Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shooting modes of Canon PowerShot S95 - from fully automatic to fully manual (part 1 of 2)

Canon PowerShot S95 is my first high end digital camera. Before this, I use a Kodak EasyShare LS743 point-and-shoot digital camera which doesn't have so much features (it is my 1st digital camera purchased in 2004 and is 7 years old now).

So, what I'm going to write down here is something new I just learnt in order to know how to use my PowerShot S95. If you are also a rookie photographer like me, probably this information might be useful to you too.

You can find the Canon PowerShot S95 camera's shooting mode dial on its top right. This is the dial to control among fully automatic, semi-automatic, and fully manual modes of photographing. It is also the place to switch between photographing and video-graphing.

AUTO mode

This is the fully automatic point-and-shoot mode to let the camera decide and adjust itself on almost everything to get a good quality picture (in the camera's A.I. points of view), and you cannot take control most of the settings in this mode. In Auto mode, your main concern is the focus (or focuses) of the image. Canon PowerShot S95 supports 9-point face detection AiAF, and also 1-point AF at the center.

This is a good mode to start with, before you familiar with the camera features and functions. You can straightaway start shooting photos with this mode right after you get it, even without reading its manual or knowing its controls and settings.

It seems that you can only save the photo in JPEG and cannot save it in RAW mode. Photo saved in RAW mode allows you to do post processing using Canon Digital Photo Professional software provided in the CD that bundled in the box with the camera.

Photo saved in JPEG image is 8-bit image and RAW mode is 14-bit image. This means more colour information is saved in RAW mode.

Low light (Candle) mode

This is a point-and-shoot mode used to take photos in dim environment. The camera will automatically use a wider aperture and higher ISO level for the picture. (Normally, we should use ISO level as low as possible to reduce noise in the picture)

It is ideal to capture dark situations, especially when you don't want to use the flash light. Example will be birthday cake with lighted candles in a dark indoor.

Scene (SCN) mode

This is a point-and-shoot mode to tell the camera to optimize itself specific to the subject you want to shoot. Sometimes, the camera Auto mode has no idea what type of subject you are photographing, and you can get better pictures using SCN mode instead of Auto.

The modes available for Canon PowerShot S95 are: portrait (shooting people), landscape (shooting scenery), kids & pets (capture the moment while they are moving around), beach (people in bright surrounding), underwater (aquatic life, with higher ISO shot), foliage (trees and leaves), snow (people in white snowy background), and fireworks (higher ISO shot).

Besides that, you can also make special effect to your photos in SCN mode. The effects available for Canon PowerShot S95 are: Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Sepia, Black/White, Color Accent, Color Swap, High Dynamic Range, Miniature, Fish-eye, and Nostalgic.

In addition, you can produce panoramic (long) photos using software, by merging the continuous shot of Stitch Assist pictures.

Video mode

One of the nice features of Canon PowerShot S95 is its capability to shoot 720p HD video.
There are 3 picture quality options for video shooting in this camera:
  • 1280x720, 24 frames/second (fps). You'll probably need a Class 4 or higher SDHC Card to get a smoother movie with this setting.
  • 640x480, 30 fps
  • 320x240, 30 fps
Special effects available for Canon PowerShot S95 video shooting are Miniature Effect, Color Accent, and Color Swap.

... continue reading on Part 2


SuperxD said... Reply To This Comment

Great specs for S95 Black Friday Canon.

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