the first time I held 12x optical zoom camera in a professional way... looked really cool. I focussed on some ppl from so far away; and it clicked very nicely. Panasonic compared to Canon S2 IS is small; very handy; light also. It has got Lithium batteries(or Nickel is it?); so you can put an
AC Adapter and charge them; unlike in Canon where you got to put 4 AA-batteries. Replacement will be costlier; though can always get rechargeable cells.
Comparing the lens of both, Canon S2 IS's lens is based upon the SLR (as the site says); and its got really good reviews from every site as well as every photography expert arnd. Panasonic got a german made lens which is cheaper. So, you can save arnd S$200 for almost the same quality. What I am looking at is quality at night views; which require more exposure; and better lens also; for which Canon one is supposedly better.
Anyway; now my final comparison comes down to a lot of things besides lens only. Handiness; batteries; memory cards; weight. Both cams use cheaper SD cards; so no worry. Handiness, weight and looks are with Panasonic. With its black body it just looks cool; fits very nicely in hands and you can easily carry it arnd also.
The one field where canon obv outperforms Panasonic is video capture. Canon has a very high quality video in this class of cameras. So, now the only thing left is to go to Simlim again and check if I can get Canon one cheaper; otherwise go and buy a Panasonic.