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Canon PowerShot S95 - Test Shots - Detail and Lens Performance

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Canon PowerShot S95 front angle

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

'A range of general test shots are shown over the next two pages. In some cases, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it to show the overall image quality. Some other pictures may be clicked to view the original full-size image.

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Canon PowerShot S95 test photo

Here's the usual detail test shot of the West Window of Exeter Cathedral, for you to compare with other cameras. See below for a full res crop, or click to see the whole picture. The downloadable image is converted from a Raw file, size 8.1MB.

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Canon PowerShot S95 test photo

This is a crop from a converted Raw image. As you can see the level of fine detail is among the very best currently available from a compact camera. Compare with the Lumix LX5.

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Canon PowerShot S95 test photo

The S95's lens does produce some barrel distortion at wide angle, but it's not too bad.

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Canon PowerShot S95 test photo

Centre sharpness is outstanding.

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Canon PowerShot S95 test photo

Corner sharpness is also very good, although there is some chromatic aberration.

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halesy

October 8, 2010, 12:10 am

I'm saving my money for one of those! Got a Canon 20D at the moment and while it's a great camera I don't need all the features of an SLR these days. The S95 looks far more compact and I think I'd get a lot more use of it.

Alvin

October 8, 2010, 3:49 am

Great review. On a side note, where have the video reviews been lately for most of the reviews.

Money

October 8, 2010, 10:10 am

Wow, I am impressed.


The images from ISO 80 to 200 are outstanding,and even the ISO 400 looks better than some other brands camera at 100 ISO.


I think Panasonic lx5 got themselves a real contender, and with the dual IS function - I think Canon S95 has the upper-hand.


Good job Canon!

Christian

October 8, 2010, 12:04 pm

Nooooooooo.... my S90 is now obsolete! and it's a spectacular camera!

Wibbly

October 8, 2010, 12:59 pm

I have one of these. I'm love it, and agree with MOST of the review. However there are 2 issues for me:





1. The flash, when raised by the camera, is motorised rather than sprung. The way I (and I suspect many) hold the camera the flash is under your left finger. So it's 'under pressure' (of your finger) when it suddenly pops up. I worry I'll break it one day due to the extra stress it's being put under. It's very difficult to get into a habit of not holing it with a finger on top.





2. Like many PowerShots I believe (though NOT my old G2) when in Continuous AF (or Tracking AF) mode at MAX optical zoom focus 'hunting' is clearly visible whenever the camera detects it needs to refocus. You see it as a 'pumping/pulsing' effect on the LCD. This happens every second or two when hand holding the camera even when focused on a high contrast subject. The camera is quite happy to shoot when hunting focus, and when it does so the shot is out of focus - so these modes are really 'sometimes in focus' modes :-S. I have reproduced this "feature" easily on more than one copy of the camera, and been in touch with Canon tech support who said it was normal behaviour.





So a great camera, but not perfect, and that focus issue doesn't seem to so far have been spotted in any other reviews I've seen. As dSLR owner I don't expect this camera to have dSLR focus performance (!), but was a little disappointed the continuous AF modes are so weak, as the G2 seems to have proved it's not necessary.

Wibbly

October 8, 2010, 1:06 pm

You are correct that zoom isn't available when video recording. I think it's also the case that AF isn't either - you have to pre-focus and then shoot the movie.

R0b1n

October 9, 2010, 12:45 am

Its wide angle is 28mm equiv vs the LX5's 24mm. That may be a clincher for some, regardless of the Canon's other fabulous features. As it's already down to £319 on Amazon, though, it may have to be the S95 for me.

Mary4934

October 9, 2010, 5:49 am

Been trying to decide between the LX5 and S95. Saw this information on another site and it helped me decide the LX5 is the way to go:





IQ is going to be comparable; however there are some key differences:





1. Difference in the f-stop:


LX5: F2.0-3.3 Leica Summicron lens - faster lens


S95: F2.0-4.9 - slower lens





2. S95 is approximately $100 cheaper than the LX-5, but the LX-5 also has the brighter Leica lens and slightly larger sensor.





3. Battery life:


S95 is approximately 200 shots


LX5 is about 400 shots





4. Ergonomically


S95 - is overall flat, some have found this challenging to hold


LX5 - has a grip





5. Focal Length


S95 has slightly more zoom - 28mm-105mm


LX5 has slightly more wide angle - 24mm-90mm





6. Video


LX5 - able to zoom and AF while recording video


S95 - cannot zoom nor AF while recording video





7. Maximum Exposure


LX5 - longer maximum exposure (60 secs)


S95 - shorter maximum exposure (15 secs)





8. Top shutter speed


LX5 - faster - (1/4000)


S95 - slower - (1/1600)

morsch

October 9, 2010, 3:19 pm

While the two cameras are similar in features and target market, they're very different in size. The LX5 is roughly a cm bigger in every dimension, which comes down to almost double the volume.

wes

October 16, 2010, 5:56 pm

Some of the things I noticed that they improved over the S90 (I own an S80 and s90). The biggest advantage of the S9X series cameras is their pocketability. They are so light and compact that I virtually carry it with me all the time. Here are some comments about what I see they might have improved and some of the weakness of the s90. They changed the shape of the on/off button. In a hurry (I did say I carry it ALL the time) I would seem to mistake the ring function button for it as it was so similar. Which was frustrating as the content of your picture disappeared. The area around the rotary control looks like it is raised which would help with less inadvertent actuation. When using the manual focus at night it was tough not to end up pressing the inner ring there by entering a menu which was not desired. The lack of a grip (it can be had aftermarket) is probably the only oversight of these models. The cupped shutter button which might mitigate this problem somewhat. Because your shutter finger also has to partially support the S90 I found a lot of unknown captures or premature termination of video because the shutter button was actuated. One of the big improvements with the S95 is it's ability to shoot HD, which makes you wonder why it was not included in the S90. This resolution is pretty common for quite awhile in these point and shoots. I used the cinching camera strap from my s80 to take these movies with the S90 while hanging of the side of a cable car and using the other hand to shoot on my trip to san francisco. This is where it's compact,light design and abiity to take great images make it a great purchase.. Playlist http://snipurl.com/1b7o3n


This looks like a perfect successor to the previous model and I only wish I could trade up with little money.

apojapo

November 5, 2010, 6:48 pm

Just bought the s95 because I thought it would be a good update over my Canon digital Ixus 90 from some years back. I took 2 exactly the same photo's and campared them in full view and the just was not any differnce! Oke, I'm sure the s95 will do better in low and light and high contrast situations and the HDR and RAW mode are some good features but I expected a lot more.

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