Updated (September, 2011): Compare the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS vs Canon Powershot S100

Canon PowerShot S95

Winner
Canon PowerShot S95

57

vs

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

41

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot S95

Wide aperture
Aperture
f/2.0
24p movies
Supports 24p
For that film look
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
High ISO (boost)
Light sensitivity (boost)
12,800 ISO
 

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
240 fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon SX230 HS

Report a correction
Zoom
More zoom
14x vs 3.8x
Help
Around 14x more zoom
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
High-speed framerate
Records high-speed movies
240 fps vs None
Help
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
GPS
Has a GPS
Yes vs No
Help
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$214.99 vs $593.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $378 cheaper (2.8x less)
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
3.2 fps vs 1.9 fps
Help
Around 70% faster continuous shooting
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
210 shots vs 200 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Learn more about
the Canon SX230 HS

Advantages of the Canon S95

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Aperture
Significantly wider aperture
f/2.0 vs f/3.1
Help
At its widest zoom, the S95's lens captures much more light (1.3 f-stops)
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Size
Smaller
99x58x29 mm vs 106x59x33 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Supports RAW
Shoots RAW
Yes vs No
Help
Digitally develop your own photos with precise image control
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Sensor size
Larger sensor
1/1.7" 7.6x5.7mm vs 1/2.3" 6.2x4.6mm
Help
More than 50% larger sensor
Thickness
Thinner
1.2" vs 1.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Weight
Lighter
193 g vs 215 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Canon PowerShot S95 Learn more about
the Canon S95
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent compacts, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Canon PowerShot SX230 HS 41
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        57 Canon PowerShot S95 Canon PowerShot S95
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent compacts

              Common Strengths
              Supports 24p Both support 24p, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              For that film look
              Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
              SX230 HS:Sensor shift, Lens
              S95:Lens
              Common Weaknesses
              Battery life Few shots per battery charge Help
              SX230 HS:210 shots
              S95:200 shots
              Macro focus Poor macro capabilities Help
              5 cm
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              SX230 HS:3.2 fps
              S95:1.9 fps
              Wide angle Poor wide angle Help
              28 mm

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Powershot S100

              Canon Powershot S100

              Pro digicam

              $244 - $400

              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Canon PowerShot S110

              Canon PowerShot S110

              Pro digicam

              $179 - $249

              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Canon PowerShot SX700 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX700 HS

              Travel zoom

              $279 - $404

              Zoom Has way more more zoom
              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon PowerShot SX600 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX600 HS

              Travel zoom

              $179 - $180

              Zoom Has slightly more zoom
              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              Supports 24p Doesn't record movies in 24p
              Aperture Has a much narrower aperture
              Canon PowerShot SX240 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX240 HS

              Travel zoom

              $269

              Zoom Has significantly more zoom
              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is much heavier
              Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V

              Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V

              Travel zoom

              $348 - $368

              Zoom Has way more more zoom
              Wide angle Has a slightly wider wide angle lens
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot SX260 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX260 HS

              Travel zoom

              $300 - $350

              Zoom More zoom
              Wide angle Better wide angle
              Aperture Narrower aperture
              Size Slightly larger
              Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

              Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

              Travel zoom

              $340

              Size Slightly smaller
              Thickness Slightly thinner
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

              Travel zoom

              $270 - $360

              Zoom More zoom
              Wide angle Better wide angle
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Aperture Narrower aperture
              Canon PowerShot SX220 HS

              Canon PowerShot SX220 HS

              Travel zoom

              $299

              Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
              GPS No built-in GPS
              Nikon Coolpix P530

              Nikon Coolpix P530

              Super zoom

              $297

              Zoom Much more zoom
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker

              Canon PowerShot S95 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot S120

              Canon PowerShot S120

              Pro digicam

              $391 - $399

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Weight Heavier
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $498

              Overall image quality Much better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Size Larger
              Canon PowerShot S200

              Canon PowerShot S200

              Pro digicam

              $70

              Wide angle Better wide angle
              Aperture Wider aperture
              Supports RAW No RAW support
              Nikon Coolpix P300

              Nikon Coolpix P300

              Pro digicam

              $350

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Supports RAW No RAW support

              appearance

              Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Canon PowerShot S95
              Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Canon PowerShot S95
              Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Canon PowerShot S95

              discussion

              Canon PowerShot SX230 HS
              PowerShot SX230 HS
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Canon PowerShot S95
              PowerShot S95
              Canon

              Report a correction

              Showing 7 comments

              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:13 PM, July 20, 2011)
              That's a tough on. My gut says go with the S95, because I think low light, manual controls, shoots in RAW, and it still can record HD video (at 720p). 
              Either way you will be getting a great camera, it really depends on if you want a longer zoom.
               
              Patrick (9:38 PM, July 19, 2011)
              Hello,

              I apologise to any photo enthusiasts as I am very much amateur in terms of knowledge and what I use a camera for.

              I have only ever had Ixus cameras which I have always liked but I am looking to get better quality and more manual adjustment from a camera but still in a compact form like the Ixus cameras. I use the camera for all sorts of stuff. Nights out, holiday, album art or photography for my Music Projects and I have limited knowledge on it but do enjoy the idea of taking photography a bit more seriously in terms of night shots, scenic shots etc.

              So I was wondering if someone could maybe give their advice. I'm afraid I'm very stubborn when it comes to brands in all things and I'm only looking for a canon camera.

              I'm slightly in favour of the SX230 at the moment because of the high zoom, and video capabilities (meaning i can put off looking for an HD camcorder for a while)

              But the S95 has better manual options, better low light quality which does appeal to me as I do like night shots and obviously going out pictures would be better. And generally better quality pictures. What I would like to know is are these plus points that much better and worth getting over the good zoom and video capabilities of the SX230.

              Thank you in advance for any feedback given. 
               
              gregorio (5:44 PM, June 28, 2011)
              This was so helpful to me!  Thank you.
               
              Avatar for Mark Thomas Gazel Mark Thomas Gazel (0:01 PM, June 06, 2011)
              Very great and detailed info.
               
              Rmsp (5:39 PM, April 18, 2011)
              Wow, thanks for taking the time to providing your detailed impressions and thoughts. Very usefull.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:31 PM, April 05, 2011)
              Great info Glenn!
               
              GlennTaper (4:54 AM, April 01, 2011)
              Having read reviews and blogs on both cameras compulsively for three weeks, by the time I made a decision, each was comfortably familiar. Every owner loves the S95; it has almost no enemies. It's tempting to go with the crowd on something like that. And I've heard so many say that 90% of what they shoot is 70mm or wider. But I'll say this about the big zooms: if ya got em, you use em! - even more so in video.
              Excellent low light ability, F/2.0 aperture and remarkable IQ for a pocket-size unit are all convincing attributes of the S95, and the quality feel with intuitive controls further impress.
              The SX230 delivers IQ in LL somewhat less well than the S95, but still produces brilliant results in actual practice. And further, it offers 14X optical zoom, shoots equally wide, does arguably just as well outdoors, is 1080P-equipped with optical zoom+continuous focus video, comes with GPS photo tagging, and has a few fun goodies to boot (wink shutter trigger, miniature mode, fish-eye mode, 2 levels of slo-mo video, etc). Its 1080P video results by the way are no less than striking. That big zoom and the 1080P were the clincher for me - well that and the IQ is very decent (and, it's on the upper end pocket-able, but is). If the IQ weren't impressive, it wouldn't have been a candidate in the first place.

              In practice, when viewing computer screen stills or prints, most of the IQ differences between the two cameras will be virtually indistinguishable, except for those occasions where only the S95's low light results suffice (probably not too often for me). The SX230 appears to do well indoors in common ambient room lighting IMO. Should it fall short, that's what I have my old version of PS for.

              Had Canon built the S95 with video optical zoom and autofocus, and equipped it with a 10X or 12X zoom, I'd have likely decided differently. The S95 does have active digital video zoom, but it really compromises the 720P video quality, and it doesn't re-focus at all during video.
              Also worth mentioning, with the extra $50 saved (SX230 $350 vs. S95 $400), I got two 16gb SDHC C10 cards from Newegg.

              So, a couple negatives points about the SX230; 1) eats batteries rather fast - ordered two spares, quite affordable on ebay, but they say to watch the quality. 2) In M mode (manual aperture & shutter), it limits ISO to 100 at a shutter slower than 1s. That kind of sucks, as I though about doing night skies and the like using ISO400+. Not a huge obstacle, but still.