Canon S45

My choice for a  digital camera is the Canon S45. It is a 4 megapixel compact camera, with multiple modes including full manual. It has 3 times optical zoom and a reasonably fast lens (for a digital) at F2.8.

There are bigger cameras in the market with faster lenses and more options but I specifically wanted a reasonably compact unit that I could use both above and below the surface.

Front of S45. Click to enlarge.

I find the interface for the unit quite intuitive and have not had any major problems. That being said, some people have complained about the central "set" switch on the multi-controller but personally I don't have a problem with it.

The full specs can be found Here.

You'll see from the pictures that the Canon doesn't have any adapter threads for filters etc on the lens housing. A possible problem above water but underwater all adapters/accessories need to attach to the underwater housing anyway. 

Rear of S45. Click to enlarge.

I use a 256Mb CF card for in camera storage. In fact, the larger the card the better! In general I find that I can easily fill a 128MB card on a single dive shooting RAW format and I would rather have too much space than too little. The Canon will also take micro-drives, but I haven't had the opportunity to try one. Generally, I will shoot with one card on the first dive, swap to another for the second ( download the first to storage - see details here) and re-use the first card on the next dive etc.

The battery is a Li-Ion proprietary unit supplied via canon. Certainly does me for a couple of dives with the internal flash set to minimal (see details on the strobe page). Recharging takes around 60-90 minutes. I have 2 batteries with one on charge all the time.



  • A beautifully machined body with good weight.
  • Nice lens.
  • Multiple settings manual/automatic.
  • Intuitive controls.
  • No "hotshoe" for external strobe.
  • No true TTL facility.
  • Macro is only just acceptable without accessory lens.

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Page updated  Tuesday, 15 November 2005