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Canon PowerShot S5 IS

alaTest has collected and analyzed 2584 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the screen and image quality. The performance and usability also get good comments, whereas views about the contrast and low light performance are different. Many are critical about the features and sensor.

value for money, usability, performance, image quality, screen

lens, storage, memory, sensor, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon PowerShot S5 IS is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 87/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 2584 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 667 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 667 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (474)

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Canon Powershot S5 IS


The S3 IS superzoom may have long been discontinued by Canon, but it's still a pretty hot seller in the local market here. Now with Canon skipping the sequence and releasing the S5 IS, the question arises – is it good enough to take over the market...

As intimidating as the layout may look to a novice user, the camera remains absolutely simple to operate, while providing you options to go as hands-on as you wish. The tilt-and-swivel LCD display is as flexible as it gets for taking pictures in really...

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Canon PowerShot S5 IS


It's the oldest megazoom camera in this roundup, but it's hardly a dinosaur. Canon's $400 PowerShot S5 IS, released In May 2007, represented the company's latest foray into the advanced, high-zoom digital camera market. Like its 2008 competitors, it...

Sturdy and fully adjustable LCD screen ; Top-notch image stabilization

Poor manual focus ; No RAW support

An articulable LCD, great image stabilization and top-quality photos add up to an above-average megazoom.

Expert review by:

PowerShot S5 IS


The Canon PowerShot S-series digital cameras not only hold a comfortable position in the ultra-zoom market with their 12x optically stabilized zoom lenses, but are also known as excellent hybrid models. With their stellar Movie modes and feature-laden...

Great videos ; Sturdy body ; Rotating LCD ; Accurate colors and white balance ; Optical image stabilization ; Wide f/2.7 aperture

High noise levels above ISO 200 ; Significant chromatic aberration ; Limited dynamic range ; Heavy ; Finicky multi-selector ; Grainy viewfinder ; Slow 1.5 fps Burst mode ; High $499 price


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Canon PowerShot S5 IS


The enduring popularity of Canon's 'big zoom' range began on the day the original PowerShot S1 IS was announced back at the start of 2004, heralding a return to a sector of the market many believed the photo giant had abandoned when the Pro 90 IS was...

Excellent resolution, good detail at lower ISOs (though output a little soft) ; Good color, good exposure, generally accurate focus gives a high 'hit rate' even in auto mode ; Huge photographic versatility with 36-432mm lens and super macro mode ;...

Noise and noise reduction effects visible at anything over ISO 100 ; ISO 800 and 1600 very noisy and of limited use ; Wider wideangle would be nice ; SD card slot now in battery compartment - battery cover awkward to open and close ; Barely any image...

Although it represents a more significant upgrade than the S3 IS was over the S2 IS, the S5 IS doesn't really see Canon breaking much new ground. Of course that isn't such a terrible thing; this has been a hugely successful series of cameras - for most...

Expert review by:

Canon Powershot S5 IS


Powered by Canon's DIGIC III image processor, Face Detection Technology improves focus, exposure and flash output for people shots while the new Red-Eye Correction feature effectively solves red-eye problems in captured photos. An increased sensitivity...

Other key advancements include a larger, higher resolution 2.5" vari-angle LCD, additional shooting modes and extended video recording. The compact design incorporates a new hot shoe that provides compatibility with selected Canon EX Speedlite external...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S5 IS


There was a lot to like about the Canon PowerShot S3 IS, and much of it remains in this year's PowerShot S5 IS, including Canon's veteran optical image-stabilization technology, excellent metering and focusing systems, the signature flip-and-twist LCD...

Tons of manual and automatic features; well-laid-out controls; solid body; nice LCD display

Lens aberrations and vignetting; some processing artifacts; lacks raw file support; redesigned lens cap still pops off too easily

Though it remains a good megazoom, thanks to continued image and lens artifacts, the Canon PowerShot S5 IS is slowly losing ground to competitors.


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S5 IS Review


The Canon PowerShot S5 IS is Canon's top-of-the-range ultra-zoom compact camera, with an image-stabilized 12x optical zoom lens offering a focal range of 36-432mm, fast aperture range of f/2.7 f/3.5 ...

In terms of features and handling the more you play with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS, the more you find to like about it, which means that it requires a period of familiarization. Although certain aspects of the...

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Canon PowerShot S5 IS Digital Camera - Full Review


The 8-megapixel Canon PowerShot S5 IS digital camera is a moderate update to its very popular predecessor, the Canon S3 IS. The Canon S5 IS maintains many of the S3's strong points, including an image-stabilized 12x optical zoom lens (36mm-432mm/35mm...

Loaded with advanced, easy-to-use features, Efficient control layout, Easy access to settings, 12x image stabilized optical zoom lens, Hot shoe for external flash, Extensive fine-tuning options, including skin tones and individual Red, Green, Blue...

Image noise visible at ISO 200 and above, Noise suppression in shadows softens details, Chromatic aberration, No RAW mode

Expert review by:

Camera Test: Canon PowerShot S5 IS


It seems like every other week here at, we're hearing of a new digicam that boasts some superlative: the slimmest ultra-compact, the longest zoom, the most megapixels, fastest burst rate and so on. Then there's the recently released Canon...

Expert review by:

A Review of the Canon PowerShot S5 IS


This digital camera review is for the Canon PowerShot S5 IS; a digital camera that offers the best of both worlds: an easy to use digital camera that is ideal for family fun, and a digital camera that is a capable, professional quality all-in-one that...

Product Specifications

The ultra-powerful 12x optical zoom on the PowerShot S5 IS means you'll get the shot you want with no compromise, yet that's only the beginning of what makes this camera so exciting. The S5 IS is loaded with many of Canon's technologies including the DIGIC III Image Processor, so both still images and movies are rendered with fine detail and luminous clarity. And now ambitious photographers have even greater creative latitude thanks to an included hot shoe adapter that allows you to attach Canon Speedlite EX Series external flashes. PowerShot S5 IS is compact and portable, with streamlined controls and a sure, steady grip. And you'll want to take it everywhere, because inside is a level of photographic power that's truly impressive. 8.0 megapixels ensure deeply detailed images - giving you complete freedom to enlarge an image or any section of an image and crop to your exact specifications. The 12x optical zoom brings this compact digital camera into the realm of serious photography. It has the power to take you right up onto the stage and into the end zone for the shot you really want. Zooming is fast and silent thanks to the ultrasonic motor drive.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo


Battery Form Factor:Standard form factor
Supported Battery Form Factor:AA

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:Compact
Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card/SD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard / SDHC Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Aquarium / Beach / Fireworks / Foliage / Indoor / Landscape / Macro / Night scene / Night snapshot / Portrait mode / Snow / Sports mode / Stitch assist/Snow / Night snapshot / Beach / Foliage / Indoor / Sports mode / Night scene / Fireworks / Stitch assist / Macro / Portrait mode / Landscape / Aquarium

Flash Memory

Form Factor:SD Memory Card
Storage Capacity:32MB


Model:S5 IS
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.7-3.5
Max Focal Length:72mm
Min Focal Length:6mm
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens


Microsoft Certification:Certified for Windows Vista
Vista Certification:Certified for Windows Vista

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.5 / 1/2.5"/1/2.5"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):10.2 mm ( 1/2.5 ) / 10.2 mm ( 1/2.5" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:8Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVI
Digital Zoom:4
ISO (Max):1600
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 80 / ISO 800 / ISO auto/ISO auto / ISO 1600 / ISO 80 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO 100
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Color Accent / Color Swap / My Colors/Color Swap / Color Accent / My Colors
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:LCD