A reader asks:
Can you comment briefly on the Powershot G1 photos (Haida Gwaii) which seem too unbeleivable to be true. I just bought the Canon S1.It seems to me a monster of a camera, awkward, bulky, and full of features -- although with potential. I am almost ready to give up the zoom on the S1 to get another camera with the photo quality of the G1.
The photos I posted were among the best dozen or so, from over 600 I took on the trip to the northwest coast of Canada. At this Weblog, the photos in the Galiano 2004 and Faces galleries were taken with the S1. The older galleries were taken with the G1.
Regarding size: the G series is just a big a camera as the S1.
Regarding quality: there are settings in the camera you can change to boost the image quality. These are the ones that I use, all of which are accessed through the Function button:
• Reduce the exposure by 1/3 or 2/3. This make pictures slighter darker, and hence have deeper colors. It is better to underexpose a digital photograph than to overexpose, because digital cameras don't do well capturing bright details, but do very well capturing dark details. (To reduce the exposure: Function | Exp.)
• Under Custom Effect, increase the Contrast for more range between dark and light, and increase the Saturation for stronger colors. You can also increase sharpness, but I don't. (To change the custom settings: Function | Effects | Custom Effects | Set)
• Set ISO to 50 to maximize image quality. (To change the ISO: Function | ISO Speed)
And finally, take lots of pictures! I find that about 25% turn out really well, so the more pictures I take, the more that are likely to turn out well. It helps that Haida Gwaii is very photogenic, and very damp (which creates richer colors).
The Canon PowerShot S1iS forgets the settings you specified in the Function menu after the camera is turned off. To force the camera to remember the settings:
1. Set the mode selector to C.
2. Press the Function button, and change the settings, as listed above.
3. Press the Menu button, and then scroll to Save Settings.
4. Press the Set button, and then accept OK.
5. Press Menu and Function to exit the screens.
The S1 now remembers the settings.