Saturday, February 26, 2011

Canon PowerShot S95

Canon PowerShot S95Test Shot
The Canon PowerShot S95: Great Low-light, Close-Up Camera
My new camera, a Canon PowerShot S95, just arrived. It is a birthday present from my husband, but there was no way I was going to wait a whole week to try it out.

Good for Product Shots
With my old point-and-shoot, I could take 30+ shots to get a passable product shot if I didn't have good outdoor shooting conditions. If I tried to shoot at night indoors, even with a lightbox, I could forget it!

I knew it was time to step up to a better camera, yet skill-wise, I'm not ready for a DSLR, so I've been exploring advanced compact digital cameras.  These cameras function as point-and shoots, but they also have more manual features to let you grow your skills.

I was looking for something that would do a better job with my product shots--something that could take good close-up photos in low-light conditions. The Canon PowerShot S95 does just that. I captured the photos of apples in a glass bowl in my kitchen last night with only the overhead light on. I used the "Auto" setting and got it on the first try. What you see is totally unedited.

Zoom/Low-Light Setting
For this shot of my cat Tucker, I used the low-light setting, and zoomed in on him so I wouldn't distract him. It is also totally unedited. There is no way I could get this picture with my old camera. I would have to choose between a no-flash blurry shot with accurate color or a washed out flash shot with serious cat red-eye.

Big Things in a Small Package
I love a small camera that doesn't bog me down when traveling, but I figured I would have to get something bigger to get better photos. So NOT TRUE! This camera is SHOCKINGLY SMALL.If you have large hands that might be a drawback, but once I got used to the feel, I found it very comfortable to hold.

Bonus Features
Right now I am only playing around with the automatic functions. This camera has a lot of manual features and is considered a bridge camera between basic compact digital cameras and more-advanced DSLRs. The other feature I really like is that you can save shots as JPEGs or RAW files. JPEGs loose image-quality which can be a real problem if you want to use large versions of your photos in printed pieces. I edit a magazine at Saint Francis University, and I would like to have the option to have RAW files for that.

Yes, it is cute and small. No, it is not cheap. This is a high-quality camera, and the price reflects that. It ranges from $369 to $399.

Giving Credit
I have to give credit where credit is due. The camera search overwhelmed me so I turned to my two favorite photographer friends Trish and Tara, for advice. They are both advanced users who prefer the artistic creativity a true DSLR provides, but they understood that I had different needs and sent me down this path.

Trish's husband Jay was looking to trade his advanced camera for something more portable that he would use more often, and he had done a lot of research on the topic. He a seriously analytical banker guy so I knew the research would be thorough. Thank you guys for taking the stress away from the camera buying process!


  1. Yay!! Happy Early Birthday. I've been looking at this same camera for quite some time, just not ready to buy now. Thank you for the product review.

  2. Your photos are GREAT! I've got a bridge/super zoom camera--Canon Powershot SX20 IS. I LOVE all the manual stuff I can do and play with! It's not the best in low light (which I knew when I bought it) but I'm learning to compensate for it. It also doesn't shoot in RAW (straight out of the box) but you can hack the software and force it to shoot in RAW. I haven't tried it yet, but my friends have and it's GREAT!
    Congrats on the camera upgrade! You'll have so much fun!


Ooh,a comment! How delightful.


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