Panasonic DMC LX5 vs Canon Powershot S95 Comparison

Panasonic DMC LX5

Advanced Digital Cameras

10 Megapixels    3.8x Zoom

Dimensions: 109.7 x 65.5 x 43mm    Weight: 271g

Good Points: Colours, Features, Handling, LCD Screen Quality, Build Quality, Picture Quality

Bad Points: Nothing major


Panasonic DMC LX5 Shutter Lag Rating par Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating

Canon Powershot S95

Advanced Digital Cameras

10 Megapixels    3.8x Zoom

Dimensions: 99.8 x 58.4 x 29.5 mm    Weight: 193g

Good Points: General features, picture sharpness, overall picture quality, small size

Bad Points: A jog wheel would round the camera off very nicely


Canon Powershot S95 Shutter Lag Rating slow Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating

Introduction

The Canon Powershot S95 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 are two cameras that are very compact in size, yet pack a very advanced set of features into their small bodies. Which one is right for you?

This type of camera is often bought by someone that already owns a Digital SLR, but would like a much more portable digital camera to use when a large camera is not appropriate. They are also popular with anyone seeking a small, high quality digital camera.

Basic Specification

Panasonic DMC LX5

10 megapixels
3.8x Optical Zoom
3 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 1cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 109.7 x 65.5 x 43mm
Weight: 271g

Canon Powershot S95

10 megapixels
3.8x Optical Zoom
3 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 5cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 99.8 x 58.4 x 29.5 mm
Weight: 193g

Features

Looking through the specifications for each camera I can see there are a lot of similarities. For example both cameras offer 3.8x zoom and large f/2 apertures. It is worth pointing out the lens on the Lumix DMC LX5 has a wider angle making it a better choice fro landscapes and interiors.

Both cameras are capable of storing images in RAW. You also have access to a full set of manual controls including aperture priority and shutter priority.

Composition takes place through 3 inch LCD screens although the Lumix DMC LX5 does offer the option of buying a viewfinder you can attach to the camera via a hot shoe.

If you would like to experiment with different aspect ratios there are a number of options include 1:1 square photos. The Powershot S95 also has a 4:5 ratio.

One of the points I liked about the Lumix DMC LX5 was the number of different colour options available. You really do have great flexibility when it comes to fine tuning colours in your pictures so they look just the way you want them to. White balance also plays a key role in colour and again I was impressed by how easy it is to fine tune white balance to add extra warmth or cool down a scene.

Design

The design of both cameras is kind of understated. Both cameras have a very simple look to them.

They have matt black finishes and don't really stand out from the crowd. I must admit I found the smooth finish of the Powershot S95 made it the slipperiest cameras I have ever reviewed. Take care of how you hold it on bitterly cold days.

Power Supply

Both cameras run on lithium ion batteries. A battery and charger is supplied as standard.

Shutter Lag

One area that did trouble me about the Powershot S95 was the response times of the camera. I found it to be slower than the majority of cameras I test. I think it is fair to expect better performance from a camera in this price bracket. It was certainly slower to respond than the Lumix DMC LX5.

Picture Quality

What really grabbed me about my early test shots taken with the Lumix DMC LX5 was the subtlety of the colours the camera is able to produce. I have mentioned above about how you can fine tune colours, but even if you opt to use the defaults available to you it is hard not to be impressed. I especially found this to be the case when photographing at twilight.

Both cameras performed very well in all my tests. This type of camera is a step up from a standard pocket camera when it comes to picture quality. There is a clear edge when it comes to sharpness and the general clarity of the photographs.

Ease of Use

It is funny how little things can make a big a big difference to how you feel about a camera. I really enjoyed my time using the Powershot S95, but I found the jog dial on the Lumix DMC LX5 really did speed up the time taken to change key settings such as the shutter speed or exposure compensation. The inclusion of that little wheel in a position where it is easy to reach with a thumb gives it a clear edge when it comes to handling.

With so many features available I can't describe either camera as easy to use. The compact size also means that some of the dials and buttons found on other advanced digital cameras are replaced by menu options.

You are likely to see a worthwhile return on time spent getting to know your camera. Anyway it should be good fun getting outdoors and experimenting.

Verdict

As much as I like the Canon Powershot S95 I have a clear preference for the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5. It is one of those cameras that seem to do everything well. Mine has proved to be a good substitute for a Digital SLR and it travels most places with me.

Product Shots

Front View
Panasonic DMC LX5
Panasonic DMC LX5 Front View


Canon Powershot S95
Canon Powershot S95 Front View

Back View
Panasonic DMC LX5
Panasonic DMC LX5 Back View


Canon Powershot S95
Canon Powershot S95 Back View

Top View
Panasonic DMC LX5
Panasonic DMC LX5 Top View


Canon Powershot S95
Canon Powershot S95 Top View