Powershot S-95 examined
Sep 3, 2010
I went to Canon Expo 2010 in New York today and was able to examine the S95 closely, with particular attention to fixes Canon made in response to the two complaints peope have had about the S-90.
The case of S-95 feels like it's covered with super-fine sandpaper (it felt like 1000 or 1500 grit, for those you who know what that feels like). It didn't seem slippery or insecure at all. Still, the camera is very small, so holding it still takes some attention, unlike holding the nice fat grip of a DSLR.
So: nice non-slip surface, but you still have to pay attention. Use the wrist starp.
The second major complaint about the S-90 was that the ring on the rear that selects functions moved too easily. The ring on the S-95 has slight detents and you can feel a slight click when you move it. I think it's more than marginally better than the S-90. The change may be good enough to eliminate the advantage of the aftermaket Delrin ring sold by Lensmate that alleviates the S90's problem.
Canon paid attention to the compalinats about the otherwise well-received S-90 and after handling the S-95 I'd say the fixes are effective.
Apart from those two fixes:
The interface is a brilliant re-thinking of how a very small camera with a full set of controls should be operate. The ring around the lens can control zoom or ISO or focus, etc., depening on what you select with the function selection wheel on the back. Every time you move the wheel, a clear set of selections for the lens ring appears on the screen of LCD. The selections are context-appropriate. Thus they change depending on whether you've set the camera for aperture control, "Program" control, etc.
It's very easy to change settings quickly and without getting into a heirarchic menu. This might even be a model for replacing the multi-level menus on larger cameras.
It's also small enough to fit in the pocket of an ordinary pair of trousers, or into a small case clipped to your belt. In that regard, it has an advantage over the the Panasonic LX-5, although the LX-5 has a couple of advantages of its own.