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on 29 December 2009
I already own (and love!) my Nikon D40 DSLR, which at the time I bought it from Amazon was incredibly cheap, but being an SLR (Even a tiny one) it's still too big to carry everywhere. I needed a compact that could do maybe 80% of what the D40 could do, but still fit in my pocket. Where to start?

Well, after much researching, I decided on the IXUS 95IS. Why?

1: It's size. It's incredibly tiny, yet still easy to operate, even with my huge (Size 11) hands.

2: The image quality is excellent. Also movie mood doesn't disappoint either. It has Image Stabilisation, which for me is a must.

3: The colours are incredibly bright and vibrant.

4: The battery life is amazing. Especially if you turn the monitor off.

5: The price. It's very good value.

6: Menu layout. Everything you need can be accessed quickly and easily.

7: An optical viewfinder! Yay! Okay, it's only basically a hole that you look through, but then you can't really expect Canon to squeeze a full wealth of "Head-up display" info like on a DSLR into something this size. Top marks to Canon for even including one.

8: Low Megapixel count.

(Rant mode engaged!):
You would think the more Mp that a camera has the clearer the picture, right? but to be honest that's just marketing speak. The physical size (surface area) of the sensor is what matters, and all these compacts have miniscule sensors, even Compacts that are sold as "High End" or "Professional" models like the Canon G9, G10 and G11 series.
The more pixels that are stuffed into a small sensor, the fewer photons it can gather and the less sensitive it is to light. If you have fewer pixels then you get brighter pictures. My D40 Nikon makes absolutely outstanding pictures and that's only 6 megapixel! I really don't want more than 10 or even 7 megapixels on a sensor this tiny. I really wish that Canon made this with a 3.2 Megapixel sensor. That would be awesome! Fewer pixels also mean that the noise reduction software has far less work to do, meaning better images and of course faster shooting. Not least because it's quicker to save a smaller file. You can save more of them on one card too. I've printed A4 from a 3.2mp Minolta compact and it was as sharp as you'd need in all honesty.

It's very interesting to note that Canon have actually reduced the pixel count by about 30% in the G11 compared to the G10. A brave move, but the right one. The image quality has improved massively and if you read the G11 reviews on Amazon you can see that it was the right thing to do.
It's time to halt the "Megapixel Wars" because there are no winners except people who measure market share!

Anyway... Back to the review:

So, a great camera - IF you take the time to get to know how to use it! A lot of reviews here say "Oh, it looks washed out" or "The colours aren't very good" etc. I've never found that with mine, and with modern manufacturing techniques I find it hard to believe there can be that many "Dodgy" ones out there.

I'm no expert, but I know enough to get photos that I'm happy with. Here's a few hints if you're struggling:

"Auto" is fine, but for really outstanding photos I use it in "Program" mode (2nd position down on the slider) and set the following. (Press "Func Set" then in the left hand menu bar, from the top):

Select "ISO 100" or even "ISO 80" for the best image quality. It's a bit "Grainy" at the higher ISO numbers (Even as "High" as a lowly ISO200!), but that's common to almost all compacts, so no big deal.
Select "AWB" (Auto white balance). The auto function on this is so good that there's rarely any need to mess with this in most situations.
Select "V" for "Vivid" on the colour setting (represented by a paint tube) You may or may not like colours, but I love colour, so the more vivid the better for me.
Select "Evaluative" metering (I think this is default anyway) Sure, you may want Spot Metering for certain things, like super-close-up Macro stuff, but there is a lot of metering experience built into this little device, so I take advantage of Canon's knowledge. I'm lazy like that!
Personally I'd like to see a dedicated button for spot metering, but it would just complicate things for the people this camera is intended for (Hope that doesn't sound patronising - it's not meant to). Same goes for exposure compensation, which is something I use all the time on my DSLR and real (film) cameras. A dial would be nice. But then by adding all these things it would look more like a Canon G11 and that would defeat the purpose of this little device.

I select "Continous" shoot mode, because that way I can fire off a bunch in rapid succession and just pick the ones I like to keep. Set single if you prefer. Up to you.

If you're someone like me who can't seem to take a straight photo, then there's a great feature in the Ixus 95 which overlays a "Grid" in the LCD screen in "viewfinder" mode. A brilliant idea!

Flash: Try not to use flash, but if conditions demand it, ie: for people when they have strong light behind them, use "Slow Synchro" if you can. This will take a longer exposure picture, with a flash at the end to provide fill light in the dark areas. I'd be very surprised if your pictures look washed out with Slow Synchro.

Hope all that helps. :-)

Video: Surprisingly good! with a decent frame rate. Audio has a fierce AGC (Automatic Gain Control) which means that volume remains fairly constant between speech and loud noises. I like this personally, some people hate it.
The only bit I'm not so keen on is the grainy quality of playback when recording in low light. But to be honest - "What do you want for this sort of money, the Moon on a stick?" as my mate would say.
Video is a nice thing to have as an extra, but if it's your main reason for buying this then there are better options out there.

Bad points? Very few really. The case is plastic and a little bit "Creaky" sure. And the battery hatch looks particlularly feeble, BUT: the most common thing that fails on any of these types of camera is the automated lens cover and/or the motorised lens extension system. I'm pretty confident that I'm careful enough not to break the camera, so the mechanical parts above are the limiting factor for me. I don't see a lot of point in spending more money for the IXUS 100 with its metal casing personally. You may feel differently, but you pays your money and takes yer choice!

Would I buy another one? Yeah! Without hesitation. If you buy one - AND take the time to learn how to use it! - You won't go far wrong.
BUT: Bear in mind that it's still only a compact. If you do a side by side comparison with the results from a real camera (DSLR) like a Nikon D40 or D60, there's absolutely no contest. It's like night and day.

UPDATE: December 2010:

Well, I've had this a year now, and what's gone wrong? Nothing! Not a thing.
The battery hatch that I had my doubts about is still fine, and the lens extends and retracts with its usual vigour.
I did manage to scratch the rear screen though, and like a pillock I tried to polish it out with some special plastic polish that's used to repair aircraft canopies. Big mistake! I took off a great big chunk of the anti-reflective coating! D'Oh!
Fortunately even this sort of savagery didn't affect the quality of the screen when viewing pictures, although it did look unsightly when it was turned off. I purchased some dead cheap screen protectors and put one on. Looks like new again, so problem solved.
The original battery is as good as it ever was. I've hardly ever needed the spare. Longest I've been away with it was 1 week and I was still using the first battery.
Interestingly, for use on small prints and the web (Facebucket, etc.) I actually prefer the pictures off this to those of my Nikon D90 DSLR. I guess because they're lower resolution files they don't seem to suffer as much degradation when reducing to a sensible size for posting.
A mate of mine has just bought the IXUS105 and I must admit I prefer the pics from my 95 to hers too.

One more thing I've only just discovered:
If you want to save wear and tear on the retracting lens, don't turn the camera on with the power button when all you want to do is view your pictures. You can just press the "Play" button instead.
This powers up the screen but doesn't activate the picture-taking functions, so they lens stays "parked" under its cover. Nice touch from Canon there. Well done.

So yes, I'm still glad I bought it. Keep it clean, look after it and it'll serve you for a good while.

UPDATE: May 2014:

Still going perfectly! Looks and works like new. Okay, I do look after it, but even so.
I've since bought a Fujifilm X10 for every day photography, and practically retired the DSLR in preference of going back to film. However...
The Canon IXUS95iS is the one camera I take with me to music gigs! It's small enough that security guys don't find it during searches, and although it's not too good for photographing the action, it's excellent for video clips.
More importantly, I've been lucky enough to attend a few after-show parties and this little camera (If set correctly) is capable of producing 'people' photos which will easily stand printing at 8x10 or so.
I can't think of any better camera for this purpose.
There are many which would be as good or better... But how many of them are this small or this cheap?

Still delighted with it. :-)
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on 27 March 2009
I bought this to replace my old Olympus mini muji which produced such blurry images when the flash was off that I had almost stopped using it. Thankfully the image stabiliser on this is much better and produces very sharp images. The camera is very easy to use, it's very easy to switch between modes. There is auto mode (which is very responsive to changing light levels ect), portrait, night time, kids and pets (I've yet to get to grips with that one!), indoor and sunset. It has a viewfinder so you can save the battery and still take pictures with the LCD screen off, although I've not found battery life to be a problem. The Samsung softwear is ok, nothing special. The pink colour is very vibrant and feminine without being too cutesy. Basically, it does what you would expect and does it well.

My only minor gripe is that is doesn't come with a memory card. This isn't a huge issue as you can buy them very cheaply (I subsequently got a 8G SDHC SanDisk card for £9 which will store 2994 images or about an hour of video according to the manual) but I didn't realize (probably should have read the description with more care) and then had to order one and wait to try the camera out until it arrived which was very frustrating! Also, I think it is a tad cheap of Canon not to include a small card to get you started considering the price. The manual states that the following cards are compatible with the camera:

HC MMCplus

So, buy it and get a card at the same time.
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on 6 July 2009
I am a professional photographer, and a great fan of canon cameras anyway, this little pink camera is great for my personal snaps. The image quality is fantastic. I always recommend ixus cameras over all the other little digital cameras. Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS Digital Camera - Pink (10 MP, 3.0x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD
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on 28 April 2010
I worked for almost ten years in the camera trade and as such, have seen thousands of these little compacts. It is a minefield out there. Too many models to choose from, even from Canon alone. I have a EOS 5D (DSLR) so I allow my standards to drop when it comes to a happy snappy compact. This will go on walks, holidays and the odd party, where to be honest, I don't want or need super high quality and hundreds of pounds worth of equipment that can be stolen or broken. It doesn't matter if you spend £100 or £300 on your compact, they are so small they can all be accidentally dropped and either will be as easy to break if this occurs. Especially if the zoom lens is out. Either will be non-cost effective to repair if these hit a concrete floor. BOTTOM LINE......I paid £130 from Amazon. The overall feel in terms of quality is pretty good. I tend to favor makes such as Canon, Sony and Panasonic when it comes to digital compacts. However, just because it is a Canon doesn't make it the best camera out there. Canon make brilliant digital cameras but also make some real rubbish. For £130, this is a top notch little compact. Most of you wouldn't recognize some of the let downs and would be MORE than happy with the results, believe me. But what are the let downs???? For starters, it is very noisy when focusing (cheap components). The battery cover/door is very poor quality. And WILL eventually break if not looked after. Don't just assume that more pixels equal higher photographic quality. I have an older 5 million pixel Canon compact that just died that gave much higher quality pics than this compact....WHY? It had a far superior lens. This is the biggest let down on this camera. For most users, this won't be an issue. For those who want high quality landscape shots, perhaps, printed out at A4 (12X8)this will let you down around the edges of the image. A cheaper lens tends to let you down more around the edges of the image. Take a typical landscape shot and look at it on your computer screen around the edges. You will notice that the image almost looks out of focus. And here is where you begin to have your questions answered as to why this model is cheaper in terms of cost.....or at least one of the reasons. Above all though, this is a good little compact for the money. Most of my shots will be holiday snaps and face shots, where, like many, I will only be printing them out to 6x4 or 5x7. Here, you are not really going to notice the problems quite so much. On a typical portrait with the flash, and set to macro you will still be amazed at the detail this camera can capture. For the money, you get a camera that I would give 65-70%. If you want much higher quality, you will need to double your budget.
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on 17 July 2009
I got this after my muched loved Pentax Optio M30 died after less than 2years! I had 35mm Canon before I got my first digital and it never failed me, so after lot's of resarch I decided to go for this. It's just had it's first major trial in a trip up to the Artic Circle and has proved outstanding. Small enough to fit in my tightest jeans pocket or smallest handbag (a major plus point), it fires up quickly so you're not waiting for ages when you want to take a shot. The zoom is brilliant, with no noticable loss of detail on the max. And the focus is so good that even the shots of the beautiful scenery I took from the car as we were going along at 90kph have turned out fantasticly! Three days and over a hundred shots later the battrey is still showing full and I can't wait to take more shots. If you're looking for a new camera then I can't recomend this enough!
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on 2 October 2009
There is a great deal of technical information available about this camera and lots of user reviews so all I will say is that this birthday present for my 30 year old daughter was an immediate hit. I had charged the battery, fitted the card (an extra) attached the carry loop and got the thing ready for instant use. No sooner had she unwrapped it than she started taking photographs and continued to take photographs for the rest of the evening. In other words, the controls are easy to use and intuitive in their use. The viewing screen is large and offers good definition. This makes it easy to show the pictures you have just taken to any available victim! Pink may seem a 'controversial' colour but this pink is veering towards magenta and actually suits the camera. It's a quality product that looks and feels well made. 'Cool' was the general verdict. In use it also sounds well engineered - the motor is smooth and does not sound tired as it works. Thoroughly recommended - even in pink?
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on 20 November 2009
If all you want to do is point and shoot, and not worry about settings/flash, etc, then this camera could not be easier - in the Auto mode, it does it all for literally just point and shoot. The photos are of excellent quality as well, crystal clear. It's small enough to fit in your handbag so it's always there whenever that "Kodak moment" arises! Well worth every penny.
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on 12 July 2009
After days of reading review's I was undecided between the Canan IXUS 95 or 870. In the end it came down to price as the reviews were similar bar the 870 having a wideangle lense of 28mm. I opted for the ISU 95 and can say I made the right choice (for my needs). I already have another digital camera however I was looking for a simple point and shoot compact that I could carry in my handbag or pocket. This little camera is ideal. Very quick at taking a shot and while on automatic mode re-adjusts itself (ISO, White Balance, Flash etc) to take the best possible picture. Within 4 hours I had taken over 200 pictures of which 99% were of excellent quality. I also had a play with the manual mode and found the continuous shoot mode to be excellent, very few shots had any blurring whilst my son was running back and forward - cant say that about my other more expensive digital camera. The build quality is excellent, it's a very neat attractive camera. The LCD is a good size and very clear in bright sunlight (being able to adjust the brightness), unfortunately 1 pixel was dead on my screen when I opened the box but decided to keep it as it did not effect the viewing. Although I still have a lot more to learn/play with on the camera, if you are looking for a simple point and shoot camera I would highly recommend it.
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on 19 March 2009
I really like this camera! I have taken about 25 shots with it so far, mostly in the local park. The images are all sharp, which shows that the optical image stabilization works, because some of those shots were zoomed in. There is slight barrel distortion at wide angle but it disappears at standard and telephoto. Colour is realistic.

The LCD monitor is bright and was perfectly visible outside on a sunny day in March. And that's just at 60% brightness. If you put it up to 100% I would expect it to be visible on a sunny day in high summer. The optical viewfinder is usable but does not show the entire scene.

Canon have put a lot of features into this small package. There is an Auto mode which will set all the features for you, depending on the scene. Alternatively you can select Program AE mode, which allows you to have full control of the features. There is also a Movie mode.

One nice feature of this camera (and there are many) is that you can set the LCD monitor to have dark bands across the top and bottom, so that the central area is in the proportions 3:2. I will probably use that a lot, because I generally print 6" x 4".

I hope this helps.
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on 22 November 2009
I am very pleased with the picture quality achieved by this camera. It is very easy to use. The build quality is good. The auto mode gives good results but when you use the program mode the results are superb. The pictures are sharpe yet can be a little bit washed out however if you set it to the vivid setting they are fine. Use a lowish ISO setting your results should be fairly free from noise. To qualify my opinion I own a DSLR and have a reasonable photographic knowledge.

Update - I have discovered in P mode a level of customization where you can adjust picture sharpness, contrast, and colour. This yet again improve your results. I am very please with this camera, no wonder it has been canons best selling camera of 2009.
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