Canon PowerShot "Secret" Clock

Ok, so it's not really a secret. At all. In fact, I learned this "trick" by reading the Canon PowerShot SD350 manual. (In bed.) That said, none of my PowerShot-owning friends knew about it, so... BLOG POSTIN' TIME!

As the Germans say, this little trick is "like a moustache on a milkmaid" — an unexpected surprise for those who look closely!

1. Hold down the Func/Set (center) button while pressing the Power button.
2. That's all.

You'll get a magical clock! But here's where it gets cooler:
  • Gently shake the camera (or, on newer models, press forward/back buttons) to change the clock color!
  • Rotate the camera to orient the clock horizontally or vertically!
This works on almost all modern PowerShot [SD] models. I've tried it on an SD300 and an SD450. On other models, including the SD10, SD20, and SD30, it's a little different — you power up the camera and hold down the Func button for two seconds. Read your manual and let me know how it works for yours!

Camera MovieCamera Movie
Here are some videos showing it in action. On the left is the PowerShot SD300, and on the right is the SD450. (The SD10 clock, not pictured, looks totally different and Tron-like.)

And that's, er, it. If you have a PowerShot, give it a try. Exciting? Pointless? Old news? Or generally uselawesome / awesless?

Like it or lump it, one thing is for certain: the clock can change colors.


"like a moustache on a milkmaid"
never heard that one.

Anyway, I'll try it on my PS Pro1
Blogger MatzeLoCal 2/13/2006 11:39 PM  
Ha! Works great on my SD300. I'll have to show that to some people...
Blogger Zac White 2/13/2006 11:47 PM  
We say "like a moustache on a milkmaid"? Never heard of that one (or I can't do the reverse translation, please enlighten me with the german original :).

That reminds me of a story which was super weird that my girlfriend once brought from America: the famous christmas pickle that all germans put on their christmas tree. (Demystified here).

Nevertheless nice feature you discovered.
Anonymous Dominik Wagner 2/14/2006 12:18 AM  
While trying this out I found this page:

I can confirm it doesn't work with an A610 so I believe it doesn't work on the Powershot A series. Only the more recent SD series I would think myself.
Blogger Chealion 2/14/2006 12:20 AM  
This is sweet, Cabel! It works on my SD500 too.

For those wondering about why/how it senses what orientation you're at (while others might consider this obvious), Canon cameras automatically rotate photos the right way up if you take them sideways. So they obviously just threw the same detection in the clock too for a little fun.
Blogger Drew Hamlin 2/14/2006 12:48 AM  
Are you eating in a moving-belt sort of restaurant there? Is it sushi-based or non-sushi-based? It looks cool.
Blogger Clickie 2/14/2006 1:04 AM  
This works on Canon Ixus 700, what they call a Powershot in Asia/Internationally.
Anonymous Michael Slater 2/14/2006 7:01 AM  
Wonder if it works on the Canon G series? Don't recall seeing anything about it in the manual.
Anonymous J Lane 2/14/2006 8:23 AM  
Works on my SD 550, except for the color-changing.

Also, on my camera at least, you can hold down the FUNC/SET button any time while the camera's powered up and get the clock.
Anonymous Ricky Romero 2/14/2006 9:34 AM  
I like that you presumably took this movie of one camer with the other camera, then did it again. That's nicely meta.
Anonymous freddy 2/14/2006 12:47 PM  
This is a cool trick. However, the milkmaid thing is really what I'm going to take away from this post. It's a keeper.
Anonymous nicheplayer 2/14/2006 12:52 PM  
Doesn't work on my A520 :(
Anonymous Michael May 2/15/2006 1:43 PM  
Where is the sushi track restaurant you're at? is the downtown portland?

we have on out where i work in Wilsonville, called, uh, "Sushi Track", but it's ok.
Anonymous Kevin Klein 2/15/2006 4:31 PM  
Gotta love the conversation in the background.

"Just use XML!"

Geeks eating sushi, using their cameras to take pictures of their other cameras.
Blogger Tim 2/15/2006 10:53 PM  
So you are telling me that if I press these said buttons, I can make food come out of a conveyor belt?

Anonymous Mark Stultz 2/16/2006 1:31 PM  
I had read about this in the SD400 manual when I first bought the camera, tried it once and promptly forgot about it. My 18-month old son, however, seems able to get the clock up on it at will, to which I'm always saying "how are you DOING that??" Of course, he doesn't answer, and seems to be pretty much pressing all of the buttons at once!
Anonymous Ben 2/16/2006 4:26 PM  
Damn, that is easily the fastest kaiten sushi I have ever seen.
Anonymous peter beardsley 2/18/2006 2:15 AM  
That is slawesome (slick and awesome?)

I have been looking at getting one of those Cannon SD models, or the Casio Exilim S600. decisions decisions :)
Anonymous Cris 'atariboy' Pearson 2/21/2006 7:11 PM  
Shouting out with my SD400. Great find!
Anonymous matches 3/11/2006 3:46 PM  
very cool!!! works on the canon sd10 and canon sd630...pressing the right direction button changes colors!
Anonymous Anonymous 5/19/2006 9:53 PM  
Nice. Works on the IXUS 750 as well.
Anonymous Anonymous 9/20/2006 7:54 PM  
Hello and thanks it works on my canon powershot sd750 as well, I was searching for it on the net and this site came up, pretty cool. Thanks
Anonymous Anonymous 4/27/2007 1:39 PM  

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Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR