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Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Using My Canon Powershot S100 on 05/30/2012 12:53:00 MDT Print View

I just bought a new Canon Powershot S100. My previous camera, which I lost in the mountains recently, was a fairly simple point and shoot (Pentax WPI). I'm having trouble going from the limited world of my previous camera to this new device, and I hope someone can help me.

1) Does anyone know if there is a way to completely turn off the symbols that appear on the camera? I've managed to reduce the number, but I've never been able to get the screen to only display the image I'm about to take.

2) I would am really curious as to how people take most of their pictures. Do you usually shoot in manual mode?

I'm sure at some point I will take advantage of many of the controls that are available to me. But at this point, I find that I have to fuss with the camera way more than I think is necessary to take my most common pictures. Here are two examples:

3) I want to take a big landscape picture in the summertime. With my previous camera, I would have it on "auto" mode, press a couple buttons to switch to infinity, and then click. Most of the time this was good enough. Now I find that I have to select several buttons to set the focus to infinity. When I turn it off again, I have to do this all over again. How do people do this? Do you keep it in auto focus, but focus on a mountain (or the sky)? Or do you go through all the steps I mentioned.

4) A similar situation presents itself in the winter time. I want to take a landscape picture when most of the scene is covered in snow. With my old camera, I would pull it out, switch to "Snow and Surf" mode, set the focus to infinity and click. How do folks do the same sort of thing? Do you set exposure, white balance, etc. manually? There is a similar mode (called "scene") with my camera, so I could just flip to that. I'm not sure if it allows manual focus, so the same sort of question applies.

5) I like the idea of using Dynamic Range correction for most of my shots (especially this time of year, when I'm on snow). I can set this to "Auto" (my preference) manually, by working in "Program" mode. I'm not sure how else to set this. I would prefer it to be on by default, but it doesn't look like this is available. Does anyone else use this, and if so, do they always work in "Program" mode?

Thanks for your help.

[Edit: Added question 5]

Edited by rossbleakney on 05/30/2012 13:08:35 MDT.

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Canon S100 on 05/30/2012 14:55:44 MDT Print View

Ross, Try this site. http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-logs/canon-s100/my-canon-s100-camera-settings/ Gail also has other info on the S100 on his site.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Canon S100 on 06/04/2012 10:21:51 MDT Print View

Thanks David, that helped. I think I have answers to my questions:

1) It appears that there is no way to completely turn off the symbols. Bummer.

2) Still don't have a solid understanding, but it appears that lots of folks mess around with the various controls using various means.

3) The best way I've found to quickly switch to infinity is to manually set my focus to infinity, then save that setting as my "C" mode. That way, I can quickly turn the dial to "C" knowing I'm at infinity focus.

4) I could do the same thing for a bunch of settings in the winter. I could then use that as my default "C" mode. As it is, I've been reasonably happy with my settings in the snow. I've done some exposure bracketing, and the default is usually just fine. I haven't felt the need to mess with the white balance. As I play around with my camera some more, I may decide to grab a few settings for the snow and make those my "C". Unfortunately, I only have one "C", so one way or another, I'll have to switch some stuff back and forth.

5) I added Dynamic Range = "Auto" to my "C" mode settings (which should help my snow pictures). If I line up what I consider to be a great picture, I may try a few pics with it on or off.

In general, I get the feeling that I can take decent pictures without much effort, and play around a lot to get really good ones. I do wish there was one button to get me to infinity, but I guess folks use the auto focus a lot. I'm getting better with the auto focus, and I do see the value (it is nice when you are taking pictures of people).

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Canon S100 on 06/06/2012 05:54:53 MDT Print View

Ross,
I am thinking of getting one to use as my backpacking camera.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Canon S100 on 06/06/2012 10:11:06 MDT Print View

I'm probably not the best guy to ask for advice on cameras. Much of my information is based on what I've heard from other, more knowledgeable folks. I started by looking at all the little cameras that allow me to shoot in wide angle. I also went to various camera review websites. This site (and review) played a big factor in my decision: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_s100-review
Based on that, I was already leaning towards this camera. I went to a shop in my area that I trust, and talked to the guy there. One of the more interesting things he said was that image quality in small cameras has improved substantially. Given my criteria (wide angle, ultralight, not much need for manual control) he initially steered me to one of the Elphs. After mentioning the S100, he agreed that it is a better camera, in that the image quality will be better. However, I get the feeling that he felt it wasn't that much better. In other words, the difference between the Elph and S100 is less than the difference between an Elph now and a similar camera (including an Elph) 3 years ago. That is just my interpretation, by the way, he never said that exactly. In any event, I got what I got and I'm pretty happy.

I would say that if you like manual control on your camera, you will be very happy. For me, I'm a bit disappointed because switching to infinity is more difficult than with my other (smaller) camera. This is kind of funny since the other camera had so little control. That is somewhat of a minor nitpick, though. I'm sure there are things with every little device that people don't like.

Even if you don't care too much about manual control, I think you will be pleased with the image quality. Whether the improved image quality is worth the small weight (and price) penalty compared to a camera like an Elph would require someone with way more camera expertise than me.

Edited by rossbleakney on 06/06/2012 10:12:06 MDT.