Experiences with the Canon Powershot S2
I've had the S2 for about a month now, and I must say I'm very happy with it.
The latest gPhoto libraries from Debian's unstable release work wonderfully to pull images from the camera. I had to add myself to the
camera group to give my user account access to download the pictures. As soon as I plug the camera in, gThumb pops up and shows me the thumbnails and gives me the option to import the photos. It's very fast about it too, since it's USB 2.0. I'm pleased that I won't need to buy a card reader.
I got about a day of use from my 4-year-old set of 1600mAh batteries. Using the flash destroys those batteries pretty quickly. I've been using a new set of 2500mAh batteries for a couple days at a time, having taken at least 250 pictures on a charge. The charging of the flash seems to slow after a bit of use, but it's still usable.
I read the manual in a couple days and figured out how to use almost all the features. I didn't bother with the odd color swap options, etc. I shoot mostly in aperture-priority mode, but I have played a bit with long exposures too. The camera doesn't do RAW, but I set the image quality to Large-Superfine, so it doesn't compress out any of the detail. Each image is around 2-3MB on the card. I prefer to capture them huge like that and let Gimp save it smaller (200-300kB) after I've finished processing it.
My first large stash of examples are from Ocean City, MD. (The first 10 or so images are camera phone pictures, so ignore those.)
Claire's been doing well with the camera as well. She can just flip it to Auto, and it undoes most of the weird options I've set.
This camera can take lens adapters, so I thought I'd be hitting eBay in pretty short order to buy a 1.5x or 3.0x telephoto adapter lens or maybe a wide-angle. After using its existing 12x zoom, I'm not really feeling a need for the extra tele. 12x is usually plenty for my purposes, and when it's not, the resolution is high enough that I can tightly recrop and still keep lots of detail.