Compact camera tutorial

This month we’re exploring new ways to capture authentic emotions. The aim is to help you enhance your images and form deeper connections with your viewers.

Human emotions don’t follow any set rules – they’re spontaneous and based on what someone is feeling - so having your camera close to hand is one of the first rules of capturing them. Unplanned shots can give you great results. Try shooting when your subject’s not expecting it – or press the shutter just after they think you’ve taken a shot. They’ll look far more natural and relaxed.

Whether you’re shooting to share your images or simply for yourself, our tutorials will help you capture moods and feelings more effectively.

Capturing emotion with your IXUS or PowerShot

When you’re using a compact camera with a powerful zoom it’s tempting to use it too often or zoom in too much. This means you may miss the emotion in a wider scene. 

Go wide

For more interesting pictures that capture the environment of the scene, try using your camera’s zoom creatively and zoom out to the lens’s widest setting. Then turn off the flash and let the camera choose a slower shutter speed for some dynamic blur or movement in the pictures. There is often more emotion, atmosphere and life if there is movement in your photos. Try capturing a busy street scene at night or people setting out to work in the morning. Think about how you feel about the scene and try to convey this feeling in your images. 

Compact camera tutorial - Canon
Don Nunn - Coated roads
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Turn off the flash to capture emotion

When it comes to capturing emotion through lighting and atmosphere, it’s useful to know how to stop your flash automatically firing. This can usually be done by selecting the flash off mode or by pressing a button on the camera to set the flash to off. Now the camera will select slower shutter speeds that let movement and passion become the keys to your pictures.

To get the atmosphere of the scene you can shoot pictures where small details are close to the camera – for example a set of keys, an empty glass, a pair of sunglasses. Each offers an invitation to engage emotionally. The camera will focus on these details and the short depth of field in standard IXUS and PowerShot cameras will give more blur and atmosphere to the results.

Take advantage of Auto Zoom

Some PowerShot and IXUS cameras include an option to automatically match the framing of your subjects even as they move closer or further away. This is called Auto Zoom.

It can help you capture the excitement or emotion on people’s faces when they’re moving. Because it can be challenging to keep them in the frame, you may shoot with wider zoom. However Auto Zoom will automatically adjust the zoom length to keep the main subject the same size in your frame.

Use Smart Shutter to capture smiling faces

PowerShot and IXUS cameras offer a Smart Shutter feature that helps to capture photos based on three different conditions.

  • Smile detection will take a shot every time the subject smiles. You can leave the camera in a fixed position and as the subject smiles naturally the camera will capture the smile automatically.
  • Smart Shutter can also be set to capture other gestures to help take pictures of yourself in a group of friends or family. Put the camera in position on a tripod and get the group ready. Then walk to join the group and wink at the camera. A few moments later the camera will take a photo.
  • Alternatively, for larger groups, your camera can be set to detect that a new face has appeared in the scene and then take a photo a few moments later.

Try using Smart Shutter to capture the emotions of happy times spent with a group of your friends or family.

Explore Hybrid Auto Mode

Hybrid Auto Mode is a feature on many PowerShot and IXUS cameras. It’s a great way to capture the feeling of an event or situation.

It captures two to four seconds of video before each still image is taken. Each movie clip is saved to the memory card and clips are automatically combined to give a fast paced movie of an emotional event with no extra effort. The resulting video creates a feeling of being there just before a still image was taken and captures a unique background to your photos. It works just as well for landscape shots as those of people.

Share emotion-packed photos using Wi-Fi and NFC

Many IXUS and PowerShot cameras support sharing of pictures to your smartphone using the Canon Camera Connect app, available for both Android and Apple iOS devices.

Once the app is installed, images taken on the camera can be transferred to your smartphone or tablet using the “Mobile Device Connection Button” on the camera or from the camera menus. Our latest compact cameras also offer NFC (near field communication) which is the easiest way to share images to compatible smartphones and tablets. Simply touch two devices together to share images instantly. Once your photos are on your smartphone or tablet you can share precious, emotional moments easily on your favourite social media channels.

If you’ve felt inspired to capture emotion, why not share your images with the world.
Upload them to The Gallery.