I have a canon 40D DSLR to judge things by. I bought this as a camera I will always have with me when the DSLR is to heavy to carry. The quality of the images is everything I expected from other reviews. I wanted a camera to shoot RAW as does the 40D and this does a great job ,allowing processing later on.
Not having a view finder is the price you have to pay for a camera this small. I would prefer a viewfinder for better composition especially in bright light.
The level of control is almost up the same level as my DSLR which is what I wanted.
The screen is large and of a high resolution to review shots. You can also run a slide shows on the camera screen. Movies can also be viewed on the screen
I have used ISO 800 and found little noise. In low light you get good results using F2. I have tested the flash which works fine,so far I have not needed to use it allowing F2 and ISO 800 to give enought light.
The HD movie is a good bonus. It takes clear movies with fair sound, just dont be erratic with the camera zooming in and out and swinging quickly round.
I have used the camera mostly in Av mode and get a level of control close to DSLR
The menus are simpler than DSLR but give what you need and are fairly easy to use.
The front ring is easy to configure to different functions and is good
The zoom lever is small and does not give easy control
The build quality is top class. The surface finish has a roughness to it that helps grip the camera. Do fit the strap and use it over your wrist to ensure you don't drop the camera.
The Crumpler pp70 case fits the camera perfectly. This is a tight case so you can still get into your pocket.
The canon G12 is the obvious other camera to consider. It is a great camera using similar technology to the S95, however it is to big to go in your pocket.