DCRP Canon S2 IS Tip List
After contacting Jeff Keller, we decided to put the list up publicly. Please feel free to contribute additional tips that members may find useful. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! :)
DCRP Canon S2 IS Tips
Set contrast to the lowest setting to prevent dynamic range “clipping” and blown out whites (see Photo Effect / Custom Effect Setting, page 94 of the manual).
Set the IS Mode to “Shoot Only” to get the sharpest results.
According to the User Guide, image stabilization does not work if the camera is being held vertically*.
*This has been confirmed by Canon Customer Support, although through individual testing, there is anecdotal evidence that the user guide and Canon tech support are wrong and that image stabilization does work when the camera is held veritcally.
Try using “Center Weighted Average” metering in bright light situations.
Try using “Spot” metering for best results in low light with no flash.
In “Record Mode” press the SET button and use the arrows to move the focus point. If “Spot” metering is being used, the meter spot will move with the focus point.
Set AF to “Single” to avoid some AF mistakes while shooting photos (adds a bit of lag, but worth it). Set AF to “continuous” for video shooting.
When using manual focus it’s easier to see if you use the viewfinder. Just remember to adjust the diopter for your vision and it helps to turn MF-Point Focus OFF. When you think you’ve got the focus spot-on, press the SET button and the camera will re-focus precisely.
Avoid using Auto White Balance (AWB), especially outdoors on bright sunny days and under fluorescent lights (just remember to change it again based on the shooting situation).
Don't set in-camera sharpening to highest setting to avoid jpeg artifacts.
Setting EV to -1/3 results in more saturated, yet naturally colored images (helps with “hot" highlights as well).
When using conversion lenses, ALWAYS change the menu setting to match the converter used, otherwise AF will not work properly. Don’t forget to change it back to OFF after you’ve finished using the converter.
Set “Safety Shift” to ON if your shoot in Av or Tv modes but want any aperture or shutter setting mistakes you may have made to be over-ridden by the camera. Safety Shift is disabled when using the flash.
Set all the settings the way you like, go to the Menu, highlight “Save Settings” and press the SET button, highlight OK and press SET again. Now, use the Mode Dial to change to “C” and all your saved settings are there and active.
After you take a shot, hold the shutter release button down and the image will remain on the screen until released. Press the FUNC button before releasing and you can immediately erase the picture by pressing SET. Press the DISP button before releasing and you see the histogram and image info...all without having to go into "Playback" mode.
When in "Playback" mode, simply half-press the shutter to return to "Record" mode (no need to use the little button/switch).
Instructions for printing a Date/Time stamp on your photos is the "Direct Print Users Guide" and not in the camera manual (refer to pg. 141 of the camera manual). Procedures vary depending on how you are going to print.
Get the LA-DC58E Conversion Lens Adapter, now only available as part of the Adapter/Lens Hood Kit LAH-DC20, a UV filter and a 60mm push-on lens cap and leave them on if you want lens protection. If your filter has front threads you can also use a 58mm snap-on or screw-on lens cap. Also, Lensmate has an aluminum 52mm adapter available (not compatible with Canon conversion lenses, although it is compatible with Raynox high-quality converters) and a 58mm version that is compatible with the Canon converters.
Don’t use the lens hood (LH-DC40) while using the flash. It will cause a shadow in the photo.
To use the flash, you must lift it manually, even in "Auto" mode. It does not pop-up automatically. This is a feature, not a lack of a feature. It allows you to have total control over flash operation.
The WC-DC58A wide-angle converter also causes a shadow when used with the flash.
At full zoom, you cannot focus any closer than 3-ft. (90cm) unless you use macro mode, a close-up lens, or a combination of both. When using Macro mode or a close-up lens, there is also a maximum focusing distance. Remember when using macro mode and/or a close-up lens that there is no “infinity” and the depth of field is VERY shallow…with very little subject distance tolerance (an inch or less closer/nearer).
Super Macro Mode is at full wide angle only (6mm, zoom not available). Also, to access Super Macro Mode, the manual is incorrect (p. 58). You must press and hold the button for a second or so to activate it, not press repeatedly as the manual states.
Published Focusing Range for the S2:
Normal: 1.6 ft./50cm-Infinity (W), 3.0 ft./90cm-Infinity (T)
Macro: 3.9 in.-1.6 ft./10-50cm
Super Macro: 0-3.9 in./0-10cm
Divide above numbers by 2 if you are using the Canon 500D and 4 if using the Canon 250D (yes, it works) close-up lens.
Fastest selectable shutter speed by f/stop for the S2:
3200/sec. @ f/8.0
2500/sec. @ f/7.1, f/6.3, f/5.6
2000/sec. @ f/5.0, f/4.5, f/4.0
1600/sec. @ f/3.5, f/3.2, f/2.7
And, here's a tip from Snowrdr:
Hook up the S2 to your PC with the USB cable and go to the remote capture screen. Enter your name, take a remote capture shot and from now on, your name will be in the EXIF data.
And this one from JamesD:
I like to use a circular polarizer with my camera but can't be bothered carrying around the lens adapter. I cut two thin strips of adhesive back velcro (loop side, about 1" by 1/8 ") and put them on the inside edge of a 52mm filter adapter attached to my filter. This slides snugly over the extended barrel of the S2.
And another from Rinume:
If your exposures come out incorrectly in Manual when using flash, try adjusting the "Flash Output".
This one from gingersrus:
Canon has a great section on their website that goes into detail on how to use this camera, including animated gif files to show exactly where and how on the camera. Go to http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/pss2is/101-e.html and just keep following the links to get into more advanced features.
Here's one from macse:
For those that want to add a few more minutes to their video (depending on video quality chosen), you can adjust the sound quality to lowest in your settings which will give you a few more minutes of video.
Hyperfocal Distance and Focusing
Member jclau00 wrote in a suggestion to add the hyperfocal distances for the S2.
Calculations were done with Don Fleming's Hyperfocal Distance Calculator with the following assumptions: Lens set to full wide-angle - 6mm (36mm at 35mm equivalent); CoC of 0.005 based on 5MP and a 1/2.5" sensor.
The f/stops don't match up exactly with the S2, but they're representative enough to give a good idea. Please note that these distances are only theoretical and have not been empirically tested.
In short, the "hyperfocal distance" is the distance for a given f/stop and focal length that everything forward of that point to infinity and halfway back to the camera from that point will be in focus. Hyperfocal focusing is used by landscape photographers, street scene shooters and anyone who wants to just "set-and-forget" and shoot. Hyperfocal focusing can be done with any camera that has both manual focus and manual aperture control.
Here's a practical example: Set the S2's Mode Dial to M or Av*. Zoom all the way out to full wide-angle. Set the f/stop to f/5.0 (f/5.0 gives a nice combination of sharpness, depth of field and shutter speed headroom...but you can use any f/stop...just use the chart as your guide). Now press and hold the Manual Focus Button and use the Up/Down Arrow to set the focusing distance to just under the number 5 (the hyperfocal distance is approximately 4' 8"). Now, everything you shoot with those settings should be in focus from approximately 2' 4" to infinity (I will do empirical tests in a few days to confirm). No auto focus to worry about! Just point and shoot! Everything in focus all the time! The camera will still meter when you press halfway down so remember to choose the appropriate metering mode for the situation ahead of time. Play around with the manual focus a click up or down to get the results that you like. Try different f/stops (but take into account the change in field depth and re-focus to the new hyperfocal distance...the chart is your guide). Just remember that the distance calculations are based on full-wide angle and calculations have to be redone for any change in focal length. The formula is as follows:
H = the hyperfocal distance (to convert to feet, divide H by 304.8)
f = the lens focal length
N = the f/stop
c = the circle of confusion in mm
Or better yet, get the calculator here: http://www.dofmaster.com/charts.html
*When using hyperfocal focusing, if you set the mode to Av and have previously set the Safety Shift to ON, you should turn it OFF first, otherwise the camera could possibly override the f/stop.
Thanks again to jclau00 for suggesting the addition of this info and the example.
Please Don't Post Questions in This Thread
Please don't post questions here. Start a new thread. This thread is for people contributing TIPS! Thanks...
Filters with conversion lens adapter / hood
When using the conversion lens adapter with a 58 mm Hoya UV filter and the lens hood, I noticed that, at the widest wide-angle settings, the hood blocks a small portion of the upper left and lower left portions of the frame.
If the UV filter is taken off, it's fine. Those who take wide-angle pictures with filters with the hood might want to note this.