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Canon Powershot S95 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £305
inc VAT

Building on the success of the S90, the S95’s handling has been improved and there are some useful new features. Image quality is also right up there with the bulkier LX5, but it does lose some flexibility as a result.


1/1.70in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (28-105mm equivalent), 193g

Canon PowerShot S90 shook up the premium compact camera segment when it launched last year, offering excellent image quality in a very sleek body. It narrowly missed out against the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, but with the S95 Canon is hoping to build on the foundations laid with the S90.

Canon Powershot S95

The S95 looks almost identical to the S90, but it’s slightly slimmer and also a bit heavier. Canon has used a new tactile coating on the body to improve handling in the absence of a hand grip and helps to make it feel more secure in your hands. The controls remain familiar and include a shooting mode dial – complete with Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes – and a selection ring on the lens barrel.

Canon Powershot S95 top

Improvements over the S90 include a 720p HD movie mode – which records in h.264, but both auto-focus and optical zoom are disabled – and an in-camera HDR scene mode that captures three pictures at different settings and combines them in-camera, which works very well but requires a tripod to avoid ghosting from camera shake and can’t be used to shoot fast-moving objects.

The S95 is also the first PowerShot to include Canon’s Hybrid IS technology, which compensates for both angular and shift camera shake. It’s particularly useful for macro photography, but has uses in other photographic mediums.

Instead of being sensor-based, it’s built into the 4.0x 28-105mm f/2.0-4.9 optical zoom lens, which does unfortunately suffer from some minor barrel distortion throughout its focal range. It’s not a huge issue though as the S95 produces technically good images that are very crisp. There’s very little evidence of chromatic aberration and flare is also very well controlled.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/1.70in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 461,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-105mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based (Hybrid IS)
Maximum image resolution 3648×2736
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats RAW, JPEG, QuickTime (h.264)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type 3.7V 1,000mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 200 shots
Connectivity USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
HDMI output resolution 1920x1080i
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables, Canon DPP RAW conversion software
Weight 193g
Size 58x100x30mm

Buying Information

Warranty 1 year parts and labour
Price £305

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, auto, scene
Shutter speed 15 to 1/1,600 seconds
Aperture range f/2.0 to f/4.9
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
White balance auto, 7 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre
Flash auto, manual
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer