Canon S95 vs S100 Comparison: Is it worth the upgrade?

I ordered my self a Canon S95 today, god it was such a good deal! I had the Canon S90 for a short time when it first came out but then sold it in favor of Panasonic LX-3. I admit, S90 was so small and pocketable compared to LX-3  that I had hard time making that decision. Main reason to keep LX-3 was the 24mm on wide angle vs. the 28mm on Canon.

I still keep the LX-3 but gave it to my wife  so i needed a new compact camera. My initial plan was to choose one of these: Canon S100, Panasonic LX-5, Fuji X-10 but couldn't resist the S95 when I saw the $229 deal on Amazon (the deal is over - back to $384) ( Canon S100: $419 , Panasonic LX-5: $355  , Fuji X-10:$579).

As you see there is almost a $200 price difference between S95 and S100.(price difference decreased to $35 only) S100 has some obvious advantages over S95 but are these worth the price difference? Let's compare and decide for yourself:


Canon S95 vs S100

Advantages of S100:

  • 24-120mm F2.0-5.9 vs 28-105mm F2.0-4.9 : 4mm makes a big difference on the wide end for me, 15mm on the tele end not so important
  • Minimum focusing distance of 3cm vs 5cm : Good for macro lovers
  • 12.1 MP  vs 10 MP CCD: Doesn't make a big difference but extra MP is always welcome as long as the image quality doesn't decrease
  • Max ISO 6400 vs 3200: I almost never go over ISO 800 on compact cameras except B&W
  • DIGIC 5 image processor vs DIGIC 4: DIGIC V is 6 times faster than DIGIC IV
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording vs 720p: I rarely record videos and quality isn't not important for me ( I don't get what people do with those videos anyway)
  • Super slow motion movie recording: Nice gimmick to have, but I don't care much.
  • Direct movie record button
  • Optical zoom in movie mode
  • Built-in GPS unit with image tagging: It is a battery eater and generally takes too long to connect compared to dedicated GPS units but of course still nice to have the option in case
  • Continuous Shooting Speed of 2.3 fps vs 0.9: faster is always better
  • Faster max shutter 1/2000s vs 1/1600s
  • S100 has a built-in neutral density filter

Advantages of S95:

  • Cheaper (Update: the price difference went down to $35 which is insignificant)
  • Customisable Shortcut button
  • f4.9 vs f5.9 on the long end

Image Quality:

I am not a pixel peeper, and not planning to use my compact for professional work. I briefly searched the image quality comparisons on the net and couldn't see a big difference between the two anyway (S100 has the edge) so image quality is not a big deciding factor between these two for me.

So, my conclusion is;

- If you own an S95 and wide angle and video are important for you, upgrade to S100

- If you don't own an S95, get the S100

- If you don't own an S95 and you are on a budget, get the S95   Update: ignore the $35 price difference and get the S100

 Support DSLR Passion and keep updated by;


#3 Pets Keepers Guide 2012-03-31 09:43
Just great... I just bought a S95 in January. Why did (not) I hear anything about S100 before I buy it? I did extensive research on what to get back in November... I would have so gone for it. Lame! Now there is no point for upgrade, and it has passed return time. I do take videos of my aquariums... for Youtube. I can also use better photos in the darker environment.
#2 Mark 2012-03-30 11:16
I would wait before buying a S100, lot of people are getting the lens retracting error after a months of usage-- I don't see where Canon is addressing the problem either except if your stuck beyhond your return policy, you have to send it in and all that. Who wants to deal with that. I like to get one but looking at the S95 (a used one) instead, the camera has no issues with lens errors or any other bugs.
#1 Jesse 2011-12-21 21:08
This is a good comparison. I want the S100 but not sure if I need it. Might just hold on to my trusty S90 (which I've dropped 10 times and is still trucking!)
Copyright © 2012 DSLR PASSION. All Rights Reserved.