Canon Powershot A95 versus Ixus 500 ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jonathan G Campbell, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Old timer here getting round to going digital, but rather bewildered.

    For a compact camera, the Canon Ixus 500 seems nice; also the
    Powershot A95. I looked at both in a shop (actually an A85) and it
    seemed that the only appreciable difference is that the A85 is
    slightly larger and (because?) it uses AA batteries.

    Anyone wish to comment?


    Jon C.
    Jonathan G Campbell, Sep 15, 2004
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  2. Jonathan G Campbell

    DHB Guest

    both the Ixus 500 & A95 are good cameras however I
    would advice against the "A85". The reason is simple Canon built this
    camera to have a price competitive 5MP camera but had to cut too many
    corners to do it. The A40(2MP), A60(2MP), A70(3.2MP) A75(3.2MP) &
    A85(5MP) all use a 1/2.7" sensor. The A80(4MP) & A95(5MP) both use
    the physically larger 1/1.8" sensor. All things being equal, the
    larger the sensor the less amplification of signal is required, thus
    lower digital noise (graininess). Always compare specifications as
    well as features in order to make the best choice.

    If I were you & did not find the larger size of the A95
    objectionable, I would choose that over the Ixus 500/S500. The A95
    takes "AA" batteries, both rechargeable & Alkaline if needed which can
    be purchased almost anywhere. It's also has a bit more simplistic
    layout to operate the controls & has great user selectable features
    including full manual controls so that you can grow into the camera's
    extra features if you wish, rather than outgrow the camera.

    Also here is a side-by-side, feature-by-feature comparison:

    Select the cameras you wish to compare & it will line up the
    features for you, making it much easier to decide which best fits
    "your" needs. I own a Canon A70 & am pleased with it but I almost
    always shoot in "P" (Program) mode with the ISO speed set to ISO 50.
    This will lower effective flash range indoors but in "my" opinion the
    reduction in digital noise is worth it & outdoor shoots are great even
    in full auto. In "my" opinion is that 3.2MP is the upper limit of the
    1/2.7" sensor, anything above this is sacrificing low noise to gain
    higher resolution.

    Many will likely argue that advances in electronics & sensor
    design permit the same physical size sensor to exhibit less noise
    which is true to a great degree, however I don't believe that this is
    the case with the A85, so I would not recommend it. This is certainly
    the Case with the Digital Rebel/300d & 10D versus the new 20D DSLR!

    This is all just my opinion & I am far from an expert but I am
    an E.T. & I do own a Canon A40, A60, A70, G2 & Digital Rebel/300D & am
    pleased with them all & still use them all for various

    Respectfully, DHB

    PS Welcome to digital photography, I think your going to love
    it & capture a lot of nice memories to share with others that you
    likely would not have done so with film alone.
    DHB, Sep 15, 2004
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  3. Jonathan G Campbell

    John Wright Guest

    "Jonathan G Campbell" wrote in message
    I agree with the comments from DHB, but note that A85 is a 4 MPixel camera,
    not 5 MPixels as DHB suggests.

    For the respective prices, both A85 and A95 are good value cameras, belong
    to the same category. A95 has the larger 1/1.8" CCD and 5 MP and a flip-out
    LCD, therefore worth the extra price over the A85.

    Ixus 500 (5 MPixels and larger CCD) is also a very good camera, but of a
    different category. Where it gives you a smaller, compact, solid body, in
    many respects it has less features than either A85 or A95 which have larger
    LCD, manual focus, shutter and aperture priority and other controls/modes.
    Only you can decide which features are more important to you. Best is to
    spend some time on the websites, or where there is
    ample details on these cameras.

    Regards - JW
    John Wright, Sep 16, 2004
  4. First, the A95 is *not* in the same class as the A85. The A85 replaces
    the A70/A75, while the A95 replaces the A80. The A95 has a flip-out LCD
    that helps get shots from unusual camera positions; the A85 does not.
    The A95 has a larger sensor so it should produce images with less noise.

    As for the difference between the 500 and the A95, both use the same
    sensor and processing electronics so the image quality should be the
    same. The major difference is that the A95 is more flexible (it has
    full manual exposure control, flip-out LCD, can take external filters)
    while the 500 is just plain smaller and lighter.

    The A95 does use AA batteries, so you'll have to buy at least one set of
    AA NiMH if you don't already have them. You should also get a fast
    charger (3 hours or less). If you need them, add them to the price of
    the A95. But once you have them, the difference between power sources
    for the two cameras is pretty minor - if you shoot no more than a couple
    hundred images a day. If you shoot a larger number of images, extra
    sets of AA NiMH will cost you less than extra LiIon batteries for the

    To me, the A95 is a near-ideal compact camera to take along when I
    expect to be shooting pictures, while the S500 is a better choice when I
    don't expect to be shooting but want a camera "just in case".

    Dave Martindale, Sep 16, 2004
  5. [...]

    Many thanks for that; and to DHB. It is precisely the sort of
    information I needed -- but difficult to gather from the
    specifications, at least in my state of knowledge. (It was the same
    with film cameras, one had to be immersed in the subject for a year or
    more before one could cut through the sales talk and specification

    So, it looks like it will the A95. It looks like the additional size
    is well
    worth it.

    As noted in another post, I'm inclined towards an SLR as well, but
    maybe I should first get used to digital on the A95. And by waiting a
    year or so, there should then be a cheaper version of the D20.

    Best regards,

    Jon C.
    Jonathan G Campbell, Sep 17, 2004
  6. Jonathan G Campbell

    DHB Guest

    Jon C.,
    pleased that you found my post helpful & thanks
    goes out to JW for politely correcting my error about the resolution
    of the A85.

    My nephew will also be ordering an A95 this week & it will be
    his 1st digital camera. He already has a nice 35mm SLR camera but
    agrees that he mainly needs an smaller everyday camera to take those
    more casual pictures that are not always cost effective to do with a
    35mm SLR & 1 does not always want to carry such around either.
    Eventually he will buy a nice DSLR but again there will always be need
    of a smaller camera that is easy to carry & use.

    Best wishes, I hope you like the A95. Also hope my nephew
    likes his even though it was his decision, I gave my input into the
    pros & cons of many different cameras & this 1 seems to fit his needs
    the best.

    If I may offer 1 bit of additional advice when you get your
    camera. Try setting the ISO speed to 50 & use the "P" (Program mode).
    If you don't change any other settings, this mode will act the same as
    "AUTO" with the exception of the lower ISO which will make your
    pictures a bit cleaner (less digital noise). The down side is that
    your shutter speeds will be a bit longer, so hold the camera steady &
    flash range will also be reduced, so get a little closer indoors.

    The wonderful side is that you don't need to reset the ISO to
    auto if you feel you need a higher ISO for as certain shot, just
    rotate the dial 1 click to "AUTO" mode & the ISO you have set will be
    ignored & it will default to "auto ISO" which floats between 50-140
    depending on what the camera's programming feels is best. Then switch
    back to "P" mode & ISO 50 is again set. Kind of like having your cake
    & eating it too!

    This has worked very well for me on all of my Canon A series
    cameras. Just like film, slower ISO when possible has basically the
    same benefits. Also since these cameras have such a wide depth of
    field, even with the lens wide open it's still almost impossible to
    reduce the DOF too far. In fact it's just about the only way to get
    some background blur to isolate your subject a bit.

    Best of luck, the biggest thing to remember is that you can
    take lots of pictures & learn from the results as to what works well
    for "you" & what does not. Digital makes that part basically free &
    you can often see the results well enough on the LCD to know if it
    worked as planned & if you can, make an adjustment & take another

    Respectfully, DHB
    DHB, Sep 17, 2004
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