CanonS95

NAME: Canon PowerShot S95


PRICE: $399


THE BACK STORY: If you were busy fumbling with your party-photo website last August, there is a chance you missed hearing about the quiet storm that was the Canon PowerShot S90, a sleek, all-black powerhouse with a fast lens, full manual control, RAW capability, and ultra-pocketability. Canon had a winner on its hands, and the company is wasting no time in upgrading its revolutionary snap-cam. We took the Powershot S95 for a test drive. Check out our full review and photos from the camera after the jump.

Words by Jonathan Lees

DOPE:

High-res photos: The camera can shoot big .jpegs—and RAW, if you really want to go nuts. At all image sizes, it produces color, contrast, and clarity that rivals some of the heftier, full-featured cameras. If you keep the ISO between 80 and 400, your prints will murder the pocket-cam competition.

Intuitive manual controls: With an easily accessible and, more importantly, customizable lens ring in front and dials on the top and back, taking manual photographs is a breeze. Of course you can put it in Auto and go in, but the S95 makes going manual a choice instead of a chore.

Matte finish: This is a tiny switch, but this subtle adjustment to the camera's finish allows the user to get a tighter grip. The S90 had a gloss finish, which got slippery in hot or overexcited, sweaty-palm moments (sorry).

Manual dials: The dials now have a ridged, click feel to them that allows the photographer to avoid accidental slip-ups while shooting. This was a welcome upgrade, and one that that proves Canon is actually listening to its customer feedback.

Hybrid Image Stabilizer: This feature helps eliminate shake and camera blur. It's solid at all zoom lengths.

Awesome lens: Why fix something that ain't broke? Canon keeps the fast pocket-camera lens from the S90, which takes amazingly clear shots at low ISOs and in low light.

CanonS95Top

NOT SO DOPE:

HDR Mode: HDR (High Dynamic Range) pictures are cheating, and they are infecting magazines and personal portfolio blogs like a digital Kat Stacks STD train. To pull this off with the S95 you NEED a tripod, a device that doesn't fit so nicely in denim pockets. It could be cool once in a while, but on this this type of a camera, it's an unnecessary feature.

Not the best flash: This camera has a three-tiered setting system for the flash that unfortunately didn't work out in any situation we tried it. Maybe we were using it wrong, but we had trouble with the on-board flash. We'll have to spend some more time with this.

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FINAL SAY: The camera market is oversaturated, but this little dark shooter is a keeper. When people see the photos, they'll be like, "You took THAT with THIS?" A near-perfect camera for people who love to shoot manually, but also an amazing get for the average person who just wants sick photos. Once you program the camera to fit your style, you can capture anything, anytime, and feel great about the results. This camera is killer. Do what you can to get your hands on this puppy.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE CANON POWERSHOT S95!

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Camera images below. To download the high-res, full-size versions of these images (to see grain and things like that) click HERE. All photos copyright Jonathan Lees.

IMAGE_1Exposure: 1/500 sec. at f/4.0
ISO: 80
MACRO

IMAGE_2Exposure: 1/1600 sec at f/2.8
ISO: 80

IMAGE_3Exposure: 1/13 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 80

IMAGE_4Exposure: 1/6 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 80

IMAGE_5Exposure: 1/13 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 160
MACRO

IMAGE_6Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 160

IMAGE_7Exposure: 1/250 sec at f/5.6
ISO: 80

IMAGE_8Exposure: 1/1600 sec at f/2.5
ISO: 80

IMAGE_9Exposure: 1/320 sec at f/4.0
ISO: 160

IMAGE_10Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4.5
ISO: 250
MACRO

IMAGE_11Exposure: 1/160 sec at f/8.0
ISO: 200

IMAGE_12Exposure: 1/100 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 80

IMAGE_13Exposure: 1/160 sec at f/7.1
ISO: 80

IMAGE_14Exposure: 1/160 at f/6.3
ISO: 80

IMAGE_15Exposure: 1/160 at f/6.3
ISO: 80

IMAGE_16Exposure: 1/640 sec at f/6.3
ISO: 80

IMAGE_17Exposure: 1/640 sec at f/6.3
ISO: 80

IMAGE_18Exposure: 1/2 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 80

IMAGE_19Exposure: 1/13 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 400

IMAGE_20Exposure: 1/2 sec at f/2.0
ISO: 80

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