Camera Test: Canon PowerShot S5 IS

In a market driven by superlatives, is a functional compact EVF that's not the "most something" worth a second look?

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This image is very sharp though colors have a bluish atmospheric tint. The image was underexposed but corrected using auto levels in Photoshop. 1/160 f/3.5 @ ISO 100

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This image shows shallow depth of field and good exposure. Shadows detail is good at a low ISO and image appears sharp with good color balance considering very hazy conditions. 1/60 f/3.5 @ ISO 100

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This image was underexposed using the camera’s meter without exposure bias and correcting exposure in Photoshop results in a visible increase in noise. The image was soft as well and mild sharpening was applied. 1/400 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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This twilight image shows visible barrel distortion at the camera’s widest focal length — those skyscrapers don’t tilt like that! 1/100 f/3.5 @ ISO 80

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The image is sharp despite the slow shutter speed and long focal length used. Contrast was increased in Photoshop. Noise is Moderate on the S5 IS at ISO 200. 1/80 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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This image shows good depth of field even at the camera’s widest aperture — details in the foreground and background as well appear tack sharp. 1/80 f/3.5 @ ISO 80

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Colors and exposure are accurate for the subtle tones of the scene. Notice the slight edge vignetting at maximum aperture at mid-zoom. 1/250 f/3.5 @ ISO 80

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This is a good exposure of a subtle scene in hot, hazy conditions at long reach. 1/250 f/3.5 @ ISO 80

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Colors and exposure are accurate in this water action scene. There’s a bit of noise at ISO 200 with the S5 IS, especially when viewed at 100%. Details are sharp even before slight sharpening was applied. 1/200 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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Exposure is accurate in this multi-layered image. The element towards the bottom right is sharp in the original file while sharpening was applied to enhance detail in the image’s other elements. 1/160 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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This image shows good color and proper exposure with the camera metering off the sky. Shadow detail is good on Miss Liberty, but the darker boat elements are a bit blocked up. 1/250 F/3.5 @ ISO 80

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The image was muddy before contrast was increased using Photoshop but now there’s nice, if noisy shadow details on the statue and nice pink hues in the twilight sky. 1/400 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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Vignetting is visible in this image as well, though most prominent in the upper left hand corner. The meter-fooling sails resulted in a slightly underexposed capture that was corrected in Photoshop. 1/200 f/3.5 @ ISO 200

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This image shows good exposure and colors are accurate in this low-key scene. 1/100 f/3.5 @ ISO 200