Canon DIGITAL IXUS 330 (PowerShot S330) Review
ISO (Sensitivity) Adjustment
ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the sensitivity of the CCD to allow for faster shutter speeds and/or better performance in low light. The way this works in a digital camera is by "turning up the volume" on the CCD's signal amplifiers, nothing is without its price however and doing so also amplifies any noise that may be present and often affects colour saturation.
The IXUS 330 provides an 'Auto ISO' where the camera will automatically vary sensitivity between ISO 50 and ISO 150 depending on available light. You can also select ISO sensitivities ISO 50, 100, 200 and 400.
But what, or rather where is ISO 50?
When Canon introduced the PowerShot G1 they also broke the mold for selectable ISO sensitivity by providing an 'ISO 50' setting. This generated a lot of interest as it appears to deliver low noise levels and can still be useful as long as you are shooting in good light. Recently I have been comparing other camera models to the PowerShot G2 and S40 and have noticed that although Canon label their lowest sensitivity as ISO 50 that in fact this is just as sensitive as other cameras at ISO 100.
This was also true of the IXUS 330, with the camera set to ISO 50 it exposed as another camera would for ISO 100 (combination of shutter speed and aperture). For the shots below I used a light meter to take a (flat surface) reading from the subject, it was 4.0 EV (at ISO 100), taking shots the camera exposed 4.0 EV at ISO 50 and 5.0 EV at ISO 100 (etc.). I re-verified this by taking similar shots with other cameras (and indeed Canon's own EOS-D60 D-SLR), my results were reconfirmed. This means that in effect the IXUS 330's ISO 50 is actually equivalent to ISO 100, and so on up the scale. What is very curious is why Canon chose to label the camera sensitivity in this way.
Unfortunately I didn't have another (modern) 2 megapixel digital camera with selectable ISO sensitivities to do a direct comparison, so instead I have simply provided a montage of 60 x 60 pixel crops from our standard GretagMacBeth ColorChecker shot taken at each selectable sensitivity.
The ISO 50 setting provides a very clean almost completely noise free shooting mode, noise increases as we would expect in fairly consistent way all the way up the selectable sensitivities.
Unfortunately the IXUS 330's automatic white balance did seem to fall over (quite badly) under both Incandescent and Fluorescent light. However, the news is better if you switch to one of the pre-programmed white balance settings. Pre-selecting white balance before shooting guarantees some of the best artificial light white balance I've seen in any consumer digital camera (check out that Incandescent shot, almost no hue shift). Additionally the IXUS 330 also has manual preset white balance which virtually guarantees perfect white balance. Canon lose one mark for poor Auto White balance but gain at least two for excellent pre-programmed settings!
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Sunny (or Cloudy)||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incandescent||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluorescent||Fluorescent, Manual|
Because of its extending compact lens design the IXUS 330 can't offer much in the way of macro ability. That said things do seem to be slightly improved over last years camera, at least now we can get close enough (at full telephoto) to produce a "macro" coverage of 8 cm (3.1 in) horizontally across the frame.
Low Light Focus
This test measures the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.
Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).
This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), you should consider the results below the best you could expect to achieve.
|Lens position||Aperture||AF Assist lamp||Lowest light focus|
|Wide angle (39 mm)||F4.7||On||0.9 EV (4.7 Lux, 0.4 fc)|
|Telephoto (117 mm)||F4.7||On||2.9 EV (18.7 Lux, 1.7 fc)|
|Wide angle (39 mm)||F2.7||Off||1.9 EV (9.3 Lux, 0.9 fc)|
|Telephoto (117 mm)||F4.7||Off||3.4 EV (26.4 Lux, 2.5 fc)|
Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)
Surprisingly the IXUS 330's AF assist lamp didn't work in complete darkness, instead it managed to extend the camera's AF sensitivity by one stop at wide angle and about half a stop at telephoto. This is probably due to the fact that at 2 m from our AF target the beam cast by the lamp was looking slightly faint and didn't line up properly with the center AF point.
The IXUS 330's flash unit has a quoted range of 3.5 m (12.5 ft) at wide angle and 2.0 m (6.6 ft) at telephoto. As you can see from our samples below exposures were accurate and consistent without any colour cast, there was some notable drop-off trying to shoot our white wall from 2 m away at full wide angle.
We've seen different flavors of 360° cameras over the past couple of years, but the Vuze XR may be the first one that's designed to shoot both 360° spherical and 180° stereoscopic video in a single unit.
Huawei has launched the world's first photography contest with both AI and human judges. The contest began on July 12 and will run for 8 weeks. During this time, photographers can submit their images via a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Fujifilm has announced the XF10, a premium compact camera with a fast 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens and 24MP APS-C sensor. This replacement for the X70 will ship in August for $500.
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment is still a depressing, eye-opening read.
Is this the end? Nikon's UK and Japanese websites now list some of its KeyMission action cameras as discontinued.
Leica Camera AG is now an investor in Light, the makers of the innovative L16 camera. According to the company, the funding will allow Light to 'expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography'
YouTuber ZY Productions has a video wherein he provides a succinct summary of how phase detection autofocus systems work, their benefits and their shortcomings.
The X-U is Leica's first ruggedized compact camera and is still the only waterproof camera on the market with a large APS-C sensor. That sensor sits behind a 35mm-equivalent, F1.7 lens, and we've taken it to the mountains and back to see just what it's capable of.
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the Sony RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.
Mastin Labs has released its latest set of presets titled 'Kodak Everyday.' The pack includes film emulation presets for iconic Kodak films, including Ektar, Gold and Tri-X.
Canon has released firmware update 1.0.4 for the EOS 6D Mark II, adding important bug fixes for "rare instances" of issues with the touch panel and operation buttons.
In an email to DPReview, Nikon Inc. has confirmed ''The Nikon 1 series cameras, lenses and accessories are no longer in production'.
Nikon's new Coolpix P1000 boasts an extraordinary zoom range and a suite of powerful stills and video features in a (relatively) compact body. We're taking a detailed look at this powerful compact's key features.
PhotoMirage, a new Windows application from software company Corel, transforms images into "mirages" by adding movement to elements like water or clouds. Unlike a cinemagraph, it does not require video footage – instead animating a single static image.
Tamron's version 2.0 firmware update for its 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD claims to have addressed reported issues with autofocus during video shooting.