Archive for category Canon PowerShot S95

Canon S95 Best Settings – Set and Forget

”To set and forget” – almost! 😉

Thanks Allan for setting me up to write this posting on the best way to set up the S95 to handle most situations – for beginners! One is pretty easy and the other is a little more involved.

First of all I was going to write a very short answer to Allan saying that he should go with the green “AUTO” setting and then forget it – like in “set and forget” but thinking more about it I thought that he deserved a proper answer – even if it has taken some time … This posting will be kind of like a reasoning about advantages and disadvantages with picking certain settings – and telling my favorite setting that handles everything …well  almost! Some of the settings are particular to the S95 but the general reasoning applies to most compact cameras!

 Setting

Green “Auto” is the obvious and first candidate – after all the camera maker has put some effort into making this setting for people who want to “set and forget”. This is one type of setting that every (well almost every) camera has. Sometimes on extremely simple cameras this is the only setting – even if it isn’t green!

Picking this setting will let the camera handle almost all settings – actually stopping you from changing some settings! The idea being that you should not be allowed to mess things up! This setting has a lot going for it! The camera evaluates the photo motif in front of it and tries to set up the camera to best handle that motif; it selects the photo mode: landscape, portrait etc – and thereby changing a lot of different parameters like shutter time, f-stop, saturation, color balance; it also selects focus setting normal or macro or face recognition. On the S95 you are allowed some freedom with the flash setting: to select flash auto or flash off – good if you don’t want to spoil the nice lighting on the restaurant with the cold flash light. Generally – the more you help the camera to “understand” what kind of picture you want to take the better pictures you will get! Without going through all the good this setting does we will instead see if there is any real drawbacks with this “green” setting?

Well the first drawback that I see is that the camera will select focus point(s) itself.  So is this something to be worried about? Usually it will select the nearest object for focus – this works reasonably well and as the selected focus points are shown (as green rectangles) you can always try to trick the camera (by moving it around) to focus on the objects that you would prefer! In the wide-angle setting the large depth of field will make the focus point less of an issue – most of the picture will be sharp anyhow. Even if the works most of the time, as a keen photographer (with some slight ambitions)  this is not what I would like to have. I want to tell the camera what I want to use as the focal point! This is especially important when you use the tele setting where some parts of the picture actually will be out of focus.

The next drawback is the you can not change the white balance – the camera will select what it thinks is the best white balance setting! It might be argued that this is not a setting for a “set and forget” type of photographer to bother about anyhow… Still it is something a lot of cameras will not do very well – especially in shadow situations. Look at the two sample pictures where the left one was taken with Automatic White Balance (AWB) and it would on its own look OK – especially if you were not the photographer so you had not seen it with your own eyes. I was there (Nice in France) and when I saw the cold “blueish” first picture I changed white balance to “Shade” and took the second picture – on the right – and that was much more like it actually looked! This is by far – according to what I think – the most severe drawback with the green setting!

Tip: Set up the “P” mode to have “shade” white balance – the camera will remember this. Then use the normal “green” setting for most pictures but switch over to “P” mode when you have a shaded scene that you want to photograph. This way you get the benefit of all the “artificial intelligence” built into the “green” setting but still get beautiful pictures in the shade – without going chasing into the menus. Only two simple settings to use: Green for everything except shade scenes! … and maybe flash on if you want a clear well lit picture in the restaurant or flash off if you want to capture the restaurant atmosphere.

If you don’t mind the “blueish” pictures in the shade then you need only to use the “green” setting and you can really practically “set and forget”!

 Setting

The second contender – the “P” setting for the “set and forget” is requiring the photographer to do more than in the “green” setting above – but also gives a better control over the pictures. Here you will have to do more – thereby distancing you from the typical “set and forget” and this might therefore be a good second step when you have outgrown the above “green auto” setting.

First of all you should go into the menu and set AF Frame to “center” and AF Frame Size to “small” . These are the two first settings that you will see after you have pressed the menu button. This will require you to be more active when you take your pictures: You will have to set the small white focus rectangle (in the middle of the screen) to where you want the focus to be on the motif and then (while holding the shutter button halfway down) recompose the picture to your (artistic) liking and then pressing the shutter button full down – taking the picture. I used the word “require” but I actually see this as I get the ability to set focus where I want it! A little more involved – but very good I think! This will definitely develop you as a photographer – especially that you recompose the picture after focusing!

The “P” setting gives you the ability to change the white balance – but to simplify this you should go into the menu and program the shortcut button to give access to the white balance settings. Then you will have direct access to the white balance by just pressing the shortcut button – much simpler and quicker than through the menu! You will have access to many different settings for white balance but AWB and Shade are the two I use most!

With the “P” setting you get a lot more settings that are available to you – settings that you initially can skip over untill (if ever) you feel ready to use them!

This “P” setting is very popular with many photographers because it gives a lot och set up options – but you should not be intimidated by this – you will not have to use them all!  😉

Summary

The most “set and forget” like setting is by far the “green auto” setting which will handle most situation in a reasonable way. Combine this with the “P” setting for pictures in the shade and you will get beautiful pictures in most situations!

If you want more of a challenge – go for the “P” setting!

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Canon PowerShot S95 – Update #2

After a few more months of usage of the Canon PowerShot S95 I have one more slightly curious thing that I have noticed. Even though I think that flash pictures often turn out rather flat and often lose much of the natural atmosphere I – at times – find that natural light is not enough and switch on the built-in flash. I have now finally gotten used to the fact that the flash pops up exactly where I usually hold my left hand fingers! 😉  Using the “P” setting and auto-ISO I have noticed that the S95 quite often ramp up the ISO value to 500 or 640 resulting in rather unnecessary noise in the picture. This happens even when the motif is quite close (about 1 meter or 3 feet)  – both to the camera and the background! It is quite possible to manually select ISO 80 and take the picture – which will turn out much better! This is puzzling me as the built-in flash can produce such a strong flash!  I can take virtually noise free and well-lit pictures with ISO 80 at 5 meters (15 feet) – if I set the ISO value manually! The disadvantage is this will load the battery more as the flash will have to be much stronger.

Remember to set your ISO value manually to ISO 80 if you want your flash pictures to look their best!

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Canon PowerShot S95 – Update

Here is an update on the Canon PowerShot S95 Review – with things I have noticed after a few months of usage. I will have to add over time to this post – but I will be finished in a few weeks.

I wrote the original review when I had had the camera just a few weeks – I then could see things with fresh “new” eyes. Now I can comment on handling and image quality with “older” eyes.

The first thing that I want to comment on is the “Mode dial” – that has actually improved over time – it is not quite as hard to rotate any more! 🙂 (Or my finger is getting stronger!) It is also handy that the “Scene” mode remembers the last setting – that way I can have quick access to my beloved panorama mode – or one other of the scene modes!

The “Control Dial” ring on the back is said to have been improved from the S90 and so may be the case – but it still rotates a little too easy – changing settings – and giving surprise results! This is NOT a huge problem – but it exists all the same – I have had about 5 changed settings in the last 500 pictures…

The “Ring Function” (the ring around the lens barrel) is handy sometimes for setting up – in that you have one more dial that you can use to adjust some setting. BUT this ring I have not yet grown to like very much! I use it every now and then – but find it a little cumbersome to use. The ring still is (to my liking) a little too narrow and the click-stops are too stiff! It is not that the clicks are THAT stiff – and they give off a very quality sounding click – but the ring is too narrow in combination with the stiff clicks! I would not want Canon to make it bigger either because I do not want the barrel to stand out any more than it does. The ring is not as user-friendly and as easy to turn as it should have been! Some of you might still think it is ok …  I much prefer the “Control Dial”  that is so easy to use – with just one finger – and is silent as well! It would have been super if that had been used for more settings! As good as it is the “Control Dial” has a drawback in that it can easily be moved by mistake and by default affects the brightness of the picture – this has happened a number of times already and continues to do so! I will have to take more notice…! And Canon will need to improve this! The problem with improving it is that the feel and function is very good as it is just now! The small clicks are just right – except for that it moves too easily when you don´t want it to! Let’s hope Canon will not go overboard when they firm up the clicks…!

The “On/Off” button is not easy to find without looking as it is flush with the top panel. Cool design wise – but not as user-friendly as it should have been! This is the first time ever with a camera that I after several weeks of use still find myself pressing the panel beside the button! Should really have been some kind of groove, raised bump or anything to make it easier to find for the finger! I am tempted to label this with my feared 😉 blue “Canon – please rework this” but I will let them off the hook this time! (When the warranty expires I will probably put a little bead of glue on it…)

The Flash has not made me drop the camera – not even once – but it is not because of not trying! 😉 I still do not like that jumps up like it does! I was hoping that it was designed like this to reduce the risk of red eyes. BUT my old IXUS gives less red eyes than the S95. BUT (second one) this flash is really powerful so I guess I will live with the push ups…!

Finally I want to point out that the above mentioned shortcomings does NOT rob the Canon PowerShot S95 of its abundance of good qualities! It is still a really super good compact camera that produces really nice pictures!

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Tamrac Camera Case

Having used an old camera case for some time for my Canon PowerShot S95 I decided to get a more suitable one. My requirements were: would allow easy access, would fit the camera snuggly, would have room for a spare battery and would attach to my belt securely. After googling and binging the web I settled for the Tamrac 5686 Ultra-Compact Digital Camera Pouch from Amazon for the reasonable price of  85 SEK/9 €. This is a review of it and what I thought.

First thing to notice was that it did not look as the illustration at either Amazon or at Tamrac. I actually liked the design I got better! Lucky me! 🙂

Yes, the camera fits snuggly – so snuggly it actually sticks out about 5-8 mm on top which I think is quite ok. I certainly prefer that to a bigger case! Width and depth is perfect for the S95. The shape of the case – ever so slightly arc-shaped in the front – fits the slightly protruding barrel of the S95 like it was constructed for it! It just slides into the case without a hinge! The “lid” closes perfectly over the top and the velcro is wide enough to grip very tightly.I do prefer the velcro type of lid to the zip when it comes to easy access! On the positive – or negative – side it does make a noise when you lift the lid!

There is a pocket in the front – about 5 x 7 cm – with an internal velcro about 1 cm down to keep things from sliding out – making the pocket about 5 x 5 cm – if you use the velcro. As you can see in the picture (above right) you might even let a flat object stick out of the pocket if you want to – making the usable size about 5 x 9 cm. The lid closes over the pocket. This pocket is ideal for the camera battery or an extra memory card or any other relatively flat object!

At the back of the case there is a sturdy strap to attach the camera case to your belt.  It is equipped with double velcro!  Both on the inside – like most camera cases I have had – but the Tamrac has an extra velcro on the outside of the strap with a security flap the you fold bach up over it – making the risk of losing the camera seem highly unlikely! This is something I appreciate a lot – having in the past thought of extra security solutions with sewn on carbide hooks and other complications to minimize the risk of dropping/losing the case – and my camera!

The velcro used in the case seems to be of good very sturdy and tightly gripping quality! Time will tell how well it lasts from repeated openings… The fabric also seems well-chosen for its use. Both soft and a little silky and sturdy at the same time. The case is also padded slightly to protect the camera.

The only hang up I have is the very thick plastic badge sewn onto the lid …

Conclusion

The Tamrac 5686 is a really good case that breathes quality and good thinking! I do recommend it for the Canon S95 or similarly sized cameras! (Like Canon S90, Ixus 750, Ixus 860IS, Samsung WB2000…)

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Canon PowerShot S95 – Depth of Field

The distance from the closest to the most distant part of a motif that is sharp is called Depth of field (DOF). DOF affects all pictures – sometimes you want DOF to be shallow to bring out and concentrate the interest on your sharply focused main motif while the background is blurred … other times you want sharpness from close up and all the way to infinity – with a really deep DOF! This post is both a general post on DOF but it also contains specific samples that relates to the Canon PowerShot S95!

All cameras with a small sensor – and a correspondingly short focal length on the zoom lens – has a depth of field (DOF) that is quite deep! This applies also to the Canon S95 with its 6-22.5 mm zoom lens. For a DSLR with a bigger sensor it is a little more varied – but usually the DOF is more shallow.  This can be both good and bad – depending on how you want your picture to turn out!
(The picture above is taken with Canon EOS 550D 18 mm and f 11.0 – to get a deep DOF. Not shown full size.)

The DOF is affected by three things:

  • Focal length
    The shorter focal length (you might like to think of it as wider angle) the deeper DOF and (it follows) the longer focal length the narrower DOF.
  • Aperture
    The smaller the aperture (that is bigger f-value) the deeper DOF and larger the aperture  the narrower DOF. You really need a large aperture to get a nice blur!
    One complication with most zoom lenses is that they vary the aperture as you vary the focal length!
  • Distance to the motif
    The more distant you are to the motif the deeper DOF and the closer you are the narrower DOF

All of the above factors are combined so that:
The deepest DOF you will get when you are using a very short focal length, a small aperture and are very distant to your motif!
The most shallow DOF you will get when you are using a very long focal length, a large aperture and are very close to your motif!

Depth of Field diagrams

To keep things reasonably simple I will look only at the extreme values: widest angle and most tele – with biggest and smallest aperture. Moreover I have limited it to two focus points at 1 and 6 meters.These 8 cases I have plotted in a DOF Diagram for the Canon S95 – and as a comparison I have included a DOF Diagram for the Canon EOS 550D 18-55 mm  . The two top rows are showing the tele results and the three bottom rows showing wide angle. The small black marker on top of each bar is the focus point (1 or 6 m) and you can see how the DOF spreads out around it (the green/violet bars). Note that as you goes towards smaller apertures the DOF behind the focus point increases a lot!

Canon S95 DOF diagram. Looking only at the two most extreme combinations – for deepest and most shallow DOF:
Using wide-angle, f8.0 and focusing at a close object at 1 meter we get a DOF of  0.43 m – infinity. That is close to the deepest DOF you can get with the S95! Handy for landscape pictures or whenever you want everything to be sharp! Notice also that it does not matter that much if you focus on something 6 m away instead – you will still get almost as deep DOF of 0.7 m – infinity!

If you use the largest aperture (f2.0) you will still get a relatively deep DOF at a distance but it will get more shallow at 1 m.

Using the largest aperture with tele, f4.9 and focusing at a close object at 1 meter we get a DOF of  only 0.95 – 1.06 m. That is a reasonably shallow DOF! Handy for a portrait (face only) or where you want only the main motif to be sharp! Here it does matter a lot if you focus 6 m away instead – you will get a DOF of 4.5 m – 9 m! At around 6 m this works well for a full picture of a person and a few meters more will handle a whole group of people – who does not have to stand on a line either! You will get a blurred background – but (I am sorry to say) only slightly blurred.

If you use the smallest aperture (f8.0) you will still get almost as shallow DOF at 1 m but at 6 m distance the DOF will increase a few meters! Note that the only way to accomplish a really blurry background is when you take pictures really close up … Also note that due to the fact that the aperture in the tele setting is f4.9 you will not get an extremely blurry background if your motif is a few meters distant!

Canon EOS 550D 18-55 mm DOF diagram. Also with its biggest and smallest aperture – BUT note that this lens has very different extreme values for its aperture!

Looking only at the two most extreme combinations – for deepest and most shallow DOF:
Using wide-angle, f22 and focusing at a close object at 1 meter we get a DOF of  0.43 m – infinity. (Same DOF as the S95 but with a very different aperture!)  Again that is close to the deepest DOF you can get with the wide-angle!

If you use the largest aperture (f3.5) you will still get a relatively deep DOF at a distance but it will get more shallow at 1 m.

Using the largest aperture with tele, f5.6 and focusing at a close object at 1 meter we get a DOF of  only 0.97 – 1.03 m. That is a very shallow DOF! To be used where you want only the (small)  main motif to be sharp! If you focus 6 m away instead – you will get a DOF of 5 m – 8 m!

Here it is a little easier to accomplish a really blurry background when you take pictures really close up … But note that 55 mm is not long enough to give a really blurry background at a distance! You will need 100-200 mm lens to accomplish this on a half-size sensor camera like the Canon EOS 550/Canon Digital Rebel T2i!

I have already said this (in the 3 points above) but want to stress that – for all lenses – as you move away from your motif the DOF increases (can be seen very clearly in the diagrams) giving you less and less blurry background. If you focus at 18 m you will with the S95 at the longest focal length and largest aperture (f4.9) have a DOF stretching from 9 m to infinity – not much hope for a blurry background there – but on the other hand you will get a picture where most of it is in focus – could also be handy sometimes…

Want to dive deeper into the shallow depth of DOF? 😉 Then go to Wikipedia for a much longer and much more detailed take on the subject with formulas, diagrams etc…

Three examples

Blurry background – Portrait or flower
You probably want a nice blurred background to make your motif stand out. Ask your motif to move away from the background (flowers – I am sorry to say – only moves when you want them to be still! 😉 ) – the further away from trees, houses etc the better! Then use your zoom at its maximum tele setting (if you have one of those super-zooms you don’t need to overdo it 🙂 ) and you step back from your motif – but only as far as is absolutely needed to get enough coverage of your motif! Make shure that the camera (or you) select as large aperture as possible!
(The picture on the left is taken with Canon EOS 550D 55 mm and f 5.6 (full open) – to get a shallow DOF. Cropped and shown half scale.)

Possible problems:
If you want blurry background when photographing a flower: On many compacts you can only use the “macro” setting with the wide-angle! Accept it (you might like it) – or try to go as close as possible with maximum tele setting – this is by far the best way to get a nice blurry background!
The whole picture turns out blurry? Then you have shaken the camera – hold it more still – get some support! Tree, rock, table or … maybe even a tripod! You can also get a totaly blurry picture if you have missed the focus completely!

Blurry background – Group of people
Assuming you want the whole group to be sharp – first of all you have to have them all at roughly the same distance! For blurry background you do the same as with the portrait or flower above: Position your group far away (at least 10-20 m) from the background! Use your largest aperture and as much tele as you can and then you walk away – but only as far away from your group as needed – until you get them all to fit in the picture (with the tele setting). The only special handling with a group is if they are not standing at exactly the same distance: focus on one of the nearest persons in the group. Assuming that the nearest and most distant person are not more than a meter or two apart you will get a sharp picture of the whole group and a somewhat blurry background. The longer tele lens you have the nearer on a “line” the group must stand – but the “blurrier” background you will have!

Sharp background – Person or group in front of Eiffel Tower
Or any other picture where you want the surroundings to be seen clearly. Here you probably want a deep DOF so that as much as possible can be seen clearly. First of all you move away from your foreground motif and use your wide-angle. To get maximum DOF you should also use the smallest possible aperture. But also take one picture with what f-value the camera suggests – it might be good enough.

Canon S95 DOF Samples

First of all I must disappoint all of you who is hoping to get a very blurry background in your portraits with the S95 – or any other small sensor short focal length lens cameras! It will not happen – even with a large aperture lens as the f 2.0 one on the S95! But as largest aperture at tele is just f4.9 you will only get a really blurry background when you use max tele in a very close up picture – that will not cover a view big enough for a proper portrait – but might work for a close-up of a flower for example. If you have a super-zoom you are luckier but will need to use the tele setting and hold the camera very very steady!

I have taken two series of pictures samples. You will see a variation of the DOF but it is so small it hardly is worth mentioning.

The first series in which I vary the focal length from 28 mm to 105 mm (equiv – in reality 6-22.5 mm ) and use the lowest possible f-value. This affects the perspective – more than it affects the DOF. The difficulty here is that the Canon lens is only f2.0  at the wide-angle end – and f4.9 at the tele end. So as I zoom to tele I also increase the f-value and thereby keep the DOF almost constant.

The second series I kept the focal length at a mid position and varied the f-value. Also very little variation of DOF!

As the DOF variation is so small I have just put up the extreme samples – but trust me – the intermediate pictures looks much the same! All pictures are taken with AWB – which handles the flourescent energy-saving lamps quite well! The hat sits 50 cm in front of the wall.

           

Looking at the above pictures you can easily see that for the Canon S95 the first picture has the most blurry background. This is due to two factors: I am closer to the motif and can use f 2.0  – this together affects the background most thus giving the most shallow DOF – even if I use the wide-angle! And a hat – contrary to a person – usually does not complain about certain features (like the brim) looking a bit wide! 😉

I will add a few extra samples with the motif further away from the background to illustrate how blurry you can get the background – as soon as the weather improves! (We have had the coldest winter for at least 150 years!)

If you want to have really seriously blurry background with an ordinary zoom compact – you have to fire up your favorite image software and get to work! Or get a super-zoom… If you on the other hand want to have a deeper DOF than you can get with your camera and lens combination – then you can combine several pictures with different focus into one picture with a lot of work in Photoshop or similar – or you cold just use CombineZP that automates the process.

Hope this throws some light on DOF for us photo amateurs!

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Canon PowerShot S95 – Sample Photos PaS

Bringing the Canon PowerShot S95 with me to do some after Christmas shopping I snapped some samples of Christmas Tree Decorations and other things – in one of our local shops.

This was to test the Real World Point-and-Shoot (PaS) abilities of the Canon S95. Handheld and only available light used – but it was a very well-lit shop as you can see! Think of the feat this camera does – you just going into a shop and get almost studio-like photos with no preparation or set up at all – no tripod – no flash – no lights – just point-and-shoot!

Going for the multicoloured Christmas Tree Decorations first I would like to point out the there was a cellophane wrapping around the boxes giving some reflections and also some misting effects.

This is where the fast f 2.0 lens really comes in handy and helps achieve better pictures – both keeping the ISO value lower and keeping the shutter times shorter! In a few of the samples the ISO value was kept as low as 80-100! That combined with an effective image stabilization really helps the sharpness!

As always all of these samples are full size and have not been edited in any way – except changing the filenames! Just click on the photos to see them full-size! Having the camera set up with “P” Program Setting , Automatic White Balance and “Auto ISO” I let the camera pick what it considered the best compromise for each photo. True point-and-shoot! For some of the photos I have added small 100% crops of center and corner for a quick and easy comparison for you – but best is of course to check out the full sample!

   

Starting out with the picture above I used the widest angle (28 mm equiv) and the camera picked ISO 80 – giving a shutter time of 1/30 sec and f2.0.

Looking at it full screen it looks close to perfect just out of the camera – good enough for most of us! Adding a little more saturation and contrast – to counteract the misting from the cellophane wrapping would make it perfect. And this in the shops flourescent lighting! Maybe I should check with them for some good studio lighting perhaps … 😉

Looking at it at 100% I notice – what I think is – some slight corner softness. Not very disturbing – but it is there! (See the rightmost 100% corner crop above.)

The noise is virtually non-existent  and you can not even see it in the out of focus areas.

   

Continuing with the next picture I again used the widest angle (28 mm equiv) and the camera picked a higher value this time – ISO 250 – giving a shutter time of 1/30 sec and f2.0.

Looking at it full screen it looks good just out of the camera – again good enough for most of us! But as before – adding a little more saturation and contrast would make it even better. Looking at it at 100% – there is some corner softness evident. Note that I have gone much closer so the relatively short depth of field (DOF) when using f 2.0 exaggerates the corner softness. Not very disturbing – but it is there! (See the rightmost 100% corner crop above – and also the picture below using f 2.8.)

The noise is very controlled and even if you can see it in the blurry – out of focus – areas – it is very “kind” noise and quite easily accepted. See the rightmost 100% corner crop above where the noise is visible in the top of the crop.

     

One more close up of the lovely Christmas Tree Decorations – once again with 28 mm equiv – and the camera chose – ISO 100 – giving a shutter time of 1/30 sec and f2.8.

Looking at it full screen it looks close to perfect just out of the camera – more than good enough for most of us! But to make it really dazzle – upping the saturation and contrast a little would make it perfect!

Looking at it at 100% – there is no longer any corner softness! This seems to be just because of the slightly smaller aperture of  f 2.8 for this photo. (Compare to the f 2.0 pictures above.) Both edge and corner crops show a good sharpness.

The noise is virtually non-existent  and you can not even see it in the out of focus areas.

 

In the above samples – more Christmas Decorations – the tinsel was taken with 28 mm,  ISO 200,  1/30 sec and f2.0 – and the Santas with 28 mm,  ISO 80,  1/30 sec and f2.8.

In the tinsel (originally strands of silver – invented around 1610!) you can once again see the soft corners and some very slight noise – but once again not very annoying!

In the Santas picture we have the benefit of both lower ISO value (80) and slightly smaller aperture (f2.8) which gives a visibly very calm picture with few disturbances. In short a really good picture – technically at least! 😉

 

Last two samples – straw goats and artificial flowers. The straw goats were taken  with 28 mm,  ISO 80,  1/30 sec and f2.5. The artificial flowers with 28 mm,  ISO 100,  1/30 sec and f2.0.

Both turned out as really good PaS pictures with no obvious faults! Have you noticed that I like wide-angle shots? 😉

Conclusion

The white balance worked perfectly for this type of flourescent light. The light was also quite strong – for ordinary shop lighting! That in combination with the fast (f 2.0) lens made it quite easy to take well exposed and sharp pictures with good colours and little noise. The slight corner softness – I think – can easily be accepted because it increases the “artistic” freedom! Also one could very easily have added a little more “punch” to the pictures by one of the different colour, contrast and sharpness settings. The above is how they came out of the camera with Canon factory settings! To get the absolute best results keeping the ISO as low as possible and stopping down a little – to f 2.8 – is the ideal – and also a no-brainer as this in practical photography goes for all cameras!
(I stress that the pictures looks really good as it is – and I am talking about adding a just a little more saturation and contrast – just to get that extra “wow” effect! This is something you would only bother with for a few pictures that you want to do something extra with – calendars, presents, give away pictures … etc. For ordinary usage you would probably not bother …)
In short: Very good pictures – very easy!

Hope you liked the Christmas samples!

After this will be a post on the depth of field for the Canon S95 and after that it will be a post in which I dig into the abilities of RAW versus JPG! Is RAW really that much better? Is there really a reason to use RAW – if you are a reasonable person and not a pixel-peeper? What can you do with the JPGs – and not? I do not know the answers yet – but I intend to find out!

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Canon PowerShot S95 – Sample Photos ISO Effects #2

This is the second set of sample pictures from the Canon PowerShot S95 and Canon EOS 550D (or Digital Rebel T2i). The main goal is to see how different ISO settings – from low to high – affects the picture quality – mainly the noise levels but also colour saturation. Because this second set is looking – image quality wise – so similar to the first set I will refer you to the first set for comments!

The “Midnight sample” to the left is an extra sample I included. Taken close to midnight with only street lamps to light the scene. The light was very yellow so I used custom white balance. ISO 1600, 1/20 sec f 2.0. Turned out alright I think! For a mysterious effect look at the dark sky on the right and you will see a strange pattern – it can also be seen if you look at the sky between the tree branches! I think it is a combination of noise and the structure of the very dark clouds that was at the time when I took this picture.

Canon S95 Samples – ISO 100 and 200

 

Canon S95 Samples – ISO 400 and 800

 

Canon S95 Samples – ISO 1600 and 3200

 

PhotomanCompareStrip – Canon PowerShot S95

Canon EOS 550D Samples – ISO 100 and 200

 

Canon EOS 550D Samples – ISO 400 and 800

 

Canon EOS 550D Samples – ISO 1600 and 3200

 

PhotomanCompareStrip – Canon EOS 550D

Hope you had some use of this second set!

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