Canon PowerShot S95

Podcast 286 : Camera Review – Canon PowerShot S95

About six months ago, I decided that it was time to make my compact digital camera really compact. I traded in my Canon PowerShot G10 for a PowerShot S95. The G10 was a nice camera, but it's not really all that compact. It certainly isn't small enough to just stuff...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Gary Nelson
    Posted at 18:50h, 16 May Reply

    Hi Martin

    Great to see you back. Did you consider any other brands? I’ve been looking at the Lieca dlux 5 / pany lx5, which seem to do the same as canon but are not canon. I had a couple of canon compacts and they kept breaking that’s why I ask?



  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 21:10h, 16 May Reply

    Good to be back Gary!

    I looked into the Casio range, because of the super fast video, but in the end, I stuck with what I know. I’ve never had a Canon compact digital break on me either, so I’m perhaps a little biased. 🙂


  • t.linn
    Posted at 11:25h, 17 May Reply

    Great review of the S95, Martin! I too have been using one for the last six months and have reached a similar conclusion. It offers serious users control, image quality, and a very convenient size. Canon has done a great job of balancing all the trade offs in the S95. I find it useful for casual occasions that might become photo ops; and people seem to find it far less intimidating than a big DSLR at family gatherings.

    One other plus for S95 owners that is not available on the LX5 to my knowledge is that there is a relatively inexpensive Canon underwater housing available for it. This was actually the clincher for my purchase. I’m planning out a trip to Hawaii and wanted to be able to play around in the water with it.

    The one feature I wish it — or any Canon compact had — is the one you just alluded to: ultra-high frame rate video. I also looked at Casio for the same reason as you but ultra-high frame rate video that is only the size of a postage stamp is of limited use. Hopefully, this feature evolves over time as newer models are released.


  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 13:00h, 17 May Reply

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the comment. You’re welcome, for the review. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while.

    I agree with you totally. Canon did a great job of balancing all the trade-offs on this one.

    you’re right about the underwater housing too. It’s not a lot, and really expands the horizons of the S95. I don’t have one, but I will buy one if necessary at any point. It sure would be cheaper than kitting out one of my DSLRs for underwater use!

    You just reminded me that it was the size of the high-frame rate video that made me give up on it. If the Casios had that frame rate on 720p video, I’d have been reviewing one of them now, not the S95. 🙂 Fingers crossed for the future, but personally I’d like to see Canon add it to a future small PowerShot like this one. I have nothing against Casio, but I just love Canon. 🙂


  • lastvoid
    Posted at 18:21h, 27 May Reply

    The thing is, sales volume is important for at least two reasons:

    1. The reason Canon is often cheaper is volume. Economies of scale have an effect on price.

    2. When looking for second-hand accessories, lenses etc., the much larger volume of sales for Canon mean more availability.

    As for quality (camera and pictures) being the only important factor, I think that has become virtually academic now. Like the speed and manouverability of fighter jets that becomes academic once we reach the limitations of human pilots, image quality of DSLRs has far exceeded the ability of 99.999.. percent of photographers.

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