S100: Tips & Cool Settings

Useful tips for getting the most out of the Canon S100 digital camera. If you have tip that would be of interest to other S100 owners, please share it in the commenting section below.

Turn off Continuous AutoFocus and Continuous Image Stabilization

“Continuous” settings on compact digital cameras generally slow things down a bit, drain the battery faster and may not always produce the best image quality in less than ideal lighting situations. These are among the first settings I change when getting a new digital camera (Note: you can not make these changes if when using Full Auto mode. I generally use P mode).

  • Switch Continuous AutoFocus to Single Area focus – This mode gives you more precise control over where the camera locks focus.
  • Switch Continuous Image Stabilization to Shoot Only IS – Shoot Only IS is generally better for capturing still images while Continuous IS is most useful when shooting movies.

Tips when shooting video with the S100

Changing Exposure Compensation for Video

Exposure Compensation can be adjusted in Video Mode prior to recording. Press Up on the control dial, then rotate the rear control wheel to increase or decrease EC. You can watch the exposure changes on the LCD.

Listening to audio during video playback when the camera is muted

If you prefer to keep camera sounds muted at all times as I do, you can still listen to the audio recorded in a video during playback. As a video is played back, press the Up button several times to turn on and increase the volume.

Setting up Custom mode (C mode)

After turning on the camera, select a mode and any frequently used settings (including focal length) that you’d like to save to Custom Mode. Press the Menu button, press Up once, select “Save Settings”, choose OK. The settings will be saved to C mode even if you change settings in the original mode where you made the initial changes. The S100 only has one Custom mode.

Check the focus point in an image

When in Playback mode, simply press DISP. a couple of times until the focus point screen appears. The white frame shows where focus was set. You can switch frames and change the level of magnification. Check page 146 in the manual about what the gray and orange frames indicate and for other information about this useful feature.

Shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG

To shoot RAW files, or RAW+JPEG, you must select the option via the FUNC/SET menu. When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG, the time it takes for the files to be written to the memory card can be longer than shooting JPEG only. Certain functions will be unavailable (grayed out in the menu) when selecting either of these file settings.

Macro mode does not work when Tracking AutoFocus is enabled.

i-Contrast (Dynamic Range Correction)

Dynamic Range Correction sounds tempting when you read about it in the manual, but use with caution. i-Contrast can cause noise in images. If you select 200% or 400%, ISO automatically increases (it doubles going from 200% to 400%). Auto i-Contrast uses a low ISO, keeping noise to a minimum. As the manual points out, “under some conditions, the image may appear coarse or may not be corrected properly” when using i-Contrast.

S100 “Sweet Spot”

According to many, the best image sharpness comes when using an aperture setting of F4.

Powered Image Stabilization

Use when shooting video. Enable when shooting at the maximum zoom length of the camera. Canon recommends turning Power IS off while walking or during long panning shots.

High ISO NR and Digital Zoom are greyed out in the menus

  • High ISO NR is not available when your camera is set to RAW or RAW+JPEG.
  • The Digital Zoom is fixed to OFF in aspect ratios other than 4:3, and if RAW or RAW+JPEG are selected.

Tweaking Auto White Balance

Select AWB and turn the front control dial to adjust the level of color correction. Press the MENU button and turn the front or rear control dial for more refined adjustments.

Green Tint from Mercury Lamps

Enable HG Lamp Corr. in the main menu to remove the green tint caused by mercury lamps often present in night scenes. This feature is available in Full Auto Mode.

Shortcut to Auto Exposure Bracketing mode

When the Exposure Compensation display appears on the LCD, hit DISP to enter Auto Exposure Bracketing mode.

Useful links

How to shoot video with Canon HD digicams – written by a pro; easy to understand

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