The S40's Colour Effect exposure mode is now been removed, the replacement is a selectable Effect FUNC menu option available in all exposure modes. There are six default 'Effect' settings as well as a 'Custom Effect' which allows you to control sharpening, contrast and saturation.
The S45 allows for control over three aspects of the cameras internal processing algorithms. You can alter the sharpening, contrast and saturation of images. Although these settings are available in RAW mode they are not applied to the image in-camera but are stored in the RAW image header as the default settings for Canon's File Viewer Utility.
|Contrast -1||Contrast 0||Contrast +1|
|Saturation -1||Saturation 0||Saturation +1|
|Sharpening -1||Sharpening 0||Sharpening +1|
As I mentioned in previous Canon reviews it's good to see a manufacturer providing a good selection of control but it's a shame that they don't give you more than 1 step of adjustment either way. It would be far more useful to be able to adjust contrast, saturation and sharpening plus or minus 3 or 5 levels. Also note that the S45's default sharpening is lower than most other digital camera's, this seems to be in line with Canon's policy of not over-processing the image.
The S45 has a new feature shared with the G3, this is the ability to 'focus bracket', that is to take a sequence of three shots at focus distances 'around' the current focus point. Images are shot with focus point of: curren position, backwards and forward. You can choose from three different ranges of adjustment - small, medium and large. I'm sceptical of the usefulness of this feature on a compact digital camera.
The example sequence below was taken using a large position adjustment. Crops shown are from the center of each image and have been enhanced with a strong unsharp mask (to emphasize the focus position).
|Current position||Backward (away from camera)||Forward (closer to camera)|