Monday, December 3, 2007

Canon S5 - Zoom While Shooting Video

I mentioned previously that a great advantage of the Canon powershot S5 IS isthat you can zoom while shooting video. Now this is not digital zooming. Digital zooming is OK but the picture gets grainy as you zoom. Actually it is not OK. Digital zooming like on the canon g9 is not very useful. If you’re wondering whether the G9 or S5IS is better, this may be a deciding factor. The S5 provides a 12x optical zoom while shooting video. Highly useful! When it comes to video however, the S5IS has other great features.

Instant Video Mode
The Cannon S5IS has a dedicated movie button. What’s that? That means you don’t have to fiddle around trying to put the camera in video mode when your kid starts doing a cute little dance. This is great for me especially with two active young girls! The dedicated movie button on the S5 is just like one that you would see on a camcorder like the ZR850. And the button is perfectly located for quick access.

Canon’s Photo In Movie Feature
The Photo In Movie feature of the S5 is pretty nifty. While you are shooting video, you can just click a picture like you normally would. It’s nice to have those companion photos with your videos. The only disadvantage with this feature is that the video is interrupted with the still photo. So when you watch the video, at the point the picture is taken, the video freezes. A small disadvantage of the S5 IS, but since most powershots don’t have Photo In Movie, I’m nitpicking. Still, the Photo In Movie feature is awesome. For those comparing digital cameras, the G9 does not have this feature.

Other S5IS Movie Capabilities
There are a host of other video features of the Cannon S5 IS that sound great but at this point, I haven’t experienced. One of these features is Face Detection. Most certainly I have unknowingly used this feature of the camera since it’s the ability to detect human faces and adjust the focus and exposure accordingly. Pretty cool feature for a video camera!

Something else great for a camera to have is Long Play mode. With Long Play mode you can capture much longer stretches of 30fps video with your Canon S5. It can also capture 60fps video and 15fps as well. Also the camera has stereo sound recording and a noise filter to suppress that nasty wind sound you often get with other camcorders. The sound quality is not too bad but it would be great if you could attach external mics to the S5 IS. Well you can’t have everything.

When comparing the Canon S5IS to other digital cameras like the SD400, it has clear advantages. The video on the S5 is clearly better! If you need more expansive video capability you probably should be looking into a camcorder. If you already own one, enjoy these superb video features when using your camera.

Update: This feature is coming in handy for some too lazy to walk (sometimes) like me. LOL!