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Pimping Canon Powershot S95

Credit: Lensmate Shot on 2010-12-28 Photo taken..

Some of the issues with Powershot S95 can be partially fixed with tuning the camera with aftermarket bits and pieces and hacker firmware.

The camera doesn't have any form of a grip which saves some weight and bulk but makes handling it less secure. This is not helped at all by the relatively slick surface. There are two possible ways to improve this:

  • attach aftermarket grip
  • DIY solution for those not willing to spend money on a grip or wishing to save weight and bulk is to apply adhesive tape to improve grip.

Canon does not supply attachment for optical filters. I reckon this might be to differentiate S95 with larger and more expensive G-series. However, Lensmate makes a adapter solution with which it is possible to attach 37mm filters, such as polarizer, to S95.

Stock firmware does allow neither optical zoom nor autofocus while shooting video. Luckily, extra features can often be introduced to Canon point-and-shoot camera by utilizing CHDK firmware solution. S95 is currently not supported by S95 but there is a beta in works which is supposed to allow both, zooming and autofocus when shooting video. Obviously it can't repair the mechanics though, namely noise caused by zooming and AF. This might be the reason why Canon disabled these features in the first place; microphones are located very close to the lens, therefore the noise caused by zooming or refocusing is readily picked up by the microphones.

Raw files shot with S95 are reportedly not supported by the current versions of Adobe Camera Raw (used by both Photoshop and Lightroom).

I kind of like geotagging my images, therefore GPS unit built in to a camera would be a very welcome solution. Unfortunately S95 doesn't have one. Alternative would be to geotag the images manually in batches. Lightroom excels in tagging in batches but unfortunately, it does not have a means to geotag. Well, natively anyway. There is a usefull plugin that makes this possible. Unfortunately the process is somewhat cumbersome if you want to store GPS data back to original images (pretty much the whole point in my book, as software-lock-in is something to be avoided at all costs) due to limitations of Pluging architecture of Lightroom. However, until anything more straight forward comes along, it is still a very workable solution.

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