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monioz Jul 6, 2008 1:53 PM

I am planning on getting a new camera and will use it primarily for traveling and also for taking photos of people. Both these cameras seem great for what I want. Not sure which one would be a better choice. Any additional info would be helpful. I do know that the G9 has a rechargeable battery which is a great benefit but only a 6X optical zoom but 12 megapixels and that the S5 has a 12 optical zoom but no rechargeable batteries.

denncald Jul 6, 2008 7:20 PM

The G9 uses a rechargeable Li Ion battery. It is about the size of two AA batteries, so it is light weight, and you can easily carry two, or more. The S5 IS uses four AA batteries, but you can purchase four (or eight) rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, or hybrids. This adds weight, but also gives you more shots between charges; 450 - 500 for four AAs vs about 240 for the Li Ion.

You seem to be interested in the Canon brand, so I will refer you to this review site to see their top 5 picks. The S5 IS is #2, and the G9 is #1. But, you may be interested in those at #3, #4, or #5 too.

I have the G9, but I have found the 6x zoom a little limiting at times, but not all the time. I purchased the Canon 2x teleconversion lens to give me the equivalent of 12x for those shots I really want. I haven't used it a lot, but it does help when I want it. This adds cost, and adds bulk to carry around. The S5 IS will give you all that in one package, but only at 8MP vs 12MP. I print some of my shots at 24" x 36" from 12MP images, so I'm glad I have the larger resolution. The S5 IS is a good camera. However, more megapixels on small image sensors is not a great thing, since it can quickly start producing noisy (grainy) images at higher ISO settings. Here is another link from the above site concerning image noise.

You have not indicated how you plan to use the camera, so it is difficult to tell what camera you should actually consider. Both the S5 IS and the G9 have lots of manual controls to give you many options for taking pictures. There are more cameras without all the manual controls that might also be of interest to you. So, consider this while you search.


PS I forgot to add a link to this blog on the S5 IS.

joeybob Jul 6, 2008 9:56 PM

I kind of started into digital with a G3 - a while back - 5 or 6 years ago... I have finally replaced the original battery because the darn camera just won't quit ! If the G9 is anything like it's older sibling I'd highly recomend it as I still carry my G3 around when I don't feel like taking the d50.

Here is what the G3 can do (4 megapixles BTW) :-)

monioz Jul 7, 2008 12:39 AM


Thanks so much for all the information. It gives me more to work with.

I want this camera for traveling and sightseeing, taking pictures of my son skiing, playing baseball etc., and pictures of people. I remember that the S5 said that it had issues with low light and then either the S5 or the G9 said it had problems with sports pictures. Would either camera be better for the way I want to use it?

I am not fixed on a Canon but I like that they have a view finder. Another camera that seemed like it might be good and may have more of a wide angle lens is the Panasonic DZ5.

Any more info or comparisons would be helpful.

Thanks again.

denncald Jul 7, 2008 7:28 AM

The G9 and S5 IS will do a good job taking people pics, but sports and low light will be a disappointment, in most cases. Point and Shoot (P&S) cameras cannot compete with digital SLR (dSLR) cameras for speedy (quick) shots or low light photos. That said, you can still get by with either camera, but expect to learn how to do these things, and accept some grainy photos (noise).

The S5 IS will be more convenient with the 12x optical zoom to be able to reach out to the field. The G9, without the 2x teleconverter, might not get the shot you want. With the 2x converter, it might be comparable to the S5 IS.

If you want to take a series of quick shots during intense action, you will find the cameras cannot keep up with the process. There is Burst Mode, but it's not going to be as fast as a dSLR.

If you are taking pictures in daylight conditions, you should be able to use higher shutter speeds to reduce or eliminate camera shake, especially with longer zoom shots. In lower light indoors, you would have to increase the ISO settings to allow higher shutter speeds, but noise becomes an issue. You can correct some noise, but not all of it. So, you learn to live with it. You won't see much of the noise if you print 4x6" or 5x7", but larger and you will see it.

Here's a link I found for the S5 IS and sports related pictures on Flickr;;s=int&z=t

The same search for the G9 and sports has less real sports images;;s=int&z=t

The Panasonic TZ5 (not DZ5) is a good camera, based on reviews I've read. It lacks manual controls that the S5 IS and G9 have, and it also lacks an external flash hotshoe they both have. The hotshoe may prove to be useful, and many think it essential, but I have not purchased an external flash for my G9 yet. The built in flash on P&S cameras is weak when compared to an external unit. However, you can spend more on a flash than you paid for the camera, if you get one with lots of power and many features.


monioz Jul 7, 2008 8:29 PM

Thanks for all your help. I think I will go with the S5. It sounds like it would offer more.

monioz Jul 8, 2008 2:10 AM

I read a few more entries about choosing a camera and one more that stands out and may be better at sports pictures and nighttime photos is the Sony H50. Any information on the Sony as compared to the Canon S5?

denncald Jul 8, 2008 10:37 AM

The Sony H50 doesn't have much in the way of reviews yet. I did find one site that has tested/reviewed it, and they give the S5 IS a slight edge over the H50. You should check out the review for both cameras, and others, here;

Look at the test photos for each on their respective review links.

There are quite a few new owner's reviews for the H50 on Amazon, so they can tell you their stories.

They seem mostly quite happy with their choice. One commenter brings up the issue of Sony using non-standard sizes for their optional lenses and filters. This means you pay more for Sony brand components, if you need them. The Canon S5 IS uses more standard sizes, so you have more 3rd party options, as shown on this link;

You may also want to read this blog that discusses the S2/S3/S5 series. Read the likes and dislikes to get an idea of how the camera performs in real life.


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