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Rumors => PowerShot Cameras => Topic started by: neuroanatomist on November 09, 2011, 03:45:03 PM

Title: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 09, 2011, 03:45:03 PM
My goal is to make this a quick, readable review that hits the highlights.  I’ll leave a lot of the technical details to the big review sites, although I will include some IQ comparisons.

First impression is that the S100 is a great little camera.  It combines a rich feature set, including GPS, and good IQ, including the ability to save RAW images, all in a form factor that actually fits into a pocket.  So, if you’re looking for a small camera that shoots RAW, the S100 is a great choice.

But, what if you have the S95, or the S90 (same sensor as S95) – should you upgrade to the S100?  I’d say, “Yes!”  No, I’m not a Canon marketing shill, but unlike the relatively modest changes from the S90 to the S95, the S100 is a major upgrade to the line.  Most important is the new sensor, going from a 10 MP 1/1.7” CCD to a 12 MP 1/1.7” backlit CMOS.  The new sensor delivers much better performance at high ISOs (although the real reason for the change was likely the need for a sensor to support 1080p video shooting).

I’ll get to the IQ later, but first I’ll hit on the highlights of the other changes.  First off, the zoom of the S100 range is broader, equivalent to 24-120mm instead of 28-105mm.  While they maintained f/2.0 at the wide end, less welcome is the decrease in max aperture at the long end, amounting to a loss of a bit over 1/2-stop of light.

The ergonomics of the S100 are an improvement over the S95.  The surface is more textured, and there are grip areas for fingers and thumb that make holding the S100 more secure.  Buttons have been moved around a bit, and a dedicated movie button is included.  I like the strap included with the S95 better – it’s flat and more supple than the S100’s strap (so, I just switched them). 

One of the big changes is the exposure adjustment function accessed by pressing on the 12-o’clock position of the rear control dial – it’s the same icon as on the S95, but the function is different.  On the S90, one big complaint was that the rear dial turned too easily, resulting in lots of inadvertent changes to EC.  On the S95, the dial was made ‘stiffer’ with positive detents, but it was still pretty easy to inadvertently apply EC.  Pushing that exposure adjustment ‘button’ merely changed the display.  On the S100, you must push that button to adjust EC – otherwise, rotating that dial does nothing in Av/Tv modes.  Means one more step to adjust EC, but it’s quick to push and spin the dial, and much better not to do so inadvertently!

It’s true that ISO is fixed at 80 for exposures longer than 1 s in Tv and M modes.  I don’t really have a problem with that – with exposures that long, you need a tripod and noise is a bigger issue, so I’d almost certainly set the ISO to 80 anyway.  But, it does seem odd for a ‘fully manual’ camera.

On to the IQ comparisons – I’m not really going to cover sharpness, distortion etc., but rather show noise and color performance over the ISO range.

Shots were taken with the setup shown here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/5833400090/in/set-72157624587295692), and were shot as RAW images converted with default settings in DPP.  My interpretation of the results is that the ISO noise performance of the S100 is around 2 stops better than the S95.  Two stops – that’s huge!  Nothing comes for free, though.  To my eye, the S95 delivers slightly better color, and with increasing ISO on the S100 there is a progressive desaturation of the red channel – note how the red patch in the middle row gets progressively pinker.  This is something I noticed in my comparisons of the 5DII and 7D, and it does not seem to occur with the S95 (perhaps a difference between CMOS and CCD).

Here are the noise and color crops (click for larger, up to 1600 pixels wide with View All Sizes):

(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6042/6329972070_e687980805_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/6329972070/in/set-72157624587295692/lightbox/)    (http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6118/6329219709_acd335caf7_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/6329219709/in/set-72157624587295692/lightbox/)

Overall, I’m really pleased with the S100.  It will be good for all of the things my S95 is good for…and do them a little better across the board.  The frame rate is faster, it seems to focus more rapidly (still slow compared to a dSLR), but in particular the dramatic improvement in ISO noise means not only better low light performance, but also higher possible shutter speeds in brighter conditions.

Happy to address comments and/or answer questions...
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 09, 2011, 04:11:47 PM
Great post!

By ISO200 the S100 colors start to look a little washed to me (on my display anyway) compared the S95... difference surely due to the CMOS vs. CCD sensors.  Most noticeable is the red tile that starts looking quite pink I think while in the S95 it stays red but just gets noisy.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Ghostdive on November 09, 2011, 04:20:18 PM
do I see right, that there ist very little noise in 6400? Looks greate.
Did you shot in raw, or jpeg?

Can you post other shots too?

So i think i'll go for one, if it available here in germany.
Search for an always in pocket cam.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: dstppy on November 09, 2011, 04:22:57 PM
I'd be interested in hearing what happens with the GPS left on and battery drain.  That was a problem with the pannys.

Can you give us an idea after a week or so of intermittent/little use?
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 09, 2011, 04:42:50 PM
do I see right, that there ist very little noise in 6400? Looks greate.
Did you shot in raw, or jpeg?

Can you post other shots too?

So i think i'll go for one, if it available here in germany.
Search for an always in pocket cam.

ISO6400 on the S100 looks less noisy than ISO1600 and almost as good as ISO800 on the S95.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 09, 2011, 05:17:52 PM
Most noticeable is the red tile that starts looking quite pink I think while in the S95 it stays red but just gets noisy.

Yes - and if you look at the color comparisons I did for the 7D and 5DII (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/5833541912/in/set-72157624587295692), they do the same. 

do I see right, that there ist very little noise in 6400? Looks greate.
Did you shot in raw, or jpeg?

Can you post other shots too?

Yes, ISO 3200 seems usable, actually.  Shots were RAW converted with default settings in DPP (which, so far, is the only RAW converter that handles the S100 files).

What other shots?  Just some scenes (as opposed to test setups) at various ISOs?

ISO6400 on the S100 looks less noisy than ISO1600 and almost as good as ISO800 on the S95.

I was possibly being a bit conservative on the two-stop improvement.  The S100 is hands-down better at higher ISOs.  Plus, that's with DPP.  From previous testing, DxO can improve on what DPP does with the S95 RAW images...if the improvement with S100 RAW files is similar, that will be impressive! 
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: JackSw1ss on November 09, 2011, 05:22:06 PM
Thanks neuro...that was a great quick yet comprehensive and complete review!!!
Seems a big improvement over the s95.

I have a question...well more of an advice. While I'm a bit expert on the DSLR, beg, mid and higher models, I''m a noob as what concerns the compact/mirrorless/bridge world.
So here the advice I need:

I'd love to buy a new camera for my lady.
She has a suuuuper old Pana/leica (dont recall the name) and she loves to take pictures but the DSLR route is not in thoughts because of weight and size. She wants quality yet pockability and versatility.
She had her eyes on a G12 some months ago but I kinda pushed her on the s95 way since it's a marvellous compact camera.
Being a Canon fanboy (and olympus) my suggestions hold on this side of the river, though nikon options I think are great as well but I dunno them. So now that the s100 is on the market and since you Neuro delivered the review I was waiting for I guess I have no doubt, ain't it?
but today I saw a sale on the new olympus pen mini...ohhh boy, it's beautiful and I love olympus.
I thought of Pen EP3 or even the 2 but it's waaay to expensive and too big for her tastes.
Ssssso, what you guys suggest me?

(s95), s100, G12 or the new pen mini?????
s95 being in brackets because after this review I have no doubt about the 100.

Hope you can help me out guys

Cheers and thanks neuro for the review
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: alipaulphotography on November 09, 2011, 06:36:06 PM
The black doesn't ever look quite as black on the S95 through the ISO's which is probably why you're picking up the 'washed out' look. Must just have different contrasts in the lenses.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 09, 2011, 07:23:41 PM
I thought of Pen EP3 or even the 2 but it's waaay to expensive and too big for her tastes.
Ssssso, what you guys suggest me?

(s95), s100, G12 or the new pen mini?????
s95 being in brackets because after this review I have no doubt about the 100.

I'd say if she wants portable, the Oly Pen isn't the way to go, even though the m4/3 sensor should give better IQ than the S100.  The G12 is also much larger than the S100. Also, the G12 uses the same sensor as the S95 (different lens, though), so I'd expect G12 and S95 IQ to be similar - and beaten by the S100.  So, the S100 gets my vote.  FWIW, we had Oly P&S previously. My wife was using a 10 MP waterproof Stylus, but in fact, one of the drivers for me getting the S100 was her comments that the S95 was so much faster and easier to use than the Stylus (so...the S95 is now in her purse!).

The black doesn't ever look quite as black on the S95 through the ISO's which is probably why you're picking up the 'washed out' look. Must just have different contrasts in the lenses.

The noise crops are of a SpyderCube (images rotated 90 degrees CCW), but if you look inside the black half-diamond on the right, you'll see a darker circle. That's a hole designed to be pure black on the inside (parts of it are - no light).  So, that should show as black as it gets. You can actually see the DR compression at higher ISOs, where the circular border between the 'black hole' and the illuminated black surround gets progressively harder to distinguish.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Woody on November 09, 2011, 08:27:45 PM
This is a very helpful review. Curious to know if ACR 6.6 RC can handle the red channel better.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: gmrza on November 09, 2011, 08:40:33 PM
Overall, I’m really pleased with the S100.  It will be good for all of the things my S95 is good for…and do them a little better across the board.  The frame rate is faster, it seems to focus more rapidly (still slow compared to a dSLR), but in particular the dramatic improvement in ISO noise means not only better low light performance, but also higher possible shutter speeds in brighter conditions.

Hopefully this bodes well for the G13 - whatever that turns out to be.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: swblackwood on November 09, 2011, 08:47:01 PM
Great little review. I know that the main thing with a camera is IQ but since it now has GPS and 1080p movie mode, it would be nice to see how well it handles those functions as well. Did you try the GPS and how long did it take to "lock on to satellites? But, otherwise, kudos.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 09, 2011, 10:39:19 PM
I'll report back on other issues raised.

One little feature I forgot to mention, and haven't seen mentioned elsewhere. The S100 has a built-in 3-stop ND filter. Nothing in the manual confirms it's an optical filter, although the click when it's turned on and subsequent lag to correct the exposure do strongly suggest that it is, and the image circle is small enough that it's quite feasible. The only lingering skepticism is that Canon does manipulate sensor sensitivity on the sly, e.g. when ultrafast lenses are used on a dSLR, where they compensate for an angle of incidence too shallow for the sensor by 'secretly' increasing sensitivity (i.e. ISO).  But, I suspect in this case, it's a real ND filter. Handy for waterfalls and other desired motion-capture situations, and for overcoming the max 1/2000 s shutter speed when needed.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: jiamflash on November 10, 2011, 02:00:38 AM
Why not cover  sharpness and distortions? Because they are not as good? What is the point of super good high iso if the iphone 4s's daylight shots are sharper?
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Rocky on November 10, 2011, 02:36:57 AM
I'd love to buy a new camera for my lady.
She has a suuuuper old Pana/leica (dont recall the name) and she loves to take pictures but the DSLR route is not in thoughts because of weight and size. She wants quality yet pockability and versatility.
She had her eyes on a G12 some months ago but I kinda pushed her on the s95 way since it's a marvellous compact camera.
but today I saw a sale on the new olympus pen mini...ohhh boy, it's beautiful and I love olympus.
I thought of Pen EP3 or even the 2 but it's waaay to expensive and too big for her tastes.
Ssssso, what you guys suggest me?

(s95), s100, G12 or the new pen mini?????
s95 being in brackets because after this review I have no doubt about the 100.

Hope you can help me out guys

Cheers and thanks neuro for the review
I suggest you try out the cameras on casual portratit in day light.  My experience is that different manufacturer ( even camera from the same manufacturer)will give you different skin tone. Some are slightly pale and greyish for my taste.  For the small size, the S95 or the S100 difinitely wins hands down.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
Post by: AvTvM on November 10, 2011, 03:51:23 AM
Thanks for your work and this interesting comparison!
However, as so often with Canon my take is: the S100 is exactly what the S95 really should have been from the start. By now the S100 is "too little, too late" - at least for me.

Like so many other Canon DSLR users I have been waiting a long time for a good "compact cam" in addition to my DSLR-gear and was hoping, Canon would finally get its act together and come out with a compact DSC/EVIL. AS a matter of fact, I would not really need a lens mount, a really good, compact/foldable 4x zoom on a small body with the EOS 600D APS-C sensor plus electronics to match inside would have been equally ok with me. But certainly not a 1/1.7" micro sensor, no matter what.

Therefore, I will NOT buy the S100, but rather a Nikon V1, as soon as it becomes available at a reasonable price [i.e. approx. € 500 including kit lens].

Why? Because the little Nikon 1 is not that much bigger than a S100 and offers an entirely different performance level in terms of sensor performance and even more importantly, an up-to-speed AF system and way bettter  operational speed plus a solid EVF on top (V1). Video not even mentioned, as it is of no interest to me.

I am done for good with all those SLUGGISH, dwarfy-Sensor digi-compacts, including the Canon S and G line.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: ecka on November 10, 2011, 03:59:23 AM
Well done, Neuro. I have one more question for you. What picture styles were used on both cameras? This could make the major difference in color reproduction. I'm sure that you know that already, but just to make things clear :). However, different cameras may have different default settings. Is there any in-camera color calibration tool?
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Viggo on November 10, 2011, 04:08:51 AM
How was the noise-reduction settings on the Spyder-cube? I see some loss of detail, but for a camera THAT small, this is really taking itat least two ste(o)ps further for sure.

Did you get good detail when no NR was applied at 1600 and 3200?

Thanks for posting. Great stuff. You don't by any chance have a 1d X to do this with?  ;o))
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
Post by: ecka on November 10, 2011, 04:09:29 AM
Thanks for your work and this interesting comparison!
However, as so often with Canon my take is: the S100 is exactly what the S95 really should have been from the start. By now the S100 is "too little, too late" - at least for me.

Like so many other Canon DSLR users I have been waiting a long time for a good "compact cam" in addition to my DSLR-gear and was hoping, Canon would finally get its act together and come out with a compact DSC/EVIL. AS a matter of fact, I would not really need a lens mount, a really good, compact/foldable 4x zoom on a small body with the EOS 600D APS-C sensor plus electronics to match inside would have been equally ok with me. But certainly not a 1/1.7" micro sensor, no matter what.
I hope that's exactly what the next G camera will be - APS-C mirrorless ;)
Therefore, I will NOT buy the S100, but rather a Nikon V1, as soon as it becomes available at a reasonable price [i.e. approx. € 500 including kit lens].

Why? Because the little Nikon 1 is not that much bigger than a S100 and offers an entirely different performance level in terms of sensor performance and even more importantly, an up-to-speed AF system and way bettter  operational speed plus a solid EVF on top (V1). Video not even mentioned, as it is of no interest to me.

I am done for good with all those SLUGGISH, dwarfy-Sensor digi-compacts, including the Canon S and G line.
Do you realize that Nikon 1 with the lens attached is twice bigger and heavier than S100?
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: AvTvM on November 10, 2011, 04:32:53 AM
Do you realize that Nikon 1 with the lens attached is twice bigger and heavier than S100?

yes, it is less compact. About 25% larger body and the lens sticks out = about twice as "thick" as the S100 with lens retracted = not ready to shoot. :-)

But so what: I still get a V1 with 10-30 in my right jacket pocket and a 30-110 in my left pocket. :-)
And more importantly: every millimeter and every ounce is worth it, many times over.   
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: ecka on November 10, 2011, 04:48:36 AM
Do you realize that Nikon 1 with the lens attached is twice bigger and heavier than S100?

yes, it is less compact. About 25% larger body and the lens sticks out = about twice as "thick" as the S100 with lens retracted = not ready to shoot. :-)

But so what: I still get a V1 with 10-30 in my right jacket pocket and a 30-110 in my left pocket. :-)
And more importantly: every millimeter and every ounce is worth it, many times over.   

Whatever works for you. I'm going to keep my 5D2 as my main and only camera for now :). Still waiting for Canon mirrorless.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: koolman on November 10, 2011, 05:55:42 AM
The main drawback of the compact cameras to my mind - is the slow focus time and shutter lag as compared to DSLR's. The second drawback is the lack of an optical viewfinder which is critical to me for composition.

The S100 is once again - a small step up of ISO performance - but basically more of the same (as apposed to the Nikon V1 which breaks the speed barrier)

For home use then, which can be GREATLY expanded if you could shoot kids on the move, and any other moving objects, I would NOT look at the S100, but rather one of the newer fast focusing options, V1, GX1, ep3, etc. based on your budget and physical size.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: elflord on November 10, 2011, 06:09:11 AM

but today I saw a sale on the new olympus pen mini...ohhh boy, it's beautiful and I love olympus.
I thought of Pen EP3 or even the 2 but it's waaay to expensive and too big for her tastes.
Ssssso, what you guys suggest me?


The Panasonic GF2 can be had used for about $250. It's close to the size of a compact. Pair it with a prime and it's quite small.

The proliferation of m43 bodies means that the older models are pretty cheap used (that includes the EP2)
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: NotABunny on November 10, 2011, 07:47:13 AM
The black doesn't ever look quite as black on the S95 through the ISO's which is probably why you're picking up the 'washed out' look. Must just have different contrasts in the lenses.

Exactly, it looks like there is more tonal room in S100. A simple black level can fix the black / color intensity on S100, but you can't get more tonal details on the S95.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: fifowarehouse on November 10, 2011, 09:10:19 AM

The battery drains so FAST.  Picture quality is NOT much difference compared with S95 under low light.

What I like about the S100 more than S95:
1. Shoot faster
2. Feel Solid, Hand Grip, and texture
3. GPS
4. Got little more zoom, but can't use under low light
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: KyleSTL on November 10, 2011, 09:13:13 AM
I'll report back on other issues raised.

One little feature I forgot to mention, and haven't seen mentioned elsewhere. The S100 has a built-in 3-stop ND filter. Nothing in the manual confirms it's an optical filter, although the click when it's turned on and subsequent lag to correct the exposure do strongly suggest that it is, and the image circle is small enough that it's quite feasible. The only lingering skepticism is that Canon does manipulate sensor sensitivity on the sly, e.g. when ultrafast lenses are used on a dSLR, where they compensate for an angle of incidence too shallow for the sensor by 'secretly' increasing sensitivity (i.e. ISO).  But, I suspect in this case, it's a real ND filter. Handy for waterfalls and other desired motion-capture situations, and for overcoming the max 1/2000 s shutter speed when needed.
For what it's worth, even the SD700 (5 years old) had a built-in opitcal ND.  I disassembled one a couple years ago to remove sand from the lens barrel.  I would imagine Canon is still using optical ND.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 10, 2011, 09:48:17 AM
One more note about the ISO performance - the main goal was to compare the S100 to the S95, not to examine 'real world' high-ISO performance of the S100.  There is certainly less ISO noise with the S100 than the S95 - but they are still using 1/1.7" sensors - and since ISO noise is determined primarily by total light gathered, even the 'better' S100 will be beaten soundly by a dSLR.

It's worth noting that almost every ISO noise test out there on the internet fails to look at 'real world' high-ISO performance, at least in terms of when you usually think of using high ISOs - in low light.  Granted, higher ISOs can come in handy to push up shutter speed in decent light, too.  But the problem with ISO noise tests is that when you increase ISO during the test, you have to decrease something else to keep the exposure the same.  Most commonly, what is changed is shutter speed, so your high ISO shots are short exposures, which reduces the impact of read noise, the main noise component in low-light shooting.  Although I shot my S100/S95 comparisons in the 'traditional' way (increase ISO and decrease shutter speed to compensate), when I ran my 5DII/7D tests (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/5833417854/in/photostream/), I kept aperture and shutter speed constant as I increased ISO, instead decreasing the illumination with ND filters.  In that test, the noise at high ISO on both cameras looked worse than other published noise tests, because high ISOs were used in low-light situations (like the 'real world' but unlike most tests).

Why not cover sharpness and distortions?

Lack of time, mostly.   :-\   I might test those, at some point.  But, while relative sensor performance was an unknown, about differential sharpness and distortion performance we can make some pretty educated guesses. 

Sharpness will be slightly higher with the S100 than the S95, based on it's 12 MP sensor vs. the 10 MP sensor.  Lots of comparative data to support that assertion - take any lens you like, and use DxOMark to compare resolution on different cameras with sensors of the same size (5DII/5D, or 7D/50D/40D, etc.).  Resolution goes up with increasing MP. 

Distortion will be higher on the S100 - it's got a 5x zoom range with a 5.2mm wide end, vs. a 3.8x range with a 6.0mm wide end.  That's almost certain to mean more barrel distortion at the wide end, and probably more pincushion at the long end. 

The battery drains so FAST.  Picture quality is NOT much difference compared with S95 under low light.

I'll try to do some bettery life testing over the weekend.  For me, this isn't normally an issue - I have two batteries (for all my cameras, actually), and I swap them out either at the end of the day or before I take the camera out the next time.  That's really the best method, IMO.  Li-based batteries perform best and last longest when they are used frequently and lightly - that's true for cell phones, laptops, and cameras.  I find that having a pair of batteries and swapping them is the best approach, because I always have a spare battery ready.

Over the coming weekend, I'll try taking some 'real world' shots to compare the S95 and S100 in low light.  Perhaps I'll even shoot the same scene with my dSLRs, for comparison.

For home use then, which can be GREATLY expanded if you could shoot kids on the move, and any other moving objects, I would NOT look at the S100...

Ahhh...the irony.  Actually, the very first place I took my S100 to shoot something other than a test setup was my daughter's ballet and tap class.  I wanted to see how it would do in exactly that situation.  It performed pretty well, getting a few decent shots from the short class.  No, it's not a dSLR.  I shot a class with one, and of course the results were better (and no, I didn't mind the looks from other parents when I pulled out a gripped body with a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, but the S100 didn't get any looks...).  But it does ok, given that the reason I have one is for times when I simply cannot bring a dSLR.  In those situations, compactness is key - for me, there's a big difference between the S100/S95 and a G12-m4/3, and a much smaller difference between the G12-m4/3 and my 5DII/7D.  For others, that might not be the case, but my requirement is for the smallest possible camera giving usable results in RAW format.    Anyway, here's a sample, 13mm (60mm FF equivalent), f/4, 1/100 s, ISO 800.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: donthink on November 10, 2011, 10:03:14 AM
thanks for your review.  the red gone pink is especially helpful to know
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: distant.star on November 10, 2011, 10:46:59 AM

All the technical jumbo mumbo aside, I love the composition of that picture, Big Brain. It's a real delight to look at, and for me that's always the bottom line in photography. Someone may have a million dollars of the finest equipment ever engineered by Nobel prize winning geniuses, but if the picture they give me is not pleasing to look at, I don't care.

I share your thoughts about the usefulness and purpose of the S-95/S-100 line. For me, it's the camera I have with me. Compared to the DSLR it has drawbacks in every situation, but it's an order of magnitude better than anything else in the real world of the genuinely pocketable P&S. Also, given the privacy/terrorism/paranoia issues we have today (especially noticeable to me since moving back to the east coast) my S-95 is hardly noticed amid groups of people taking pictures with cell phones. And I've seen few people who aren't instantly intimidated when they see someone pointing a big, two-handed machine with a long white tube at them.

For those folks considering the S-100, I'm always quick to point out this is simply one test from one person. Big Brain has a lot of credibility with me, and he's doing the photography world a great service, but there are a hundred other sources for tests, evaluations and opinions. I'm guessing he would also suggest you check many of those you trust before making a purchase decision.

Big Brain, you may have a real future as the antithesis of that well known loony Web log character who names a new greatest camera/lens/radiation detector that was ever made in the history of humanity -- every day.

Thanks again, and keep taking good pictures!
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: sjprg on November 10, 2011, 01:22:17 PM
Here is a side by side comparsion of the LX5 and the S100. I would like an S100 for the size but the LX5 is hard to replace so far.

http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=1&ma1=60&mo1=1256&p1=9802&ma2=1&mo2=1543&p2=12094&ph=6
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 10, 2011, 03:30:43 PM
Appreciate the posting of the shots and the review!

ISO6400 on the S100 looks less noisy than ISO1600 and almost as good as ISO800 on the S95.

That is because the s100 uses much, much stronger noise reduction than the s95 did. It nearly completely eliminates noise, but at the expense of a little detail, and gives pics a slightly "plasticy" look to them (some people I've asked like it, others don't).

Using a test chart the noise reduction works perfectly, it handles solid lines and the like very easily and produces natural look results. It's not as clear if you take pics of people, or stuff with texture to it. I would not that the s100 lets you set the noise reduction to low, and if you shoot raw you can remove this completely.

If you want to see what I mean, or are interested in more comparison shots, check out these threads I created -

s95 vs s100 - low light w/people comparison pics
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39700614 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39700614)

s95 vs s100 - outdoor shots
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39709784 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39709784)

s100 - daylight - dpp conversion vs jpg in-camera
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39721598 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39721598)

s95 vs s100 auto mode improvements and not - "auto flash" fixed
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39624054 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39624054)

s95 vs s100 - new non-image-quality features / new annoyances
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39707426 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39707426)

EDIT: I would also note that the "s95 vs s100 - outdoor shots" suggests that the increase from 10 to 12mp has not made any improvement in detail captured by the camera in good light. Since the sensor changed from CCD to CMOS, one can't jump to any huge conclusion about megapixels, but in this case at least I do not believe increasing megapixels has increased resolution at all.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: 7enderbender on November 10, 2011, 03:35:40 PM


I'd love to buy a new camera for my lady.
She has a suuuuper old Pana/leica (dont recall the name) and she loves to take pictures but the DSLR route is not in thoughts because of weight and size. She wants quality yet pockability and versatility.
She had her eyes on a G12 some months ago but I kinda pushed her on the s95 way since it's a marvellous compact camera.


Are you sure you're doing her a favor here? Which Panasonic-Leica is she looking to replace? A little P&S may not be quite in the same league. I understand that actual image quality is going to be somewhat meh in any case given the limitations of the tiny little sensors. But a G12 may just be nicer to handle depending on which camera she used to know and how often she tweaks settings.

Thanks to neuroanatomist for posting this, especially the comparison shots. Makes me kind of go an find a bargain on the S95 honestly. I personally don't care much for high ISO and low noise. Not a big fan of the plasticky look and I find myself adding grain often in post processing. As far as colors go the S95 is the clear winner here also. So maybe it would make a good replacement for my old SD500 (which I never really liked honestly).
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 10, 2011, 03:45:06 PM
Appreciate the posting of the shots and the review!

ISO6400 on the S100 looks less noisy than ISO1600 and almost as good as ISO800 on the S95.

That is because the s100 uses much, much stronger noise reduction than the s95 did. It nearly completely eliminates noise, but at the expense of a little detail, and gives pics a slightly "plasticy" look to them (some people I've asked like it, others don't).


We'll have to wait for neuro to confirm but I think he shot RAW and used the same software to process the RAW files so any noise reduction, and he may not have applied any, would be the same I think?
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
Post by: PaulRivers on November 10, 2011, 04:36:28 PM
Therefore, I will NOT buy the S100, but rather a Nikon V1, as soon as it becomes available at a reasonable price [i.e. approx. € 500 including kit lens].

Why? Because the little Nikon 1 is not that much bigger than a S100 and offers an entirely different performance level in terms of sensor performance and even more importantly, an up-to-speed AF system and way bettter  operational speed plus a solid EVF on top (V1). Video not even mentioned, as it is of no interest to me.

The s100 is significantly smaller than a V1, the s100 is half the size of the xz-1 by volume of a box around each camera, and 50% by depth the most important measurement for pocketability - that the v1 will be at least as big as an xz-1 with a pancake lens, larger with any sort of zoom. However, let's just assume that size difference is irrelevant.

The problem, correct me if I'm wrong, is that the v1/j1 don't have any good f2.0-or-better low light prime lenses - http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Camera-Lenses/1-NIKKOR-Lenses/index.page

Best is a 10mm f2.8 pancake (that's like 28mm-equivalent).

dpreview has studio shots of the v1 up that you could compare to an s95 -
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q42010highendcompactgroup/page14.asp

At only one stop better performance, the v1 is still probably better in low light (with the s95 @ iso1600 and the v1 at iso3200, which is usually the kind of light I see in average indoor settings), but the low light performance is not...gigantic.

I am done for good with all those SLUGGISH, dwarfy-Sensor digi-compacts, including the Canon S and G line.

Can't argue with you there, that's for sure. The G and S cameras are speed demons compared to cameras from 5-10 years ago, but they're pretty relatively sluggish by todays standards, and it's annoying.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 10, 2011, 04:45:14 PM
We'll have to wait for neuro to confirm but I think he shot RAW and used the same software to process the RAW files so any noise reduction, and he may not have applied any, would be the same I think?

If you use Canon's included raw conversion software (dpp), it does things differently to different raw files based on the camera model number. s95 raw files clearly (if you've compared them side by side) get a very, very different kind of noise reduction applied to them than the s100 raw files do. (If you want to see examples, see the thread I linked to, there's a bunch of dpp converted raw files for both the s95 and s100 there, the difference in the kind of noise reduction being applied is very obvious).
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 10, 2011, 06:14:31 PM
We'll have to wait for neuro to confirm but I think he shot RAW and used the same software to process the RAW files so any noise reduction, and he may not have applied any, would be the same I think?

If you use Canon's included raw conversion software (dpp), it does things differently to different raw files based on the camera model number. s95 raw files clearly (if you've compared them side by side) get a very, very different kind of noise reduction applied to them than the s100 raw files do. (If you want to see examples, see the thread I linked to, there's a bunch of dpp converted raw files for both the s95 and s100 there, the difference in the kind of noise reduction being applied is very obvious).

Fair enough if that's the case.  I tried to follow your links but the images don't display rather it comes up as "gallery image not found" so I'll try again later. 

I did notice your statement at the outset that said "converted in dpp using whatever the defaults were".  So dpp applies different default conversion settings specific to each camera.  Presumably, those defaults are chosen to optimize the final image, but to what standard?  Wouldn't it be a more apples-to-apples comparison to use the same conversion settings and possibly turn off any software NR when trying to compare the noise performance of one camera to another?   The final image is what matters so it might be appropriate to apply the optimal NR algorithms and compare images particularly if for some reason the NR algorithms would work better on one file than the other but I'm not sure that's the case.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: mp2011 on November 10, 2011, 08:53:19 PM
I bought this camera about a month ago (not sure exactly when). They were available at certain Best Buys and I got one that way. I did not have a S95, and I had not used a point and shoot for quite a while (I have been using a T1i for the last several years, and got a 5DMII a few weeks ago). After about a week with the S100, I returned the camera. Shooting stationary objects in good light produces good results. Otherwise, I found the camera to be pretty much unusable for any of my needs- my breaking point was taking it to a Halloween zoo event to take photos of my kids. The shutter lag was incredibly slow. None of the focus modes worked well for me- with a point and shoot type camera, I can really see how a touchscreen would be useful in picking a focus point. Shooting people in jpeg, there is so much in camera noise reduction applied, people look ridiculous. I honestly think that it has to be me, but I just do not get the following this camera has. I think if you have cooperative subjects (vs. small children), and shoot in RAW, your results are probably better. Awesome ergonomics, very pocketable, I loved the feel of the camera, but for me the everyday results were pretty awful. Some of my macro shots, of objects, were really, really good. But that is not the situation I want a point and shoot for. Since I don't really care about pocketability so much, I think another option (m43rds? X100? I have no idea) would be better for me. I also really forgot about shutter lag- like it was disorienting. I suppose that any camera that is not a DSLR probably has that though, to some degree.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Doodah on November 11, 2011, 12:42:25 AM
Maybe we can look at small cameras as a step up from camera phones? :)
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 11, 2011, 02:12:04 PM
I bought this camera about a month ago (not sure exactly when). They were available at certain Best Buys and I got one that way. I did not have a S95, and I had not used a point and shoot for quite a while (I have been using a T1i for the last several years, and got a 5DMII a few weeks ago). After about a week with the S100, I returned the camera. Shooting stationary objects in good light produces good results. Otherwise, I found the camera to be pretty much unusable for any of my needs- my breaking point was taking it to a Halloween zoo event to take photos of my kids. The shutter lag was incredibly slow.

lol, it's kind of funny - I totally understand where you're coming from, it's dog slow compared to a snappy dslr (a good dslr with a decently fast autofocus lens). On the other hand, my dad recently tried shooting with his 5-10 year old Olympus compact, and remembered how much slower cameras used to be, lol.

None of the focus modes worked well for me- with a point and shoot type camera, I can really see how a touchscreen would be useful in picking a focus point.

One common mistake dslr users make when moving to a compact is getting really paranoid about the focus point. On a dslr in low light, the focus point is completely critical, if it's even a little off it ruins the pic. But a compact even at f2.0 has a *much* larger depth of field where the focus point is *far* less important. If your subject is anywhere near the middle of your shot, you're good.

If your subject isn't near the middle of your shot, the technique that's used is to put frame the camera so the subject is in the middle your shot, then either half-press the shutter or assign the shortcut button to focus lock and press it, then move the frame to how you want it and take the pic. With a smaller sensored camera the very slight difference in distance you create by moving the camera over is completely unnoticeable for focus (whereis with a dslr and f2.0 it can screw up your shot).

And fyi, that's the fastest way to do it. A new feature on the s100 is to use FlexiZone to move around your focus point on the screen.

Shooting people in jpeg, there is so much in camera noise reduction applied, people look ridiculous.

I kind of agree with you - it's the effect of the new noise reduction on the s100, the s95 used a totally different kind of noise reduction.

You can turn the noise reduction down in the camera to "low", but you still get some of the effect. If you shoot raw and convert with Canon's software you can turn detail noise reduction off, which is what I'm leaning towards doing. And I'm not sure what Lightroom will do, but it will probably give you more options.

It's funny, I didn't really like it's effect when people are in the pic. But I showed comparison pics with noise reduction on and off and they usually preferred how it looked with noise reduction on, so...

I do wish there was an in-camera option to turn noise reduction "off".

I honestly think that it has to be me, but I just do not get the following this camera has. I think if you have cooperative subjects (vs. small children), and shoot in RAW, your results are probably better. Awesome ergonomics, very pocketable, I loved the feel of the camera, but for me the everyday results were pretty awful. Some of my macro shots, of objects, were really, really good. But that is not the situation I want a point and shoot for. Since I don't really care about pocketability so much, I think another option (m43rds? X100? I have no idea) would be better for me. I also really forgot about shutter lag- like it was disorienting. I suppose that any camera that is not a DSLR probably has that though, to some degree.

The vast majority of compacts have similar amounts of shutter lag.

There is one that I know of that does not - the Panasonic lx5. It's not "jeans pocketable", but it's still "could possibly cram it in a jeans pocket would just be really uncomfortable to walk around like that" sized.

Imaging resource's timing gave it's shutter lag timing almost the same as an entry level dslr - and more importantly I tried it out myself at my local camera store next to a Canon t2i and could not tell the difference in focus speed (unlike the s95, g12, and Nikon p7000 where I could tell the difference in focus speed). The lx5 has similar low light performance to the s100 (though not the s100's new noise reduction, which sounds like it would be a plus for you).

The other option is that the new Nikon Mirrorless system touts itself as happy instant autofocus (Nikon System 1 I think). It has a 60fps full resolution shot rate, so it's plausible. People hated it when it was announced because it's sensor, while noteably larger than a compact, is smaller than m43rds. The other big drawback is that it's best low light lens if f2.8. But if autofocus speed is your priority...

The latest Olympus m43rds cameras claim near-instant autofocus...but from what I've read that's only with the latest Olympus lenses, with the Panasonic f1.7 lens (the low light lens one would use for m43rds), it's not as fast, though it could certainly still be faster than the s100 (I don't know personally).

The newly announced Panasonic gx1 (I think that's the model number) uses Panasonic's new m43rds sensor which is better than the older one in the Olympus m43rds cameras. However, their m43rds aren't known for the snappy autofocus speeds, and they even only claim like a 10% improvement in the gx1.

The Sony NEX wasn't known for instant autofocus speeds, and it's best low light lens is unfortunately f2.8 as well.

The Samsung nx200 looks promising, it's so new there's not much info on it's autofocus speeds. Samsung claims 0.1 seconds (instant), I don't know if this pans out or not. They do have an f2.0 prime lens available right now for it, though.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 11, 2011, 02:42:39 PM
Fair enough if that's the case.  I tried to follow your links but the images don't display rather it comes up as "gallery image not found" so I'll try again later.

Ugh, well they work normally, but occassionally dpreview get flaky on the links working. :-(

I did notice your statement at the outset that said "converted in dpp using whatever the defaults were".  So dpp applies different default conversion settings specific to each camera.  Presumably, those defaults are chosen to optimize the final image, but to what standard?

Right, there is absolutely no doubt that dpp applies different settings based on the camera model.

The standard is...whatever Canon thinks looks the best, lol.

Wouldn't it be a more apples-to-apples comparison to use the same conversion settings and possibly turn off any software NR when trying to compare the noise performance of one camera to another?   The final image is what matters so it might be appropriate to apply the optimal NR algorithms and compare images particularly if for some reason the NR algorithms would work better on one file than the other but I'm not sure that's the case.

No, not in my opinion.

There's a couple of reasons, though to be fair I did actually do most of my comparison with detail noise reduction turned off (and color noise reduction left on), but that's because I prefer that look.

First, what most people are really interested in (including myself) is the actual results they will get out of the camera in my own day to day use. If Camera A is theoretically better than Camera B, but in reality Camera B produces better pics because of more advanced processing, and I usually use the default processing, who cares if Camera A is theoretically better?

In this case the only way to do a "fair" comparison is to use the exact same workflow and tools you would use...that is also a little impossible as different people use different tools, and new versions of those tools come out later, but I try to stick with what I will actually use.

Second, "turning off" noise reduction is fundamentally unfair for a couple of reasons -
1. There's no guarantee the software "really" turns off "all' noise reduction, giving an advantage to software that tells you it's off but applies a little anyways
2. There's no guarantee in-camera options "really" turn off "all" noise reduction either
3. It's an official fact that some sensor do on-chip noise reduction, which you cannot turn off and you cannot somehow turn off in the raw file

The bottom line is that there is no "processing independent" way to compare cameras - at least not a way for us regular users to do it. And what we really care about at the end of the day is how the camera performs when we use it, not how it might theoretically perform. Maybe that second one would be interesting, but the fact that it's kind of impossible to test it certainly adds weight to not spending a lot of effort on it. :D
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 11, 2011, 03:53:42 PM
Thanks for the comments, feedback, and your testing, Paul!

I did notice your statement at the outset that said "converted in dpp using whatever the defaults were".  So dpp applies different default conversion settings specific to each camera.  Presumably, those defaults are chosen to optimize the final image, but to what standard?

Right, there is absolutely no doubt that dpp applies different settings based on the camera model.

The standard is...whatever Canon thinks looks the best, lol.

That's certainly the basis behind Picture Styles, ALO, etc.  But, are you suggesting that if I use the same NR settings in DPP with different cameras, I will get different amounts of NR?  Certainly, the defaults vary by camera.  So, for example, the defaults for ISO 3200 are:


Say I set DPP to luminance 8, chrominance 8 for all for cameras, are you suggesting those same numerical settings would be applied differently to the different images, based on the sensor/body?  I'm not sure that this is the case (but knowing Canon, I wouldn't be surpirsed in the least).

Incidentally, I used the same NR settings in DPP for the tests, using the slightly more conservative S95 default values (i.e. I reduced the S100 NR settings a little bit from their defaults). 

Wouldn't it be a more apples-to-apples comparison to use the same conversion settings and possibly turn off any software NR when trying to compare the noise performance of one camera to another?   The final image is what matters so it might be appropriate to apply the optimal NR algorithms and compare images particularly if for some reason the NR algorithms would work better on one file than the other but I'm not sure that's the case.

No, not in my opinion.

First, what most people are really interested in (including myself) is the actual results they will get out of the camera in my own day to day use. If Camera A is theoretically better than Camera B, but in reality Camera B produces better pics because of more advanced processing, and I usually use the default processing, who cares if Camera A is theoretically better?

In this case the only way to do a "fair" comparison is to use the exact same workflow and tools you would use...that is also a little impossible as different people use different tools, and new versions of those tools come out later, but I try to stick with what I will actually use.

I agree, which is why I did not turn off NR for the testing.  Although I normally use DxO for RAW conversions, in this case, using DPP for the 'tool' seemed best, since everyone will have access to it (and more importantly from a practical standpoint, at the present time no other software can process S100 .CR2 files!)
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 11, 2011, 05:08:00 PM
@PaulRivers
@Neuroanatomist

As long as the NR is being applied equally then it's a fair comparison and would be more representative of what users can expect but if there's any chance the NR is not being applied equally or if different NR techniques are applied then I don't think it's an absolutely objective camera-to-camera comparison.

Now if the noise characteristics of two image files are vastly different (which could be the case here) then an argument can be made that each image is best served by different NR techniques and settings but it still has to be noted.  The argument to use the default settings because that's what most users would do has merit but a footnote would be in order.   What if the default settings were extremely different... without knowing that, I don't think any objective conclusion can be reached.   For example one might look at the final image and conclude that images from camera A are less noisy but also less sharp than images from camera B.

That being said, I do appreciate and agree that the quality of final images that can be attained is relevant.

Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 11, 2011, 05:13:44 PM
@PaulRivers
@Neuroanatomist

As long as the NR is being applied equally then it's a fair comparison and would be more representative of what users can expect but if there's any chance the NR is not being applied equally or if different NR techniques are applied then I don't think it's not an absolutely objective camera-to-camera comparison.

Agreed.  I assumed that by setting identical NR values in DPP, NR would be applied equally.  As Paul points out, that may be an incorrect assumption.  Certainly, not all NR is created equal - as I've stated, I find that DxO does a better job than DPP at NR, yielding less noise while preserving more detail.  I hope DPP is applying the same NR setting equally.  The fact that the default NR settings are generally higher for the 7D than for the 5DII, and even higher for the S95/S100, suggests that the scale is constant from camera to camera. 

I could redo the comparison with NR set to off...but that would be assuming that 'off' is really OFF.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: anthony11 on November 11, 2011, 07:02:37 PM
With respect to the stated loss of max aperture at the long end:  does that factor in the increase in focal length?  Ie., the S95 went to 105mm equivalent but the S100 goes to 120mm -- is the max aperture still f/5.9 at 105mm on the S100, or does it maybe match what the S95 offers *at 105mm*?  If it does, there really isn't anything lost.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 12, 2011, 05:15:24 PM
With respect to the stated loss of max aperture at the long end:  does that factor in the increase in focal length?  Ie., the S95 went to 105mm equivalent but the S100 goes to 120mm -- is the max aperture still f/5.9 at 105mm on the S100, or does it maybe match what the S95 offers *at 105mm*?  If it does, there really isn't anything lost.

The max apertures for FF-equivalent focal lengths are:

S100

S95

So, at equivalent focal lengths, the S100 is 'slower' by the following (approximately):

Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 14, 2011, 07:28:18 PM
That's certainly the basis behind Picture Styles, ALO, etc.  But, are you suggesting that if I use the same NR settings in DPP with different cameras, I will get different amounts of NR?  Certainly, the defaults vary by camera.  So, for example, the defaults for ISO 3200 are:

  • 5DII - luminance 6, chrominance 6
  • 7D - luminance 5, chrominance 12
  • S95 - luminance 15, chrominance 16
  • S100 - luminance 17, chrominance 17

Say I set DPP to luminance 8, chrominance 8 for all for cameras, are you suggesting those same numerical settings would be applied differently to the different images, based on the sensor/body?  I'm not sure that this is the case (but knowing Canon, I wouldn't be surpirsed in the least).

Hey, thanks for writing back. :-) I'm always happy to see someone else do a review as well. :-)

fyi, looks like in the link I posted earlier for low light -
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=39700614

And for a listing of all my s95 vs s100 comparison threads -
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1110007

I had thought the "View Original" link was turned on, it's turned on now.

Back to noise reduction, there are 2 separate things that I'm saying -

1. As you noted, different cameras have different defaults. For example, from the s90 to the s95, at iso80, detail noise reduction was by default set to "0" on the s90, but on the s95 it's set to "2" (in my opinion sensor noise was the same but with 0 blue skies were often slightly noisy, with 2 they were clear).

2. However, on an entirely different note, the actual noise reduction algorithm used by dpp is entirely and completely different based on whether the raw file was shot with an s95 or an s100. If you are used to how the s95 shots looked, and take high iso pics of people indoors, the differences are very noticeable.

I imagine Canon came up with new noise reduction with it's new processor, and wanted files converted with dpp to look about the same as in-camera jpg's, so they apply the new noise reduction to s100 files and the old noise reduction to s95 files. The s100 noise reduction nearly completely eliminates noise, but can sometimes give peoples faces a plasticy, or "to much makeup" look. The s95 pics never have this look. (On the other hand on other photos the s100's noise reduction manages to eliminate noise without giving people or objects this look, so sometimes it's an improvement and sometimes it's worse). It doesn't matter whether you shoot raw or jpg (for my comparisons I shot RAW+JPG so I would have both) - dpp converts them differently. And you know it's the noise reduction because if you turn off the noise reduction in dpp the s100 files no longer have that different look, they look fairly similar to the s95 files.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 14, 2011, 10:33:08 PM
Interesting, thanks!

Actually, I'll be most interested to see how DxO does with the S100 files (I use DxO for the S95 and other RAW file conversions).
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Meh on November 15, 2011, 01:00:45 AM
the actual noise reduction algorithm used by dpp is entirely and completely different based on whether the raw file was shot with an s95 or an s100.

Interesting, I wouldn't have thought so.  Do you know this for sure or an educated guess based on comparing images.  The S100 is an entirely new CMOS sensor so it stands to reason the images may look different primarily for that reason rather than how they are processed by DPP.

I imagine Canon came up with new noise reduction with it's new processor

Quite possible they used different NR techniques but not likely that they came up with new noise reduction.  DIGIC5 is said (by Canon) to be far more powerful than DIGIC4 so certainly Canon could have implemented better NR techniques that were too computationally intensive and time consuming for DIGIC4 to process quickly enough.

On the other hand on other photos the s100's noise reduction manages to eliminate noise without giving people or objects this look, so sometimes it's an improvement and sometimes it's worse.

I think your observations are valid but it's very difficult to make comparisons about technical issues such as NR techniques without really knowing what's being used.  But certainly what you see is what matters.  Nice work on doing the comparisons.  Much appreciated as I've been on the fence about whether to pick up an S95 on sale now or get an S100 in a few weeks.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Woody on November 18, 2011, 07:53:15 PM
The DPReview RAW comparison widget is up for the Canon S100. Does not appear to have any improvement over the S95. Better than Oly XZ1/Panny LX5 but much worse than Nikon J1/V1.

Canon's backside illuminated CMOS sensor is nothing to get excited about. I get the feeling Canon has reached the end of their sensor development capabilities.

A crying shame.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 18, 2011, 08:13:18 PM
DPR's 'RAW comparisons' are entirely dependent on Adobe Camera RAW's JPG conversion. Take them with a grain of salt.
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: PaulRivers on November 22, 2011, 02:07:14 PM
the actual noise reduction algorithm used by dpp is entirely and completely different based on whether the raw file was shot with an s95 or an s100.

Interesting, I wouldn't have thought so.  Do you know this for sure or an educated guess based on comparing images.  The S100 is an entirely new CMOS sensor so it stands to reason the images may look different primarily for that reason rather than how they are processed by DPP.

If you take the time to read through my thread you'll see that's not the case, when doing raw processing and turning off detail noise reduction the s95 and s100 files look very similar. Put detail noise reduction at the defaults and the results are very different. They are more different in some pics than others, but in some pictures the difference is very apparent even at screen size.

Unless I worked for Canon specifically on s100 development (which I don't in any way), there's no way to say that one "knows for sure". But the results with people's faces in them make it obvious that the noise reduction method is very different on the s100.

I imagine Canon came up with new noise reduction with it's new processor

Quite possible they used different NR techniques but not likely that they came up with new noise reduction.  DIGIC5 is said (by Canon) to be far more powerful than DIGIC4 so certainly Canon could have implemented better NR techniques that were too computationally intensive and time consuming for DIGIC4 to process quickly enough.

You say it's not likely that they came up with new noise reduction, then say they implemented better NR techniques with the new processor - sounds like the same thing to me. Not sure what you're trying to say there.

On the other hand on other photos the s100's noise reduction manages to eliminate noise without giving people or objects this look, so sometimes it's an improvement and sometimes it's worse.

I think your observations are valid but it's very difficult to make comparisons about technical issues such as NR techniques without really knowing what's being used.  But certainly what you see is what matters.  Nice work on doing the comparisons.  Much appreciated as I've been on the fence about whether to pick up an S95 on sale now or get an S100 in a few weeks.
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Thanks!
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Aputure on February 27, 2012, 05:13:41 AM
Am I the only one who finds the operational speed of the S100 to be slower than the S90, as well as it being a touch softer? Can't comment on the S95. Here's my comparison/review: http://www.aputure.com/blog/?p=3271 (http://www.aputure.com/blog/?p=3271)
Title: Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
Post by: Seanlucky on March 01, 2012, 12:21:38 PM

The vast majority of compacts have similar amounts of shutter lag.

There is one that I know of that does not - the Panasonic lx5. It's not "jeans pocketable", but it's still "could possibly cram it in a jeans pocket would just be really uncomfortable to walk around like that" sized.

Imaging resource's timing gave it's shutter lag timing almost the same as an entry level dslr - and more importantly I tried it out myself at my local camera store next to a Canon t2i and could not tell the difference in focus speed (unlike the s95, g12, and Nikon p7000 where I could tell the difference in focus speed). The lx5 has similar low light performance to the s100 (though not the s100's new noise reduction, which sounds like it would be a plus for you).


Good to know! I've been debating between the S100 and the LX5 for quite some time, going back and forth many times. Shutter lag (not just auto focus) is the big thing for me but I haven't been able to do a side by side comparison of the cameras (or even find either of them seperately in a local store...). The ONE thing I wish the LX5 had was the front control ring that I could set to aperture. That's one design the S95/S100 really did right. It feels like going back to my Contax RTS and controlling aperture on the lens, and shutter speed on the dial... Oh well, I'm sure I can get used to the LX5's control, it seems pretty easy to switch between the two controls on that rear dial.