Canon PowerShot S95 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:


Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:

Wide Angle [?]:

Max. Focal Length [?]:

Zoom Range [?]:

Sensor Size:

Low Light Support [?]:

Image Stabilization [?]:

Raw Format Support [?]:

Manual Exposure [?]:

Video Resolution [?]:

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:

Stereo Sound [?]:

Battery Life [?]:
200 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:

Touch Screen [?]:

Viewfinder [?]:

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
99.8 x 58.4 x 29.5 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
5 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:

Built-in GPS [?]:

Direct Video Button [?]:

Panorama [?]:

Rank: [?]

Initial Price:
$379 (change: $0, 0%)

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Canon PowerShot S95 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $379
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The new Canon S95 has big shoes to fill. Its predecessor, the S90, was deemed by some the best digital compact ever made.
Canon PowerShot S95 (photos: Canon)
Important Note: the S95 was replaced by the Canon PowerShot S100 (compare ).

It's a little too soon to tell how successful it's going to be, especially in relation to the stardom of the S90. It seems, however, to be at least all that the S90 was (and still is), and more - since Canon have fixed all that needed fixing in the S90.


Looking exactly like its predecessor, it's still small and extremely sexy. It's as sleek as they get. It has excellent controls, that genius front control ring, good image quality in low light, shooting in RAW format and all of Canon's latest gadgety features, like the new fisheye and miniature effects, multiple aspect ratios (16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 1:1, 4:5), and HD (720p) video.

The loose rear control dial was modified so that you don't turn it by mistake, the slippery body is now made of a special gripping material and the flash is more forgiving to index fingers resting on top of it when popping up.

Of course, the S95 allows both fully automatic and fully manual operations, with various controls over color, white balance, exposure, etc. It is a highly sophisticated camera, built with a surprisingly unintimidating interface, friendly for amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

Last but definitely not least, the S95 rightfully stands proud among the best available compact cameras. Due to its bright lens with a wide maximum aperture of f/2.0 and its larger imaging sensor, it is capable of delivering image quality better than most compacts, beaten only by larger, more expensive cameras like 'four thirds' systems and DSLR's.


First and foremost, the S95 is slightly on the slow side of things in terms of shutter lag performance. This means that even though it's not slower than most compact cameras, you must prefocus if you want to catch a running child or a playing pet in your frame.
Another gripe with the S95 is that it doesn't allow operating the optical zoom during video shooting. The digital zoom does work, but it is no true replacement for the real thing.

The Competition

Comparing to the Canon PowerShot G12 (compare ), it will give you about the same results, except for the S95's excellent f/2.0 aperture and extra control dial around the lens. However, the G12 provides a totally different photography experience, with its endless dedicated controls and sturdy body. The S95 is small and unobtrusive. The G12 is a beast. The S95 will also rest in your pocket next to the $100 change you will get if you choose to buy it over the G12.

The S95's main rivals in quality and size are the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 (compare ), the Olympus XZ-1 (compare ) and the Samsung TL500 (compare ).

Even though the LX5 is close to the S95 in size, it is not as pocketable. The LX5 has the same wide f/2.0 aperture at the wide end of the zoom, but a wider aperture compared to the S95 when zoomed in. Moreover, the LX5 has a much wider lens than the S95, although it's traded off for a shorter zoom. Also, the LX5 optically zooms during video, but doesn't record stereo sound.

The XZ-1 is even slightly larger than the LX5. Other than that (and its higher price), the XZ-1 matches or beats the S95. It has a larger maximum aperture of f/1.8, which remains as large as f/2.5 at full zoom (compared to the S95's f/4.9). Its optical zoom is functional during video recording and it has an optional viewfinder. If you can live with its larger size, the XZ-1 is nothing to ignore.

If you care for low light performance, but wish for a less fancy camera at a lower price point, you can check out Canon's own ELPH 500 (compare ).

Who is it not for?

If you are looking for a simple, budget friendly camera, this is not the one for you.
If you need a large zoom or care much for shooting video (specifically, zooming during video), you should look elsewhere.

Who is it for?

If you want excellent image quality in a true pocket sized camera, the S95 is exactly the camera for you.
Even if you want to use it solely on full auto mode, and you have little photographic experience, you shouldn't be afraid of the S95's sophistication. It's fun to use for all levels of photographic skills.

Last Lowest Price: $379
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Canon PowerShot S95
Canon PowerShot S95 Eyal Gurevitch June 26, 2012 $379 56.6 100

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