s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Started Jan 4, 2012 | Discussions
NoCoShutter New Member • Posts: 15
s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Mostly I really like my s100. I had the s90 and s95. Both lovely. Like the s100, love the wide lens. BUT…

I've found (and Canon tech has confirmed) that ANY exposure longer than 1" will lock the user to ISO 80. That's it. No more stunning shots of the night sky at f/2, ISO 800 and 8". Or ISO 200, or anything else. The s90 and s95 were both capable of this.

I believe the s90 and s95 were CCD sensors and the s100 is a CMOS. But so what? My huge Canons are CMOS censors too and handle long exposures at any ISO the camera has listed. Why not the s100? Is this a software/firmware lockout so we're forced to "buy up" or is this some sort of legitimate hardware limitation?

I can attest to the fact that a 1" shot on the s100 at ISO 6400 looks like JUNK compared to a 8" exposure at f/2 ISO 800 on the s95. I have both to prove it.

Anybody know the answer to this, or can we pester Canon enough they may firmware unlock this (if it's an unnecessary lockout)?

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Qafziel Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

NoCoShutter wrote:

I've found (and Canon tech has confirmed) that ANY exposure longer than 1" will lock the user to ISO 80. That's it. No more stunning shots of the night sky at f/2, ISO 800 and 8". Or ISO 200, or anything else. The s90 and s95 were both capable of this.

It's a well known complaint against the S100, especially from those used to the S90/95 which don't have this limitation. I have the SX230 which is also a CMOS, and it also has this limitation. I guess it's related to the CMOS in some way.

NoCoShutter wrote:

I can attest to the fact that a 1" shot on the s100 at ISO 6400 looks like JUNK compared to a 8" exposure at f/2 ISO 800 on the s95. I have both to prove it.

I guess the S100 is indeed not a good choice for these specific conditions.

NoCoShutter wrote:

Anybody know the answer to this, or can we pester Canon enough they may firmware unlock this (if it's an unnecessary lockout)?

Once CHDK is ported to the S100, you'll probably be able to bypass this, and then maybe we'll know and see why Canon imposed this in the first place.

keeponkeepingon Senior Member • Posts: 1,497
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Qafziel wrote:

It's a well known complaint against the S100

Unless you rely on dpreview reviews.

For some reason they did not mention this at all in their review.

Canon bias or dpreview review quality slipping?

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mermaidkiller Contributing Member • Posts: 906
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

I also found this issue. I rather think it is a firmware bug.

Any EOS has 'long exposure NR' switchable as well and works fine on my 40d and there are no limitations on ISO speed / shutter speed, even when the latter is set to B.

Wait for a firmware update and otherwise for a CHDK port for the S100.

Or go back to the retailer and get a refund if you have purchased this camera for longer exposures than 1 second.

Look at this:

http://www.amazon.com/Think-twice-before-the-S100/forum/Fx22F24C46LQ7W9/Tx1RSYIGDJ5TW82/1?_encoding=UTF8&asin=B005MTME3U
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Steen Bay Veteran Member • Posts: 7,418
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

NoCoShutter wrote:

Mostly I really like my s100. I had the s90 and s95. Both lovely. Like the s100, love the wide lens. BUT…

I've found (and Canon tech has confirmed) that ANY exposure longer than 1" will lock the user to ISO 80. That's it. No more stunning shots of the night sky at f/2, ISO 800 and 8". Or ISO 200, or anything else. The s90 and s95 were both capable of this.

I believe the s90 and s95 were CCD sensors and the s100 is a CMOS. But so what? My huge Canons are CMOS censors too and handle long exposures at any ISO the camera has listed. Why not the s100? Is this a software/firmware lockout so we're forced to "buy up" or is this some sort of legitimate hardware limitation?

I can attest to the fact that a 1" shot on the s100 at ISO 6400 looks like JUNK compared to a 8" exposure at f/2 ISO 800 on the s95. I have both to prove it.

Anybody know the answer to this, or can we pester Canon enough they may firmware unlock this (if it's an unnecessary lockout)?

What matters is the amount of light/photons captured, so can't you just shoot at f/2, iso80 and 8", and then push it app. 3 stops in the RAW converter? And the result will be even better (because more photons are captured) if shooting at f/2, iso80 and 15", with an app. 2 stops push afterwards.

Ron Parr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,785
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Other cameras with small CMOS sensors also seem to have limitations on long exposures, but they're not as restrictive as the S100 - typically 30 seconds max at any ISO. I would guess that there are still some dark current issues with these small CMOS sensors.

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uber_racer Regular Member • Posts: 341
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

I's not a bug, it specifically states this ISO limitation in the manual.

PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 17,902
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

That limitation has been discussed extensively here since around Nov 1.

I expect there will be a version of CHDK for the S100 before long; I imagine that will be addressed in CHDK if possible.

It's not been a factor in any of my shooting to date.
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PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

NoCoShutter wrote:

Anybody know the answer to this, or can we pester Canon enough they may firmware unlock this (if it's an unnecessary lockout)?

Unfortunately, from what I've read it's what they've started doing on their other cameras as well, apparently night scene mode or whatever on other Canon compacts used to be able to raise the iso and use a long shutter speed, but now it won't go above iso80 for exposures longer than 1 second either.

I also find this annoying, though not as annoying as the fact that you arbitrarily cannot use more than a 15 second exposure length. It's my understanding that CHDK lets you set the shutter speed to 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc etc, so Canon just arbitrarily restricts you from using them. Note that you can't actually set longer than 30 seconds on a Canon dslr either, I mean you can if you use bulb mode but you can't just set "1 minute".

There's certainly a few possible explanations -

1. This new restriction on canon compacts seems to have happened around the time CMOS sensors have shown up, so maybe it's a compact CMOS sensor thing

2. Like the OP said, they're trying to arbitrarily force you to buy their bigger and more expensive models
3. They just figured that no almost no one actually uses the longer exposures

along with higher iso's so they pulled out the feature to save on testing costs. I personally believe this is why Canon keeps a lot of features off their cameras - when they add new features they have to test it, they save money by not testing stuff that they don't think will help them sell cameras.

Or several of the above combined...

I will say that personally, I have not actually run into this being an issue in my own shooting so far.

Jon_T
Jon_T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,349
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

NoCoShutter wrote:

... I've found (and Canon tech has confirmed) that ANY exposure longer than 1" will lock the user to ISO 80. That's it. ...

Similar situation with the SX40 which dcresource.com noted in their review of the SX40 - http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_sx40-review

The 1" limitation and the low-res LCD are the top two of the four reasons I bought FZ150 (15 - 1/2000 sec) instead of the SX40.

Will Canon listen and respond to owner's complaints; only time will tell. But would imagine Canon will react much quicker if Canon loses enough sales if people buy a competitor's camera.

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mcshan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,260
More question marks please ! n/t

no text

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OP NoCoShutter New Member • Posts: 15
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Original poster here.

Thanks for all the intelligent and thoughtful replies. Bottom line: who knows. But I see now that this is not a "one off" thing. Other manufacturers are doing it too. And very likely related to the idea that there are few shooters needing/demanding this feature. Some of us, yes. But for sure not their target market in a pocket camera (though I'll say it again, for $429USD, you'd expect some bells and whistles).

I've never used the CHDK. I will definitely look into that when available. Awesome tip. Thanks.

Otherwise, I find this to be an awesome camera. Even saw the newest Canon Gx1 and thought "meh." I do love the wider lens on the s100. What do you bet the GX1 (even with CMOS) doesn't lock the user out of that feature? And if it does, expect some serious griping from even more folks.

Very much appreciate the wisdom of the community. For a while I thought I was missing some obvious solution or reason.

Cheers.

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Richard Horner Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

This bug is such a massive annoying headache for me

I've been doing long exposure shots with every canon compact i've owned (a dozen or so) and having the ability to just whack up the iso to say catch the milkyway, etc, etc, etc, etc is so useful...

Please Canon, give us back the function to up the ISO to at least 1600 like all your previous compacts.

The S100 has gone back a couple of steps compared to the S90-95 in a few areas

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PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Richard Horner wrote:

The S100 has gone back a couple of steps compared to the S90-95 in a few areas

I don't know if this was mentioned already, but to be fair, I've read that this also also true of all of Canon's other recent compacts - that in scene modes that used to let you do long exposure and high iso, now you can also only do long exposure at iso80 as well. One theory is that they just eliminated to save costs somehow, another theory is that is showed up around the time of the cmos sensors, maybe cmos sensors don't do as well with high iso and long exposures - or maybe they would have had to come up with new and different noise reduction algorithms and they cut costs by not doing it. Just thinking out loud here.

wade maney Regular Member • Posts: 333
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

So does anyone know if the Canon G1 X suffers from the same lockout given that it uses a CMOS? Thanks
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Andreas Studer New Member • Posts: 21
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Well, the only thing that makes sense to me is that it has to do with the small cmos sensors. My guess is it has to do with the "native" ISO of the cmos chip itself and limitations if we raise above 1'.

Higher ISO on a chip generally means you have to strength the sensors signal. I don't know the exact mechanisms behind that but it sounds that the cmos sensor itself has to do more work as if you would use his native ISO setting. Cmos is a rather more complex beast than ccd, and I can imagine you'll get some heating issues on the sensor itself if you raise the ISO setting and the exposure time. That as a consquence would mean you'll get alot more noise as expected.

Or simply said: the cmos chip would operate out of his acceptable specification range.

I can imagine if anything of my guesses above has some point of truth, resulting in a unacceptable image quality in the sense of Canon as brand, would Canon force to limit the setting to 80 ISO.

I doubt Canon will force us this way to buy more expensive cameras. My guess is that more or less everyone who has an EOS 60D or above considers an S100 as second "always In the pocket" camera. Making more outstanding pictures than any other camera in this pocket size. That means: a typical buyer of an S100 has already a more expensive system at home (for the "really serious" stuff ;-).

In this respect for me the S100 is really one of the best of its class, including limitations like this.

gadgets
gadgets Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Two possible theories given that Canon is not likely to have arbitrarily limited this for no good reason.

1) Logical guess: As others have stated, issues with compact CMOS design when turning up the gain (higher ISOs) and using longer exposures causing overheating and consequent problems.

2) Conspiracy theory guess: CMOS sensor is so radically improved that using longer exposures with higher ISOs will actually provide BETTER image quality than base ISO, rendering stunning image quality and eliminating need for any high-end gear for any exposures longer than 1".

I'm leaning towards #1.

caribou007 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: s100 long exposure ISO lockout WHAT'S UP?????

Necro on this thread, looking for an update.  I'm considering purchasing an S100 and I see the CHDK for the S100 is now available in Beta.  Has anyone tried it?  What are the results?  Does it overheat as speculated in the last post?

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