If you are a photography enthusiast, this is the best way to achieve very high quality (user controllable) images in a very portable, flexible camera. The S60 is a fantastic bargain.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2004
What we have here is quite simply a compact G5. Forget the swivel LCD screen - for me not at all useful, the only thing missing of any consequence from the G5 in my opinion is the flash shoe, otherwise you basically have a G5 in a much smaller more functional package.
The pictures are quite simply fantastic! Only minimal purple fringing and only noticeable to the most discerning (read nit-picking).
The camera still suffers from the digital point and shoot shutter lag which for the most part plagues all point and shoots. It is certainly no worse than the G5.
One clear advantage over the previous S50 is its smaller size. The camera still has the sliding lens cover which some object to but I find no problem whatsoever.
The only dilemma facing the prospective buyer is whether to purchase this camera or the significantly smaller S500. The S60 being a more capable complete camera than the S60. My advice: If this is your only digital camera, buy the S60. If you have a digital SLR then buy the S500 for true portability. The good news is that whatever decision you make you should be very pleased because both are great cameras.
If you haven't taken the digital plunge, then take it from one who resisted much too long. Go out and buy a digital camera TODAY!! It will reawaken you interest in photography. IMO, digital photography is the current killer app for PC's right behind the internet. Good luck.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2004
I originally had an S50 until it was stolen, so after much new research I replaced it with the S60. The focusing is much improved over my original S50. Although friends who also had the same camera never seemed to have focusing problems. The navigation buttons on the back of the camera have been improved. It is definately lighter than the S50, which is a bonus for those carrying the camera hiking or climbing. And, its start up time is good if you need to capture a picture really quick. So far it has handled all sorts of lighting conditions very well, and the color definition has been excellent with very little (if any) purple tinting. This is a very feature rich camera, if you like gadgets. However, it is also easy to use when set to fully automatic. The photo software it comes with is much improved, and is an acceptable choice if you don't have the money to buy something like Photoshop. I like the rugged, solid feel of the camera overall.
What I don't like about it is the slidable lens cover. I keep bumping it when it is open because of the way I like to hold the camera. The cover extends almost to the right hand side of the camera. If you bump it during picture taking, it shuts down the camera and you don't get your picture. This has happened to me maybe a half a dozen times. I have to consciously force myself to hold the camera as to not disturb the cover when it is open. Maybe in the future canon can move it back from the edge a bit, or reduce the sensitivity of the mechanism that shuts the camera down. Last, this camera isn't design for use in the shirt pocket. If you are looking for a pocket camera this one is a bit big.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2005
I do not understand how anyone can criticize the quality of the photos from the Canon S60.
I just returned from Hawaii, where I shot over 250 photos, ranging from the beautiful scenery to the Hawaiian people to the hotels in which I was staying. Out of the over 250 shots I took, I may have blown 3 and those were my fault (mostly poor composition). Every shot was superbly sharp, perfectly exposed, even if flash was used, and perfectly in focus. The only criticism that I would make and that is the reason that I am considering a digital SLR, is that it is very difficult to frame each photo perfectly using the eye level viewfinder.
On the other hand, if I use the LCD, it is much more difficult to hold the camera steady, particularly in marginal light situations. Of course, this is not the fault of the specific camera, but occurs with all non SLR point and shoots. I have used
and owned many digitals and, in my opinion, the Canon S60 is the best!
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2004
I have had it for 6 months now. I bought it to replace my A70, which took a beating during my 3 months vacation.
Wide angle rules. Fast startup and shut down. Good quality in/our-door. AF assist light helps during poor light condition. Good battery. Panoramic/photo stitching is cool. Good software bundle. Good quality and reliable (from my prior experience).
No image stablization. Which would be very helpful at night shoots w/o tripod, max zoom, or any other conditions. Can not force flash at the "AUTO" mode.
That's about it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2005
I previously owned a Canon S-30, a 3-megapixel, which performed adequately for four years. Therefore, I was pretty much sold on the S-60 after reading Consumer's Reports and the ratings of this and other similar quality cameras on Amazon. After only a relatively short ownership period, I have found that the camera works as advertised. Some advantages over the previous design include the higher meapixel resolution, a larger LCD screen, greatly improved menu controls, and a noticeable speed difference as to when the camera is ready for the next shot.
Although I bought a 512 MB compact flash card with the camera, I was also able continue using a CF card from the old camera, its battery, and charger. A distinct advantage as these items run $30+/- each.
One critical note, however, was that I was never able to connect the camera directly to my computer to download the images (A Dell Dimension 8250 running XP SP2). Each time I connected the USB wire, my computer would not recognize the "device." After several emails to the Canon support staff, we tried everything from re-installing the software supplied with the camera to using troubleshooting from "InstallShield." No success!
My solution to the problem, since I was determined to keep the camera, was to purchase a USB 2.0 Hi-speed Reader (SanDisk SDDR-88-A15 8-in-1 no longer available on Amazon). It installed without problem, and I am able to download images by removing the CF card from the camera. A minor inconvenience.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2006
Even though I'm not a professional photographer, working in the film industry has made photography a very serious hobby of mine. I originally bought the Canon S50, which I was very happy with. However a defective part led me to send my camera back to Canon, who replaced it with the S60 over a year ago. This is a wonderful camera for people who are serious about photography but not yet ready to purchase a digital SLR. It takes great images with a very respectable mega pixel rate. What I love about this camera is you have the option of manually controlling every aspect of your shot when it really counts (shutter speed, focus, F-stop, etc.), or if your at a party, set it to auto and it becomes a point-and-shoot, easy enough for even your most inebriated friend to take snapshots. The best of both worlds! A good, near professional quality, camera at a good price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2005
1. Almost all manual controls available. Takes some time to learn how to use many of them. But once you know, it is wonderful
2. RAW image availability. So that you can make changes to the photos later while you are learning
3. Good battery life. Good response time. Good flash
1. Image quality could be slightly better. But that might have been my fault too. I saw better images from the Sony T series and even a Fuji camera which my friend had.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2004
I just bought the Powershot S60 at a store in Santa Monica, CA, and so far I am very impressed. I am not an expert photographer and my previous experience with digital cameras were with a lass that 1 megapixel diskette sony mavica and a week using the Sony DSC-P92 - 5 megapixels (wich I also liked).
This camera has a great advantage: It's wide angle zoom goes to the 28mm(35mm equivalent). This is great for shooting people, specially making them fit into the frame in small rooms and for landscapes. It has lots of bells and whisels that I am still learning to use and yet, it simple to use as a point and shoot.
My more expensive choice would be a Olympus C8080, but that was beyond budget. Because it has a small format you will not get to add filters except if you install that cumbersome adapter (you can filter afterwards with Photoshop). It doesn't have an external flash socket so you will use the built in only. The other great issue of this camera is that it's portable. More sophisticated (pro) cameras like the C8080 are not so easy to carry, specially if traveling with kids.
To decide for this camera it helped a lot to research on [...] although they didn't do a final review on this one yet. On the accessories I passed on the carrying case (read reviews on amazon) and looking forward to get the remote control.