These two cameras are both good at what they do but are different in the needs they are designed to address. Your needs (atleast mine) would direct me towards one or the other. You say absolutely nothing about your needs or intended uses so there little else I could add. The zoom range, video resulotion, flexibility, and size differetiate the two. The S95 has a marginal image quality and low light advantage at the expense of lower video resolution and a much shorter telephoto.
I got an S95 from BB but it had a defect in the LCD panel where it was not attached properly. All the units at BB had problems with loose LCD panels so I ordered from Amazon and it had a loose W/T lever. The S95 is a nice camera but I came across some hardware issues. S95 did well indoors, but outdoors - the images were not noticeably better than any other Canon PowerShot.
I purchased the SX230 and it seems well built in comparison, but the lens is not as fast as the S95 and cannot capture in raw. The SX230 has manual options and an easier to use video capture button that is convenient for typical family events. The GPS can be turned off. Overall, the SX230 IQ seems similar to the S95 in good lighting, so the 14x zoom and video make it a better value.
I am one week into my SX230hs. So far so good. Images are excellent. This is my fourth Canon since changing from Sony Cameras. I buy cameras for my wife and kids and have probably purchased 15 or so digital cameras over the years. MAJOR GRIPE!!!! = No printed manual. The manual comes as a pdf on a cd. When I get a new camera I carry the manual for the first two or three times I use it. Sure don't feel like printing a 112 page pdf and carrying it around. Canon website only offers the manual as a download of the pdf I already have. Shame on you Canon! I would happily pay an extra few bucks to have a small printed manual. In color with pictures. Yes, I like colored pictures when trying to learn something.
I had both cameras for a couple of weeks to try as I had the same dillemma.I took about 800 pictures both in and outdoors. Now I have to say that I'm just the casual photographer (vacations, kids , parties)and most of the pics were taken in auto mode. Indoor performance:Both cameras perform really good S95 has a little sharper pics and stronger flash. Both cameras perform really good in the low light conditions.(the best from few other point & shoot I've tried).I actually had more luck getting focus with sx 230 but once s95 got it - pictures were brighter.Outdors both cameras perform well , I did not notice a big difference in quality(even when cropped 100%)The only thing that annoyed me about sx230 that it choses to take pics without a flash about 50% of the time.And there is no option (in Auto) to force it on.And they came out a little yellow.i had to switch to manual or to one of the scenes(portrait)At the end the picture quality is almost identical , I didn't care about manual controls or RAW on s95 ,and I liked the better zoom on sx230 and more than $100 savings.I decided to go with sx 230. If you still can't make up your mind you have to ask what you need .If you want to play with manual control and need RAW format than you go with s95 but if you'll be shooting mostly in Auto than go with sx230 as it has a better zoom and it chooses scene modes automatically (and it's pretty accurate too) As I said picture quality is about the same and you will be happy with either choice.
I know this is someone elses post but I am debating the same thing. I myself am looking for a high quality resolution with the crispest photos out there. I really dont care about any gps feature but whether its indoors or out I want crispness. Mostly I use it for taking photos of my toddler. Any suggestions or help?
The S95 is closer to pro quality. Better for young photographers who might upgrade later, or who prefer more manual control. Moreover, the S95 is likely to produce better pictures simply because it doesn't have some of the distracting gadgetry--big zoom, smile detection, etc.--that's found on the SX230. The idea is to focus your attention on the subject, not on the gadgetry on your camera. For some years the S95 was thre "gold standard" among point and shots, viewed as an acceptable 2nd camera for pros, or as a "transitional" camera for young photographers about to step up to an SLR when they could afford it.
S95 is for serious and budding photographers--people who spend time tweaking images in a good photo program. It has has better lens with wider aperture (for great low-light shots) and is a "faster" camera. The SX230 was Canon's first serious shot at all the smartphone photographers (who don't have an optical telephoto lens).