The Canon S2 IS joins an ever-increasing crowd of 5 megapixel image-stabilized 12x mega zoom digital cameras: Panasonic, Sony and Konica Minolta are in the thick of the battle. (See Sony DSC-H1 review.) Nikon’s bulkier 10x CoolPix 8800 with Vibration Reduction is also an option, but it has an 8MP processor and a much higher price ($899). Coming soon is the Samsung Camera Pro815 ($849) with an 8MP imager and a whopping 15x optical zoom, making it the mega zoom king. Unfortunately, it does not have image stabilization as these others have.
This class of camera (5MP, 12x zoom, optical image stabilization for less than $500) is one of the great deals for 2005. With their extensive focal lengths, they are great for travelers; one camera handles anything thrown its way without encumbering separate accessory lenses or moving to a more expensive digital SLR. The S2 is a good camera but it has its flaws.