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Old Feb 6, 2006, 8:56 PM   #1
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I am a plant and flower photographer and enjoy photographing animals (and kids.. but some people say that is one and the same..)

I currently have a small Nikon Coolpix 775; 3 mp camera which, however, does macro very well

From the in-dept review of the Cannon Powershot S2 IS camera, I understand that the macro function on the Canon Powershot S2 IS should be improved over the much berated S1, but not best in class either..

I really like this camera (it feels great in the hand) and it certainly comes highly recommended with respect to zoom, image stablization, battery life, etc (all of which are major issues for me, too, having to take pictures of birds far away, orange blossoms at the top of a tree, etc). However, macro is also very important.

What is your experience with macro on the S2 ? Is it acceptable ? Do you have any experience with the two modes ?

Basically, I am considering this camera very seriously, but I do a lot of macro shooting and would hate to find out that I wasted my money !! (I can only rarely afford to buy a new camera so it is certainly important)

Any help or guidance as to your experience with the S2's macro would be very much appreciated.


Thanks



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Old Feb 6, 2006, 11:22 PM   #2
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This is an excellent site to see sample photos:

http://www.pbase.com(search the camera database)



Here's s few with plants, macro, etc.. with the S2.

http://www.pbase.com/christian_batis...tes&page=2

http://www.pbase.com/eran187/nature

http://www.pbase.com/bpsims/root



I have the camera aswell, and though have a lot to learn about it still.. love it.
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 11:36 PM   #3
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I haven't seen anything about macro for the S1?
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 12:05 AM   #4
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Here's some from that same site taken with the S1.. that was harder to find.. lol.. ugh.

http://www.pbase.com/mpreseck/macro
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 12:37 AM   #5
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The normal macro mode is a bit fiddly, focus distance is 10cm - 50, only about a fifth of the zoom range is available. What makes it fiddly is that the minimum focus distance rises as you zoom - goes out to somthing over 30cm (approx). I haven't played with it enough to pass judgement.

Super macro is great - the camera goes full wide and can focus on anything from 0cm to 10cm. Great for getting tiny details. This is a crop out of a super macro image:


Zoom without macro is also very useful for macro-like shooting. You can get closeups of flowers that you can't get actually get close to. For example:


A few more examples at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I have a few more unpublished super macro and normal zoom shots so I can put up some more examples if you feel that would help. If I get a chance I'll play with normal zoom as well - but the weather is about to pack up for a few days.

If flowers were my main target subject, I'm not sure I'd go 12x super-zoom, perhaps a G6 or Pro1 for the reputed higher quality (but I don't know much about them). On the other hand, the extra zoom does save me from wading into the pond (the gardeners don't like that).
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 6:10 PM   #6
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Normal macro example. This was from just over 10cm, about as close as you can get without using super macro mode. If you go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/96919649/ you can then view the 1024x768 version and get some idea of the depth of field. I used the smallest aperture (f/8 ) to illustrate the maximum depth of field.

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Old Feb 7, 2006, 9:14 PM   #7
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mchnz wrote:
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The normal macro mode is a bit fiddly, focus distance is 10cm - 50, only about a fifth of the zoom range is available. What makes it fiddly is that the minimum focus distance rises as you zoom - goes out to somthing over 30cm (approx). I haven't played with it enough to pass judgement.

Super macro is great - the camera goes full wide and can focus on anything from 0cm to 10cm. Great for getting tiny details. This is a crop out of a super macro image:


Zoom without macro is also very useful for macro-like shooting. You can get closeups of flowers that you can't get actually get close to. For example:


A few more examples at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
I have a few more unpublished super macro and normal zoom shots so I can put up some more examples if you feel that would help. If I get a chance I'll play with normal zoom as well - but the weather is about to pack up for a few days.

If flowers were my main target subject, I'm not sure I'd go 12x super-zoom, perhaps a G6 or Pro1 for the reputed higher quality (but I don't know much about them). On the other hand, the extra zoom does save me from wading into the pond (the gardeners don't like that).

How they heck do you get that close to a bee without it taking off?
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 11:54 PM   #8
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MrGarmonbozia wrote:
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...
How they heck do you get that close to a bee without it taking off?
Hang around a plant with lots of flowers and make no sudden movements.

Super macro and auto-focus really does make the job much easier - just knowing the camera can focus on anything in the range zero to 10mm means the only thing you have to do is get close and get the subject in the middle of the viewfinder. The swivel LCD also helps out with this.

Constrast this with normal macro where you can be both too close or too far away and where the amount of zoom changes the min and max distance. I also have a Raynox DC-250 macro lens which takes this to the extreme - when using a reasonable amount of zoom depth of field is about 2mm - there is no way I can judge my subject distance to within 2mm. I think the official Canon macro lens for the S2 IS has less magnification and greater depth of field. Fortunately the DCR-250 has much better DOF when used on my old A80.

I didn't think super-macro's ability to focus down to zero would be that useful - but I found I can do things like hold a color slide against the lens, point the camera at an even light-source, and capture the slide (quite sharp, but quite a bit of barrel distortion).

I don't think super-macro is limited to the S2, I think some other Canons can do it as well?.







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Old Feb 8, 2006, 2:15 PM   #9
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The posted example and comments have all been very very helpful. Thank you very much. I was a bit unsure of the usefulness of the macro function, but based on the comments, and images shown, I am certainly a lot more confident.

It makes my decision to buy a Canon S2 so much easier.



Thanks again.
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