How to use the Canon G11 Control Dial in an Underwater Housing

For a while now I have been under the impression you could not use the Control Dial on the Canon Powershot G11 when it was mounted in an underwater housing, but a recent review by Lawrence Alex Wu reveals a little known secret.

I was reading Underwater Photography Magazine (No 55 Jul/Aug 2010), and a review of the Canon Powershot G11 by Lawrence Alex Wu describes a key shortcut that allows the photographer access to the Control Dial functionality while underwater.

Canon Powershot G11 inside wp-dc34 underwater housing

Out of the housing, rotating the G11 Control Dial next to the screen allows you to adjust settings that include:-

  • Aperture size in Aperture Priority Mode (AV)
  • Shutter speed in Shutter Priority Mode (Tv)
  • Metering Modes
  • Manual Focus
  • Brightness Exposure Compensation
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing

I often use the Canon WP-DC34 underwater housing with my G11 camera, but the problem is that once you close the housing you no longer have access to the control dial…. or so I thought….

Canon G11 camera inside the WP-DC34 underwater housing

Now thanks to Lawrence’s article I have all the functionality back while underwater….. the secret ????…..

The secret is the “S”-button …. the what button??  you ask …..

The S (Short Cut) button that sits quietly in the top left hand corner of your cameras back, and is normally used to quickly access a stored function, or print an image.

If you hold down the Shortcut button and click the left (macro) button , you will get the same effect as moving the Control Dial in the counter-clockwise direction. Likewise, holding the down the Shortcut button and clicking the right (flash) button will give you the same effect as moving the Control Dial in the clockwise direction.

I applaud the designer who came up with this function.

There is not a lot of information about this type of shortcut, and I and not sure if it’s available on other G series camera such as the G9 or G10, so if you have any other info, it would be great if you could share it with a comment below.

6 thoughts on “How to use the Canon G11 Control Dial in an Underwater Housing”

  1. Hi Carl,
    I couldn’t make the S button work like front dial. Should i “set shortcut button” in menu settings to something special?

        1. Hi Orkun,

          I assume as you are talking about the front dial, you are using a G12.

          The S button control function does not work if the G12 front dial has been assigned as the control dial. I go to the “Setting Dial Function” in the setup menu, and choose the “Control Dial” option, which sets all control to the rear control dial. I can then use the S button in the underwater housing to change exposure settings normally controlled by the control dial.

          This is a little different to the proper use of the S button which is used as a shortcut to other functions.



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