Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400) Review
Just like other recent PowerShot digital cameras the S400's automatic white balance setting worked better in natural light, under incandescent light there was a visible orange cast. The preset white balance settings are excellent and provide accurate white balance which is almost indistinguishable from manual white balance.
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Cloudy (or Sunny)||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incandescent||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluorescent (or H)||Fluorescent, Manual|
Like a lot of compact cameras the S400's macro ability is to be found at the wide angle setting. The disadvantages of this are barrel distortion and shadows cast by the lens (short subject to lens distances). Best possible horizontal frame coverage was approximately 53 mm (2.1 in).
The S400's flash unit has a specified range of 3.5 m (11.5 ft) at wide angle and 2.0 m (6.6 ft) at telephoto. In our tests flash exposures were fairly consistently underexposed. The S400 does not have flash exposure compensation so there would be no way to increase flash power in these situations.
|Skin tone - Natural color, no blue cast, under- exposed.||Color patches - Good color balance, no color cast, moderately underexposed.|
The S400 has an automatic noise reduction mode which is enabled for exposures of 1.3 seconds or slower. To achieve such long exposures you must first enable the camera's "long exposure" feature. Select a long exposure from the FUNC menu, press 'SET' with the exposure compensation setting visible and it will switch to long exposure. The S400 supports long exposures of 1 to 15 seconds. Noise reduction works by taking a 'dark frame' after the main exposure and using any noise from that frame to remove noise in the main shot. As expected the S400 took good night exposures with no visible 'hot pixel' noise.
|Long exposure: ISO 50, 4 sec, F2.8|
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
The S400's three times optical zoom lens provides a zoom range of 36 to 108 mm (equiv). At full wide angle it exhibited 0.9% barrel distortion, at telephoto pincushion distortion was not visible. A very good performance.
|Barrel Distortion, 0.9% @ wide angle||Pincushion Distortion, none @ telephoto|
Vignetting / Light fall off
Our vignetting / light fall off test is very simple, a shot of a blank wall from two meters away, vignetting will always be most visible at wide angle and maximum aperture and will start to disappear at smaller apertures and/or further zoom. As you can see below the S400 exhibits very little corner vignetting / light fall of, there is just the hint of it most visible in the top right and bottom corners, it's unlikely you would see this in a normal shot.
|Slight corner vignetting visible at wide angle and maximum aperture (F2.8)||No noticeable vignetting at telephoto|
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
The S400 exhibited some chromatic aberrations around contrast detail against bright backgrounds such as in the example below. It's less than we have seen from other cameras and is a consequence of the compact design of the lens system.
|Some fringing visible in the corners of shots with high contrast||Our standard chromatic aberration test shot|
Overall Image Quality / Specific Issues
The PowerShot S400 produces very nice images, low noise, good color, good tonal balance and yet still detailed. The S400 is a good example of the progressive improvement Canon are able to apply to their cameras, each generation slightly better than the last. At first S400 images can appear to be a little soft, but this is simply a function of Canon's conservative approach to image sharpening, look closely however and you'll see that images still maintain very high detail levels. Colors are accurate and strong, with good delivery of foliage green and skin tones. I had no specific issues with the S400's image quality. Kudos Canon.
|"Witherslack Hall" steam locomotive at Orchard Crossing, Worcestershire, England. by cjf2|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Peruvian sweetness by VickyGo|
from street life
It's not always easy to find marble, wood or concrete surfaces on demand. Enter Replica Surfaces, small tiles designed to replicate popular photo surfaces and backdrops.
Lensrentals Founder Roger Cicala set aside some time to take apart Canon's new 50mm F1.2L RF lens and in doing so revealed a number of interesting discoveries.
Google is cracking down on unsupported video files being uploaded to its Photos platform and taking up free storage space.
With a nickname like 'bokeh master,' we had to see what the Sigma 105mm F1.4 was all about. Take a look at our gallery of samples shot with the Sony a7R III.
The Nikon Museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo has an exhibition showing off some of the most rare and unique prototype lenses Nikon ever developed.
VSCO has announced it will stop selling its film emulation presets for desktop programs March 1st, 2019.
On their latest models the two smartphone manufacturers have replaced the dreaded display notch by a design that features a circular hole for the front camera in the display.
With the latest version, Adobe Camera now lets you import Raw files from the newest iPhones, Pixel devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Nikon Z6 among others.
The Nikon Z6 may not offer the incredible resolution of its sibling, the Z7, but its 24MP resolution is more than enough for most people, and the money saved can buy a lot of glass. Find out what's new and notable about the Z6 in our First Impressions Review.
Sigma says its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sport lens is set to hit shelves by the end of December 2018 at a retail price of $1,499.
DxO PhotoLab 2.1 brings a collection of new features to MacOS and Windows users alike.
The new 'Elegant' lens series includes entirely manual F2.4 lenses in 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths.
A feature alerts pilots visually and/or verbally when their drone is approaching airspace that is unsafe or areas where drone flying is not permitted.
GoPro announced Monday morning that it plans to move production of United States-bound cameras out of China, citing tariffs concerns.
The Sigma 56mm F1.4 combines a sensible sub-$500 price tag and excellent performance, providing a portrait-friendly 85mm equiv. view on Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Azriel Knight of the YouTube channel This Old Camera explains the history of DX encoding.
The 250mm F4 is Fujifilm's longest lens for its medium-format system. It's equivalent to about 200mm on a GFX camera, and we put it to work on some portraits as well as some scenes around Seattle's waterfront – take a look.
Sony has removed the ability to download firmware version 2.0 for its a7 III and a7R III mirrorless cameras from its website.
Handing out awards for the best gear of the year is a big job, so we called in some reinforcements from Calgary to help us.
A new patent from Canon lays out the schematics for a speedbooster-style adapter for mounting Canon EF lenses onto EOS M cameras, but with a variable baffle to reduce the risk of flare.
The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has started a campaign asking visitors to stop geotagging their specific locations when visiting Wyoming's national parks.
Film simulation app Filmborn has been updated with new presets, features, and overall improved support on Apple's latest mobile operating system and devices.
The Colorado Tripod Company has introduced what it claims is the world’s first titanium tripod system, with a funding campaign on Kickstarter.
We've been shooting with the LX100 II both in and out of the studio, as part of our ongoing review. We're pretty impressed, so far, with the revised JPEG color and addition of a touchscreen both noticeable improvements.
An upcoming Xiaomi smartphone might use a 48MP sensor for pixel-binning, high-quality digital zooming and other algorithm-powered imaging features.
It's not cheap, but you may soon be able to get your hands on peel apart film once again thanks to ONE INSTANT.
Skylum's Luminar 3 arrives on December 18 with the long-awaited ability to manage your photo library. However, it won't be a full DAM (digital asset manager); the company plans to roll out features throughout 2019 and won't charge for updates from Luminar 2018 during that time.
Hasselblad has released an update to its Phocus post-production software that brings new and updated tools, as well as updated native lens support.
Nikon's IPTC Preset Manager, a tool for creating predetermined sets of metadata, has received an update. Version 1.1.0 no longer uses Microsoft Silverlight, sheds the network connection requirement, adds extended language support, updates support for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and ends support for Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Insta360 has launched a software update for its One X 360-degree camera and announced a camera bundle exclusively available on Apple.com.