S110: good but one major disappointment

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
thermal1
Contributing MemberPosts: 770
Like?
S110: good but one major disappointment
4 months ago

I had a Canon 300HS.  I loved the size & portability, and was happy with the picture quality.  The one thing I missed was manual control, so I gave the 300HS to my niece and purchased an S110.  Great build quality, good quality photos, and full manual controls!

But when I took the S110 out to the beach one sunny afternoon and tried adjusting shutter speeds, I was disappointed to find the aperture only closes to F8.  Daytime shots with shutter speeds over half a second are all overexposed, even with the ND filter on.  I was very disappointed as I really enjoyed playing with shutter speeds on my SLR from 20 twenty years ago (I seem to remember F22); I loved slowing water at beaches, waterfalls etc.  Can't do it with the S110.

I'm hoping this will be addressed in future models.

Canon PowerShot S110
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
brianj
Forum ProPosts: 13,540Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

thermal1 wrote:

I had a Canon 300HS. I loved the size & portability, and was happy with the picture quality. The one thing I missed was manual control, so I gave the 300HS to my niece and purchased an S110. Great build quality, good quality photos, and full manual controls!

But when I took the S110 out to the beach one sunny afternoon and tried adjusting shutter speeds, I was disappointed to find the aperture only closes to F8. Daytime shots with shutter speeds over half a second are all overexposed, even with the ND filter on. I was very disappointed as I really enjoyed playing with shutter speeds on my SLR from 20 twenty years ago (I seem to remember F22); I loved slowing water at beaches, waterfalls etc. Can't do it with the S110.

I'm hoping this will be addressed in future models.

Did you say with shutter speeds over .5 sec, by that did you mean longer?

Generally one would be using 1/1000 sec or shorter time on a bright beach.

Brian

 brianj's gear list:brianj's gear list
Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thermal1
Contributing MemberPosts: 770
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to brianj, 4 months ago

This is the kinds of picture I was aiming for:

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
brianj
Forum ProPosts: 13,540Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

thermal1 wrote:

This is the kinds of picture I was aiming for:

Interesting, they look like low light but the sky is probably very bright.

You might need an external ND filter.

I don't think I have ever owned or seen a small sensor camera that went smaller the f8.

Brian

 brianj's gear list:brianj's gear list
Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Grumpyrocker
Regular MemberPosts: 230
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

You're asking way too much of the camera here. Your example shot was taken on a 1D and you are complaining that your S110 can't get that shot, well obviously. And that shot didn't come straight out of the 1D without some filters.

You'll need a strong ND filter for a start. But also likely some ND grads too to balance the sky and water.

The powershots S cameras are great (I've got an S95 and S120) but they aren't made of magic fairy dust.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thermal1
Contributing MemberPosts: 770
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to brianj, 4 months ago

brianj wrote:

Interesting, they look like low light but the sky is probably very bright.

You might need an external ND filter.

I don't think I have ever owned or seen a small sensor camera that went smaller the f8.

Brian

Thanks.  I remember seeing f22 on previous cameras and made the (false) assumption all manual control was the same.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Grumpyrocker
Regular MemberPosts: 230
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

The sensor in the S110 is very small. f/8 on this camera is much like using f/22 on a full frame camera in terms of depth of field at least. f/22 on such a small lens is probably not possible as the aperture would be ridiculously small.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
brianj
Forum ProPosts: 13,540Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to Grumpyrocker, 4 months ago

Grumpyrocker wrote:

The sensor in the S110 is very small. f/8 on this camera is much like using f/22 on a full frame camera in terms of depth of field at least. f/22 on such a small lens is probably not possible as the aperture would be ridiculously small.

Pin hole comes to mind.

Brian

 brianj's gear list:brianj's gear list
Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Grumpyrocker
Regular MemberPosts: 230
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to brianj, 4 months ago

brianj wrote:

Grumpyrocker wrote:

The sensor in the S110 is very small. f/8 on this camera is much like using f/22 on a full frame camera in terms of depth of field at least. f/22 on such a small lens is probably not possible as the aperture would be ridiculously small.

Pin hole comes to mind.

Brian

Yes, if it wasn't so early on a Sunday morning I'd get my thinking head on and actually do the (very simple) maths and work it out.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thermal1
Contributing MemberPosts: 770
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to Grumpyrocker, 4 months ago

Grumpyrocker wrote:

The sensor in the S110 is very small. f/8 on this camera is much like using f/22 on a full frame camera in terms of depth of field at least. f/22 on such a small lens is probably not possible as the aperture would be ridiculously small.

Thank you for the info.  I didn't know sensor size would have any influence on manual control parameters.  Live and learn.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
boogisha
Regular MemberPosts: 279Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

I had a Canon 300HS. I loved the size & portability, and was happy with the picture quality. The one thing I missed was manual control, so I gave the 300HS to my niece and purchased an S110. Great build quality, good quality photos, and full manual controls!

But when I took the S110 out to the beach one sunny afternoon and tried adjusting shutter speeds, I was disappointed to find the aperture only closes to F8. Daytime shots with shutter speeds over half a second are all overexposed, even with the ND filter on. I was very disappointed as I really enjoyed playing with shutter speeds on my SLR from 20 twenty years ago (I seem to remember F22); I loved slowing water at beaches, waterfalls etc. Can't do it with the S110.

I'm hoping this will be addressed in future models.

Hi, thermal1, first time reading your topic title (and the whole topic) one might conclude that S110 fails to deliver something you rightfully expected - but I think it`s your expectation that lacks a dose of realism, so saying that it has one "major disappointment" is actually pretty unfair to the camera, especially to this camera (S110).

I was very disappointed as I really enjoyed playing with shutter speeds on my SLR from 20 twenty years ago (I seem to remember F22); I loved slowing water at beaches, waterfalls etc. Can't do it with the S110.

Reading that you have used SLRs 20 years ago I might have expected that you know a bit more about some technical aspects regarding the f number, but if not, I would definitely advise reading/thinking about it a bit more. Not to get me wrong, it`s not my intent to be rude, just that actually becoming familiar with why is something made the way it is might help you overcome the "disappointment" part Or at least understand it better.

For example, I may assume that SLR you`ve used in the past (and those that you may use nowadays, too) was quite a bit bigger than your current S110...? It had much bigger lens, some of them probably being as big as your whole camera is today (S110).

Well, making things smaller does come with a trade-off, and that`s where the answer lies.

As technology advanced, many of nowadays digital cameras have the "image capturing surface" (a digital sensor, what used to be a film back in the days) much smaller than it was when filmstrips were used, and yet you get the same or better picture quality.

(Please note that some dSLR camera even today have quite large sensors that represent the size of the filmstrip used in the past, and these are known as "full-frame" dSLRs... Their image quality is usually one of the best that can be found today, and their size and price is quite something, too )

Getting back to the story, we now usually have smaller sensors, period. In small compact cameras, these sensors are usually around 1/2.3" (sensor diagonal, yes, being less than half an inch), where in some more advanced compacts (as S110 is), it`s around 1/1.7", up to 1" (Sony RX-100). (link)

Now, this allowed (or demanded) quite a few changes on the lens side, too - the lens is much smaller and much closer to the sensor. There are some other consequences caused by all this shrinking (as depth of field changed, too, to make for one example), but we`re now interested in its influence on the f-number.

To make it simple, f number, used to show "lens speed", or the amount of light that passes through the lens (the lower the number, the bigger the entrance hole, the more light getting through the lens), is calculated as focal length divided by diameter of the entrance pupil (hole).

In the days of filmstrip SLRs (or nowadays full-frame dSLRs), saying "a focal length of 50mm" was exactly that - lens being 50mm away from the filmstrip (sensor). (Actually, there is a bit more math and terms involved, but let`s not make things complicated as it`s not that important for the point of the story).

Nowadays, digital camera usually say something like "focal length 24-120 mm equivalent" (S110). This "equivalent" is important, as it means "angle of view equivalent to 35 mm (full-frame) sensor". But the lens is not really that much away from the sensor - for S110, it`s actually as close as 5.2 mm (wide) to 26 mm (tele)! And it`s similar with other compacts, too.

Back to the thing we all love - math

To get an aperture of f/22 on a full-frame sensor dSLR (or old 35mm SLR) for the focal distance of 24 mm, the size (diameter) of the lens entrance pupil (hole that lets the light in) would need to be = focal length / f-number, equals 24 mm / 22, equals ~ 1.1 mm in diameter.

To get an aperture of f/22 on a small compact like S110 for the focal distance of "24 mm equivalent", being 5.2 mm in reality, it would mean the entrance pupil (hole) would need to be = focal length / f-number, equals 5.2 mm / 22, equals ~0.24 mm in diameter - that`s one fourth of a millimeter!

And now we see the real issue - having such a small hole causes a lot of problems with lens design (being related to the laws of physics, optics), a major loss of picture quality being one of them.

Even if possible to create the lens like that (not sure if it is, though, yet it probably will be one day), it would highly influence the overall price of the camera, making it pretty unaffordable for the majority of population - and yet, only a small number would probably have any use of such a small aperture. Having all that in mind, it`s pretty understandable why small compact cameras usually go up to as high as f/8.

Also, not to forget, the lenses are usually the most expensive part of any (d)SLR setup, and for a reason, as the lens itself is one of the most important elements in capturing the light the way we want it - and that`s what photography is all about, from the technical point of view.

In the end, for fun, let`s do some more math - if you had a pupil entrance of 0.24 mm in diameter on your old 35 mm film SLR, for a focal length of 24 mm, the f-number value would be = focal length / diameter, equals 24 mm / 0.24, equals f/100!

* * *

With all this said, I may conclude that your disappointment is not with S110, but with the current state of technology and compact digital cameras as a whole, and it`s mainly because you weren`t informed well prior the camera purchase.

What you aim for might as well be available one day, but now, I`m afraid that an external ND filter (as already proposed) is your best shot.

Keep exploring all the possibilities (and limitations) of your new digital friend, and I think you`ll have a lot of nice pictures with it - and a lot of fun, too And being the size it is, making it possible to have it with you all the time, might pretty much compensate for its f/8 "limitation", as having the camera near by just when you need one is really priceless...

I`m a mere amateur, but you may check some of my images taken with S120 in this topic (images are also contained in the replies, too, the last ones being from our recent trip to Jordan, Middle East). I really enjoy the camera, and the more I learn about it, the more I enjoy using it

Have a nice shooting!

 boogisha's gear list:boogisha's gear list
Canon PowerShot A75 Canon ELPH 300 HS Canon PowerShot S120
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Marty Too
Senior MemberPosts: 1,042
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

This is the kinds of picture I was aiming for:

These look like HDR shots. Interestingly the Canons can accomplish HDR with a tripod and some post processing. CDHK even has a script so that you can make several exposures with one push off the shutter. These shots need to be combined on your computer to obtain the desired result.

I plan to take such shots sometime soon with my newly acqiured 330HS. I can only hope the results approach these examples.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AlbertInFrance
Senior MemberPosts: 2,585Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

If you need to use filters on an S110 have a look at this.

http://www.lensmateonline.com/articles/products/canon-powershot-s110-lensmate-filter-adapter/

I'm planning to get something similar for my G15.

-- hide signature --

Albert
Every photograph is an abstraction from reality.
Most people are more interested in the picture than the image.

 AlbertInFrance's gear list:AlbertInFrance's gear list
Canon PowerShot G15 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1 Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark B.
Forum ProPosts: 15,307Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

thermal1 wrote:

brianj wrote:

Interesting, they look like low light but the sky is probably very bright.

You might need an external ND filter.

I don't think I have ever owned or seen a small sensor camera that went smaller the f8.

Brian

Thanks. I remember seeing f22 on previous cameras and made the (false) assumption all manual control was the same.

You won't see much smaller than f/8 on any compact digicam.  The physical opening of the aperture is directly proportional to the sensor size.  The smaller the sensor, the smaller the aperture.

What you'll need is a neutral density filter, but you'll then need very long shutter speeds so it's also dependent on how long of a shutter you can set on the S110.

Mark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
seri_art
Senior MemberPosts: 2,166Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

It's not a matter of manual control. It's the fact that small sensors use short lenses with much smaller lens openings (for the same f-stop) than your full-frame cameras. The result is that for small-sensor cameras, lens openings smaller than f/8 produce so much sharpness-destroying diffraction that f/8 is the smallest opening you get.

thermal1 wrote:

I didn't know sensor size would have any influence on manual control parameters. Live and learn.

 seri_art's gear list:seri_art's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Canon EOS 650D Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thermal1
Contributing MemberPosts: 770
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to seri_art, 4 months ago

Thank you everyone for your informative responses.

It sounds like the most likely way we're going to see anything larger than f8 in the S-series camera is if it is introduced with a larger sensor?  I can say with honesty I would give up some zoom range in exchange for an S130 with a 1 inch sensor.  It would seem such a camera would have its buyers...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
quiquae
Regular MemberPosts: 272Gear list
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to thermal1, 4 months ago

thermal1 wrote:

Thank you everyone for your informative responses.

It sounds like the most likely way we're going to see anything larger than f8 in the S-series camera is if it is introduced with a larger sensor? I can say with honesty I would give up some zoom range in exchange for an S130 with a 1 inch sensor. It would seem such a camera would have its buyers...

1" RX100 goes down one more stop, to f/11. G1X Mk II can go down another stop, to f/16. They are substantially bigger than an S110 or S120, and less zoom range would not make them that much smaller. Oh, did I mention they are noticeably more expensive than an S120?

TANSTAAFL. Sad but true.

 quiquae's gear list:quiquae's gear list
Canon PowerShot S120 Canon EOS 650D Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sensingsys
Senior MemberPosts: 1,509
Like?
Re: S110: good but one major disappointment
In reply to Mark B., 4 months ago

Mark B. wrote:

thermal1 wrote:

brianj wrote:

Interesting, they look like low light but the sky is probably very bright.

You might need an external ND filter.

I don't think I have ever owned or seen a small sensor camera that went smaller the f8.

Brian

Thanks. I remember seeing f22 on previous cameras and made the (false) assumption all manual control was the same.

You won't see much smaller than f/8 on any compact digicam. The physical opening of the aperture is directly proportional to the sensor size. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the aperture.

What you'll need is a neutral density filter, but you'll then need very long shutter speeds so it's also dependent on how long of a shutter you can set on the S110.

Mark

My S120 has the same F8 limitation and as I always take bracketed exposure shots I often don't get any variation for the longest shot, it would be nice if the ND filter came into use automatically.

As a matter of interest I looked at the specs for my camera before last: a Sony DSCT10, I was surprised to find F3.5 to F4.3!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads