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Customer Review

66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars S100 vs S95, January 3, 2012
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This review is from: Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I have been seeking an affordable camera which will give high quality photos and video clips for both home and work purposes. During the past week, I have closely compared the S100 to the S95 by taking a series of approximately sixty photos and five videos at various locations using the same shooting conditions whenever possible for both cameras. Afterwards, the photos and videos were compared on a 27-inch monitor. Here are a few of my observations. Both cameras gave excellent outdoor photos during a clear, sunny day. However, on my large monitor, the S100 gave comparably excellent indoor photos in either auto or P mode even when zoomed while the S95 showed more overall graininess particularly when zoomed or in low light. Although the photo image quality for both cameras was excellent, the video image quality was different. Out of fairness, it is important to note that the S100 will shoot 1080p HD video whereas the S95 is only capable of shooting 720p HD video. Thus, it is not surprising that the S100's HD video image quality was improved compared to the S95's. However, in addition, the S100 gave smoother video playback with good autofocus even when zooming. More astonishing was the ability of the S100 to give excellent video quality under a wide range of indoor lighting conditions while the S95 gave bright purple lines on both the LCD and in video playback when it was near various types of long-life incandescent light bulbs. The bright purple lines were reproducible, observed near three light bulbs in my house, and made some of the S95 video clips completely unusable. (I do not know if my copy of the S95 was defective.) Since I will use my new camera for work-related photos and videos, too, the purple lines on the S95 were unacceptable to me. The battery life of the S100 seemed poor during the first charge/discharge cycle. I did try the GPS, and while it worked, it drained the battery more quickly than expected. With neither the GPS nor its logger on, the battery life is more tolerable now that I am past the first couple of charge/discharge cycles, but I plan to have a spare battery with me at all times when I use the S100. Based on all of my tests, the features of the S100 are excellent for its size. The photo images seemed to have greater clarity on my big monitor than those from the S95, and the S100's video quality is much improved over the S95. My only complaint is that the S100 is a power hungry little camera, and I think that Canon's design engineers should consider a longer-lasting battery even if it makes the camera a little larger. I am now a very happy S100 owner, and I am glad that I took the time to do my photo and video tests. The battery issue is the only reason I gave the S100 four stars instead of five. It is worth noting that owners of both the S95 and S100 will benefit from learning to use the different shooting modes as well as knowing about options available in the recording and function menus. In addition to Canon's User Manual, there are a couple of excellent books specific to using the S95 that are also helpful for learning how to get the best quality photos and videos from the S100. Search "S95" at any bookstore to find them. One of these books has recently been updated for the S100: "Photographer's Guide to the Canon PowerShot S100" by A.S. White.

Update: Since several reviewers have observed S100 photos that were entirely out of focus or had edges that were out focus, I reexamined selected photos for the S95 and S100. For this examination, my 27-inch monitor was set at a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440, which is the highest available setting. In addition, I zoomed in on the photos so that only 8.3% (1/12th) of an overall photo filled the screen. For each photo, all four edges were carefully examined for clarity and compared to the center. The photos selected for examination had considerable detail in them. Some had pine needles, tree branches, bridge trestles, and buildings near the edges. Others had wallpaper designs, signs, and posters with words printed on them. (No low light or zoomed photos were selected.) With only 8.3% of the photos filling the entire screen of my 27-inch monitor, the images on my copy of the S100 were uniform in clarity all the way out to the edges and corners. For the selected photos, the images on my copy of the S95 were similarly uniform in clarity everywhere except for the lower right corner. Surprisingly, the lower right corner was consistently blurry in multiple photos. It is worth noting that with only 8.3% of the photos filling the entire screen, both cameras gave slightly fuzzy images, but when entire photos were visible, each camera gave sharp, clear images. Some reviewers have complained about the LCD screen, too. When I was comparing the S95 to the S100, I did note that the LCD image on the S95 was more pleasing than the image on the S100. While I was considering this, I got out my old Canon PowerShot SD550 and compared the image on its LCD screen with that on the S100 and S95. Next I compared each image with the real-life objects each camera was supposed to be depicting. With the LCD screen in the default setting for each camera, the images on both the SD550's and S100's screens showed colors that were more faithful to real life while the image on the S95's screen appeared more vivid than real life. It is worth noting that the screen brightness can easily be changed for indoor or outdoor photos. There are five brightness settings available on the S100. I assume that these settings are available on the S95, too.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 3, 2012 8:34:56 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 11, 2012 1:53:00 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 5:05:51 AM PST
H47 says:
"the S95 gave bright purple lines on both the LCD and in video playback when it was near various types of long-life incandescent light bulbs"
That is normal, at least for CCD sensors.
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