I have only used two cameras for making portraits of strangers, my Nikon D90, and a rented Olympus OM-D E-M5. Each of these has quick auto focus, a fairly quick burst rate, and has good prime lenses. When someone allows me to photograph them, I feel obligated to produce a decent result. Therefore I keep the gear simple (like me), and with these cameras, the results are fairly reproducible.
A few days ago, I was at a club on Useppa Island, FL. While walking around a pool area, I passed by a building with an open window which serves as a pass-through into a bar. A lady server was just inside, and the light on her face, and background bar, was sumptuous. In my pocket was my fairly new Canon S100. I had to try.
I leaned into the bar area, and explained my project to Roxanne. She seemed a bit reluctant, but ultimately allowed a photo, even though I did not buy a thing. The controls on the S100 are predominantly menu driven, which I hate. But it does have a control dial with Av (aperture priority) and easily controlled exposure compensation. I quickly set the Aperture to f4 and exposure compensation to -1, and clicked off two shots. The shutter release was agonizingly slow.
I really liked the gesture. Thank you, Roxanne! But the image is not at all sharp. I refuse to print the shutter speed – it was WAY too slow. The ISO control is buried somewhere deep in the menu, something with which to acquaint myself.
But this is DO-ABLE. With a little practice, the Canon S100 can become a useful adjunct in my stranger portrait project. I am glad that I had it along that day.