Monday, February 27, 2012

My new toy

Dear friends,

I have a new toy and his name is Canon S100. The image above (totally unedited) was taken with my old camera, a Casio. Not that there's anything wrong with my Casio. It's still working fine but....

As you know, I'm spending this year producing at least 12 ePatterns. From my experience producing the 4 ePatterns which I have in my shop, I know that I spend a lot of time at editing the photos. You may have heard that Picnik is closing, or rather moving to Google+. I don't know what that means. All I know is I won't be able to use picnik like I'm used to. I don't know about you but I'm not so keen to have everything I own on the net all linked up nicely via Google. Well, I could use Photoshop express but it doesn't have the speed of picnik. I know some of you will probably recommend Picasa but I have used Picasa and I don't like it.

Anyways what it entails is I need better pics so I won't have to edit them so much. Another thing that really bothered me about my Casio is that I need really good lighting before I can take photos or they will turn out like crap. Last year saw me constantly watching the sky for the sun to come out and when it does, I will quickly start my sewing and shooting. Also, I needed to take the photos at my balcony. And when I say balcony, please do not picture a huge space with a nice view. Nothing of that sort. It's a tiny space, about the size of a public toilet. There are no windows which account for the good light. The view we get is another block of flats facing us. Just imagine having to set up a table, power cord and lugging my sewing machine there for the shoot. It was really exhausting especially when the sun played hide-and-seek with me. And when the sun is out, it's hot.

Now when I bought this new camera, I know very little about whether any of what I had just mentioned would change. I only hoped for the best. All I know is this - this camera was recommended to me by hubs and a few others. It's a point and shoot camera with manual controls. Plus it costs a lot of money and I think it's safe to say that a camera that costs much more than my casio will certainly take better pics. (I'm trying not to think about the number of ePatterns I have to sell just to pay for this new camera) I had wanted to buy this camera in December as a Christmas gift to myself but it was totally sold out. Last week we saw this camera sold at a shop and decided to buy it. It came with 2 batteries and 2 memory cards and maybe a useless tripod.

Okay, I'm a big dummy when it comes to cameras and taking photos. All my life I've left it to the auto functions of a camera to do the work. I even tried searching for a S100 for Dummies but sadly no one has written one yet. My casio allowed me to change a few settings like anti-blur, tracking and the ISO. But other than that, everything else was auto.

For this S100, I could use Auto and let the camera do the job but that would be silly. I mean, the whole point is to control the settings to get the best picture. I read the user manual 5 times, maybe more. I've taken many shots. It's not easy. I've decided that for a start, I will just adjust the Aperture and let the camera calculate the shutter speed. I also started shooting at very low ISO - 80 to 100 for my ePatterns. I think low ISO is supposed to give you more clarity. Since I shoot stills it's just perfect.



I wanted to show you the difference in the photos taken with both camera. These images are unedited. Although I took from the same distance, the result is different.



These two pics are done with zoom-in. For the Casio, there's no Macro function. Canon has this amazing feature called Macro which can be enabled in any mode. I have the tendency to zoom in too close tho'. What I love most is these photos are taken indoors in cloudy weather.

And I discovered that photos taken indoors at my sewing table don't look too bad. The light source is from the sewing machine.

Did you see the ants?

I took this Ixora flower outdoor when it was drizzling so there was no sun. I noticed that the colour of the flowers don't match the real thing.

Then I discovered there is a "foliage" function and I took the above image. The colours are so much closer! Ah, I've also discovered there is a function to change the colour setting to my preference. Quite exhausting to learn all these on my own. There is a class to learn the functions of this camera which I'm signing up for. Hope I will learn something useful.

This is the last photo I'm going to show you. It's a hibiscus and if you think the angle is odd, it's because I was standing on tip-toe holding the camera over a school fence with the camera tilted up.

Oh, you know what sucks about this camera? It uses up the battery really fast. Like guzzle fast. See ya.


Mandy said...

I will miss picnik.

punkychewster said...

I know! i loved it when i got my new canon!!! i was so in awe of the macro function. so, i am also totally at a loss at not being able to use picnik anymore... how did i edit my pictures before picnik?? last night when i posted, i had to go back to the old school way of uploading to blogger.... halp?

Suzee said...

I'm shopping for a new camera too.. this helps thank you!
And the flower pics are gorgeous! !

Fairlie - said...

Hi - found you via a link on Lesley's Chapter III blog.

One tip I've only recently worked out (although it seems so obvious) is to read the camera manual! I did that for both cameras I use regularly and I've noticed a dramatic improvement in results in some of the trickier photo situations (low light, moving subjects etc). But you've probably already done that like most sensible people would! :)

Chris H said...

Very nice camera... and well worth the extra cost.
I dream of owning a Canon... and I will one day too!

Dee said...

I would like to replace my camera and get a Canon. I don't see it happening any time soon 'though.
My camera has some semi mania settings so I figure the first step is to make better use of them. I need to do a bit more reading up on how all the aspects work together.

I have noticed lots of photography info on various blogs.
Have fun working out all the bits of your new toy... keep us posted. :)

tamdoll said...

I think the Canon's pictures look much clearer and the colors are great - you will love the Macro function!!! Have fun learning all the features - the more I learn how to use my camera, the better my pictures get. I use Picnik sometimes, but Picassa mostly -it's a free download and very handy to clean pictures up. If your batteries die fast, try a battery recharger instead of replacements, would that help?

antmee said...

Lucky you! Canon cameras are great (even though recently I got a Nikon but it was a close call. I nearly got the canon equivalent).
Very smart to read the manual to get the most out of your purchase. I haven't yet! Mainly because it's manual is on disk and not bookform!!!

PS. My handbag broke (not made by you!!) and one of these days soon I would like to get a new one that is good quality..hint hint!!!!

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