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Canon S10

by Marc Jutras

The S10 is way better than the A5 and much better than the S100 (better image and much more features). When I shopped for a digicam last Fall, I read everything I could on he Net. I was considerring the Nikon CP900 and the Olympus C2000Z, the top ones at the time. But I didn't like the price tag...

Then came the S10. At 300 to 400$CAN less, it was worth considerring. After I read the reviews which stated, with proofs, that the image was better than the Nikon and Olympus, especially in darker areas, I decided to go for it. I also love the size and the red light to aid focusing in darkness (I love shooting at night).
I could easilly live with the 2X zoom as I'm used to work with fixed wide angle lenses.

After 6 months with my S10, I'm still extremely happy with it. I wouldn't go with the S20 though as it seems to have problems with image quality (as many 3MP cameras). I love the fact that I can carry it all the time (I got a LowePro S&F pouch 20).
In fact, in my 18 years of photography, I've never had so much fun taking pictures. And I'm taking so many! I estimate that I save around 700.00$CAN in films and processing since January. Not bad! :-)

Contrary to what people say, I don't have so much problems with the flash. It's not that bad. When shooting indoors, like a party, I sometimes push the Gain to +2 and it works well for longer shots, as long as you keep the final image rather small (640x480).



Home page of Marc Jutras

Generally, I shoot in Manual mode.
I tend to set the white balance manually as the auto WB is not always right, especially in tungsten situations.
The new firmware ( changed the speed from 1/15 to 1/30 and forces the Auto WB when using the flash. This works really well.

When I shot the World Cup race (see home page), I set the camera on Image mode (fast shutter speed) and used the flash. The speeds were between 1/500 and 1/750 (even if the flash was forced). This is very good.
Note that the so called wimpy flash performed perfectly in that situation (see the pics, #4 and up). The only drawback was the shuter lag which made me loose many shots (empty frames). I decided to press a little bit before the shot was perfect and zoom out a bit. I cropped the images back home.
But action shots are not my daily stuff.

When shooting at a party, I use the flash all the way. GET A SECOND BATTERY RIGHT AWAY! At last week's party, I took 75 pics (800x600 with flash and LCD to check the resuts). People in parties like to see the result too. I was able to shoot my 75 shots, show the pics to people, erase about 10 shots (so I took around 85) and had enough juice to look extensively at the pics in the car on my way back. I didn't go completely through the second battery. The first one let me down after around 60 shots.
BTW, I have a 48Mb card (from 31 1600x1200 max quality pics to 384 800x600 lower quality pics).
I use the flash in sunlight. It's a technique I adopted during my pro years. It may look a bit unnatural from time to time but it deals with the harsh shadows really well.

Note that sometimes, when I'm 6 feet and less and in direct sunlight, the "wimpy" flash is just too strong ;-) and I need to underexpose by 1/3 or 2/3. But it saves a lot of shots.

When shooting at night, I use either the Manual mode or Image mode (slow shutter speed). For each new scene, I turn on the LCD and choose the WB I want.
Sometimes, I use Sunlight to get the the pinky cast of the street lights (home page gallery #007).
The tungsten WB gave a perfectly balanced white light which I didn't like. It didn't render the pinky light like I see it.

For indoors shots, if I can, I use Manual mode without flash and setting the WB manually according to the predominant light source (lamp or nearby window). It gives beautifull smooth images. This is when digicams are simply great.
The magic of the CCD comes out and gives you results you wouldn't dream of with a 35 SLR. You'd need a huge set of filters and even then, you wouldn't know excatly how it will end up.

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