Customer Review

282 of 297 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Point and Shoot and Worthy Successor to S95, November 3, 2011
This review is from: Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
At the time of this writing the S100 was just released. I recently bought the S95 on the recommendation of a friend who is an avid photographer, thinking the S100 would not be released until much later. The S100 just started showing up in stores so I bought it as well, intending to return one of the cameras. So I had the opportunity to compare them both!

To preface, I'm an intermediate level photographer, and it is just a hobby. I do own a DSLR, but it is one of the lower end models in the DSLR world. Still, I have become comfortable with manual adjustments and own a few lenses for it. However the majority of my pictures end up being taken with the camera most conveniently at hand (iPhone), and in this case I was looking for something that could offer a big step up in image quality without having to carry the larger DSLR.

Both the S95 and S100 are excellent cameras. However, there are key points about the S100 that give it the advantage. The rubber grips on the front and back are excellent. The flash pops up on both the S95/S100 where you would naturally place your left hand. Having the rubber grips for your right hand allows this to be a one-handed camera, or at least allows better support with the right hand since the left hand may not be able to rest where it feels most natural, which for me tends to involve a finger resting on top of the flash. This is an issue for both the S95 and S100, but the S100 mitigates it by having better support for the right hand - the rubber grips and better shutter button position. More on that next.

The shutter button is larger on the S100. This feels more natural and easier to access. Also the position of the shutter button has been moved more towards the right edge. It may seem small but this is a big improvement. If you have shorter fingers you may find it more difficult to naturally reach the shutter button on the S95 than the S100. The shutter button on the S95 is just a bit too far from the right edge for my taste, making it a bit difficult to reach when bending your shooting finger to press the button. Canon certainly recognized that as evidenced by the new location of the shutter button on the S100.

The buttons on the rear of the camera have been changed, including having a single-press button to start shooting a video. This is great since most videos for me involve catching fleeting moments of my kids in action. On the S95 you need to turn the mode selection dial to movie mode first. Regarding video, the S100 also allows zooming in/out while shooting a movie. As I understand it, the S95 did not allow that.

The processor has been upgraded and the S100 does feel slightly faster because of it when navigating through menus.

I took comparison shots in my home using both cameras and I found a slight advantage for the S100 in terms of image quality. There was a bit more detail using the S100, but honestly it wasn't significant. Still, in my head-to-head tests the S100 was the winner.

For me the main difference is in terms of the user interface. The button layout is better on the S100 and the addition of the grips is helpful. This camera feels easier to shoot because of this. This may seem small, but all of these button layout changes and grip additions add up to a camera that overall is more convenient for me to shoot. That's why I chose the S100. This is, after all, my camera of convenience.

The only downside I found for the S100 is that it is priced higher than the S95.

If you are on a budget and tried the S95 and like how it feels, then get it. You will be very happy with it! The pictures were very similar in quality between the two, and the S95 is a high quality camera. Everything about it mechanically boasts of durability and quality. But if the price difference is not an issue then I recommend the S100.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2011 10:14:03 AM PST
harbinjer says:
Did you notice any shutter lag on the S100? The S95 has some and it annoys me sometimes, enough that I'd upgrade.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2011 8:00:53 AM PST
The lag is mostly due to the camera trying to focus. The s100 is no better than the s95 in terms of focus speed. Both the s95 and s100 are quite fast if you pre-focus, use AFL (auto focus lock) or use MF (manual focus). The s100 should not provide you any improvement over the s95.

Some Fuji cameras use phase detection auto focus (usually only found in DSLRs) and therefore focus much faster. Sony also tends to focus faster than Canon. Canon should really focus some innovation on Auto Focus in the future.

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 6:01:39 PM PDT
Lan Phan says:
The S95 does allow you to zoom in/out while shooting video.

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 12:30:27 PM PDT
Josey Wales says:
Thank you for a most helpful review. Ive owned the s95 for a while and have been happy with it for the most part, except for the tendency towards unnatural skin tones when the flash is used. Did you notice that with either the s95 or s100, or is it just me? Also, the inability to zoom while shooting video has been a serious drawback to the s95.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 6:46:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 6:47:41 AM PDT
G. Morgan says:
Lan Phan's statement that the S95 allows zooming while shooting video is not correct. I have an S95 and I just checked this, thinking that I might have missed a feature. The original reviewer is correct in stating that the S95 (in contrast with the S100, reviewed here) does not allow zooming while shooting video.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 10:30:44 AM PDT
BeeGee says:
Canon SX40 HS Can zoom in and out during video shooting.

Posted on Jul 24, 2012 5:51:01 AM PDT
audiofan

can you take a still while videoing?

thanks

dan

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 12:52:49 PM PDT
Josey Wales says:
no u cant take a still while videoing with the s95 or s100.

to clarify, you can zoom while videoing with the s95, but it will not refocus, so the zoomed footage looks grainy and out of focus. the s100 will refocus during zooming like a regular video camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 1:13:19 PM PDT
G. Morgan says:
Zooming while videoing with the S95 is *digital* zooming only. In other words, it is cropping the image, not zooming the lens. I just verified this for myself with my S95. If, in the menu, you enable digital zooming, you will be able to zoom IN from your starting focal length (because it is merely cropping the image in-camera), but you cannot zoom OUT, even if you start with the lens in the middle of its range. If you then disable digital zooming and try the same experiment you will find that no zooming is possible while videoing. I think *this* is the reason why when you zoom after you start videoing with your S95, your footage looks grainy and of poor quality.

The S100 can optically zoom while videoing, and is therefore much better in that respect (if you like to zoom while shooting).

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 7:52:45 PM PDT
Jaime Spadea says:
Thanks for the helpful review. Last week my S95 was stolen in Mexico (along with all of my vaca photos, of course) and I cried for about 12 hours. I loved the camera so much and am determined to get the same one however, I am finding that the S95 is not only harder to find but higher in price than the S100. I notice that the next reviewer says that the S100 is much worse than the S95, which worries me, but I think I might bite the bullet based on your review and just get the S100. I pray that I'm not disappointed... esp. since I'm already resenting my vacation over the fact that my beloved camera was stolen. :/
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