Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Digital Cameras & Shooting Techniques => Topic started by: on April 29, 2003, 10:01:35 pm

Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: on April 29, 2003, 10:01:35 pm
I don't think I'm a typical user, since I work mostly in RAW with Breezebrowser (whch supports the S50) so others may want to jump in here.

My RAW practice is the same as for images from any DSLR and it's covered here (

Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: Ray on April 30, 2003, 02:36:32 am
Well. I'm not sure if I'm in the right thread for such discussions, but there are many programs that allow contact type prints to be made of variable size and resolution. It's not only a matter of comparing ink and paper costs against a lab service for the same size prints, but the possibility that you (with whatever photoshop skills you possess) can do a better job for the same outlay in money for ink and materials.

My experience is, for the cost of ink and paper, I can get an automated lab to do the same job. But, will the job be as accurate or as satisfying as my job? My experience is, no!

On the other hand, it's not even necessary to own a computer to use a digicam. Just drop off your flash card at the local photo processing lab as though it were a roll of film. If you want 'negatives' to preserve, the images can be transferred to CDROM for an additional charge.
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: Caer on April 30, 2003, 05:40:08 pm
Michael, I was wondering, what persuaded you to choose the S50 over something like the G3? I was under the impression the G3 is a better camera, for around the same price.
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: Caer on May 01, 2003, 02:56:59 am
ah right, simple enough
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: George on May 08, 2003, 01:07:15 pm
Apropos the S50, does anyone happen to know how well it does with infrared photography? Thanks!
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: Howard Cubell on April 29, 2003, 08:56:20 pm
I was interested in your review of the Canon Powershot S50 as I have been thinking about buying my wife a digicam for a family trip to Italy in May. I appreciate that there is a plethora of such cameras with many pros and cons among them. My question, however, has to do with the workflow for the output from such a camera where the intent is to make a number of 4x6 or 5x7 prints from an inkjet printer(e.g., an Epson 1280 or Canon 9000) for an album. How efficient is it to use a digicam this way? What is the "best" workflow for someone who is not proficient with an image editing program or setting up a catalogue of digital files? (I know, drive to Fotomat!) What is the best source of such information?
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: samirkharusi on April 30, 2003, 01:22:28 am
What is the "best" workflow for someone who is not proficient with an image editing program or setting up a catalogue of digital files? (I know, drive to Fotomat!)
I do think that a lot of people who own printers at home tend to ignore the local 1-hour labs. Pity really. I was recently forced to use one that has a Fuji Frontier (had to make 300+ 5x7" prints, try that on an inkjet!). I put in the time to get my local lab print to match my monitor at home. Now I use the lab for 90% of my prints and the match to my monitor is almost as good as on my own home printer. It is much cheaper than inkjets and far more convenient for snapshots. The home printer is still used for one-offs. As for people who are not into photoediting like the way you describe yourself, well, you really do not have much hope of doing a good job at home. Even the excellent output of DSLRs always needs some tweeking... You'll be far better off letting your local Fotomat operator set your colour, contrast, brightness according to his whims. At least somebody will be making the corrections. And much cheaper than your home inkjets. Once you are at ease with photoediting you can switch to another mode altogether. I ask the lab operator to fix the CMYK corrections on his Fuji Frontier to what I want for my whole order (he's happy because he does not have to think) and I end up with high quality, very cheap prints, matching to a high degree what I had set on my home monitor. My home inkjet printer is now used only for "specials" and certainly not for holiday snaps. Saves a lot of time and money.
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: BJL on April 30, 2003, 10:53:29 am
First, thanks to Michael for giving us the perspective of a photographer who is serious about image quality, but pragmatic rather than perfectionist, on where a high end pocketable digital camera might fit into a photographic enthusiast's life.

The combination of favorable comments on A3 prints and less favorable comments on high ISO noise levels due to small pixel size makes me admire Canon's idea with the G3 of keeping the pixels a bit "bigger but fewer" (4MP instead of 5MP, same sensor size as the S50). I wish someone would compare those two models, but I know it is well out of Michael's main territory.

On aperture ratios and the S50's program mode staying at f/2.8 as much as possible: my understanding is that f/2.8 is equivalent to a 35mm camera at f/11 or a bit smaller in terms of both depth of field and diffraction effects, (and f/8 is equivalent to about f/32) so the program mode's choice and the f/8 limit both seem reasonable: with such small sensors, the aperture setting is mostly a light level controller, not a DOF adjustment. I often have my digicam's aperture priority mode at f/2.8 for that reason. (Other reviewers have criticised digicam program modes for favoring large aperture ratios and high shutter speeds, apparently without accounting for this sensor size effect.)
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: on April 30, 2003, 10:38:02 pm
"Better" doesn't mean much if it doesn't meet one's needs. I wanted a camera that would fit in my pocket. The S50 does this, the G3 doesn't.

Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: Tom on May 02, 2003, 09:15:48 am
Michael -- you and others on the site have written quite a bit about the impact of pixel size on noise and the impact of noise on picture quality.  In your S50 review you are very articulate about your selection of the S50 for usability reasons, which make sense.  Did you, or in hindsight could you, comment on whether a lower res sensor might have made a better noise/resolution tradeoff?
Title: Canon S50 Review
Post by: on May 02, 2003, 09:38:53 am
I didn't do a formal or extensive comparison, but it appears that the S50 doesn't suffer against the S45 in this regard, so stepping up to 5MP from 4MP doesn't appear to have any image quality downside.