In a market driven by superlatives, is a functional compact EVF that's not
the "most something" worth a second look?
The Canon PowerShot S5 IS feels good in the hand, whether shooting with the EVF or using the LCD viewfinder. For long-reach photography, we strongly recommend using the EVF and a two-handed grip to ensure stability, even with Optical Image Stabilization activated. We were able to achieve acceptably sharp images at full telephoto just over three full stops below the reciprocal focal length when shooting in this style -- 1/50 second on a 435mm lens.
The EVF and LCD redraw quickly, and keep up with all but the speediest panning. Optical Image Stabilization keeps the scene crisp, if a little swimmy, when there's camera movement on either screen. The swiveling LCD helps frame challenging angles for those of us who aren't contortionists.
The PowerShot S5 IS isn't a sprinter when it comes to burst rate, capturing just about 1 frame a second without strobe. But on the plus side, it will keep shooting around 1 frame per second until you run out of card space! It will do the same with strobe, although it will only fire off a frame once the flash is recycled, so your flash burst rate is totally dependent on distance to subject, flash output, and amount of charge left in the batteries.