I posted this about a month ago but am editing it because a gadget blog I visit daily just named it best Pocket Camera.
Here is their article that came out today September 1, 2011
The only thing is they say it is around $400 but I see the Powershot s95 on Amazon for $369 here
People ask me all the time what camera I would buy. As a gadget information freak I feel like I’m pretty qualified to give advice in this arena so instead of answering this question over and over again in private emails I’m going to start a series of my personally approved items that I 100% endorse. I’ll also give you the reasoning behind why I endorse the products.
The first product up is for a pocket camera. many of you have read my thoughts on cameras and how important I feel it is to own a camera that you can comfortably carry with you without having to lug a cumbersome bag.
Before anyone should own a DSLR in my opinion, they should own a good pocket camera.
The canon powershot s95 is not like 99 percent of compact cameras in one hugely important aspect- It contains a sensor that is 88% larger than most compact camera sensors. while most people ask about megapixels, what they don’t realize is that the size of a camera sensor is vastly more important to picture quality than the amount of megapixels packed onto a small sensor.
Photography is all about collecting light and recording it. A larger sensor allows you to collect more light more efficiently so you get far superior results.
Here is an article in the new York Times from technology editor David Pogue-
Dear Canon S95,
I don’t often write love letters to gadgets. But you, you’re something special.
Truth is, I’ve been searching for someone like you for years.
The Canon S95 has a sensor with 88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors.
See, I love the huge light sensor that’s inside an SLR. It can take sharp low-light shots without the flash. It can blur the background the way professionals do.
I just don’t like how an SLR is big and heavy and obtrusive.
What I’ve always wanted is a little camera with a big sensor. Is that so hard?
Apparently, yes. The problem is covering a rectangular sensor chip with a circle of light from the lens. Bigger sensor? You need a bigger camera. Those are the simple bylaws of physics.
But you, oh, cute little Canon PowerShot S95! I love that you’re a pocket camera, only 3.9 by 2.3 by 1.2 inches. I love your big, bright, three-inch screen, your built-in flash, your H.D.M.I. output for hi-def TV sets. I love that you turn on directly into Playback mode, without having to extend the lens.
I love the unique control ring around the dial, which I can quickly program to adjust whatever feature I want: focus, zoom, exposure, light sensitivity (ISO), aperture, even degree of color saturation (all the way to black-and-white).
I’ve had fun with your special modes, like the tilt-shift-lens simulator and fake fisheye.
I love the wink-driven self-timer. Yes, I set up the camera, walk into the scene, and then wink—the picture is taken two seconds later. Beats hunting around for a remote control. (Or I can ask you to wait two seconds after a new person—that would be me, joining the group—enters the frame.)
But above all, I love your enormous sensor. It’s 0.59 inches diagonally—88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors. And I love that you have an f/2.0 lens, a rarity among pocket cameras, meaning that you let in a lot more light.
And all of this means that you, little S95, can take amazing, sharp pictures in low light without the flash. Your designers have shrewdly dropped the ludicrous quest for more megapixels—you have 10 megapixels, just right—in favor of something that really matters, like better photos.
So if you want to buy it, you can get a great deal on the Canon Powershot on Amazon here-
My best technically difficult shot of 2010 was taken with this camera-
Here is a video demonstrating how great it is in low light (a true test of a camera’s sensor)