In this Canon Powershot S95 product review we will look at its features and what improvements Canon has made since its S90 model. A comparison will be made with the nearest competitor, the Panasonic Lumix DCM-LX5. You can’t go wrong buying either of these high end cameras and they are both beyond being just a point and shoot type of camera. You will need to decide if the extra $100 is worth the slightly better features found on the Panasonic DCM-LX5 since it retails for $499 verses $399 for the Canon Powershot S95.
The Canon Powershot S95 is a camera that is loaded and ready to fire. It has a very sensitive CCD sensor capable of 10 Mega-pixel resolution and uses DIGIC 4 technology giving it much better low light usage than the S90. Canon calls this their HS system and extends the ISO range to 320 – 12800. Manual control is also possible so the photographer has full control over the imaging. You can use the camera without flash and still get the exposure control you need with this technology.
The lens control ring has been upgraded and the Hybrid IS technology give the camera improved capability when doing macro photography. The Canon Powershot S95 has been made more compact and can record video at 720p HD and 24fps in stereo. With the ability to move your pictures using Canon’s convenient wireless Eye-Fi feature and with 2Gb of storage the power is incredible.
The main complaint of Canon’s Powershot S90 was the rear control dial being too sensitive to the touch and how easy it was to hit the dial by accident while recording. The S95 addressed this issue by making the dial harder to turn and into a click dial. When recording you will still have to do without auto-focus and the optical zoom which is a very bad thing but with the recording upgrades it does very well in this area.
The Canon’s Powershot S95 compares very well to Panasonic’s Lumix DCM-LX5. The LX5 has a wider lens with faster shutter speed and continuous drive. The LX5 can record audio only in mono which makes the S95 much better in sound capability. Both cameras have additional options that can be purchased and I suggest you decide which options and features are important to you, as a photographer, to help make your decision on which digital camera you need. The built in features of both these cameras makes your job of deciding very difficult but worth the comparison.
Many photographers will pick the Panasonic Lumix DCM-LX5 product over the Canon Powershot S95 when it comes to video features, but for the extra $100 you may find the Canon is a better value. Personally, I like the Canon over the Panasonic for its regular, picture taking, capability. If you need high end video, why not buy a good video camera instead? There always seems to be a give and take situation when you combine technologies such as still pictures verses video and audio but technology is evening out the playing field and the integration of those technologies into one unit is the future trend. It is near impossible to find a digital camera on the market that has doesn’t integrate still photography with video. What is video anyway but a combination of stills taken in a short period of time? I can see technology will soon be able to give us the same still picture quality while recording that we have now. When this happens there will be no need to have a separate video camera when doing high end work.
“Powershot S95.” usa.canon.com
“Panasonic Lumix DCM-LX5 Digital Camera.” camera-catalog.com