Canon Powershot S5is Review
As the 'side by side' pictures on the previous page show, the S5 IS looks very, very similar to its predecessor. The rear controls have moved a little to accommodate the larger LCD panel and the body itself has had a subtle re-styling - it's fractionally larger and heavier and slightly less curvy in general. There is also now a more obvious 'hump' where the flash and new flash shoe sit, and overall the refinements are - in my opinion - an improvement, albeit a subtle one. The camera is also a darker gray than its predecessor, and each generation looks a little less 'toy like' than the previous one. The two major external changes are the larger LCD and the flash shoe, though there are other less obvious tweaks. These include the buttons on the rear; these are now larger (they protrude a little from the body) and have springs behind them giving them a lot more travel (they need much more of a 'push'). The result is that it's a lot harder to accidentally push the buttons by accident, and you can find them by touch if you're shooting using the electronic viewfinder. The flip side of this is that I found they took a lot of getting used to after years with 'clicky' microswitch buttons when trying to work very quickly.
As with it predecessors, the 'miniature SLR' design works well, no space has been wasted, and a lot of attention has been paid to handling and ergonomics (though I personally feel the button layout could be better). With the current fashion for simple, minimalist cameras that eschew buttons and switches in favor of menu-driven control it is a real treat to use a camera designed first and foremost for taking photographs. It looks a lot nicer in black than its silver predecessors, and the S5 IS feels, and in most cases operates, like a real camera.
In your hand
The handgrip is excellent and the most important controls (zoom, shutter, shooting mode) are all perfectly placed for one-handed operation (though with a 12x zoom lens you may want to put the other hand to use too!). Despite the plastic construction the S5 IS feels solid, robust and well balanced and handles beautifully. At well over half a kilo fully loaded it is still one of the heaviest cameras in its class, but it does offer excellent stability without over-straining the neck strap.
Jul 27, 2007
May 7, 2007
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Jul 23, 2010
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