The Little Canon S100 by Richard Bach

The Little Canon S100 by Richard Bach

Hi Steve,

Long time reader, first time poster.

I am an avid photographer down here in sunny SD. I try to have my camera on me every minute of every day, as you never know when the light will be right, that magical subject will appear, or any of those wonderful unpredictable things will happen that make photography so much fun.

But there are just some times I can’t haul my D700 around, and sometimes even that X100 of mine is just a little too big. After a visit at the local camera store where I beheld the glory that is the Fuji X20, I decided I need a compact again. Long story short, I didn’t get the Fuji. It s wonderful camera on all accounts, a masterpiece of precision and feel, but it’s just not pocketable. Next was the Sony RX100, but that also didn’t easily fit in my pants pocket (Whats the point of stepping down to a compact if it is not pocketable?) So I bit the bullet and bought, sight unseen, the smallest RAW shooting compact from my trusted pool of brands: the Canon S100.

canon s100

I was thrilled when I received it, and it brought me back to the time when I had just started digital photography with a Canon SD400. Me and my brothers were off to our yearly tradition of going to our favorite music festival in SoCal (NOT Coachella) that weekend, and this was the perfect time to throw this little beast to the wolves. It had always killed me that I was at such an amazingly photogenic place without a camera years before…

While there were some mishaps and missed shots along the way, I was blown away by the keepers. Perhaps it’s because pocket cameras have come such a long way since the last time I used them, or perhaps I have perfected my workflow over the years, but these results were much better than I was expecting. Its incredible some of the photographic opportunities you are presented with when you just have a camera on you.

Will I be getting rid of my full frame Nikon kit? Of course not. but for the times that camera just isn’t feasible, I will bring my S100 and be happy that I’m getting a shot at all. Because, like I said earlier, you never know when those beautiful moments will happen.

There are more images from the festival up on my Tumblr here are will probably be more to come as time goes on.

Thanks for reading!

– Richard Bach






  1. Some of the best photos I have seen featured. I’m a huge fan if people raking amazing photos on p&s and compact fixed lens cameras with small sensors. And these shots show why.
    Great stuff

  2. What a case of GAS I have this camera siiting here for a year without touching it and now wanna buy it again. It did travel nice. I confuse it with my iphone.

  3. Hum, lots of noise, not enough dynamic range and too much depth of field. Also, you could have picked a better scene to use the camera, like some landscape or flower so we can check the bokeh. There’s nothing like full frame.

    • I believe the point is that he was able to capture life. But I’m shure a full frame camera would of taken nicer pictures, Oh but you didn’t bring it because it was to big. Life is a journey of captured moments and not a full frame camera left at home : )

    • Yeah, because ‘checking the bokeh’ is what photography is really about. Who cares whether the images themselves are any good? Shooting test charts and pixel peeping – now that’s real photography…

    • I hope that was a joke…

      Otherwise I implore you to actually read the text, as it would explain to you exactly why I would NOT be shooting bokeh/noise/dynamic range test with this camera. That’s what my D700 is for (Though I wouldn’t waste my time doing that on that camera either…)

    • Thanks!

      Take a look at my response to angularmo’s comment above, I outlined my post processing pretty well up there.

      It’s all done on Lightroom using VSCO’s film presets but they are pretty heavily hacked and tweaked from their original state. I pretty much only use the presets for their profiles, curves, and HSL recipes and do the rest myself.

  4. Thanks for all the kinds words everyone! And a special thank you to those who are now following me on Tumblr too!

    Glad to see so many other people are getting great images form their compacts.

  5. My S90 fills that pocketable camera role for me. It is also light/small enough I hang it around my neck using a landyard. To extend its usefulness I got a waterproof enclosure for it. That enclosure looks to be more waterproof than the two waterproof cameras I bought — both of those died in salt water (despite being very careful in cleaning out the rubber gaskets around the various doors, and other measures before using).

  6. wow… I love this website. But, after seeing so many ‘leica this… leica that…’ it feels so refreshing to read about how one can utilize a simple small camera to make some nice pics.

  7. Right on! My Sony RX-100 goes everywhere with me and has shot way over a thousand stills and hours of video with nary a problem and the results are excellent. I have no trouble with pocketability in a jacket or cargo pants pocket

  8. The last photo, whereby that guy is hoisted up; did you use any sort of filter, or post-processing? Or, is that look from the natural light? That one takes me back to my Kodachrome days. Wow-ee.

    • Thanks!

      I don’t remember exactly what process I used for that photo, but almost all of my photos nowadays start with VSCO’s film presets for Lightroom. Then I tweak from there to give it a more subject appropriate treatment.

      I think the Kodachrome look came from dropping the luminance and upping the saturation on the reds + greens as well as making the skin tones desaturated and bit orange.

      But VSCO is an awesome starting point.

      – Richard

  9. Funny thing is…I just went through that same thought process, but instead of the S100, I downloaded CHKDK for my awesome little SD1100 IS, and now can shoot RAW with it (or most ANY Canon Point and Shoot). HIGHLY recommend it.

    • The SD1100IS is one little gem. I’ve bought twice before when I wanted to get a ‘fix’, just because they’re so darn cheap, then just gifted it to relatives after.

  10. I’ve had two Canon S cameras, and both are still working after all these years. My S50 is somewhat akin to a stone axe. My wife has resisted using my old Canon S50 and G10, she just loves the little S10.

  11. I know what you mean when you want a camera with you all the time. I must have baggier trousers than you as my pocket camera is the Sony RX100M2.

    It’s only in the last two years that I have used an interchangeable lens camera (OM-D) and for 20 years before that it has been a series of small digital cameras. I’ve noticed every time I changed the photo’s were better………..and the latest one, the Sony is awesome.

    Yes, full frame may, or will, be better in some circumstances but I just wouldn’t use it much. I love the Olympus OM-D as I have it and all the lenses in a small Tamrac bag.

    As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    The photo’s you have from your pocket camera are very nice. Thanks for posting.

  12. Classic example of how the gear & pixel quality don’t really matter as long as the moment is captured with the right placement and skill.

    Great work with a compact!

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