Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera – Product Description:
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Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera – Review:
EXCELLENT POINT AND SHOOT AND WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO S95!
At the time of this writing the S100 was just released. I recently bought the S95 on the recommendation of a friend who is an avid photographer, thinking the S100 would not be released until much later. The S100 just started showing up in stores so I bought it as well, intending to return one of the cameras. So I had the opportunity to compare them both!
To preface, I’m an intermediate level photographer, and it is just a hobby. I do own a DSLR, but it is one of the lower end models in the DSLR world. Still, I have become comfortable with manual adjustments and own a few lenses for it. However the majority of my pictures end up being taken with the camera most conveniently at hand (iPhone), and in this case I was looking for something that could offer a big step up in image quality without having to carry the larger DSLR.
Both the S95 and S100 are excellent cameras. However, there are key points about the S100 that give it the advantage. The rubber grips on the front and back are excellent. The flash pops up on both the S95/S100 where you would naturally place your left hand. Having the rubber grips for your right hand allows this to be a one-handed camera, or at least allows better support with the right hand since the left hand may not be able to rest where it feels most natural, which for me tends to involve a finger resting on top of the flash. This is an issue for both the S95 and S100, but the S100 mitigates it by having better support for the right hand – the rubber grips and better shutter button position. More on that next.
The shutter button is larger on the S100. This feels more natural and easier to access. Also the position of the shutter button has been moved more towards the right edge. It may seem small but this is a big improvement. If you have shorter fingers you may find it more difficult to naturally reach the shutter button on the S95 than the S100. The shutter button on the S95 is just a bit too far from the right edge for my taste, making it a bit difficult to reach when bending your shooting finger to press the button. Canon certainly recognized that as evidenced by the new location of the shutter button on the S100.
The buttons on the rear of the camera have been changed, including having a single-press button to start shooting a video. This is great since most videos for me involve catching fleeting moments of my kids in action. On the S95 you need to turn the mode selection dial to movie mode first. Regarding video, the S100 also allows zooming in/out while shooting a movie. As I understand it, the S95 did not allow that.
The processor has been upgraded and the S100 does feel slightly faster because of it when navigating through menus.
I took comparison shots in my home using both cameras and I found a slight advantage for the S100 in terms of image quality. There was a bit more detail using the S100, but honestly it wasn’t significant. Still, in my head-to-head tests the S100 was the winner.
For me the main difference is in terms of the user interface. The button layout is better on the S100 and the addition of the grips is helpful. This camera feels easier to shoot because of this. This may seem small, but all of these button layout changes and grip additions add up to a camera that overall is more convenient for me to shoot. That’s why I chose the S100. This is, after all, my camera of convenience.
The only downside I found for the S100 is that it is priced higher than the S95.
If you are on a budget and tried the S95 and like how it feels, then get it. You will be very happy with it! The pictures were very similar in quality between the two, and the S95 is a high quality camera. Everything about it mechanically boasts of durability and quality. But if the price difference is not an issue then I recommend the S100.
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