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Canon's all new PowerShot S45 digital.
March 19th, 2003

At the back of the camera, adjacent to the big and bright 1.8-inch TFT color display, are a bevy of handy operational controls within finger reach and on the top of the camera is the mode jog

Most controls are at easy finger tip reach on the back, only the 4-way toggle button (top right) is difficult to use.

dial and zoom control. Two of the controls we did not like from a users point of view though. The zoom lens control is too small to control easily and the 4-way toggle button is a awful to use navigating the cameras menu; its shape is just too awkward.

It’s all in the lens
I grew up on professional quality 35mm SLR and 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inch TLR and SLR cameras with the finest grades of glass lenses, so I want to point out how impressed I am with the 7 element in 5 groups f/2.8 – 4.9 (aperture) aspherical zoom lens. The images are essentially distortion free to the edges of the field and we could detect little chromatic aberrations (color distortion).

The focal range is a very usable 7.1mm at wide angle to 21.3mm at full telephoto, that’s the 35mm film camera equivalent of 35 – 105mm.

It does little good to have an impressive lens if the focus system fails to provide you fault free sharp pictures. As mentioned above, the

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PowerShot S45 uses a 9-point AiAF auto focus system, and the camera does a better job than it’s predecessor, we think we know why. The AiAF system uses a much larger percentage of the picture area than the three point system used on the S40, which make it easier and faster to detect the main focus subject.

Flash, you’re it
Another advanced feature you find on the Canon PowerShot S45 is the First or Second Curtain Flash Sync. First curtain means that the flash occurs immediately after the shutter opens, second curtain flash means the flash begins slightly before the shutter opens, giving the shot a motion effect to moving objects in the field of view. Great for special effect shots, like pictures of people dancing.


The cameras flash can also be set for three power settings – weak, medium and strong. Our experience showed these to be sufficient for close subjects to medium sized rooms, but the small flash was inadequate for large area fills. You can see this in our photos from the 25 foot deep auto museum.

  
Foreground flash fill is great, but lacks depth in large rooms.

Additionally, the PowerShot S45’s flash unit can also act as a slave flash to strategically located external strobe flash units. It can also be used as a fill flash with external units too.

RAW exposure
For those of you that want to work with RAW image data, the camera can record a RAW image file even while in one of the JPEG settings. You can access the RAW file feature any time during the review period, after that it is lost. RAW data images can be processed after storage by using the Canon supplied software.

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