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:
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
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
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