Monday, May 02, 2005

The Canon A95

The Canon A95 allows you lots of creative range from fully manual to fully automatic. The fully automatic choices include lots for different lighting conditions, different shutter speeds, and different shooting distances. For the most part, I've been very happy with the choices made by the camera using the automatic modes. Beyond automatic, the A95 has two training wheels modes, one letting you set aperture and the other letting you set shutter speed the other setting chosen by the camera. This is a great way to start to play around with what can be done by varying aperture and shutter speed.

Yesterday at the park the weather was quite overcast to the point of having heavyish rain at the end of our outing. Overcast weather can sometimes give you shots that are less washed out, but the extent of the cloud cover yesterday meant that light intensity was reduced somewhat more than is optimal. However, I decided yesterday to try out the fully manual mode that the A95 offers. The camera does a great job of giving feedback in the lcd viewscreen in real time on how dark or light your end shot will be. If you open the aperture too much you'll see a washed out viewscreen and vice versa. This allowed me to quickly experiment with aperture and shutter speeds to get the shots I wanted. Decreasing aperture has the desirable effect of increasing depth of field but also decreases the amount of light reaching the sensor, leading to the requirement of increasing shutter speed. I found a good set of aperture (f-stop) and shutter speeds that I could use to give me good colour and light intensity range while still avoiding blurring from camera shake and a depth of field that was too limited.

Overall, being able to manually set aperture and shutter speed let me produce much better shots than with fully or partially automatic settings. When I'm taking several shots under similar lighting conditions I think I'll go all manual from now on.