With a new 12.1-million-pixel sensor and raw image capture, Canon’s PowerShot S100 could catch the eye of many enthusiast photographers. Richard Sibley takes a closer look
With a smaller sensor than a DSLR, and therefore smaller photosites, the dynamic range of the PowerShot S100 is obviously more restricted. This is demonstrated by the blown-out highlights in scenes with bright skies. This is no surprise and is common with all compact cameras. However, with careful exposure there is still a good level of detail in both highlight and shadow areas.
There is also a DR correction feature, which works by increasing the ISO speed to either ISO 180 or ISO 320, and then underexposing the image to preserve the highlights.
The shadow areas are
then boosted to bring out detail. This should increase noise, but as the camera handles noise well up to around ISO 400, using DR correction doesn’t affect the image quality.
If you wish to produce good JPEG images straight from the camera, I recommend leaving the DR correction set to auto or DR 200%. Obviously, the effects aren’t available for raw images, but a similar effect can be achieved by exposing for highlights and then adjusting the shadow areas.
Images: The S100’s DR correction feature can make a big difference in high-contrast scenes.