Canon S3

May 1st, 2007, 06:57 PM
  #1  
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Canon S3

Hi all, on a recent trip to Africa i used the Canon S3 and was pretty happy with it's performance, but after comparing my photo's to my sisters (taken on a cheaper camera), the colour in my photo's appeared dull.

I've read alot of good things about the S3 here and thought someone might be able to give me a bit of advice.

I'm pretty much just a "point and shoot" girl so i'm not expecting professional quality, but does anyone know how to make the images a bit brighter or do i just suck as a photographer?

judochop is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 07:27 PM
  #2  
 
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Two preliminary reactions:

(1) If you can post some of your pictures for people to see, it will be easier to tell what the problem is and how to fix it.

(2) Colors are one thing that is generally easy to fix in post-processing, again depending on what the problem is.

Your pictures could be "dull" for a variety of reasons, most of which could be related to the settings used on the camera when they were taken, or perhaps lighting conditions, or both. But why don't you show us some of them and maybe we can help?

Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 07:38 PM
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So many "depends". The photos from the S3 should be excellent.

Were her photos made on a sunny day and yours on an overcast day? That makes all the difference.

How are you comparing the photos? Prints made from each? The making of prints has many variables, same printer?
Are you using a computer screen/monitor? A laptop? Laptops have the worst screen for viewing photos. You must have noticed how the images change color and brightness as you move your head.

Are you using the S3 on "auto". If so then I think it won't allow any changes to exposure compensation. If you are using it in the P, S or A mode it is possible to change exposure compensation. And that could cause dark photos.

Now to make the images brighter. On print or on computer screen/monitor? Whichever, it may come back to some "post processing", you making adjustments on the image. Like you said in the first place .

Many computers. Mac and Windows, have a built in program for working with photo/picture files. The files from the S3 (and almost all similar cameras) create files called "jpg" files. "Jpg" is the extension to the file name and identifies it as a picture file. An example would be, IMG_1114.JPG, this is a photo file from a Canon S2. Anyway, the computer you have may have a program that will let you do what you want and much more. There are many programs, maybe one came with the S3 from Canon?

A simple, easy to learn and use is a photo manipulation program called "IrfanView". With it you can crop, brighten, darken, sharpen, change color, of any jpg photo file. And it is free, just download and install it. It's at - http://www.irfanview.com/

Hope this gets you started towards getting the photos like you want. Like Chris said, it would help a lot if we could see a couple of them.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 10:31 PM
  #4  
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thanks for all the information. We were basically taking photo's of the same things in the same light. I thought it might have just been that my viewer wasn't as bright, but we got the photo's printed at the same place and the colours in mine weren't as bright. I'll have a go at posting some photo's although i haven't done it before so it might take me a while to work it out.

judochop is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 06:50 PM
  #5  
 
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I had issues with some photos with my S2 in the past. Are the colours too dark or too light? Or are they just wrong (like your lions look like they've been washed with your jeans)?

I have very little expertise, but here are a couple of sometimes successful fixes based on experience with the S2:
Try playing with the brightness and contrast settings - the "edit" function in the viewer program that comes with the camera is enough to do that, although Tom's suggestion may be better if you are really motivated to do something about this. Or perhaps her camera may be set to give "vivid" colours (do people in her pictures sometimes look a bit flushed?). To see if that might be the difference, try increasing the saturation significantly and upping the contrast slightly. This may help a lot with some pictures - especially the big cats. A lot of the professional pictures you see of big cats have heavy colour saturation - often from natural light or the settings in the camera, but the effect is similar. The same fix will make you skies a richer blue (if they are not already white).

I have notices that if you increase brightness, it is good to increase contrast and saturation a little too, or you will further wash out the pictures.

If you do post pictures as examples, don't post the worst because they are probably beyond saving. Post the "nearly" ones.
kimburu is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 07:30 PM
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My husband just got a Canon S3 - IS (with image stabilization) today for our trip May 2007 to Africa. He has a very nice SLR camera as well and basically is taking this one for me to use and as a backup if needed.

I mentioned your problem to him and he says that the default settings on your sister's less expensive camera may have been set to exaggerate the colors more and in truth the colors you got which should have been excellent with the S3 are possibly closer to the true colors. There are contrast and such settings that you can also set on your camera as well as photoshop type programs that usually have a "quick fix" option in the software menus that can enhance your photos.

My husband usually takes the best photos from our trips and then crops, fixes and enhances photos in such programs on our Mac before he prints them.

Hope this helps.

-Granny Joan
GrannyJoan is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 10:18 PM
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I took a look at my S2 to see what color enhancements might be available within the camera. This is for an S2 but I suspect the S3 is identical.

Shooting on AUTO mode I found nothing to work with. That is, pressing the FUNC button on the back allow only changes to be made to image size. (Maybe the S3 allows more here?).

However in the P, Tv, Av, and M mode pressing the FUNC button brings up a larger set of options. On the very left side of the LCD screen in a column. (On the S2) the third icon down says ISO. Skip that one and select the next one down. Then at the bottom of the LCD screen I see several little icons and scrolling you get Effect, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia and the last one is Custom Effect. Color Effect is most interesting because you can increase or decrease the photo contrast, sharpness and saturation. Any/all of these icons allow you to change the color output of the photos.

Again this is with my S2 but I bet your S3 has the same. Play with this and see if the photos are more to your liking.

FWIW, I have my S2 set on P for two reasons. If I pop up the flash, the flash will fire - even - in sunlight. And, the "white balance", second icon from top in FUNC mode, is set on cloudy. Cloudy because I like the slightly warmer tone of the photos. Carolyn's S2 is set up the same way.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 11:33 PM
  #8  
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so many great ideas, thanks everyone.

I'm hoping to one day post my photo's but at the moment i only have access to my work computer so it makes it a bit difficult.

Granny, i must admit that it had crossed my mind that my photo's might be more realistic and that is why they aren't so bright, which is probably a good thing. I usually have it set to AUTO so i will change it to P and see if I have any luck playing with the brightness and contrast. Thanks Chris, tom,kimburu and Granny Joan for taking the time to help, i'm always amazed at how much thought and effort is put into the posts here, people genuinely want to help each other which is great.



judochop is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 05:32 PM
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Just for the record, my experience agrees with Tom that "Cloudy" is often a good setting for the S2 in strong light (i.e. Africa).
kimburu is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Right you are. "Cloudy" does NOT mean that the photos are brighter or more contrasty or more color saturation. It is working on the "white balance" that balances the light source to a standard daylight source (color temperature). Wish I could explain it better, anyone? The Cloudy setting just gives the photos a very slightly "warmer" look we like.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 06:20 PM
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The white balance setting tells the camera's computer how to interpret different colors in order to record them most accurately in the image. The best way to think about this is to think about how a white piece of paper would look under a fluorescent light (i.e., it would have a blue cast to it) versus how it would look under an incandescent light (warmer and more yellow).

Outdoors, colors are affected by the sun's light, and appear differently in direct sunlight as opposed to in the shade or under cloudy skies.

In automatic white balance mode, the camera tries to figure out for itself what the prevailing light conditions are and then it applies that guess to record the image. Sometimes it gets it wrong, so it has manual settings like "sunlight," "shade," "cloudy" and the like that the user can select.

The best way to see how the white balance affects the colors of an image is to take a few pictures of the same scene using different white balance settings, then look at the resulting pictures on the back of the camera. The differences made by the different settings will be really obvious.

The importance of the white balance setting is one of the main reasons I shoot all my pictures in RAW format. The reason is that doing so allows you to change and fine-tune the white balance in post-processing. You can't do that with JPEGs.

I generally find that Canon cameras do reasonably well with automatic white balance in outdoor conditions. But if you are in the middle of shooting some pictures and notice the colors aren't right, try a different white balance setting and see if it helps.

Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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For those that may be holding out to see what Canon's new product is going to be and the feature improvements over the S3, there's no need to wait.

There new release is the TX1, which didn't "improve" or increase Zoom or MP. It is the first camera that will shoot video in Hi-Def.

just an FYI.

Shane
going_2_africa is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Not so sure. This camera has been out since February. I would not even consider it because it does not have viewfinder, you use the LCD screen to compose and shoot.
We'll see if DPReview reviews it and if so their opinion. But I don't see it being announced as the replacement for the S3.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 5th, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Well, I suppose only a select few would know for sure, but according to the consumer reports blog from PMA07 at

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...007/index.html

They make lots of mention about the new Olympus, and the only Canon product they feature is the TX1. There is also nothing on the Canon consumer website other than the TX1.

So, I don't know for sure either, but that's the way it appears to me. They went the Hi-Def route instead of continuing the "zoom war."

It would be interesting to see if the results of their market research. At some point, there must be enough zoom that it's really not necessary to have more - sort of like the "slice war" in the world of CT scanners, but that's another story.

Anyway, just sharing thoughts and "findings" as the S3 seems to have been the subject of lots of discussion.

Shane
going_2_africa is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 10:57 PM
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I find the S3 still listed on the Canon USA web site. http://tinyurl.com/38jemq

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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Canon appears to have announced the successor to the S3 now -- the S5. Here is a story about it on DPReview:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0705/07050703canons5is.asp
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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The S5 looks like it might be a good choice for my switch to digital for our upcoming trip to Rwanda/Kenya-guess it will depend now on how easy it is to use and price.
moremiles is offline  

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