November 13, 2010

The snow is here again

We got some snow this week and the landscape looks just amazing. I can’t help it, I love snow! There’s not too much of the good thing yet so it’s still possible to walk around without problems, just ankle deep mostly. I made good use of it today, took the new road down to Öster-Hocklan and then past the shooting range to Loossjön and back home. It was an 11 km hike, I think I earned my slice of chocolate cake. What a perfect way to spend the day!

I had a new camera with me. I bought the Canon PowerShot S95 compact, which I hope will be everything that the PowerShot G10 wasn’t. The idea with the compact is that I can have it with me even when photography is not the main thing on the agenda. It’s true, sometimes I actually go for a walk just for the sake of the walk! Dragging around a heavy camera/lens combo and a tripod “just in case” is really not much fun. The S95 is small and light and so easily pocketable that I didn’t even notice I was carrying it. Doing a long walk like the one today is pure pleasure and it’s even better when I know that the image quality is so good that it holds up against the 40D, and I’m not kidding about that. It really is that good. I wouldn’t compare the IQ past ISO 200 of course but it’s not an issue because I would never go beyond ISO 200 with landscape pictures anyway and I doubt I will use the S95 for anything else than landscapes.

The problem I had with the G10 was that it was not small and light, I wouldn’t have stuffed it in the jacket pocket and that horrible 15 megapixels was a real turn-off (and Canon realised it, considering that they reduced it to 10 MP in the follow-up G11). So as soon as the novelty of having it had worn off, I was less and less interested in using it until it got to the point where I realised that I might as well sell it and wait for something better to come up. When I saw the specs for the PowerShot S95, I knew that this was the right compact for me. There is only one thing where the G10 beats the S95 and it’s the zoom range, the G10 went a little longer. So I know that there will be times when I wish I could zoom in a bit further when using the S95, but it’s still a minor problem when everything else about the camera is just so perfect for my needs! Granted, I’ve only used the S95 on a couple of occasions so far so it’s a bit risky to make any grand statements, but I honestly feel that this little camera is very capable and I will have many a good walk with it in the future!

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3 Responses

  1. Leffe says:

    Yes, my brother has the earlier S90 – and it seems like a very nice compact. But what do you like the handling? The S90 felt quite slippery as I remember.

    I found this linkfor a custom made handgrip! Maybe a little overkill with solid, CNC-machined, hard anodized aluminium, but it looks nice! I would probably make an home-made grip out of a couple of strips of “electricians tape” myself ;o) – if I were to by a S95.

    Read the specs, maybe you’ll bring us some test pictures with the automated HDR-function?

  2. Minna says:

    I was worried that it would be slippery in my hand, but the surface is not as smooth as it looks so it provides enough friction for a steady grip. But what I do find somewhat fiddly is the controls. Small controls in a small camera… I think my fingers are about average size but I keep hitting the wrong buttons. I need to press them with my fingernails to get it right. Impossible to use with gloves on, which will not be so nice when the temperatures drop!

    I tested the HDR function just to see how it works. The problem is that it’s all auto – you can’t decide any settings whatsoever. The camera sets ISO, aperture and shutter and then of course it only works with JPG, so you leave everything to the camera. When opportunity arises, I will try it again to have a closer look at how it actually processes the HDR but I don’t think I will be using the mode “in real life”, I just can’t give up the control like that!

  3. Minna says:

    I just found that this handgrip is available on Lensmate as well. I ended up on Lensmate when I was searching for a filter adapter so I could use a polariser filter with the S95:

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