Deep White: Shooting Snow With the Canon Powershot S100

A snow as deep and heavy as Captain Nemo does not quickly vanish. Here are photos from the Northland. I’m not thrilled by the inconvenience, poor footing, or mud to come, but you can’t beat the beauty of a snowy rural New England landscape.

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This is the first outing for my Canon Powershot S100. The extreme brightness of sun on snow made RAW a better choice. Unfortunately, Photoshop doesn’t recognize Canon’s RAW format or at least CS5 doesn’t. I usedย Canon’s native software, but it’s a pain to use, klutzy, awkward, non-intuitive. It does the job, but its interface needs to go into rehab. It’s essentially unchanged since I first used it more than a decade ago. Software has come a long way; Canon needs to get with it.

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For shooting snow, RAWย is better and it also helps to take your light reading on snow and not on the darker trees or sky. This lets you capture the brightness and still retain shadow and detail amidst the whiteness. RAW adds a lot of extra processing, time and labor. Whether or not you find it worthwhile is subjective. For me, it will depend on circumstance and subject matter. I often don’t use it because I’m posting online and not printing … but for snow, the difference is significant. Sunlight on snow is tricky.

I like this little camera. It produces quality pictures. It’s small, truly pocket-sized, exactly what I wanted. It does not have a super zoom, but the combined optical and digital zoom get me as close I need.

This is a convenient, quality go-anywhere all-in-one camera.

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I prefer the pictures from my Olympus PEN E-P3, probably because I prefer the color the PEN gives me and because I have some great lenses for it. You can’t match that with any all-in-one camera, even a very good one

But for convenience and general purpose shooting, the Canon Powershot S100 is great.

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I have a question for camera manufacturers: why not offer a “weather-proof” option forย cameras? Every time take my camera into the rain or snow, it gets soaked. I worry about damaging the electronics. If I’m near salt water, I worry about damaging the lens. Since the technology exists, why not offer it as an option? I’d pay for it. So would a lot of other photographers.

 

19 thoughts on “Deep White: Shooting Snow With the Canon Powershot S100

  1. That’s a lot of beautiful snow. The S100 is a really nice pocketable camera. I’ve considered on and off getting it but as you know I ended up getting the Olympus XZ-1. The two are not really directly comparable since the XZ-1 is too bulky to put in a pants pocket.

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    • I thought about this long and hard before I made the choice. I think I chose well. The only thing about the S100 I don’t like is the software from Canon. It really is old. It’s not the technology that’s a problem, it’s the user interface.

      I already have a bunch of cameras that are small, but none will fit in a pocket. I finally decided I wanted something I could drop in my coat pocket or purse and when the price on this dropped, I decided to grab it while it was available. I have a feeling Canon’s going to discontinue it soon.

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  2. Very lovely, Mrs A. As I said too many times in my TV reports, “Currier and Ives” stuff. I remember someone asking if C&I were lawyers.

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  3. Marilyn, I found your blog by way of atmtx’s blog post comments.

    Adobe does support RAW conversion of the Canon PowerShot S100 camera. It is built right in to Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.x (that comes with CS6). Since you are still on CS5, all that you need to do is to get the free utility that Adobe offers, named “DNG Converter”. (Just go to adobe.com and enter that in the search box – there is a seperate version for Windows and Mac.) That little utility will take your .CR2 files and make copies as .DNG files that you can use in Bridge CS5 and Camera 6.x.

    BTW, I liked your post on shooting the white snow with your S100!

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    • I was really hoping that someone just like you would give me exactly this information. I can’t afford to upgrade yet. I’ll probably wait until 7 comes out, whenever that is. But this is JUST what I need. I don’t have Lightroom; social security doesn’t pay well enough, but maybe they’ll have a super sale or something and I’ll score a copy. Meanwhile, thank you so very much!!!

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    • I downloaded and and tried it out. Yay. I found the version that included both the s100 and my P3 greatly improving the usability of my version of Photoshop. Thank you again!

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      • Well, I’m glad that you had no trouble finding it, and using it.

        In the bottom Preferences section, if you click on the Change Preferences button, you will find that there are really only 4 preferences to set. Leave them all at the default setting, except possibly the very first one at the top. If “Camera Raw 7.1 and later” works for you in Camera Raw 6 that comes with Photoshop CS5, then just leave it alone. Otherwise, choose “Camera Raw 6.6 and later”.

        Adobe updates this little utility every three months to include new camera models.

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