Canon PowerShot S95 Review

September 1, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 daised19

You wrongly mentioned that S95 has CMOS Sensor. According to Canon Website It contains CCD Sensor….

12:59 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#2 Coffee

... a very interesting review of an apparently excellent camera. I’d buy the S95 if only its lens covered a wider and slightly longer range. To me 24 mm is an absolute must that I cannot do without. It would also be nice to have 120 mm or even 135 mm at the tele end of the lens. For my and probably most people’s purposes such a 24-120 mm lens covers 95% of all photographic situations. Of course a 24 mm f/2 lens means a lot more glass (given the same sensor size), a slightly larger camera body and the necessity of built-in distortion correction. But I would be prepared to pay a serious amount if such a well-built, durable camera ever became available.

Regarding these pages ... I have noticed for some time that I cannot see any of the embedded product and sample images. I suspect this has to do with the mvps hosts file that I’m using and which has done wonders for my general “browsing experience” ... no more banner ads, pop-ups, and other annoying (and occasionally dangerous!) rubbish. Is it possible that PhotographyBlog is using one of the banned servers to host their images?

1:44 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#3 Mark Goldstein

daised19 - I’ve changed that, thanks.

Coffee - No, we host the images on our own dedicated server.

1:52 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#4 BP

Watch out…........

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Camera Raw + Lightroom 3
do NOT yet have support for the Canon Powershot S95 ‘CR2 raw’ files.

I contacted Adobe support who have confirmed the camera is not supported. I asked them when it would be, they did not supply an answer.

I’m one unhappy S95 owner! Surely Canon / Adobe could share information & not make customers have to wait 3, 4 or more months for Adobe raw support!

2:50 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#5 Coffee

> No, we host the images on
> our own dedicated server.

... thanks for your reply, Mark. I’ve just figured out what it was that prevented embedded images from being displayed. Your server replies with a “403 Forbidden” when a “Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning” (WebDAV PROPFIND) request was not issued with the required “Depth header” ... in plain English: For anonymity and security reasons I had “send referrer information” disabled in my Opera browser, which so far has never caused any problems (and I browse a lot). Maybe your server could be tweaked to behave a little more tolerant? :-)

5:08 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#6 Don van Riet

Strange that the S95 improves on the S90 in photo performance, but in videofeatures falls short of their own SD4000/IXUS300HS. Not on the 24 fps, but on the lack of optical zoom in video. The 300HS keeps both its optical and its digital zoom in HD-filming and autofocus also works. I just completed 3 hours of HD-filming with a brandnew 300HS after completing an extensive tour in China and both zooming modes came in handy. With a 2x digital zoom on top of the optical range a sufficient overall effect on such a small camera is reached. So video enthousiasts have to await a future S100 for optimal results? Seems like it (or a G13?).

6:30 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#7 Frank Stanton

I was surprised by a number of the photos which had the quality of paintings or illustrations, especially around f5.6, rather than being sharp. Some wide angle shots seemed lacking in fine detail. I don’t see the 4.5 star rating as accurate. Some earlier Canons you reviewed seemed sharper, with more fine detail, and less of the muddy look.

7:36 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#8 Olivier_G

“Your server replies with a 403 Forbidden”

Same issue here when opening an image sample in a separate tab with Safari (Mac OS 10.6), which is quite annoying.

Thanks for the review! Quite interesting compact camera.

8:24 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#9 Zigster

Can this possibly be correct, no autofocus when taking videos?  I might be able to live without zoom when taking videos, but not autofocus.  Weird…  So this one’s a non-starter for me, I hope the LX-5 then does better.

BTW, thanks for the higher ISO photo samples, but they’re not all that impressive from this camera, I agree with the other poster, they look slightly smeary and “painterly” to me.

10:04 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#10 Josh

The high ISO samples are no worse compared to other cameras of similar sensor size.
The LX5 smears badly due to Panasonics new processing engine.
These cameras will never be good at high ISO.

11:18 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#11 Josh

Great review, thanks!

To view the images/thumbnails correctly, the referrer must be enabled. ;)

11:50 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#12 Rayaz

The ISO 800 pictures seem very high in noise, even the shots taken in good light.  Quite shocking for this camera which people speak highly of, and helps canon make big money when you consider the lens is only fast at its wide angle.

6:32 am - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#13 Matt

The picture quality looks great. But the third picture (Bus Stop / London Dungeon) puzzles me a little bit. It’s 3 in the afternoon in August and the camera needs ISO 800 (!) to get a shutter speed of 1/200 sec. It seems like it needs a lot of light at the tele end. Either that, or it’s extremely dim in London. :)

9:36 am - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#14 Robin

Not all images showed that fair quality I expected, but most of them do. At least in view of such a handy cam! Think one may recommend it, too.

HDR-feature: “greatly expand the dynamic range, as demonstrated in the examples below” ... You really think someone is able to see a difference in these thumbs? Well, at least I’m not. I only notice a darker image, but I can’t see an improvement in the lights/in terms of dynamic! Hope it is more obvious in full size!?

1:13 pm - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#15 Coffee

> To view the images/thumbnails correctly,
> the referrer must be enabled.

Since disabling referrer information has great advantages with regards to browsing safety and browsing anonymity and since it has never caused any problems with the thousands of web sites I have visited over the past couple of years, I am certainly not going to change my browser settings for one web site that requires it. In the future I will temporarily activate the referrer information if I want to see the embedded images in your reviews. But frankly, the extra hassle makes it less likely that want to see the images in the first place ...

1:48 pm - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#16 maz

hi there
great review and a great camera..I’m going to get one .
I do have a question it possible to mount or fix an O ring flash or macro-flash as I may use it occasionally for teeth close ups (I’m a dentist) ,give me your expert opinion

many thanks

1:31 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#17 John Stracke

“Can this possibly be correct, no autofocus when taking videos?  I might be able to live without zoom when taking videos, but not autofocus.  “

I thought that was strange, too, so I checked the manual on Canon’s site.  It looks like there is autofocus when you start the movie, but then it doesn’t refocus.  I know my older Canon cameras have all had this limitation (S3 IS, SD550, SD100).

3:03 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#18 Anders Fagerström

Autofocus while filming sounds great but on my canon sx210 it is really irritating. It keeps refocusing all the time and gets worse when light gets dimmer. the sx200 moviemode did not have the ability to zoom optically but the focus stayed sharp and calm. The only camera I have found that has solved this problem nicely is the sony tx5. amazing little camera. my s90 only has vga moviemode but makes great little videos :-)

8:48 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#19 mel22b

Why isnt the LX5 listed as a competitor?  Is it because its that much more of a camera?

10:51 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#20 Anders Fagerström

The LX5 is in my meaning just a tad to big and heavy to hang around in my pocket. I would sit around in the house, just like a G11 or an SLR.

8:06 am - Saturday, September 4, 2010

#21 wanna-film

Can anybody say whether the manual focus ring works during 720p shooting on the S95?  The lack of video function—including full HD—is distressing to me, and was left out of the early notices and reviews.  Meanwhile I have this new Canon on order.

Can’t help wondering whether the rapid tech improvements allowing better and better movies at low cost, will transform many people’s idea of what “photography” is, among them many a dedicated hobbyist and aesthete along with the many who have, or are discovering professional uses. 

If so then the writers and editors reviewing these gadgets might pay much more attention to those “fine points” of motion which actually loom huge.

5:57 pm - Saturday, September 4, 2010

#22 Hardy

I see positive and negative feedback regarding the S95, on my point of view, the winning feature for me is the new Hybrid IS feature, i like to tweak and play around with my shots, and i am not disappointed! The 26 shooting and 18 scene modes make for good editing also.
The 28mm wide angle 3.8 optical zoom, could of been made a bit differently, all in all, though i am happy and glad i held off from the its predecessor the S90, and the price was just right for me, so this fella is happy!

2:50 am - Sunday, September 5, 2010

#23 Maarten

I’m positively surpised by the quality of this camera. It’s not cheap but once you use this camera you’ll experience the difference with the normal campacts. Per euro you’ll get a lot more.

The sharpness is till pixellevel extremely well…Comparable with my 500d with L lenses. Ofcourse there’s noise at higher ISO’s but than you have to buy a fullframe. Luckily you can maximize the ISO in automatic. More and more I use a fill in flash with both of my camera’s en that works perfect.

You can set the camera as you like and manage it like a DSLR. I looked around for a long time for a camera with maximum picture quality and pocketsize. I really think that this is the only serious option.

The zoom is perfect in normal use. My Panasonic TZ5 had a lot more but the greatest pictures were all within the range of the zoom of the S95.

The difference in quality with the TZ5 is very large…and ofcourse the RAW option makes it complete.

4:13 pm - Sunday, September 5, 2010

#24 wanna-film

Adding to my query on manual focus for S95 movies: the User’s Manual deals with this in a vague way, by saying it works “as normal” but doesn’t say whether manual refocusing continues to be possible once you’ve pressed start. They make such useful suggestions as “use a tripod” for manual focusing. 

It appears from this document that the zoom function has been disabled in movie mode because the motor is too noisy and would be picked up by the camera’s built-in microphones.  Maybe not so much of a loss, it’s much better to re-frame by moving around. isn’t that so?  But that’s where the follow-focus issue raises its yucky head again.

If an S95 has come into YOUR hands and you’re grappling with this issue, please tell what you find.  I don’t want to seem to be disparaging a camera of so many rare lovelinesses, it’s that I long to bend them to my purpose. 

The link for the User Guide is in here:

6:03 pm - Sunday, September 5, 2010

#25 aquaris

Very poor video quality, no grip and hard to hold, poor ergonomics, no zoom or AF while using the video; not up to Canon standards

8:29 pm - Monday, September 6, 2010

#26 MOB

Thank you for your review.

Do you know when this camera will be available in Spain ?

9:51 pm - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#27 shawn

I just picked this up
The camera is awesome!!! video is fantastic! HD and it looks it!
people who are posting video to you tube or others, have a degraded conversion. Camera to TV direct link is perfect. Commenting on the camera without owning it is silly. I own it, it is very very nice! adding a “grip” would make this camera less pocketable. The design is beautiful. The manual settings and access is superb!! low light is stellar ! for a still quite pocketable camera, with a 2.0 lens, 28-105 granted 2.0 is avail at the widest focal length, compromises to the size of the camera.
If you want a Grip, and wider focal lengths, and longer lenses, etc.. carry your DSLR.. if i have to sling a camera on a strap.. to me it is not a compact.. the Canon s95 is a compact and is the best one out there

8:11 pm - Saturday, September 11, 2010

#28 Alan K

“...when you consider the lens is only fast at its wide angle”

This is how the vast majority of zoom lenses work, they’re fastest at the widest end and get slower as you reach full telephoto. Adding a constant aperture zoom would not only be an engineering feat, it would also easily double the cost of the camera.

8:10 am - Sunday, September 12, 2010

#29 AG

No samples of night shots..For owners of S95, any comments on night shots eg: in clubs/dark places. Do the photos turn out great?

8:33 am - Monday, September 13, 2010

#30 JoeCM

I purchased S95 three days ago. What I have noticed that on line reviews miss a fact that ISO capability of S95 is up to 12800. It has an option to switch to 2.5 Mp with extending ISO range from 80 - 3200 to 400 - 12800. The picture quality at ISO 12800 is very poor, but at 6400 is acceptable and at 3200 is good. This an outstanding feature for a small point and shoot camera!

11:06 pm - Monday, September 13, 2010

#31 Cat


7:02 am - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#32 wanna-film

Yes Cat, it’s true.  Mine has arrived and I may be able to report more on its video in a few days.

1:06 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#33 wanna-film

Old-timers and foot-draggers may wish to know that the S-95 does not support the Windows 2000 OS, and its utilities disk will not install there, nor will it engage with XP or any of the more recent Oss if the computer’s display is less than 1024 x 768—the most common form of XGA.  This leaves out netbooks, or most of them, even when one is running an external monitor of much higher resolution, and even when you make this external monitor the primary monitor.  It won’t budge.  A worker on Canon’s help line seemed aware of this and had no work-around to offer.

10:30 pm - Saturday, September 18, 2010

#34 Rob Birrell

I’ve had the S90 for a couple of months. Typical that just after I’ve invested Canon upgrade it. The one thing that frustrated me about the S90 was it’s lack of HD video. It seems that Canon have been listening to me but it will be a while before I invest again.

12:23 pm - Sunday, September 19, 2010

#35 Benjamin

Great camera, however I have to send mine back ‘cause the MACRO function is technically not working properly. I get the same distance shooting with it on or off close up. Anybody else have this problem?

9:55 pm - Monday, September 20, 2010


Changing the resolution to a lower setting gives a higer iso option??? Must be a marketing trick since a higher resolution acually dosnt lower the image quality. it might get higher but nog lower. A propper made resizing of an image taken in max resolution will have the same or better image quality compared to an image taken with, for example 2.5 Mp… Altho I admit that it is more convenient not having to resize the image to get the same or better image quality.

5:03 pm - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#37 Wendy Griffin

Interesting comment Benjamin…..I’m not happy with the Macro function on my S95, seems I get a MUCH better close up with my 6 year old Pentax OptioS50 which cost half the price.  Im not sure If it’s user error or the camera though.  When I get close, and zoom in it reverts back to normal function and not Macro.

11:30 pm - Thursday, September 23, 2010

#38 Fiale


There is a zoom function on the video, however you are right about the autofocus.  here is an example of the video and zoom (I have seen a few more)

3:16 pm - Monday, September 27, 2010

#39 Johan Maessen

What people seem to forget is that video has only 1MP resolution and that 10* digital zoom would barely effect the image quality.

So is there really need for optical zoom here?


6:45 pm - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#40 D

Optical zoom will always be better then digital zoom…

12:03 am - Friday, October 8, 2010

#41 Johan

What bartalk knowledge is that?

As the sensor does 10 times the video resolution there is NO IQ reduction until 10 times zoom.


1:26 am - Friday, October 8, 2010

#42 PollMak

I had a look at the s95 while researching the LX5. I have bought the LX5 and am really happy with it.
Potential S95 owners needs to have a look at the LX5 and compare it closely before rushing in a buying.
Both cameras are excellent, but there are trade offs that makes some features in one, superior to the other.

#2 - You make find what you looking for in the LX5.

#6 - Video enthusiast should also look at the LX5. One of the main reasons I chose the LX5 over the s95 was because of the LX5 being able to do optical zoom + auto focus on 720p AVCHD lite video recording…and the LX5 has a dedicated video recoding button! nice.. ;) Both Cameras take excellent Photos.

#9 - It does indeed.

#10 - my thoughts on high iso’s : If you’re going to experiment with ISO’s higher than 1600 then you need to do so on a DSLR. It’s pointless trying to race a mini in a F1 race. (ok that was a bit harsh, but you know what I mean.)

#17 - LX5 auto focus during 720p video recording is really really nice to have.

#18 - The TX5 is awesome. Did you know that Sony and Panasonic share the AVCHD technology. Oh yes the LX5 solves that problem as well…

#19 - the LX5 is in a class of it’s own, at this price range.

#20 - The s95 is more compact. but for me, it does not inspire me to learn about photography. It’s just a very good high end compact camera…on steroids

#21 - If you are seriously looking for a compact camera that does 720p video recording, I highly recommend the LX5.

#25 - The s95 is still a very good compact camera. The features you are looking for can be found in the LX5

#31 - It is true. The LX5 does not have this problem. (I’m not being bias here it’s just a fact. ;-) )

#34 - Do yourself a favour and got handle a LX5. all you HS video recording needs in a compact camera will be answered. The question will be whether you will be comfortable with a slightly larger device. This is the trade off. What is more important to you?

#35 - the LX5 has an excellent Autofocus for macro setting, and you can get in really close to you subject (1cm) Here is a sample I took of a spider on it’s web.

1:02 pm - Friday, October 8, 2010

#43 Johan

Did you buy an LX5 and have buyers remourse that you try to get your point accross so vigorously?

Most things can also be said about the S95 size and jpg quality.


3:10 pm - Friday, October 8, 2010

#44 wanna-film

I congratulate pollmak for having found a mate in this world.  For me the LX5 is another category—it’s just too big, and it costs too much, too. The S-95 is almost too big, and at twice the price of pretty good pocket cams which can do most of the same things and more, almost too expensive.

But the LX5 not only weighs almost 50% more but has an even greater fatness factor: to my mind it’s an object for the purse or briefcase but not the pocket.  That means I won’t have it around, and one definition of the “best camera” is the camera you have on you when you want to shoot.

At $500 list in the US, the LX5 is only $200 less that Nikon’s new DX SLR, the D3100, and that includes the Nikon’s fine 18-55 zoom—put THAT in your briefcase and you’ll be on a whole new level for stills and video.

As to video: the S-95 WILL zoom during video shooting, moving through both optical and digital enlargement, but it WON’T follow focus within a scene, a much more serious limiting factor.  If there is a way to somehow do this manually, somebody please tell me. This would have to involve the FUNC ring, not the main manual control that circles the lens, and is disabled in video mode.

That HD video which the s-95 does record, is I have to say, very impressive, as is the stereo sound.  I will be posting soon about this, and about a way or two this camera can still achieve impressive video results within the limits.

If pollmak wants truly to impress, he will ask that spider of his to unfurl a long strand from a rafter and swing toward and away from him as he records this in HP at maximum focal length, zooming, now and again, out and back in to give us that feature of the gizmo.

The s-95 is first a super stills camera in a little package; video is an extra with much value but a long way to go.  It’s useful to remember that even the full-frame Nikons and Canons are underpowered where it counts here, leaving the big spenders to struggle with aliasing, wobble, inadequate auto-focus and other problems too.

11:02 pm - Friday, October 8, 2010

#45 BeBoop

Anyone knows if s95 accepts remote control?. Thanks by reply

5:07 pm - Thursday, October 21, 2010

#46 Somebody

Have bought it and am very satisfied. The only thing is that I don’t like the “Auto” program, instead I use program “P” and force the camera to ISO100+Flash to get excellent pictures (I always check it by zooming fully in). In “Auto” mode it often chooses ISO400+Flash and the pictures gets blurred then. I wonder why “Auto” mode uses such high ISO values.

9:07 pm - Thursday, October 21, 2010

#47 solarshooter

This is a pretty comprehensive review, nice.

I’m trying to get together a community of users to discuss S95 photography and figure this machine out to the fullest.

Check it out:

5:50 am - Friday, October 22, 2010

#48 Daniel

Isnt this just a more expensive rehash of the Famous and Incredible Fuji f30 series

8:18 am - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#49 David

I have the fuji F30 and the canon s95, and the S95 is significantly more than just a rehash of the fuji. The image stabilization is great, the F2.0 insteatd of the f3.3 with a 28mm wide end, and better performance at iso 800 with the ability to shoot RAW and HD video are more than minor improvements in my view… I’m very happy with the S95, especially in low light situations.

3:43 am - Monday, November 8, 2010

#50 SamSneed

I finally took the plunge and got the s95 after about a month of research. I went over my budget and I got something that an amateur like me technically doesn’t need. Let me say this though, after a day of taking shots with this bad boy, I didn’t feel like an amateur anymore. I can’t imagine crisper, cleaner shots on a camera this size (both day and night). The best part is that the interface is really easy to use if you’ve previously had experience with Cannon (my previous cam was an SD 600). I found the learning curve very minimal and the lens ring is very nifty indeed.

In video mode I took one very out of focus HD video at night, but I have to try again, I can’t imagine that it’s always like that particularly as the daytime HD video was very impressive (image and sound).

Overall, I’m a very proud owner of this pocket rocket.

HOWEVER, one very notable con….the battery life is abysmal. It advertises 200 shots of battery life, but after 25 shots and a 3 minute HD video, the battery icon was at 1/3. Get a couple of extra SD cards and batteries and get ready to reload (a lot).

6:00 pm - Monday, November 15, 2010

#51 Chris

Like Mr. Sneed before me, I also did extensive research before buying my S95 recently. Some of the first shots I took were in a restaurant at nightime — truly amazing low-light performance! Hard to believe. True, I come from a Canon SD780, a “mere” point-and-shoot, not a DSLR, so perhaps I am naive about such matters. Whatever — I’m very happy with my new S95, which I got primarily for its low-light and manual capabilities. And its pocketability, a must for “showing up” for photo ops. Any cons are really only minor inconveniences. Thank you for your helpful review.

12:32 am - Thursday, November 18, 2010

#52 RTogog

Nice review !

I intend to replace my Ricoh GX-200 with this camera. The main reason I need a compact digicam which has HD capability. I’m a bit confused w/ the samples from both camera which I downloaded and made comparation (pixel-peeping). The pictures taken from Canon S95 looks full of melted boltchy pixels but not from Ricoh GX-200.
Does it the effect different condition of the wheather when both pictures were taken ?. Contrary samples that I found on the net,the pictures from Canon S95 were really stunning & very clean. It just performed very well and no complaints.

1:27 pm - Saturday, November 20, 2010

#53 Rita

Help!  Nikon P7000 or Canon S95??

11:33 am - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#54 PollMak

#53 Rita - LX5

1:24 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#55 Kai


I would like some comments on comparing this camera with samsung wb2000
Mainly thinking still image-quality and high iso(400+)and they compare.
And any tips for recommended after editing programs for JPEG/RAW images as I am new to all this..Thanks in advance=)

4:01 pm - Thursday, November 25, 2010

#56 PollMak

#55 Kai I do not know enough about the the Samsung to comment.
The only software worth investing in, for JPEG and especially RAW images is LIGHTROOM.
If you are going to take photos for the rest of your living days you might as well invest in the best software. 
I am always amazed at how much colour and light is in photos (even badly taken ones) when processing them through Lightroom.
I now find that half of my photo production is taking the photo and the other half is used to finish off the photo, in Lightroom.

8:01 am - Friday, November 26, 2010

#57 arjaytan

Hi -

im very much interested to buy a canon s95.. however, im not into photography or not quite familiar with the functionality of DSLR or complicated cameras.

Q: is it user-friendly (like a regular camera) or i need to learn how to utilize a DSLR?


10:09 am - Monday, November 29, 2010

#58 PollMak

I think the S95 is one or the best point and shoot cameras on the market. You will take excellent photos with just the automatic settings.
When you get board with automatic settings and do want to do more and experiment those options are available.
The s95 is also more compact that it’s main competitor the Panasonic Lumix LX5. But the LX5 has better Video recording capabilities and is better suited to photographers that prefer DSLR functionality over compact dimensions.
Also consider the S90 which is a lot cheaper now that the s95 is out.

11:29 am - Monday, November 29, 2010

#59 Pavlos

You cannot beat the quality and performance of this camera with a stick! I am in love with it in all respects but one - you cannot charge the battery over USB.

3:30 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#60 PollMak

#59 Pavlos - Ditto. I am annoyed with that on the LX5 as well.

6:01 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#61 Jojodido

Just buy two batteries as I have and you never need to charge them in the camera.

6:29 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#62 EC

Camera Raw 6.3 now works with the PowerShot S95.

9:41 pm - Saturday, December 4, 2010

#63 Rana

Guys, I’ve heard tons about this camera and everyone says this is good etc etc. I’m not really a photographer. I just snap photos and upload them. That’s it. So my question is this. Which would be a better camera? Sony TX7, Canon S95 or Nikon S8100? Please let me know asap people.

9:39 am - Thursday, December 9, 2010

#64 SamSneed

Now that I’ve got a bit more use out of this camera I can add a few items to my review above.

First of all, I’d hate to have turned anybody off this camera because of the somewhat low battery life. I got a second battery and haven’t thought twice about it…now that I can also use it a bit better and I’m more used to the controls I spend less time on settings and just focus on snaps. I’ve not felt the battery life to be an issue anymore.

This camera’s taken some great pics for me though, below is a perfect example on Auto without flash (I’ve only ever used the flash to see what it’s like, never because I needed to, it’s that good.)

One gripe unfortunately: if only it had a longer zoom range… but then it wouldn’t be as compact, would it.

I was looking for something compact enough to slip into my pocket(check, unlike the LX-5), with great low-light capability (check), and most importantly that takes super crisp and clear images (super-check). It’s my best purchase of 2010, hands down.

3:58 pm - Saturday, December 11, 2010

#65 Thomas Paine

I have purchased one of these cameras and find it no better than a sub $200 Canon I have. Picture quality is poor, colours are way off the mark and red eye is very prominent in persons with blue eyes.
I would not recommend this camera,lots of features that don’t really work!

11:21 pm - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#66 Gerald Horgan

In relation to the post by Thomas Paine,
For me picture quality is excellent etc.  I agree red eye can be very prominent but using a programme like Adobe Lighroom and this problem can be easily recified .
Put simply it is a camera where dreams are made of..
I had a Canon S90 until December 2010 then I got the Canon S95 .

You can check out my photos here

12:49 am - Thursday, December 30, 2010

#67 Stephen Williams

With my Ixus 990 IS back up camera deciding to stop functioning (lens ceasing to open), I am looking for a replacement.

It boiled down to the Canon Powershot S95 or the Panasonic LX5

Top of my list sitting side by side with performance was having RAW file capability, as this is what I shoot with my Canon EOS 1DS.

Being comfortable with Canon over many years, I was inching towards the Canon Powershot S95.

Then I read from BP in September that Adobe Photoshop CS5 Camera Raw + Lightroom 3 do NOT yet have support for the Canon Powershot S95 ‘CR2 raw’ files.

This is a deal breaker. Is it still the case? After this posting everything went quiet and moved on to discussing your web site!

If so it has to be the Panasonic LX5.

Can anybody advise?

8:22 pm - Friday, December 31, 2010

#68 Joe

Look here:
According to this info the S95 is supported!

4:43 am - Saturday, January 1, 2011

#69 John McKay

You can just update your CS5 using the Update option on the Help menu. It will upgrade to Camera Raw 6.3 and it will have no issues with Canon G12 or S95 camera raw images. Upgraded mine today and no worries.

Think I will be getting an S95 as it is a true pocket camera and that is what I want. Had a g2 for years and just a little too bulky to carry with you all day.

3:06 pm - Saturday, January 1, 2011


Great little camera!  I posted a short ‘first impressions’ review here… Canon S95 Review

1:18 pm - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

#71 JA

On a Mac OS 10.5.8 I cannot get incon view to show a preview of my Cannon S95 images no matter what I do. I was told to repair permissions with Disk Utility, but this did not fix the problem.

Any suggestions?


6:17 pm - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#72 CC

Is this camera good for bokeh?

6:54 pm - Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#73 dejan

JPG compression is very lossy and cannot be changed. Shooting images with high iso (800, 1600…) produces lousy, artifacted images. You need to use RAW if you want to achieve “normal” results.

7:53 pm - Saturday, February 5, 2011

#74 elt

This is not a toy compact camera for beginners. For those of us who have large dslrs, and videocams, this is an excellent choice for a pocket cam. I just had my first oppty to use it on a trip to the south pacific, and I really wanted a USEFUL pocket cam. Yes, it has certain deficiencies, but now that I am back home and looking at what it produced, I am more than happy with the results. If you just need a point and shoot, you can spend half the amount of this cam and be happy. If you want control over your shots and know what you are doing, this is pretty close to getting it all.

4:28 am - Friday, February 11, 2011

#75 Larry

would like to see comparison with Lumix ZS3 (TZ7).. 12x focus thorough out HD & AVCHD Lite video..25mm wide angle Leica lens..great IS,Intelligent Auto..many scene selections..many more feature.. not a lot of manual control though.. my only disappointment is noise in low light.. that is why I’m shopping around.. otherwise a good camera..and a lot cheaper than the S95….
Question.. is the S95 better in low light??

9:01 am - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#76 Jim Rhoads

Can the S95 print the date on the picture (date stamp)?

3:50 am - Sunday, February 20, 2011

#77 sean

What would be the best comparable rivals from Panasonic and Nikon?


9:50 pm - Monday, February 28, 2011

#78 Samantha

I am looking at the s95 and the LX5. The issue with the LX5 that I keep reading about is poor jpeg images. So unless you are shooting in raw, it’s not a good choice.

5:38 pm - Saturday, March 12, 2011

#79 TC

Hi!  I would like to know your opinion, between Canon S95 and SX30is, which one you say will have better images in low-light for concerts and shows? Does the sensor size makes any difference for this use? Where I’m buying it, the S95 is aprox. 17 USD less expensive. Thank you!

11:12 am - Monday, March 14, 2011

#80 Don.

Hi. Surely the Panasonic LX3 would be a competitor, or am I missing something in the specs? It has a superb lense, with an impressive f2 - f2.8 aperture range. Admittedly with a limited optical zoom (24-60), however it gives great picture quality, and impressive stats., for a similar price. Although it’s not the smallest camera, it’s still pocketable, and brilliant for landscape and macro work.

8:34 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#81 Jododo

Have you been asleep the last few years?
The LX3 is not on the market anymore.
It is a 31/2 year old camera

9:59 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#82 Don.

True, it may be a 3 1/2 year old model, but the spec seems pretty impressive against these cameras. I have still seen them advertised too, if you look online. Essentially a Leica D LUX 4 camera, with a different badge.

10:53 pm - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#83 Jodido

Yep and there are about 4 other newer cameras with impressive specs compared to the S95.
I fail to see the point.
Did you ever take a look at the reste of tehn posts?

6:41 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#84 Jodido

Yep and there are at least 4 other camers’s with comparable specs.
Do you ever read the earlier posts and other threads or do you just make lose comments?
This subject has been chewed on until it’s lost it’s flavour J.

6:49 am - Friday, April 29, 2011

#85 Traveloggers

check out the pics from canon s95.. some amazing pics in low light as well as day light…sharp focus and great image quality.

5:42 pm - Sunday, May 22, 2011

#86 Bill Cohen

The G11 and S95 share the same sensor and engine. The G11 review does not complain about a small sensor while the S95 is knocked for it.
The S95 also has an f 2.0 lens,

4:21 pm - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#87 Fabio

This is a very specific camera, the max aperture drops a lot with zoom, the HDR is a joke because you need a tripod, Nikon and Sony have excelent HDR modes that you don’t need a tripod, because the photos are taken very fast. Burst shooting is also useless, it’s too slow. Focusing is impossible unless the focus point can lock in a very contrasty area of the object. IS is ok but Nikon S8100 is much superior.
  But you can get some wonderfull pictures with nice bokeh and birthday photos are very good in the dim light. And IQ is better than Canon S90 , that’s my opinion.
  Last sunday I went for a bike ride with the Sony HX9 and the S95 for some tests and the only time when the S95 beats the Sony is in low light moving objects, even in night city landscapes the Hx9 was better due to the multi burst technology.
  Videos are so much better with the HX9, due to the amazing IS and focus, not to mention really full HD, but I like the fact that I can shoot BW movies with the Canon.
  In resume, it’s a good camera fo low light moving objects, for anything else the top compact cameras like Nikon S8100 (not the S9100), Sony HX9 or Canon SX230 will do a better and faster job.

4:30 pm - Monday, August 8, 2011

#88 Cameron

Great camera.. Terrible battery life.. I just did an epic 8 night backpack in Olympic National Park and had - believe it or not - nine days of beautiful weather.. My S95 with full battery charge died after 252 shots on the fourth day of my trip..  needless to say… i was VERY upset and dissapointed…
My next trip I will most definitely take two batteries…

2:16 am - Thursday, September 22, 2011

#89 Canon Photography

Fantastic review of Canon s95! Thanks for the details. I found this model to be exactly what I need. I have my review as well of canon s95 in my blog site.

5:15 pm - Thursday, October 6, 2011

#90 Ted

Can lumix lx 5 imprint auto date and time stamp on photos? Day or Travel dates can be set, but I see no on-off switch or icon for a date time stamp?.

12:14 am - Monday, October 17, 2011

#91 Ben

Good Review!!! it help me in the selection of the camera

12:43 pm - Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#92 Jason

I compared this to the LX5, but $229 from Amazon for the S95 made it an easy decision. 
If you’re looking for a compact P&S camera that does well in low light and fits in your pocket, you can’t go wrong.  If I need better image quality, then I just tote along the D300S.

5:54 am - Saturday, December 24, 2011

#93 Ace

This is a fantastic Camera and now is very low in price

5:08 pm - Monday, January 23, 2012

#94 Avery Truman

This camera scored extremely highly according to thousands of users, only slightly edged out by a Nikon model: .

4:32 am - Saturday, March 31, 2012

#95 Josef Salon

Hi Mark, enjoying your web site for few years…just bought second hand Canon PowerShot S95. You mentioned the picture sharpness can be changed, can’t figure out how…thakz . Josef

8:44 pm - Thursday, April 5, 2012

#96 Cameraaholic

Just picked up a refurb one from Canon direct for $190… great deal today.

1:23 am - Monday, October 15, 2012

#97 Patti Haberberger

Hi!  I know almost nothing about cameras, but know I need to but one.  I’ve only had point and shoots and my phone. I have 4 young children ai will want to photograph, and we also have a food blog, so I will need to take good pictures of food. Do you have any suggestions on a type odd camera for us to purchase? We’d like to stay below $500.

7:42 pm - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, wide-angle, 720p, hdmi, RAW, manual, prosumer, 10 megapixel, HDR, 3.8x zoom, canon s95, Canon PowerShot S95 Review, s95 review

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