Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution
- Clean, sharp images
- Excellent color reproduction
- Reliable focus and exposure systems
- Comprehensive range of features
- Much improved screen
- Easy to use
- Good burst (continuous) shooting mode
- Easy handling
- Excellent flash exposures, though not very powerful
- Good build quality and metal casing
- AF illuminator works in very low light
- Excellent battery life (NiMH)
- Great value for money
Conclusion - Cons
- Some purple fringing problems
- Inability to deal with wide dynamic range on very bright days
- Focus can hunt and is not particularly fast
- No TIFF or RAW mode
- Flimsy CompactFlash compartment door
- Quite noisy at ISO 200 and 400
- Zoom is not very smooth - only 7 steps from wide to tele.
Canon has taken a popular camera and added just enough to make it even better. It's questionable whether you really need the extra million pixels for 'snapshots', but the results in this test show that the A95 has the optics and processor needed to squeeze the maximum possible information out of a scene. I was impressed by the build quality, and pleasantly surprised at just how good the results the A95 produces are. It's a lot smaller than the G5, but a lot easier to handle and a lot more stable in your hands than many of the 'sexier' ultra compact 5MP models on the market. It also has a feature set that rivals many cameras considerable more expensive.
If the A95 proves anything it is that you don't need to spend a huge amount of money to get stunning results, a metal body and a wealth of photographic controls. Whether you're an absolute beginner - for whom the extensive new subject modes are ideal - or a seasoned snapper wanting total control, the A95 should certainly be on your shopping list if you're on a tight budget. You can get faster, nicer looking, sleeker and more polished 5MP 3x zoom compacts, but you'll struggle to get considerably better results without spending a lot, lot more money.
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