Thursday, April 19, 2012

My New Love—the Canon S100

This is my new camera. I’ve always been a Canon type of gal and for some reason gravitate to that brand. I would call this one a cross-over—some features of a compact with some SLR features. A little Point and Shoot gem. 
The Canon S100

I've had great relationships with cameras for most of my life and have taken lots of pictures over the years. First with those little cameras where you had to thread the film into a slot. The little cube flash or the flip flash. 

Cube Flash
Flip Flash

In the early 80’s I finally bought my first “big girl” camera, the Canon AE1—a 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera. With a huge flash attachment. 
Canon AE1
I was going to be a photographer.

But that didn’t last. I never really understood all the cool settings and kept it on Auto most of the time. It was hard to experiment when you had to wait to finish the film, then have it developed and the negatives printed just to find out the photo was blurry or you captured devil eyed people (red-eyes). Most were corrected with a dot of black magic marker. 

Then along came another little camera which fit easily into my purse. Lots of rolls of film processed and photos organized in binders over the years.

As the digital age came storming in with the new millenium, I thought it would be cool to try those new little digital cameras, sans film. I succumbed. My first digital was a 5 Mega Pixel camera. But I found it bulky, with batteries dying quickly and the pictures weren't all that great. Then I moved to a tiny little Canon Powershot. Now I could actually carry it in my pocket. When that one became wonky and wouldn’t turn on at times, I bought another Canon Powershot with 12.1 Mega Pixels. It is lightweight and takes excellent photos.
Canon SD780

On major trips to Australia, New Zealand and Europe, I borrowed my daughters Canon Rebel EOS, thinking it would give me great photos. A true SLR camera with a huge pricetag. I had two different lenses. All it did was give me a neck ache from carrying it around. Like my first SLR camera, I only used the Auto setting. Hubby became my mule most of the time and started giving me lip when I would ask him to carry it for me. We looked really touristy with that thing slung around our necks.

Of course I pretended to be a photographer but really just snapped away on auto. That photo of Varadero Beach, Cuba at the top of my blog. Taken with that little Powershot camera.

Most times, I would just pull it out and snap hundreds of pictures of anything and everything. It didn't really matter that I had 8 photos of a bottle of beer. Or 50 views each of Mount Cook or the Matterhorn. I could always delete the extras. And when I compared the photos taken with the Rebel with my smaller Powershot, I didn’t see a big difference in quality. I use these photos to document our trips in a scrapbook. I like good quality photos and could not tell the difference between cameras. I create a hard cover book of our trips using a digital scrapbook application called Creative Memories.

I just add my digital photos to a template, write some text, then upload the finished scrapbook to their site. It is printed in hardcover and mailed to me. Another coffee table book. You can see one that I created of Australia and New Zealand on my Travel tab. But I figure as my mind goes as I age, I will at least be able to read all about our travelling adventures in pictures and words.

But my little camera was getting old and the lens stuck every once in a while. Last September while out for dinner, my cousin took some photos on his Canon S95 and I was impressed with the quality. It gave such clear resolution that it became a dream to get the same one. My sister was also in the market for a new camera so for our trip to Punta Cana last week for her daughter’s wedding she picked one up. It was on sale at $299 (regular price $439). But I was too late for the sale—a clearance sale, because the newer version, the Canon S100 had been released in January 2012. After a bit of research, I decided to bite the bullet too and bought in early April. It cost me $449 but it had a couple of new features. I'd say unless you really really want those, stick with the clearance S95 if you can find it. For a comparison review of both Click Here.

The best feature for choosing another Canon was the buttons, menus and settings are almost the same as my older point and shoot cameras. I was able to pick it up and automatically know how to make changes and use the camera. It was all familiar to me.
Punta Cana Beach, Dominican Republic
Both models take really good HD video (what is called 1080p). The new feature in the S100 allows you to zoom while recording in HD where the S95 does not. At the wedding on the beach, I recorded the wedding procession, with zooming and was absolutely amazed at the quality. Our old video camera could not match the video I took using this little pocket camera. The only downside is the file is in the .MOV format which doesn’t play on my iPad. But I successfully uploaded the video to Facebook and the zoom feature was awesome, especially when I could zoom in on the bride and rid the frame of the annoying gawkers. I'm not able to imbed the video into Blogger but here is a link to see the quality taken by another reviewer.

Video Samples of the Canon S100:

The one weird part of both models is the flash. It pops up on the top upper left, just where your finger likes to rest to take a photo. Just something to learn to clear my fingers from holding it that way. This pocket camera is also a bit heavier and bulkier than my previous one, but not unmanageable. There is also a GPS which allows you to annotate your photos with the exact location where the photo was taken. Not something I would use but I am sure there are others who like this feature.

The biggest downside. Every single Canon I buy has a different battery pack. Which means I always have to buy a second battery just in case. Why they can't stick to the same size for most of the cameras is beyond me.

But I am happy. Can't wait for my next big trip to snap lots and lots of photos.

Because I like to pretend I'm a professional!

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Darlin1 said...

Fuuun! You are an amazing person Sandy! My husband is the camera freak in our house.


Lonicera said...

Remember Agfa? I started out with a little Agfa instamatic that my father gave me when I was 13, and it had those little blue flash cubes. I thought I took lovely pictures but they were total rubbish... My Dad had an SLR, the old type you had to measure the distance to know that something would be in focus, and I was bored by the whole thing. I always loved looking at photographs and loved looking at my US uncles and aunts' pictures in the 60s and 70s because I had never seen anything so sharp. But I didn't discover an interest in photography until my late thirties when John gave me a little Olympus instamatic and I realised how far the technology had come. I was captivated by the concept of warm evening sunlight on film, and started to buy magazines to read about it. Then John gave me a Pentax SLR and I was away. After the Pentax I became a Canon fan, from Eos to digital, and have remained loyal ever since - though I know exactly what you mean by the batteries... and the flashcards, different for every camera. It's an expensive hobby! I was very struck by your header pic on this blog - evening light again.

Dinnerland said...

Very cool camera stuff-- thx for commenting on my blog. I know you're out there and also see you on FB no matter what. One day I am coming to Canada to visit, mkay???? Just need to find some time in a zillion years.
But whatever: but lets just keep on keeping on in the meantime. xooxo
PS: Is this the best blog to come to for you, I still see you have the other blogs up- but I thought this was your 'rest of your blogging days blog'...

Linda Sherwood said...

I think my first camera ever was one of those flipflash kinds. I love taking photos. I now have a Canon DSLR.

Canon DSLR Comparison Expert said...

It is a very good brand of camera. Well, Canon is very famous and it is a widely used camera brand used by the beginner and professionals.

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