Deal 8: Here it is: The most requested deal of 2014!
At first the Canon PowerShot S95 seems to be just another point-and-shooter: compact, all black and stylish. Then a quick glance over the specs and external controls leads you to think otherwise.
The CCD has 10.0 megapixels; the lens is a fast f2 zoom that has a range from 28-105mm as a 35 SLR equivalent.
In exposure, it has access to Program AE as well as shutter and aperture priority plus manual.
Using a hybrid IS system the camera offers a more advanced image stabilisation, reducing camera shake by the equivalent of four f stops.
The camera has a High Dynamic Range mode accomplished by simultaneously capturing three images with different exposures, then combining them into a single image using in-camera software.
Maximum image size is 3648×2736 pixels, enabling a 31×23 cm print to be made at 300 dpi. Movies: 1280×720 pixels at 30 fps.
And the good news keeps coming: you can shoot pictures in RAW and JEPG as well as simultaneous RAW+JPEG files saved to the card.
The less than good news is the maximum continuous speed is only 1.9 images/second with focus and exposure set before shooting; if you want continuous focus, the capture rate is only seven frames in 10 seconds. The camera will continue shooting as long as you hold down the shutter button.
At ISO 80, superb of course.
At ISO 400, nearly as good but with a very slight rise in noise.
At ISO 800, nearly the same as ISO 400.
At ISO 1600, not much noisier than ISO 800. Still useable.
At ISO 3200, noise is noticeable and definition lower. Useable at a pinch.
It took less than two seconds from power on to first shot. Follow-ons about a second apart.
There was no sign of any distortion with the zoom lens set at wide and tele. A good performance.
There’s not much to whinge about… except the all black finish naturally leads to the top controls — power and shutter are in black —being hard to see. Maybe it’s me.
I found the S95 a delight to use, very pro and quick. Quality: pin sharp pics, excellent tonal range.
Why you would buy the S95: you would prefer a vari-angle LCD screen; you need RAW capture.
Why you wouldn’t: the camera does not shoot Full HD 1920×1080 pixels; it does not offer Adobe RGB colour space.
However, this is a very special camera.
Image Sensor: 10.0 million effective pixels.
Metering: Evaluative, centre-weighted average, spot.
Sensor Size: 14.9mm CCD.
Lens: Canon f2.0-4.9/6.0-22.5mm (28-105mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 15 to 1/1600 second.
Continuous Shooting: 0.8 to 1.9 images/second.
Memory: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMC plus cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 3648×2736 to 640×360. Movies: 1280×720, 640×480, 320×240 at 30 fps.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (461,000 pixels).
File Formats: RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG, Motion JPEG.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80 to 3200.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, AV.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 99.8×58.4×29.5 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 193 g (inc battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Canon PowerShot S95 at Amazon.
July 21, 2011 10:06 pm
I cannot understand with the absence of the Adobe RGB can be seen as a negative point.
-The S95 can shoot RAW
-RAW files are not color space dependent, they are ... raw...
-Lightroom, as well as -very probably- Canon DPP (although i never used it) can process S95 RAW files into JPG, in the Adobe RGB color space
-> So why do you need your "native" S95 JPGs to be processed in Adobe RGB ?? If you work with this gammut, you are very probably more than a beginner and want to control your processing. So you should be working with RAW
If you are a expert who is satisfied with sRGB or just don't want to spend time processing his shootings (like me) , you don't need Adobe RGB ! It's, to my point of view, a nonsense to ask for a large color space while not wanting to control the processing of the pictures and not using the file that allow you to do it.
As an example, most of expert dslr I know (Nikon D300, D7000) have the sRGB color space by default, while they can develop in Adobe.
July 14, 2011 11:55 pm
Russell maybe this review will help cement your feelings. Apparently Canon does not put quite enough TLC into their upper cameras. Even their SLR's have huge issues with lenses falling out of the camera - seriously??!!
My initial feelings for this camera were very high as it had so many features similar as my SLR and I initially reviewed it quite high at B&H. However as I have used it for over a month now my 5 or 4 star rating is more like a 2. Why such a drastic drop?
First the rating dropped from a 3 to a 2 because I feel more ripped off by the $400 cost as I see the problems this expensive camera has and they really are inexcusable. Some may say they are caused bue user error. Simply not the case.
Here is a short laundry list of the problems I have ran on to that I did not see at first.
1. When videoing the video will have some ghosting image go across the screen – the camera is not hot not the environment hot either.
2. The camera will randomly insert a date stamp as you take pictures. With the same settings without any changes to the settings whatsoever one picture will have a DS and the very next will not. I hate DS and do not prefer to remove them. IF you like DS it is still a bad thing because it apparently will turn off on you too maybe.
3. Rapid shoot is atrociously slow - for $00 you should get at least 3/second even in RAW format
4. I specifically have the camera set up for spot focus in the center of the camera and it will take blurry photos and when it does this it messes up the exposure generally also.
5. The flash is on the most obnoxious place ever and when others have used the camera that is the first thing they say about the camera.
6. The stereo microphones are in very bad places at the bottom of the camera and since the camera is so small (good thing though) you can’t help but cover them with a finger or two as you hold it. By far if video recording use a pod of some kind.
I still like the camera but if I had it to do over again I would go with a different camera. It is absolutely not worth $400.00.
April 4, 2011 05:03 am
Great walk around camera when you don't want to carry your SLR. I am one happy S95 owner.
March 3, 2011 10:43 am
Used my s95 almost constantly since I bought it in early Nov 2010, & taken on 2 trips to far east. I have taken "normal care" of what is after all a £300 camera, buts it has through use got rained on, constantly pulled in and out of my sack as well as bounced around on its strap, and used in very hot and humid conditions. So far absolutely no problems. As for the image quality there is a price to pay for being so small and light, and in my opinion while the IQ is good don’t even think that it can replace a DSLR. However you don’t have to think about carrying it so you have it on those occasions when you wish you had your DSLR, & its versatile fast lens will then cover most things.
March 2, 2011 08:27 am
3 months means it's still under any warranty to so your covered. Mark it down as an unfortunate incident.
I was recently talking to a colleague who advised not using a protective pouch because if the camera does come on, the pouch will stop the lens coming out and jam it. But I thought without pouch, and the camera in a bag or pcoket, the lens will come out and then if there's any pressure the lens gets stuck.
It's a shame, but as I said in my first post, I'm a Canon fan and just bought the 550D, my mother was with me this weekend shooting with 12MP Purple Ixus I bought her last year that she loves more than is natural! ;-)
I've got 12 years experience with Canon digital cameras and love the quality of the image. I work in advertising and look very, very closely at the quality of the JPG and RAW files prodcued and I prefer Canon over Nikon.
I just wish my mother would shoot High Quality JPG on the 8GB card I gave her, rather than Medium to save space. She uses her camera as a photo frame and keeps every thing on it! AARRGGH!!! ;-)
March 2, 2011 12:50 am
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, my friend. My first S95 developed the dreaded E18 lens error after 3 months of ownership. Like with all of my cameras, I'm extremely careful with my photographic equipment including the S95.
Canon Malaysia replaced it with a brand new one (not a refurb) and to my utmost disappointment, the replacement camera had a faulty flash after only three days of owning it! Perplexed, I took it back to Canon and they offered to change the flash unit. I didn't relish the idea of having an opened and fixed camera, not when it's just 3 days old. Instead of arguing with the customer service rep, I insisted on speaking to the management.
The Camera Division manager apologized to me and was kind enough to loan me the company's S95 whilst waiting for new stocks of S95s to arrive from Japan. He couldn't understand why a brand new S95 had a defective flash either. I used the loaner S95 for about 2-3 weeks and it was OK - no problems whatsoever.
I have since returned the loaner S95 when my second replacement S95 arrived. It was defect-free, much to my relief. Will I boycott Canon's products just because I had the bizarre misfortune of having two defective S95s in a row?
No I wouldn't. I've used and owned Canon cameras since 2004 and the S95 was the only one that gave me problems. To me it was an isolated incident.
February 18, 2011 01:03 am
My Canon Powershot S95 lasted 3 months and i probably took 100 photos before the Lens died.
Its too late now but after searching the net i see the this problem is a recurring theme across many Canon models. I would say it s a poor design and poor manufture,
My initial contact with Canons customer service was that they wanted to wash their hands of it.
I have owned 3 Fujis in the past 10 years and never had problem with them.
I will not be buying another Canon prooduct in this lifetime
November 12, 2010 05:55 am
What ever happened to the Panasonic LX-5? Does it have Cooties or something? I just bought one, and it is keeping up with my Pentax K10d with the Sigma 17-70 F:2.8....All too often as an Advanced Digital Photography instructor, I find people buying these black Nikon/Canon Computers with lenses on the front, and they haven't a clue what to do with these $2,000 bodies, that they thought would make them photographers! See where this is going?
So hows about a look-see into the LX-5?
November 8, 2010 04:30 pm
I bought Canon PowerShot S95 for its compactness, low light performance, and image quality. This camera simply rocks. The improvements are:
Body finish… secures handling.
More scenes including High Dynamic Range (very cool).
Slightly smoothed and rounded corners...looks and feels better.
More stable and sharper pictures.
November 8, 2010 05:49 am
Nice camera. Ken Rockwell says its all the compact you will ever need which sounds fair enough. Like the samples from it and would consider buying one but then I very rarely use compact cameras. I think this camera looks quite understated and I don't think it gets the publicity it deserves.
November 2, 2010 09:41 am
"Rarely will you run into someone that has one 5+ years."
Most likely my camera will explode tomorrow by itself, but I have a Canon Powershot a40, that is still working as it was when new. In the end of 2002 I think it was when I bought it. :)
Yes, this was kind of short review, but aren't they all, so isn't it then their style? It might be boring if every review would be like dpreview or dcresource.
October 29, 2010 05:33 pm
For the record, I have been reading digital camera reviews for six years, therefore I do know the difference between a hastily cobbled writeup and a well thought out one. :-)
I was merely pointing out that this review could have been more comprehensive, especially done by someone who's had years of experience with cameras and photography writing. That's all. If the review on this page was done by an average guest writer, that would be totally different matter.
You want a "correct review" of the Cannon (sic) S95? Sure, here you go:
There are yet other in-depth reviews of the S95 which you can Google yourself, so I'll just mention two to keep it short and sweet.
I have actually bought several cameras based on Digital Camera Resource's review articles and have learned a lot about digital cameras from him. No affiliation with Jeff Keller, the website owner/author whatsoever.
See how Jeff writes his camera reviews and you'll agree how bare looking the S95 review on this site is by comparison. :-)
October 29, 2010 09:45 am
Stratman, please can YOU then give us a correct review of the Cannon S95. Thanks :)
October 29, 2010 06:08 am
I got my PowerShot S95 early this month as an upgrade to my existing Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 compact and I'm pleased to note that it gives exactly the same image quality as my PowerShot G11.
This review however appears to be a rushed job, lacking in details. And I'm not talking about the camera's specs here. There are additional new features in the S95 which are sadly not highlighted (compared to the S90), apart from the built-in HDR mode and the improved burst rate. Did the writer even touch on the S95's multi aspect ratio capability? Nope, nada, nyet.
No sign of barrel distortion in the S95? I find that hard to swallow, because the S95 uses the same lens as the S90 and mild distortion at the wide 28mm end is mentioned in other professional review sites, including DPS' past review of the S90. Look out for the paragraph that says "Visual flaws include frequent purple fringing and some slight distortion at the wider end of the lens."
I also found the Comment section of this review to be mildly amusing though.
"Why you would buy the S95: you would prefer a vari-angle LCD screen; you need RAW capture.
Why you wouldn’t: the camera does not shoot Full HD 1920×1080 pixels; it does not offer Adobe RGB colour space."
- "You would prefer a vari-angle (sic) LCD screen." The S95 obviously has a fixed 3" LCD screen and not a Vari-Angle LCD screen. Hello...??
- I don't think lack of full HD support is NOT a good excuse for not choosing the S95. Neither is the lack of Adobe RGB color space. How many people out there actually use Adobe's color space? I'll bet many people who buy the S95 don't even know the difference between sRGB and Adobe's RGB color space anyway.
This camera is really an awesome performer for its price point and I'm very pleased with it. It's just too bad that this review is not as polished or detailed as I had expected it to be, especially coming from someone who's supposedly to be an experienced writer/photographer.
C'mon Barrie, you can do better than this! ;-)
October 29, 2010 03:08 am
Thank you for the review! I'm a Canon DSLR shooter. I gave my Canon P&S camera to my nephew. Now I'm looking for another pocketable camera. Looking at the Leica D-Lux5 or the Panasonic LX5 and Canon S95.
October 26, 2010 05:52 am
Thanks for the review. I'm kind of in the market for a new P&S and like @matt, I'm a Nike DSLR, Canon P&S fan. I loved my previous Canon-one of the best features was the swivel LCD. VERY handy - which is the only drawback I see to this one. All of the other specs sound fantastic and the ISO tests are impressive. The fast lens caught my eye, too. Lots to consider.
October 25, 2010 06:16 am
Can't believe that S95 performs even better than Nikon D40 in high ISO!! I am a Nikon fan but can't help to say well done Cannon.
October 24, 2010 10:07 am
The review doesn't mention the two features on this camera that actually make it stand out - the larger sensor size than typical compact cameras, nor the front control wheel which feels in the hands like a manual aperture control, but which can be set to a variety of feaures. I fail to see how a review could glaze over these - these are the actual features of the camera. Also, I know it's subjective, but ISO 3200 looks much better than 'usable in a pinch' to me - it doesn't look anything like 3 stops above ISO 400.
October 23, 2010 10:59 pm
@Matt I've lost three Canon point and shoots to E18 errors, and I'm not alone... http://e18.bitnet.cx/comments.php
Also, it's not just 'old' models... http://www.consumeraffairs.com/cameras/canon_e18.html
I'm a Canon DSLR user and look after my kit, even more so after my second E18 problem. Card was reformatted after almost every use, kept in a padded case that I dusted regularly.
Search for point and shoot lens errors and the biggest hits are for Canon, not Nikon or Panasonic or Sony.
My post was that I've lost faith in the Canon point and shoots, not the DSLRs, you say you are confident in Canon, but you're a Nikon user, where do you get your confidence?
Sorry, I'm not trolling here, just highlighting a problem with this brand and type of camera.
October 23, 2010 09:10 am
Not much said again more a quick look but nice to have the shots at various ISO settings.
The burrad-lucas review is better and tempts one even more to splash the cash on this lovely little camera, oh when is Xmas?!
Meanwhile we have a Lumix TZ10 that continues to delight me when I can borrow it from my wife. If she takes it back full time then this is probably its replacement....meanwhile the Lumix gets taken in place of my D90 especially in full sunlight or when short of space! Whilst the LX5 is a direct competitor its higher price and the excellent TZ10 at about the same price as the Canon S95 rule somewhat against it as does its size!
October 22, 2010 07:05 pm
Very nice review! I agree with your conclusions.
I have also reviewed the S95 on my blog with some more words about the HDR mode, creative modes, use in low light and the video performance:
October 22, 2010 01:25 pm
I am a Nikon DSLR shooter but am fully confident in Canon's point and shoot models. The issues you're experiencing are typical of people that either treat their point and shoots poorly or use them and enormous amount. The issue with the point and shoots is that due to their lens system they are only expected to last 2-4 years. Rarely will you run into someone that has one 5+ years.
October 22, 2010 09:21 am
I promised myself I wouldn't buy another Canon until my current camera dies.. I think I may forget it outside during the next rainstorm.
October 22, 2010 08:40 am
Mine has raw capture like on slur all settings except full auto
October 22, 2010 07:20 am
My third Canon camera has died with the E18 lens error. Fortunatly this one died within warranty, so hopefully I'll get it fixed. I've lost two Ixus and a PowerShot I'd invested in a waterproof casing for. That died a few months after the warranty ran out.
I'm a big Canon fan, own my third EOS Rebel and I only buy Canon at work, but their point and shoots, I've lost faith in them for reliability; losing a camera over a stuck lens is pretty poor.
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook
Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE
GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed