Canon PowerShot S95 review

Is the S95 yet another Canon compact for serious photographers?

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Canon powershot s95

One of the big plus points of the Canon S95 is the ability to shoot in Canon's raw .CR2 format. This is a great feature, and one that will be appreciated by all serious photographers.

Another high point is the lens. It's nice and bright at f/2.0 and thanks to the inbuilt image stabiliser, even shooting handheld at ISO 80/100 in a dimly-lit church provided usable and mostly steady results.

The Canon S95 doesn't have as many creative options as something like the Panasonic LX5, but the couple that it does have are quite fun. Fish-eye mode does a reasonable job of recreating an ultra wide angle lens, while miniature mode blurs the top and bottom of the frame for a tilt-shift type effect.

'Nostalgia' on the other hand desaturates the image on a sliding scale from slightly to completely greyscale and ups the grain to recreate a filmic look. Unfortunately, you can't shoot in RAW when using the creative modes, which is a shame as you might want to go back and use a normal version of the image at a later date.

It would have been nice to be able to change the autofocus point from the centre, rather than relying on half-press and reframe. This is something you should expect from a camera of this price, and is offered on similar high-end compacts from other manufacturers, such as the Panasonic LX5 and the Sigma DP2, so it's disappointing not to see it here.

Overall image quality is good. Colours are punchy and sharp. The auto white-balance can struggle a little in some conditions, another good reason to shoot in RAW. Distortion at the wide-angle end of the zoom range appears to be at a minimum and we also saw little evidence of fringing.

ISO can be increased in increments ranging from 80-3200. Noise only started to creep in from ISO 640 and was only distractingly noticeable from ISO 800 onwards – a solid performance from a compact.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution10 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyPowerShot S
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, MultiMediaCard (MMC), MMCplus, HC MMCplus
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)170 g
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.4 mm
Width99.8 mm
Depth29.5 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length6 mm to 22.50 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelS95
Product NamePowerShot S95 Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4343B010
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With HS System and f/2 lens, the 10.0 MP PowerShot S95 excels in low light. HD Movies, RAW and unique lens Control Ring for manual control make it the pocket camera for the serious photographer.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot S95 Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L
  • Battery Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year