Canon PowerShot S95 review

Full review: A powerful compact for amateurs and professionals

Image 1 of 4 Canon PowerShot S95 back
Canon PowerShot S95 back
Image 2 of 4 Canon PowerShot S95 in situ
Canon PowerShot S95 in situ
Image 3 of 4 Canon PowerShot S95 top
Canon PowerShot S95 top
Image 4 of 4 Canon PowerShot S95 front
Canon PowerShot S95 front

Canon's new Powershot: Substance and style

Successor to the popular Canon PowerShot S90, which quickly became a popular top pocket camera for many pro photographers, is the new Canon PowerShot S95 with f/2 28mm wide-angle lens with 3.8x optical zoom and a plethora of features usually seen on DSLR cameras.

The understated design is a perhaps a bit plain, but suits the seriousness of the camera's feature set.
As well as being slimmer than the S90, at 29.5 mm thick, the Canon Powershot S95 features a matt body, rather than gloss, making it easier to grip.

Check our Canon PowerShot S95 pictures

The lens control ring (which proved a real hit with the S90), and the mode dial have both been improved so have more friction. More substantial improvements are HD video shooting and the inclusion of Canon's brand new HS System, which combines a 10-megapixel CCD sensor and DIGIC 4 processing, enabling the camera to shoot at ISO 3200 at full resolution, with minimum noise.

Canon PowerShot S95: Features

The Canon PowerShot S95 is better likened to a DSLR than compact in terms of its feature set: it offers you ultimate control and a fully manual experience.

From the control ring you can adjust various settings including: ISO (1/3 stop increments), shutter speed, aperture, focus and exposure compensation, thankfully it's all very quick and intuitive: there's no missing the moment while you dig around in endless menus.

There's a custom setting that lets you pre-set the lens Control Ring function and the rear Multi-Control Dial, in addition to a dedicated shortcut button, which will please advanced users. Of course you don't have to be a pro to use the PowerShot S95, there's an Auto mode, Program mode and lots of scene modes too.

Canon PowerShot S95: Picture quality

Images quality is incredible good for a compact camera: expect sharp, crisp clear pictures with hardly any digital noise. High contrast is handled much better than in any compact we've seen for a long time and colours are excellent: vivid yet realistic and skin tones are also flattering yet realistic. Macro shots are brilliant too: pin-sharp. Low light performance also deserves a mention, the new HS system really works: this is certainly a camera you'll get good night shots from.

We're as impressed with the Canon PowerShot S95's image quality and we are with the top spec feature set. All in all a powerful compact camera; idea for those who want full manual control without the bulk of a DSLR

Canon PowerShot release date: Out now, find out more from Canon

Canon PowerShot S95:

  • Sensor: 10-megapixel 1/1.7CCD
  • Lens: 3.8x optical zoom f/2.0-4.9
  • Screen: 3-inch, 461,000,000
  • Viewfinder: n/a
  • Stabilisation: Lens shift
  • Video: 1280x720 24fps
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC card
  • Battery: 300 mins playback, 200 photos
  • Connections: Mini HDMI, Hi-Speed USB
  • Dimensions/Weight: 99x58x30/193g