Category Archives: Canon PowerShot S95

Ice on Bee Brook

Ice on Bee Brook

Dave, Bill and I took a hike up to the Pinnacle overlooking Lake Waramaug in the Macricostas Preserve yesterday. The ice on Bee Brook was stunning where the stream braided and the flow of the water was disrupted. Had it not been in the 20′s (F) we’d have hung out longer looking for more patterns but cold hands and Christmas eve pulled us away.

Ice on Bee Brook

Ice on Bee Brook

Ice on Bee Brook

Ice on Bee Brook

Dave shooting on Guilder Pond

Dave shooting on Guilder Pond

Mt. Everett Reservation, Massachusetts. We hiked up Everett and then around Guilder Pond and I caught Dave out on a cliff shooting an island in the pond. Everett isn’t a hard hike although it’s the second highest point in Massachusetts. Guilder Pond is a jewell that makes the entire hike worthwhile. In July the mountain laurel around this pond is mind-blowing.

Ice

Ice bubbles

While hiking up Bear Mountain today we stopped a few times to take pictures of ice. As someone with Raynaud’s syndrome (cold hands from a faulty thermostat) it’s tough to take gloves off and take pictures on cold days. A solution for me is carrying hand warmers and more serious mittens for the times I get in trouble. I used both today and the problem abated quickly and we had a great hike.

Running stream under ice

Grass and leaves under ice

Leaves under ice

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Dave shooting yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent, Connecticut. Dave and I were hiking the other day and I spotted some unusual bark on a tree. On closer inspection the bark was riddled with woodpecker holes up and down the entire tree.

The bird is a yellow-bellied sapsucker and it really likes this tree. As you’ll see in the other pictures, the entire tree is riddled with holes, bottom to top.

Dave thought this tree was close to 100 years old so this is many generations of sapsucker action on it. No other trees in the area showed this kind of woodpecker damage except two other basswood trees a few hundred feet away.

As you’ll see in the last image the tree is still living, amazingly after such a riddling with holes.

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Inexpensive DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

For the past year I’ve been using this Rubbermaid Handi-box Snap Case to pack my Canon 5D, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens, Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro lens or a Canon 135mm f/2 lens (either/or), a pouch with extra batteries and CF cards, a blower, and a strap. The only part of the kit that won’t fit in this plastic case are the two lens hoods for the lenses and they go in my LowePro Stealth Reporter 200 bag.

I’d put this stuff in the bag but in fact, it’s better protected in this plastic case and the bag holds battery chargers and computer stuff I don’t need on the plane.

The camera is in a small, padded Eagle Creek pouch and the lenses are in Zing lens pouches.

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

I’ve used this system to pack and check my camera gear on each of my JFK to LAX flights for the past year (7 trips) and it’s worked beautifully. used to carry the Stealth Reporter bag on the plane as a carry on but given that I check a piece of luggage I figured why not check this stuff?

I also check a small Benro travel tripod and head.

I know, many of you are thinking this is a recipe for disaster: TSA will take my gear, it will get broken one of these days, or the bag will get lost. All of these are possible but in fact, I’ve done this numerous times now and nothing has happened except I get to travel lighter on the plane.

I looked into Pelican cases but I don’t need such a high end case, just something that will protect the gear in case of a direct hit. These 5 images show the kit in various states of unpack/pack.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have a soft sided North Face rolling duffel and this case goes on the bottom with clothing on top of it. It has never moved or been compromised in any way and TSA has never opened it (that I know of) so it must look like camera gear in the x-ray image.

Something to consider for those of you who travel with a DSLR kit that you don’t want to lug on the plane.

Canon PowerShot S100

Looks like Canon is about to come out with a new compact point and shoot which will replace the S95 which replaced the S90: Canon S100: The New Pocket Powerhouse Point-and-Shoot.

Here’s Canon’s “official” page on it: PowerShot S100.

Here’s DP Review’s Canon Powershot S100 Preview.

As yet we’ve only been able to handle an early pre-production S100 briefly, but initial impressions are positive enough. It’s as fast and responsive as we’d expect from a Canon Powershot, and the handgrip, despite its minimal size, goes some way to addressing one of the criticisms of its predecessor. The rearranged control layout means you can now initiate movie recording in any exposure mode, without sacrificing any particularly important external control over other functions.

Of course everything will depend on the image quality obtained from the new lens and sensor, and as yet we simply can’t comment on that in any sensible way. Canon is making some pretty confident claims in this regard, calling the S100 the best Powershot yet with 1/4 of the S95′s image noise at ISO 1600 (in its JPEG output, of course). So we’re very much looking forward to getting our hands on a finalized camera to see how this works out in practice – naturally we’ll bring you sample images as soon as we possibly can.

The most important updates for me are:

- Canon CMOS sensor (S90 and S95 use CCD)
- Slightly higher resolution (12 MP vs 10 for S90 and 95)
- Better ISO range: 80-6400
- New image processor (Digic V)
- 24-120mm, F2.0-5.9, (S90 and S95 have 28mm on the wide end)

Looks like they’ve moved the ring function button from top deck to the back which is great. I hit it by mistake on the S95 from time to time when turning the camera on and off. Nice improvement.

There are more new features as well but given the way I used my S90 and now use my S95 the best new feature for me is the 24mm end of the zoom lens. This will make landscape and other types of photography much more interesting from this camera. And, the fact that Canon has kept the aperture at f/2 even at 24mm is a wonderful thing. Of course, 24mm may introduce distortion where 28mm did not. Time will tell.

I’ve enjoyed these small cameras tremendously for travel and even though I’m using my iPhone quite a bit there’s nothing like a “real” camera with exposure controls and a decent sensor and lens for making better images.

This camera is no Fuji X100 but given the new sensor it will be interesting to see if it gives potential X100 buyers pause. Not that there’s not room for both of these cameras, there is, and I could easily see having both myself.

[via Steve Splonskowski]

Wild orchid

Wild orchid

Behind Mt. Everett, Massachusetts. Dave was out hunting wild orchids in a meadow he knows they grow in. This is the flower he’s hunting with him shooting another one behind.

Walking through the meadow they all looked like weeds to me until he pointed them out. This one’s called “lady’s tresses” or something like that. I have no idea how he remembers these things.

Housatonic River at Falls Village two days after Irene

Falls Village, Connecticut. This was shot with Canon S95 two days after Irene struck. The river crested the night before but there was more water in it than I’ve ever seen.

Amazing power and no doubt this kind of power in a river is what did all the damage in Vermont.

There are areas along this river still under water today, a week later although it has gone down considerably.

Watch full screen and turn it up, the noise was incredible.

Reflection in Paradise

Pre-fall reflection

Brook on Paradise Lane, Bear Mountain, Connecticut. We hiked up Bear Mountain yesterday to check out the water flow in local streams but in fact, they were all back to just a bit above normal. Just not enough drainage above this area to cause an extended heavy flow like in southern Vermont where there are hundreds of miles of rivers feeing bigger rivers.

Still, the pre-fall tree and leaf reflections were beautiful as was the top of Bear. Very clear after the big rain.

Our Stream in Irene

Our stream pre Irene

Warren, Connecticut. Standing on the bridge I made out of telephone poles and 2x pre-Irene (yesterday). Stream running from recent rain but nothing big yet. This stream’s entire drainage is less than a mile before it joins another stream 1/4 mile down from this.

This is 3/4 of a mile of watershed drainage.

Our stream morning of Irene

Standing on the bridge this morning. Stream getting fuller, making a lot of noise.

The eye of the storm won’t hit for another 6 hours so the stream will most likely top our bridge which I’m standing on as I take this (getting soaked).

Bridge over stream pre Irene

Standing near the bridge yesterday, pre-Irene.

Bridge over stream morning of Irene

Standing near the bridge today, during the beginning of Irene. Water will most likely top the bridge, shouldn’t wash it away (telephone poles are heavy) but who knows?