Thursday, February 10, 2011

Canon S95 Review

So I've been wanting a tiny little camera that still takes rockin photos to carry around for every day use. I had my doubts that I would find one that I love and that is 'fast' enough to capture the quick smiles my 6 month old gives me, or the funny things my 3 year old does. I've gotten so use to my DSLR, its so fast and I feel like I never miss 'the moment'. but honestly carrying it on a playdate to the mall play place is just ridiculous. I use my phone or my ipod for those pictures and I ALWAYs miss the moment. I want a P&S and I want a good one.

In comes the Canon S95 - I've been researching it for a while and all stats sound good. I was still leary on the focus system and how long it takes from when you focus to when it actually takes the shot. that seems to be where I have problems. Well luckily a co-worker got one for Christmas, and as the office "photographer" he totally trusted me to take it home and play with it.

Here's my review for whoever cares:

First thing to remember is I borrowed the camera on a week NIGHT, so it was evening and pretty dark. The camera does work well in low light, but it does have noise. I can't expect a little point and shoot to have the same noise capabilities as my DSLR.

I love the size, and how it handles, I love how shooting in manual is pretty easy. The controls are definitely different from an SLR but that's kinda a given. I shot exclusively in Manual mode. I debated about shooting in RAW but decided to stick to JPEG cause I figured for a P&S I would probably not shoot in RAW (and cause I couldn't quickly figure it out lol).

It is definitely faster than my last P&S. I couldn't really tell if there were multiple focus points, I just used the center (very large) focus point. It bounced an orange light on Cullen that kinda stunned him, but I was still able to get his very quick smiles! so that's a plus!

It can't handle noise very well, at ISO 400 it is pretty noisey, but I guess that's to be expected a little. I wish it had a further reach zoom wise.

Oh and the weird thing is the ratio the image is in, its not in a normal 2:3 ratio, maybe that's a P&S thing? Its just slightly off.

Well I probably forgot stuff so feel free to ask questions, here are some images both SOOC (unsharpened) and then my very little minor edits (with USM).

ISO 1600 1/40 f/4.5

ISO 400 1/500 f/4

ISO 400 1/500 f/4

ISO 1600 1/200 f/2

ISO 1600 1/200 f/2

A couple thoughts:

What did I think of the shutter lag:

I didn't feel like there was much of a lag at all, I am use to focus/recompose, so I always half click the shutter to focus, then fully click to take the shot and it was almost instantaneous. Although when you half click to focus it bounces that orange light, Cullen didn't like that very much, but it seemed to be fast! It was weird how its live view, like as you change your shutter / ISO / Aperture it changes the exposure on the LCD, that was weird, and I did use the histogram to see exposure cause the exposure meter seemed weird to me. One more negative I remembered, was the exposure would look good on the LCD and the histogram would look good, but then when I got it into PS it looked darker and a tad underexposed, I'm sure that's the brightness of the LCD though and just would take a little learning.

how wide does the apperture open up?

f/2, but its variable so when you zoom it goes to like f/4.5 or something, oh and it only closes down to f/8, I thought that was weird!

Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help. I'm kinda hoping maybe I could get this camera for mothers day or for my birthday this year. We are renovating our Bathroom (completely gutting it) so I'm not sure I could justify just going out and buying this. But it is a nice camera. I'm also going to wait and see if I can compare the Nikon Equivalent. I'm definitely not married to getting a Canon.

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