Features I love on my camera

Canon G11 hand held facing me self-portrait

For the quintessential narcissist– The articulating LCD on my Powershot G11 was turned around to face me while I snapped this self-portrait of my students Hank and Jacqui on a recent field trip. Shutter speed was kind of low, that’s why the image isn’t exactly very sharp.

This isn’t a prediction.

Eventually everyone will be able to take a decent picture and no, their lives won’t have to depend on it either.

I say this with utmost sincerity and with as straight-a-face as I can muster.

We’re almost there, you know.

Had too much to drink? No problem, image stabilization to the rescue.

Too dark? The flash automatically kicks in.

Red-eye from the flash? Enable red eye reduction.

Red eye from too many drinks? Sorry, there is no on-camera solution for your character flaws but your friends can document your drunken stupor and do an online intervention on Facebook. Pay someone who knows Photoshop.

Can’t decide what to focus on? If you’re standing in a meadow in Yosemite, you can choose the icon with the hills on your camera.

If there are people, face detection is built into lots of Point-and-Shoot cameras.

Standing at the Grand Canyon but don’t have a wide angle lens? Photo stitch to the rescue.

Can’t remember where you took a picture? Hooray for geotagging. Sorry the G11 doesn’t have this yet.

Of the features I mentioned, the one which caught my attention the first time I heard it was face detection.

I should be embarrassed to admit this here. But what the heck.  For some reason I kept thinking it was face recognition.

You know for photographers who took such bad pictures of people they needed help so their subjects could be recognizable?

Well, what can I say? English is not my first language. I was thinking of a whole different animal, wasn’t I?

So it turns out my Canon G11 has this handy-dandy face detection feature as well.

Face Detection, by the way, is not 100% foolproof.

If your subject is extremely vain, insists on being photographed only in profile for their “best side” to hide a facial feature, this feature will drive you nuts.

When you press the shutter button, nothing happens.

The shutter will not fire if the sensor doesn’t see both eyes.

You can tell yours truly has been spending quality time in front of a mirror, camera on a tripod and whispering to himself, “Yeah.. work the camera,” “Who loves you?” can’t you?

What I’d like to see is a feature which you can activate on demand when you simply don’t want to take a picture of someone but they are persistent to the point of being pest.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could customize your LCD monitor to display any  message?

Error: Subject too homely
Step back or use a wide angle setting.

Error: Insufficient bioluminescence (substitute with big fancy big word of your choice)
Tell subject to come back tomorrow at noon

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead, suggest some possible messages you’d like your camera’s LCD to display.