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Thread: Fun with the S90/S95

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    Fun with the S90/S95

    Seems like there are a number of folks quietly shooting away with these "twins" that were looking at a way to keep the content together so I thought it would be useful to start a "fun with" thread.

    I'm going to start with some questions on settings but clearly this thread is also meant to be a place where we can post our shots!

    First up for jpegs - right now I have them set at the default...anyone tweak those settings and find something more pleasing?

    I haven't touched in camera B&W anyone?

    What do you use your custom function button? C on the mode dial?

    I have the camera set to enlarge the view as it focuses as well as to show me a blow up of the focus area when I got to image review.

    terry

    OK I will give you one of my normal test subjects (from my previous thread) the bay bridge although the question yesterday was what bridge......


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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Lovely shot Terry
    It's obviously a great camera (although I have seen some rather soft corners, but maybe that's just my current obsession).

    Not tempted though . . . I really think I've had it with small cameras other than my little v-lux 20, which has the benifit of a stupidly long zoom.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Thank you Terry for doing this! I look forward to see what people create with these little cameras. I have had my S95 for about three weeks now and like it a lot as a companion to a Canon 5D DSLR, much more so than the Panasonic G1 I had last winter.

    So far I have only used JPG and think it works surprisingly well. I use "my colors" with everything default except that I have put Sharpness, Contrast and Red at -1.

    I really enjoy this camera and the only complaint I have right now is that AWB is too blue/red on overcast days (at least when there's snow). I tried switching to "Cloudy" WB, but it didn't seem to help much. One can make adjustments to AWB, but if I do that AWB will be wrong indoors and on sunny days. We'll see how much of a problem this turns out to be. Maybe I can create a custom WB to use on such days (and save it to use again, I mean). I don't know if that's possible - I'll look into it.

    Here are a few of the shots I have taken so far:





    I used a small Gorillapod for this one:
















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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Wow Helena - it is definitely winter! Today we are expected to get up to 65F (17C) here today.

    Love the abstract number 4 and then the soft color/light of the 5th one under the bridge transforms something that could be so ordinary.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Thank you Terry! The abstract (#4) is ice. We were ice skating on a lake and the ice was amazing.

    17C, that's quite a difference! I love winter and will try and make the most of it, but it arrived very early this year (middle of October), so I fear it'll feel too long before it's spring again.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Wonderful shots, everyone! Terry, thanks for starting this thread.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by Helena View Post
    Ohhhh! I like a LOT!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Thank you! I should have taken more photos of the patterns in the ice because they very fascinating, but it wasn't easy. The ice was so perfect that even with skates it was hard to get a "grip". My feet slipped when I crouched down to take photos. Must have looked silly, plus I often ruined an intended subject by accidentally running a skate across it.

    Some people had dogs with them out on the ice and it was really funny to see the excited dogs try to run on the ice.

    Hope others will post their photos in this thread soon!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by Helena View Post
    Some people had dogs with them out on the ice and it was really funny to see the excited dogs try to run on the ice.
    I can only imagine!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Greetings from Miami....
    Always wanted to try the G series so I have both side by side S95 and G12 with do a thread comparing. In the meantime


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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Terry,

    The G and S series are my carry cameras when traveling....no worries about loss or damage and able to capture a usable file.

    Forgive me for posting older camera pictures but here are a couple from a generation or two back....


    Canon G10

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/album....pictureid=1526

    S70

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/album....pictureid=1525


    I need to look at the S95 as the S70 was my favorite stealth P/S...great lens and raw.

    Bob

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Terry,I was looking at a dlux 5 but this thread may change my mind the S95 looks like I may need to consider.What didn't you like about the dlux 5? Is the IQ a lot better with the S95?
    Mike

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Terry,I was looking at a dlux 5 but this thread may change my mind the S95 looks like I may need to consider.What didn't you like about the dlux 5? Is the IQ a lot better with the S95?
    So, after using the m4/3 and NEX cameras, some of the compacts are feeling a just bit too small to me these days. So, I may not be the best person to ask.

    There are aspects of both the LX-5 and the S95 that I don't like. These are highly personal.

    S95 - I really don't like the placement of the shutter button. It really feels like it needs to be further to the right (almost exactly where the mode dial is). I'm not the only one to hold it and say that. I also get the sense and I have to try a bunch of different methods but I do have more instances than I find acceptable where it doesn't lock focus. LCD very nice

    LX-5 On the Panasonic version on the camera the back buttons were silver and the little icons for what they do are just indents and I found them hard to see (I know I could have memorized them but didn't). Think the AF is a bit more competent thank the Canon. There was nothing overly irritating about the camera but I just wasn't bonding with it.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Greetings from Miami....
    Always wanted to try the G series so I have both side by side S95 and G12 with do a thread comparing. In the meantime

    Very cool! Is that a built-in effect for the S95?

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    I like it too. It amost looks like a city model made from plastic.
    Mike

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Very cool! Is that a built-in effect for the S95?
    yeah...both S95 and G12 also have a built in fisheye effect.


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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Some really nice shots in this thread, really play to the supposed strength of the pocket cameras -- always having a good cam with you.

    I'm chuckling over your bonding "difficulties" with the LX5, Terry. I went through the exact same thing with the LX3.

    I've tried to use my GF1 + 20mm as my "always with me" fast-lens cam, but it is truly too large for that. Have long considered the S90/s95 pair, but still not convinced. May sell something off and *finally* try the Ricoh GRD series -- still have a working Ricoh film camera that I love and people rave about the size/ergonomics of the GRD3.

    This search of mine for the "perfect" pocket cam has gone on forever, it seems.Part of the problem is that I can't seem to decide if I want to fiddle with it or just go for P&S.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    I am really enjoying my s95, which I ended up purchasing when I realised the limitations of the upcoming Oly XZ-1 that I had intended to get.

    I was looking for a 'dog walking' camera: small enough to slip into a pocket but good enough, should something lovely happen with the light and I might want, at a push, to use the results for some serious purpose.

    I was also aware that after two years of chasing perfection and scaling up through gear until I had a P65+ and two bodies for it plus a fair sack of glass, on top of M9 and plenty of glass and 5dII and Oly Pen (gear slut, me?) I had failed to find creative nirvana. Instead, oddly, out of all that exercise I find my style and interest shifting towards more dream-like images, verging on impressionistic. Now, these can be had by shooting high res and then processing the hell out of the file but in truth the most natural results I have achieved tend to be from either small sensor cameras or from small crops from large sensor frames. I love my little GRDII but it has its limitations and I wanted a faster lens and, horror of horrors, a zoom of sorts. So I got the S95. Bingo. It does what I want!

    Here's an example. It's a heavy crop from an S95 frame and it is processed fairly extensively but I went out today and shot the same scene with a 5DII and try as I might I couldn't get the same soft dreamy look.

    I made a print of the S95 version, 25cm square, on HP Hanny Fine Art Textured paper, and it is, even if I say it myself, really quite nice!



    Thanks to Terry for bringing the potential of this cool little camera to my attention!

    Best

    Tim

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    More fun with the s95 and that small sensor rendering. Still loving taking this one for a walk!

    ISO 400 with a little extra NR introduced so as to increase the slightly dreamy mood.


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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    tashley, looks like a painting. Maybe should blow it up for wall decoration.

    mazor

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Tim looking good!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Thanks guys, I think I will make a nice print on my favourite German Etching. I have been comparing identical (ish) frames shot on the Oly Pen with Panny pancake 20mm lens and the S95 and the Oly is clearly sharper but not really good enough to compete with a 'proper' camera and so is neither fish nor fowl. The S95 can make a very decent snapshot but for me its real strength is the 'small sensor' look in bigger prints on the right sort of paper.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I am really enjoying my s95, which I ended up purchasing when I realised the limitations of the upcoming Oly XZ-1 that I had intended to get.
    As a potential owner of XZ-1 I would be very interested to hear what you consider it's limitations, please.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    As a potential owner of XZ-1 I would be very interested to hear what you consider it's limitations, please.
    I believe that people agree that its sensor is very slightly less good at higher ISO though of course the lens is 1/3rd of a stop faster. More importantly for me though is the fact there there is, so far, no proper way of independently controlling AE-L and AF-L and that makes it a non-starter for me I'm afraid!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I believe that people agree that its sensor is very slightly less good at higher ISO though of course the lens is 1/3rd of a stop faster.
    I was not aware of any side by side tests yet, does this mean you could point me to some?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    More importantly for me though is the fact there there is, so far, no proper way of independently controlling AE-L and AF-L and that makes it a non-starter for me I'm afraid!
    I can see why someone would not like that. On my S90 focus point is not controllable. Is it controllable on S95 or XZ1?

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    I just read a zillion threads and it was often repeated that the sensor is marginally less good than the s95. They DPReview Oly forum. As for focus, i never use anything other than centre/lock/recompose!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I just read a zillion threads and it was often repeated that the sensor is marginally less good than the s95. They DPReview Oly forum.

    As for focus, i never use anything other than centre/lock/recompose!
    Thank you for the clarification! In that case I will have to treat sensor statement with a chunk of salt and interpret "AF and AE not being properly controlled' as "they don't work the way I prefer to use cameras" as some of us prefer to select focus point rather than recomposing when camera can do that and prefer cameras that are not forcing us to do it their way.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Thank you for the clarification! In that case I will have to treat sensor statement with a chunk of salt and interpret "AF and AE not being properly controlled' as "they don't work the way I prefer to use cameras" as some of us prefer to select focus point rather than recomposing when camera can do that and prefer cameras that are not forcing us to do it their way.
    Fair points - but I actually believe the sensor thing is true, it is very widely written about: the Oly has the same sensor as the LX5 and it is slightly noisier at higher ISOs according to reviews.

    And each of us uses cameras in different ways for sure but not having an AE lock counts any camera out for me, however it handles focus. These things are very personal though, so I very much hope you enjoy the Oly if you get it!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Fair points - but I actually believe the sensor thing is true, it is very widely written about: the Oly has the same sensor as the LX5 and it is slightly noisier at higher ISOs according to reviews.
    I have looked at DPR's review when it came out and to my eyes XZ1 is better even at high ISOs. Shots at ISO 1600 processed from RAW are bit noisier _but_ contain better detail, plus processing was done with ACR beta, it is likely results will only improve once processor is tuned for the camera.

    Also, I try to keep in mind faster lens will let me use lower ISO which will mean better final result in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    And each of us uses cameras in different ways for sure but not having an AE lock counts any camera out for me, however it handles focus.
    I understand personal preferences, I just wanted to express feeling that "not handling _properly_" is then not appropriate qualification.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    These things are very personal though, so I very much hope you enjoy the Oly if you get it!
    I agree and I appreciate your wishes. As of now I still don't know whether I will go for it but I sure follow it closely.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    From the DPReview conclusion:

    'The sensor may be a touch noisier than the one used by Canon, Nikon and Samsung but the slightly brighter lens makes up for some of that difference and it's rare to need to shoot above ISO 800 where that difference starts to become visible.'

    That extra 1/3rd of a stop on the lens seems to re-level the playing field - for me the thing that attracted me to it at first was that the faster lens might confer an advantage. Having said all that I quite like the noise of these smaller sensors but then, I'm likely in a minority there!

    I would like the fold-out LCD but then, I do like the smaller and more pocketable size of the Canon. I guess we're lucky to have so much choice!

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    From the DPReview conclusion:

    'The sensor may be a touch noisier than the one used by Canon, Nikon and Samsung but the slightly brighter lens makes up for some of that difference and it's rare to need to shoot above ISO 800 where that difference starts to become visible.'
    From that same review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusxz1/page6.asp):

    "The XZ-1 looks both more detailed and more noisy than its peers at most settings (it's particularly noticeable at ISO 1600). This suggests a lower lever of noise reduction but our concern is this may mean Adobe hasn't yet completed its calibration of the processing. We don't want to draw too many conclusions while using a beta version of Adobe Camera Raw."

    It wouldn't be first time that DPR's conclusion contradicted what is in review plus personally I am not a kind of a guy that treats reviews as gospel, I am kind of a guy that prefers to see proof in the pudding for himself, and this was enough for me to feel XZ1 is better:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusxz1/page11.asp

  32. #32
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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    My first post here !

    edit: I did try out the S90 first. Bit the spinning rear dial was a turn off.
    I am a satisfied S95 user. I bought it on the reviews, but was more than pleased with how the handling in use is. The two dials + the Fn button means I dont have to dive into the menus.
    The only drawbacks are that the lens is a bit soft in the corners, and that it quickly gets dark if you do any bit of zooming. But that is the compromise to have such a small camera.

    @ Terry:
    I use the Fn button for manual WB. I usually carry a grey handkerchief with me to quickly get the WB nailed.
    I dont use C mode, yet. I use P mode, but sometimes I would like to bracket the shutter speed. If C mode can be used to achieve that then I would actually try to read the manual

    Helenas 4th picture freaked me out when I first saw it.

    Regarding S95 vs XZ-1:
    Yes, when the XZ-1 came out and it appears to address my two issues with the S95 lens, I thought that maybe it could have been a better choice. Then again, it is quite a bit bigger than the S95.
    Last edited by JesperMP; 5th February 2011 at 02:51.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Jesper -
    Welcome to the forum!
    I'm looking forward to people getting the XZ-1 and posting about it. The fast lens is interesting as you are right the S95 gets quite a bit darker - quickly.

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Since I just posted these in another thread why not put a copy in the small camera thread - here are two of my over the top processing examples of S90 files. In the right circumstances a great camera and an example of two photos that wouldn't have been taken without this camera, as I didn't and wouldn't have brought my larger stuff with me.

    Jim

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    Re: Fun with the S90/S95

    Interesting thread.

    Tashley... Interesting comments about using small sensor IQ to achieve a more painterly, dreamlike look. Thanks for sharing that. Most, myself included, tend to focus on increased IQ rather than reduced. Obviously, they each have their suitable applications according to preferences.

    Helena... I love that night harbor image of yours!

    Terry, I understand your quibbles with the LX5 and with the S95. What was your impression of RAW image quality (and subsequent development in post, to optimal result) with the cameras?

    Your Miami images, BTW, are outstanding!

    Lastly, sorry for all the Q's, what is your impression of the G12?
    Don

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