I have been a huge fan of the Canon Powershot s95 and have not hesitated to recommend it to our readers time and time again for it’s compact size and oversized sensor. The Powershot s95 is easy to recommend to people but I should let people know that it isn’t necessarily the best camera for those who want big time zoom range and before I go any further I should tell you that just recently they announced the successor to that camera the Canon Powershot s100.
The powershot s100 was recently announced and you can read about what they added to the specs from the s95 here at one of my favorite tech gadget blogs, Engadget
For the condensed version of the article in Engadget, -
The S100 features improved low-light performance thanks to its f/2.0 lens and new, larger 12.1 megapixel CMOS censor (gone is the CCD of yore). It also has a GPS receiver for embedding location data in your photos.
Both cameras will cost $430, with the S100 set to ship in early November
Right now you can buy the Powershot s95 for $359 which I still would do because I don’t consider the bump up to 1080p video and a slight increase to the sensor worth the extra $70. Either camera will be the best performing camera you can own that you can still comfortably keep in your pocket and take great pictures indoors in low light. Basically this is the perfect carry around camera for 80% of the picture taking population. The only negative with the Powershot s95 or upcoming powershot S100 is that they are limited in zoom range. To date, and believe me when I tell you that I’ve done the research, there is NO camera that will give you that large sensor with a long zoom range so the trade off you are making with the Powershots are if you plan on trying to zoom in across a harbor and want that type of ability you can’t get that far but they excel in dimlit lit situations. It excels indoors and around town.
You can get the Powershot s95 on sale here for $359
Now I’d like to offer some suggestions for alternatives for folks that want a great camera that still has the ability to be pocketed but offers a great zoom range. Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of Sony Cameras and have bought every two years or so the latest in the same line of Sony zooms. When I started the blog I used the Sony DSC-H3, then bought the updated Sony DSC-H20 and just recently have upgraded to the Sony DSC- HX9v which I paid $359 but just this past week they dropped the price to $319 on Amazon Now I will tell you that in very poor lighting the Canon Powershot s95 or S100 will outperform my Sony HX9V but for the type of shooting and for lots of the subjects that I need to be able to capture, the 5 times zoom just isn’t enough for me. It’s plenty for the soccer mom but not someone that is trying to capture a seagull from 50 yards away. So I am willing to sacrifice some low light performance in the name of being able to just about always get that shot of that thing that happens to be just out of photographic reach of the Powershot. If they made a camera that had a ten times zoom, a sensor the size that the Powershot’s have and the size that is still being able to comfortably carry in your front pocket I’d buy it in a second, for three times the price but they don’t, trust me I research cameras every single day. If they made one I’d own it.
The Sony HX9V, my current walkaround camera-
The HX9v specs are fantastic. The ones that matter to me most -
Full HD 1080/60p with dual record of stills and movies
Sony G lens with 16x optical zoom in a compact camera body
3D stills and 3D Sweep Panorama mode: change the way you view your world.
So if you like my photos and want to buy what I would buy if you want to be able to zoom in on subjects it’s the Sony HX9V, if you do mostly indoor shooting and family pictures it is the Powershot S95 or preorder the Powershot S100
Here is a Flickr group with photos from users that own the Sony HX9V-
click pic for slideshow-
Here is a link to all my top picks fro camera gear. Anything on this list is what I use or want to use and represents what I consider the best intersection of price/performance/portability.
as always if you have specific camera questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you make a decision on which camera to buy for your budget and needs.