We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Canon PowerShot S5 IS 8Mp digital camera

£399 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Canon

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The sturdily built Canon PowerShot S5 IS is what is commonly known as a 'bridge' camera – so called because it forms a bridge between a point-and-shoot compact and a digital SLR.

The sturdily built Canon PowerShot S5 IS is what is commonly known as a 'bridge' camera – so called because it forms a bridge between a point-and-shoot compact and a digital SLR.

The Canon PowerShot S5 IS qualifies for that tag by virtue of its 12x zoom lens with built-in image stabiliser (hence the 'IS') that, in theory, provides a sufficient focal range for any eventuality.

The only obvious sticking point is that the Canon PowerShot S5 IS costs as much as some entry-level DSLRs, although it does offer 36-432mm equivalent range in a much more compact and portable form.

You get a creatively flexible video mode with stereo sound that has its own record button and allows full use of the zoom. An ultrasonic motor ensures lens movement is both swift and smooth, while the Canon PowerShot S5 IS's comfortably rounded handgrip houses four AA batteries and a supplied 32MB SD card, adding to the solid feel.

The Canon PowerShot S5 IS is activated via a rotating switch. Although this feels fiddly, the Canon PowerShot S5 IS is quick to power up, taking around a second for its lens to extend to maximum wide angle and either the electronic viewfinder or rear LCD to burst into life.

The monitor can be flipped out and rotated, making it useful for high or low angle shooting where it would otherwise be difficult to get your eye to the viewfinder.

Taking a shot, any shutter delay is minimal, and the committal of images to memory is similarly swift – a top quality 8mp JPEG wrote to the card in around a second. Surprisingly, given that the Canon PowerShot S5 IS is a semi-professional camera, you don't also get the option to shoot uncompressed RAW files.

With the Canon PowerShot S5 IS's image stabilisation set to continuous, blurred results at maximum telephoto setting are refreshingly rare. Like most compacts, there is some pixel fringing evident between areas of high contrast, although only when zooming in.

Noise is more of an issue with Canon PowerShot S5 IS shots, however, creeping into shots upwards of ISO400 and images at maximum ISO1600 appearing as if you're viewing them through frosted glass.

The Canon PowerShot S5 IS produces shots were colours are well saturated and skin tones are warm and flattering.

Canon PowerShot S5 IS Expert Verdict »


Canon Powershot S5 IS reviews verified by Reevoo

Canon Powershot S5 ISScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 24 reviews
12x optical zoom lens
otical image stabiliser
8Mp CCD
long-play VGA movies with stereo sound
DIGIC III with advanced Noise Reduction technology and Face Detection for stills and movies
face detection AF/AE/FE
red-eye Correction
high ISO 1600 and auto ISO shift
2.5in high-resolution vari-angle LCD
22 shooting modes including full manual control and 0cm Super Macro
ompatible with Wide/Tele/Close-up converter lenses and Canon EX Speedlite flashes
1.15kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

With a little care and attention, the Canon PowerShot S5 IS delivers the goods. It has a 12x zoom, a flip and twist screen, and is fast, intuitive, light and compact. Unfortunately, you get image noise on shots taken above ISO400, plus occasional pixel fringing.

  • Canon PowerShot SX1 IS review

    Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

    The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS may just be the best featured point and shoot camera you can buy.

  • Canon PowerShot S90 review

    Canon PowerShot S90

    Canon's PowerShot S90 compact digital camera is one of the most powerful point-and-shoot models that you can slip into your shirt pocket.

  • Canon PowerShot G10 review

    Canon PowerShot G10

    The 14.7Mp Canon PowerShot G10 is a stylish-looking compact camera.

  • Canon PowerShot SD990 IS review

    Canon PowerShot SD990 IS

    As a fan of Canon's Digital Elph cameras, we were a bit disappointed by the current flagship model of the series, the 14.7Mp Canon PowerShot SD990 IS.

  • Canon PowerShot A470 review

    Canon PowerShot A470

    The Canon PowerShot A470 is a good no-frills digital camera at a rock-bottom price.


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Complete guide to iPhone and iPad settings: Get to know iOS 8 Settings UPDATED