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Author Topic: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95  (Read 75750 times)

AvTvM

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Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
« Reply #15 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.

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Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2011, 03:51:23 AM »

ecka

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #16 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?
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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #17 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))
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ecka

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Re: PowerShot S100 - not good enough ... will go for Nikon V1
« Reply #18 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?
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AvTvM

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #19 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.   

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #20 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.
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koolman

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2011, 05:55:42 AM »

elflord

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #22 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)

NotABunny

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #23 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.

fifowarehouse

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #24 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

KyleSTL

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #25 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.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #26 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, 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.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 10:02:18 AM by neuroanatomist »
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donthink

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2011, 10:03:14 AM »
thanks for your review.  the red gone pink is especially helpful to know

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2011, 10:03:14 AM »

distant.star

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #28 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!
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sjprg

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #29 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

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Re: PowerShot S100 reviewed and compared to the S95
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2011, 01:22:17 PM »