Canon PowerShot S2 IS Memory Card Error

The memory card error associated with the Canon PowerShot S2 IS is fairly widespread. I recently bought an S2 IS and had this problem myself. I have now fixed it, and I will tell you what I did in a moment. That's not to say what fixed it for me will work for everyone who experiences this memory card issue. However, it's certainly worth a try.

Older Canon Digital Bridge Camera 5.0 mega pixel

First off, the Canon PowerShot S2 IS will only hold memory cards up to 2GB. That is the maximum size it can hold. So if you have inserted a 4GB SD card, your problem, or error message is due to the card being too big. If you have stayed within the size boundaries (2GB or less) and the camera is still displaying a card error, here is what fixed it for me.

Take the SD card out and put it into another camera. For me the other camera was a Samsung WB500. Format the card when its inside the other camera. Now place it back in the S2 IS and it should now work fine. That worked for me. Another option if you have a desktop or laptop computer that has a card reader, is to format it from one of those machines. Don't know how? Here's what to do: Put the card in the card reader and let it load.

Right click the card (drive) in My Computer and select properties. This is to check what file system the card is set to. It will most probably be FAT. Once you have checked this right click the drive again and select Format from the list of options. Be warned: I'm sure you're aware, but just in case. Once you Format the SD card all images will be gone, deleted forever. So make sure you have taken everything you want to keep off the card before proceeding.

Format the drive / memory card  using FAT file system and set to 32 kilobytes allocation unit size. Once completed take the card and try it in your Canon S2. If it works, great, problem solved. If not do the same process again but change the allocation unit size to Default allocation unit size. Format again and try the card in the camera again. Working? Cool. Not working. Give the same process another try, but this time try using FAT32 instead of FAT. Hope this solves the issue for you.

Some Kind Of Symmetry

A quick picture taken with a Samsung WB500 point and shoot camera. Chrome, DUB style Graffiti with a reflection symmetry from the motorway pillars thrown in for good measure. Click the image to enlarge.

Water Symmetry With Graffiti

A 16MB SD Memory Card

Yes, you read correct. A 16MB SD card. These days 16MB is tiny. It's crazy to think there was a time when it was the latest thing, and biggest capacity available. Although I don't think it remained that for very long. I think these SD cards were supplied for free with cameras that came with no internal memory. I received on of these cards with a Canon PowerShot S2 IS bridge camera I recently bought. The camera wouldn't work, or a least couldn't take a picture until the 16MB memory card was inserted.

Canon camera 16 megabyte old SD memory N118 - R05134WR
A genuine Canon SDC card

So I presume this is one of the earlier digital camera models that came with no internal memory and had to be supplied with an SD card to get the user started. I believe this storage size is still used in some games consoles, such as the Nintendo WII and Game Cube. And by the looks of things on eBay, still very sought after. Anyway, back to SD cards and cameras.

How many pictures can a 16MB SD card hold


That is solely dependant on the size and quality of the image. If you put a 16MB card into a camera that's shooting at say 5 mega pixels, it can hold just a few images. Shooting at 10 mega pixels (where each image is roughly around 4.5 megabytes @ high quality), even less. But if a person changes the settings of their camera so that it is taking pictures at 1 mega pixel (1024x768 @ roughly just under 500KB per photo) at super fine quality, they can safely get around 20 - 25 images.

Lower the image quality settings of the camera and you can add a few more photos to the total amount. It should be noted, that the amount of usable space on a 16 megabyte card is around 14MB, so 20 - 25 images @ 1 mega pixel each is a low but safe estimate.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Camera

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 is an older, but still very capable digital camera even by 2019 standards. There are so many small point and shoots, and also many Bridge cameras that have huge pixel counts. And on paper that sounds really good. But the truth is, if the camera has a small sensor, cramming as many mega pixels on to the small sensor as possible doesn't always mean that the camera with the most is going to be able take pictures that are any better than a camera with just 5 mega pixels.

Bridge-Camera-In-Box

In fact sometimes its quite the opposite. In many ways the pixel amount has become a marketing trick, so don't always judge a cameras image capturing capabilities on mega pixel count alone. The Lumix FZ8 is proof of this. It only has 7.2 mega pixels and 12x optical zoom, but take a read through the many reviews, and look at the sample images online, and you will see that it can take great pictures and is very easy to use.

Lumix-Sample-Photo
Black and White with the FZ8

Panasonic cameras are also very reliable. I believe they are right at the top of the list in the reliability ratings. So, if you don't want to spend much money, but still want a good camera, buying an old Panasonic Lumix is a sensible choice. I've just bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 (5 mp) from eBay, which for the price is a fantastic camera. What I like most about the FZ8 is how simple it is to use, the impressive image stabilization and the auto focus.

DMC-FZ8-Zoom-Auto-Focus-Sample-Image
 Zooming in on pegs with auto focus

Yes, the auto focus can sometimes wander from one spot to another and take a while to focus on the desired target, but for an older bridge camera it is still very good once it settles. One thing to be mindful of when buying an older camera from any brand, is the Li-ion batteries they come with. Some supplied will be the original that came with the camera at first sale. Understandably, these can be so old and tired that they can no longer hold a charge for very long.

And most of the time the non-branded rechargeable replacement batteries can be a bit hit and miss. So shop around for the ones with the best verified reviews. Alternatively, some older digital camera models also take normal AA batteries, but this can be costly over time. However, some good rechargeable AA's, such as Energizer or Duracell will fill the potential money pit buying battery's every few weeks can bring.

Nikon Z7 Macro Video HD Sample

Here is a close up sample video of a Spider clearing his web of water drops early in the morning. This video was captured with a Nikon Z7 + superb Nikkor 105 micro G VR Lens. The Nikon Z7 seems to be an excellent camera. Lots of sample photographs available to view online. To see this macro footage at its highest quality setting change the YouTube settings on the video from Auto (480p) to 1080p HD.



The Z7 is a 45.7 mega pixel full frame mirrorless camera that's aimed at the professional end of the market. Among many other features it also has 4K video, 8K time lapse, 9fps shooting, touchscreen high definition display, WiFi and Bluetooth. If you're a keen amateur and want to buy this incredible camera, it will cost you a pretty penny.

Best UK Prices start at well over £2,000 for the camera with a lens + adapter and can be found for sale on various outlets online, including eBay. You can find it cheaper, brand new with FTZ adapter but no lens (just under £2,000). And if you already have your own Nikon DSLR lens' that are compatible with this camera, you can just use those instead and save some money.