Small Camera – Big Panoramas

Posted April 22nd, 2014 by   |  Computers, Photography, Software  |  Permalink
Bellingham Marina panorama

Bellingham Marina panorama. Image created by merging a 5-shot sequence in Photoshop from a Canon S110 camera.

Last week I took a short trip to Bellingham, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia armed with with only a small point and shoot camera. The purpose of the trip was mountain biking and cycling, so I wanted to travel light but still be able to create some nice images. My camera muse for the weekend was the Canon S110 (now the S120) pocket camera that is capable of shooting RAW files. I’ve owned this camera for about two years now and am generally happy with it for simple shooting tasks like birthday parties, selfies at restaurants, or quick grab shots while on a walk.

Canon S110

The Canon S110 (or the newer S120) make a great travel companion when you have to travel light, but still want RAW files.

As fun as this camera is to use however, the image quality just doesn’t compare to my larger DSLR cameras. That’s ok though, because I love the tiny size compared to my larger dSLR cameras, and mountain biking with a full-sized professional dSLR & 24-70mm f/2.8 can be difficult at best. I frequently take my big dSLR cameras on big adventures, but on trips like these you have to decide what’s more important: creating images for your portfolio or having fun doing the actual adventure. For last week’s trip, I was riding along with my son, so the priority was on having fun cycling and touring together.

cargo ships

Ships in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia. Image created in Photoshop CC from 5 shots captured with the Canon S110. Converted to Black and White with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Since I know the Canon S110 won’t produce images on par with my larger dSLR cameras, I tend to use the camera in different ways. For example, rather than trying to create single shots of action or street scenes, I find I get the most satisfaction by creating panoramas, black and white images or creative closeups/macros. In other words, I shy away from the single shot and plan for a bit more work after the fact in the digital dark room.

Coal Harbor

Panorama of Coal Harbor Marina, Vancouver BC. Image created by merging 4 shots from the Canon S110 in Photoshop CC.

Traveling with a small camera is great fun and can be quite liberating. In this case, I used my Peak Design Capture Clip system to hold the camera on my backpack strap. It was always ready to shoot and because it was so small, it never got in the way. I encourage all of you to leave the big dSLR camera at home for a day and shoot with a tiny point and shoot.



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