Canon Powershot S5 IS Review

Click for Steve's Digicams Main Menu

Canon Powershot S5 IS

Features & Controls

The S5 features a f/2.7-3.5 Canon all-glass 12x zoom lens (36-432mm equivalent in 35mm) that makes tack-sharp long telephoto shooting positively practical. By incorporating a UD (Ultra Low Dispersion) lens into the lens element, the incident of chromatic aberrations in your photos will be greatly reduced. Despite its extensive optical range, the lens is ultra- compact and retracts into the camera when it's powered down.

With Canon's optical Image Stabilization technology, users have the flexibility of actually shooting at shutter speeds 2-3 stops lower than would otherwise be possible. The PowerShot S5 IS features multi-mode Image Stabilization - users can choose between Continuous IS (always active), Panning IS (active when vertical camera shake is detected) and a "Shoot Only" IS mode (active when the shutter is pressed all the way.)

The S5 employs a high-speed and variable speed Canon Ultrasonic Motor (USM) to operate the zoom lens mechanism. The silence of the USM is particularly beneficial in movie mode to preserve and enhance the quality of the audio recording. When shooting still images you can zoom in low speed (6 secs to go from wide to tele) or high speed (1 sec.) When shooting movies you can zoom in low speed or medium speed (4 secs to go from wide to tele.)

Canon Powershot S5 IS

On the side of the lens barrel you'll find the MF (manual focus) button and the Macro Focus mode button. The S5 is equipped with a single-point TTL AF system that achieves sharp focus quickly and silently. The user can move the AF frame to the area desired by pressing the SET button in record mode. The S5 has a focus-assist illuminator for low light conditions. It also features manual focus override as well as a Focus Bracketing function.

Focusing range is:

    Normal:1.6 ft. (50cm) - infinity (Wide), 3.0 ft. (90cm) - infinity (Tele)
    Macro:3.9 in. - 1.6 ft. (10 - 50cm) Wide
    Super Macro:0 - 3.9 in. (0 - 10cm) Wide

    Canon Powershot S5 IS

    To enhance its flexibility, the PowerShot S5 is compatible with several optional lens accessories to entend the focal range to 27mm to 648mm (35mm film equivalent), including WC- DC58A wide-angle, TC-DC58B telephoto and 500D close-up lenses. The dress ring is easily removed to allow the attachment of the LAH-DC20 lens adapter and hood which is required for the wide angle and telephoto auxilliary lenses.

    Canon Powershot S5 IS
    The S5 uses a high-resolution TFT color LCD as the eyelevel finder.

    The diopter is adjusted (-5.5 - +1.5 m-1) with the knob on the side. The DISP button switches between EVF and LCD displays (see below.)

    Canon Powershot S5 IS

    The 207,000 pixel 2.5-inch color LCD can be used for preview, review and accessing the camera's menu system. The same information can be displayed on either the EVF or LCD display. Both displays provide approx. 100% frame coverage.

    The color LCD is mounted on an adjustable arm that allows it to swing 180° and rotate 270° around. The display will automatically "flip" when the monitor is rotated upside down. You can rotate the LCD all the way forward and flip it around for framing self-portrait shots. When the LCD is not needed it can be rotated around and positioned "face in" to protect the display from damage or greasy nose prints.

    Canon Powershot S5 IS

    The manual popup E-TTL speedlight has modes for Auto, Auto w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On w/Red-eye Reduction, Flash Off and slow synchro with 1st and 2nd curtain. Flash Exposure Compensation can be adjusted from of ± 2.0 stops in 1/3- stop increments as well as FE lock and Safety FE are available.

    The working flash range is:

      Normal: 1.6-17 ft./50cm-5.2m (W), 3.0-13 ft./90cm-4.0m (T)
      Macro: 1-1.6 ft./30-50cm (W)
    (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)

    Canon Powershot S5 IS

    The S5 has also been upgraded with a flash hot shoe, allowing you to use Canon's external EX Speedlite flash or slave flash units.

Continue on to
Page Three

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.