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Canon's all new PowerShot S45 digital.
March 19th, 2003

As far as I’m concerned there have been six major companies (*see footnote) that have contributed authoritatively to the evolution of the consumer and “pro-sumer” digital cameras evolution. Some have come and gone, but only a few continue to contribute impressively.

Canon is one of those pioneers that continues to push the limits with innovations and exceptionally good design quality. The new Canon PowerShot S45 is in that line of succession of innovative cameras quite handily. Its immediate predecessor was the highly considered PowerShot S40.

From the moment you activate the camera, by sliding back the lens protector and you hear the precision of the motorized lens, you can’t help being impressed with this technological small wonder. This ranger finder style camera has the features and ruggedness that are usually only found in high end SLR type digital cameras.

If you want operational versatility, the Canon PowerShot S45 gives it to you by providing jog wheel settings modes for Programmed, Tv (shutter priority), Av (aperture priority), and Manual mode. Auto Exposure lock is also available.

Good things in a small hefty package
The specifications for the S45 are very impressive for its US $649 retail price (recently seen on internet buy sites for as low as $480).

*Kodak, Sony, Canon, Olympus, Nikon and Apple. Oh yes Apple, because Apple sold the first ever consumer camera in March 1994, the Quicktake 100 and 150. Kodak DCS 265 was ground shaking; they’re a has-been now. Sony produces plastic toys now with resolutions far behind everyone else now.

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This 4.0 mega pixel PowerShot S45 features a high-resolution 3X f/2.8 optical zoom lens in a compact brushed finish aluminum enclosure. It feels substantial in your hands, but that also makes it fairly heavy compared to some other similar sized digital cameras.
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" . . a 9-point AiAF auto focus system that we found to be very fast and accurate. . . "
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Canon employs their own “DIGIC” image processor to improve image quality and a 9-point AiAF auto focus system that we found to be very fast and accurate, better than others we tested in the same price category. It also uses a 9-point white balance, selectable metering modes, “Second-Curtain” sync flash and it even has Movie Mode at 15 fps with sound capture at up to 3 minutes for each clip. If you do use Movie Mode, you had better plan on buying a considerably larger Compact Flash Card than the smallish 32MB it comes with.

The PhotoShot S45 "red-green" accuracy test image shows excellent green and very good red reproduction compared to our reference camera, The S45 has a deeper field of view focus, better for a general purpose camera.


Our reference "semi-pro" Olympus E20 digital SLR reference image has perfect greens and red reproduction, but a very narrow field of view focus. Something you want only in a "Pro" camera.

We were only able to get 15 large super fine mode images, or 90 seconds of 320x240 pixel Movie clips on the standard 32MB CF card.

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