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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18

    Question Question: S2 IS, Increasing Max Exposure Time

    I've recently started using the S2 IS. It is indeed a nice camera. I'm dissapointed in the 15 second limit placed on long exposure images. The OLD Kodak DC265 (late nineties) even allowed MUCH longer exposures. I've begun wondering if we can't modify the firmware to get around this. Frankly, I haven't been able to find any new firmware for the machine. So this makes it difficult to even begin this project. I've done some (limited) embedded programming, and would love any help on this. I contacted Canon and they very quickly rebuffed me. My question boils down to: Is the 15 second limitation a hardware issue or just some limit placed in the firmware? Is it set low for the purposes of allowing very small mem cards to work, or is it a physical limitiation of the internal memory? Anyway, these are the issues I'm working on. ANY input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Phased

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    62
    It could be either hardware or software. I'm afraid that you're stuck. I don't think there is anything that you can do.

    What are you doing that 15 seconds isn't long enough?
    -- Michael Cook

    Canon Digital Rebel XT
    Canon EF-S 18-55 II, Canon 70-300 IS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    31
    It's software, but I read that any more than 15 seconds would give you extreme noise because of the small sensor so it's not very logical. But I think you're right I sometimes need more too for stars for example.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    Nico is right, MBCook. I too am trying to do some astrophotography. I'm pretty sure it must be software, and I'm pretty sure it can be "modified". I have yet to find any firmware updates. Have there been any firmware releases? If we could get our hands on one, I have a hunch we could "decompile" it and "hack" it.

    I think if you've got the thing on a tripod, out in the country, on a dark night, you can probably get some very good star pics. Unfortunately, 15s is not long enough.

    Thanks for the replies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    181
    This shot was taken with a Canon A80 at about 5-6 second exposure(on the southern border of Glacier National Park):


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    376
    Quote Originally Posted by Phased
    Have there been any firmware releases?
    None yet, and I'm thinking there might not be any for the S2 with the introduction of the S3.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Montana
    This shot was taken with a Canon A80 at about 5-6 second exposure(on the southern border of Glacier National Park):

    WOW, That's fantastic! I just did some 15 second exposures tonight. I still can't get nearly as many stars as your pic. I suppose light pollution may be a big factor...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    181
    Thanks for the compliments on the photo,although I cannot take credit for it. A good friend of mine took that image.

    We were along the southern border of Glacier National Park (Montana). As we were driving, we noticed the northern lights were out so we pulled over to observe. He got his mini tripod out and set it up on the thood of the car. The exposure was only five seconds or so, and I'm sure it would have been a much more clear and detailed photo had he gone to 15 seconds. The stars in that area are fantastic as there is little to no light pollution.

    For those intereted in "getting past" the 15 second expsoure limitation on the S2, there is a great software program that lets you combine multiple images from the S2, and synthesizes them to create any exposure you want, for as long as you want. Great, great stuff. Say you have a 15 second image, but it's not enough. Take the exact same image a few more times at 15 seconds and now you have a 1 minute exposure...

    http://tawbaware.com/imgstack.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    76
    I am with you, there are situations where I really wish the S2 was closer to an SLR. I recently saw a series of water shots taken at night with exposure times of 2 minutes and they looked fantastic. The water was like glass and the photographer said that in real life it was a bit windy and the water was rather rippled. Still I guess I will break down and buy an SLR one of these days as replicating those types of shots becomes more important to me.
    Canon S2 IS, Canon A510

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, B.C.
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Montana

    For those intereted in "getting past" the 15 second expsoure limitation on the S2, there is a great software program that lets you combine multiple images from the S2, and synthesizes them to create any exposure you want, for as long as you want. Great, great stuff. Say you have a 15 second image, but it's not enough. Take the exact same image a few more times at 15 seconds and now you have a 1 minute exposure...

    You should/must also take a 15 sec, at the same ISO setting, and ambient temperature, "dark" image and subtract that from each image you plan to stack prior to staking. This "dark" will reduce the amount of image noise.

    Chris. Spratt
    Victoria, BC

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