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Image Sharpening

The DSC-S70 offers control over the internal sharpening algorithms of the camera, you can choose from five different levels of sharpening The samples below are 100% crops of different sharpening levels for the same scene.

Sharpening -2 (Soft)
 
Sharpening -1 (Soft)
Sharpening 0 (None)
 
Sharpening +1 (Hard)
 
 
Sharpening +2 (Hard)
 
 


Digital Zoom

Readers of my reviews will know I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom as it's often a badly implemented and seldom used (by owners) marketing "ploy" to sell cameras which don't have an optical zoom. The DSC-S70 does indeed have optical zoom, and has a range of digital zooms which can be used on top of the standard 3x optical zoom. These zooms range smoothly from nothing to 2.0x. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image) and sampling-up, the only advantage in doing digital zoom inside the camera is (a) if you don't have any photo software to magnify (and interpolate) the image or (b) to digitally zoom without zooming the JPEG artifacts.

Full Optical Zoom, No Digital Zoom
 
Full Optical Zoom, 2.0x Digital Zoom
 
Full Optical Zoom, 2.0x Bicubic Photoshop
 
 

Here I've included a Photoshop 2.0x Bicubic sampled image, simply resampled 200% then cropped to 2048 x 1536, results are fairly close to the in-camera interpolation, though I feel the DSC-S70's in-camera image looks a little more detailed and (obviously) less effected by JPEG artifacts.


Manual Focus

The DSC-S70 features just five manual focus settings: 0.5m (1.6ft), 1.0m (3.2ft) , 3.0m (9.8 ft), 7.0m (23 ft) and Infinity. These are a little limiting, especially compared to the almost seamless manual focus available on other digicams. Though combining these distances with a decent depth of field (use aperture priority mode) should give enough flexibility to be useful.


Aperture Priority Mode

Aperture priority is where you designate the aperture and the camera calculates the best shutter speed, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the aperture will flash on the LCD screen. Used properly Aperture Priority can be invaluable as it has a direct effect on depth of field (the distance in front and behind the focal point which will be in focus when taking the shot).

The DSC-S70 offers a fairly good range of apertures for the photographer. This is useful in good light, however it's crippled in low light as the DSC-S70 has a lower shutter speed limit of 1/30s in Aperture Priority mode... Why, I'm not sure, but it means that unless you have good light you'll not be using small apertures. Available apertures:

  • Wide: F2.0, 2.4, 2.8, 3.4, 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.8, 8.0
  • Tele: F2.4, 2.8, 3.4, 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.8, 8.0

Aperture Priority mode is accessed through the Program AE button. A basic example of aperture priority is shown below for more read my digital photography glossary:

F2.4, 1/180 sec (short depth of field)
 
F6.8 1/30 sec (greater depth of field)


Shutter Priority Mode (S)

Shutter priority is where you designate the shutter speed and the camera calculates the correct aperture, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the shutter speed will flash on the LCD screen.

In the first example we've locked the shutter speed at 4 seconds to capture this blurred "motion" image of a Canon Digital IXUS (S100 ELPH) lens retracting, in the second we've locked shutter speed at 1/1000 second to freeze the water droplet coming out of the tap (classic review shot ;)

For more read my digital photography glossary:


XGA Version (1024 x 768)

XGA Version (1024 x 768)
Shutter Priority Mode
Exposure: 4 seconds, F8.0.
Light metered @ 4 EV
Shutter Priority Mode
Exposure: 1/1000 second, F2.0.
Light metered @ 12 EV
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