Canon’s S90 and more recently the S95 have held the title of king of P&S cameras in my book for the last 18 months – they are excellent cameras w/ larger than average sensors, a fast lens and excellent control scheme that includes a lens ring that controls several different features.    The XZ-1 offers all of that with a faster lens, hot shoe/accessory port in a slightly larger package, still smaller than Canon’s G12.      Image quality is excellent and looks to be slightly better than the S95 in the lower ISO numbers and just slightly worse in the higher ISOs but I want to stress that these differences are very slight and both cameras take excellent images that you are hard pressed to tell any difference in your average day to day use.  Additionally the XZ-1 has a faster lens, f/1.8 at the widest and f/2.5 at full zoom.  This means two things – you can actually control depth of field some, something that previously was really only an option in more expensive DSLRs and you can shoot at lower ISOs and still get bright images.  These benefits come at a cost, the XZ-1 is about $100 more than the S95 currently and is a slightly larger camera.




Canon S95 Olympus XZ-1
MP 10MP 10MP
Sensor Size 1/1.7″ 1/1.63″
LCD 3″ 461,000 dots 3″ OLED 614,000 dots
Max Aperture f2.0 – f4.9 f1.8 – f2.5
Lens Focal Length 28-105mm 28-122mm
Hot shoe/External Flash No Yes
Built-in Flash 6.5m range 8.6m range
Continuous drive 0.9 fps 2fps
Weight (inc batteries) 195g 275g
Dimensions 3.94 x 2.28 x 1.18″ 4.37 x 2.56 x 1.65″

Bottom line: Both cameras are excellent, the S95 offers a pocket fitting form factor. The Olympus gives you a faster lens, very bright OLED screen and the option to add an external flash.  At $599 though you are approaching the cost of the increasingly popular 4/3 cameras like Olympus’ own PEN E-PL2 – even better quality, very friendly manual controls and the ability to switch lenses.  This puts the XZ-1 in an awkard position, it certainly is an excellent camera but until the price drops I continue to give the S95 my nod, though it is a slight nod.

As always find me on twitter @camerarec for my latest thoughts.


Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch inch LCD

Olympus XZ-1 10 MP Digital Camera with f1.8 Lens and 3-Inch OLED Monitor (Black)


Follow me on Instagram | Watch my latest Youtube Video | Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

 Shadow Riders - Now I kinda wish I had photoshopped cowboy hat shadows for each of us! From family adventures in Saguaro National Park, Arizona
 Menzie's Penstemon or as the nerds say - Penstemon davidsonii ;) Found these little purple flowers on the way down from Paradise in Mt Rainier National Park and thought they made a nice foreground to the beautiful and still snowcapped peak in the distance. Captured with the GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8 Lens #lumixloungegh3
 Rainy Day Reflections of Seattle's coolest public library - I almost said coolest building but the new Amazon spheres are crazy cool. I like living in the future - now if we could just ecotopia this place up all would be peachy!

Want to be a better photographer? Become a Member! $5/Month gets you access to my Lightroom video library the support group and more!

Support this site - Shop for anything through the links below and I earn a small percentage - it costs you nothing extra.



Leave a Reply

3 + six =