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Canon Powershot S95 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £305
inc VAT

Building on the success of the S90, the S95’s handling has been improved and there are some useful new features. Image quality is also right up there with the bulkier LX5, but it does lose some flexibility as a result.


1/1.70in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (28-105mm equivalent), 193g

At its heart is a 10 megapixel 1/1.7in CCD sensor that is virtually identical to the S90’s. It’s a High Sensitivity (HS) variety which, combined with the S95’s DiGiC 4 processor and the lens’s large f/2.0 aperture, enables it to perform remarkably well in poor lighting conditions. It can record images in both RAW and JPEG format and supports a range of ISOs from 80 to 3200 in 1/3 stop increments.

Canon Powershot S95 Back

It produces very usable images at up to ISO 1600 in both RAW and JPEG, with the RAW files being slightly crisper. Colours do start to shift a little at ISO 1600, but the images are still packed full of detail with minimal banding. Above ISO 1600, photos adopt a very muddy appearance so we’d recommend avoiding higher sensitivities because of this.

Canon Powershot S95 ports

Obviously, the S95’s main competitor at the moment is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and it’s a very close-run contest between the two. The S95’s JPEGs are much cleaner than the LX5’s, but as soon as you shoot in RAW, the two are difficult to tell apart. There’s less barrel distortion on the LX5’s RAW files, so we’d give it a slight edge. What’s more, the LX5’s video mode is much more advanced, allowing auto-focus and zoom during recording – something that the S95 cannot do.

The S95’s benefit is its size though and that’s an area where the Panasonic simply can’t compete. If size is important, the S95 is the way to go because it effortlessly slips into your trouser pocket. At over £300 though, it’s not a camera for everyone, but it is a little cheaper than the LX5. Both are excellent cameras, but we prefer the LX5’s added flexibility over the S95’s size advantage.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/1.70in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 461,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-105mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based (Hybrid IS)
Maximum image resolution 3648×2736
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats RAW, JPEG, QuickTime (h.264)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type 3.7V 1,000mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 200 shots
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
HDMI output resolution 1920x1080i
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables, Canon DPP RAW conversion software
Weight 193g
Size 58x100x30mm

Buying Information

Warranty 1 year parts and labour
Price £305

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, auto, scene
Shutter speed 15 to 1/1,600 seconds
Aperture range f/2.0 to f/4.9
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
White balance auto, 7 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre
Flash auto, manual
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer