About 3000 people have shot me an email asking me "why did you decide on the LX5 vs the S95". To tell the truth, it was a tough call. Both of these cameras are really nice and both the S95 and LX5 will do pretty much the same job. I cannot definitively say which one is better. I can say the factors that shoved me towards the LX5, so here goes. I am not reading off of spec sheets here, I rarely do that. If you want, do it yourself.
- Better lens on the LX5 - this is just my visual impression and could be argued.
- Wider lens on the LX5 - this one cannot be argued 24e on the LX5 vs 28e on the S95.
- I like the controls better on the LX5
- I like the build quality and feel of the Panasonic vs the Canon.
- Full manual control of exposure, focus and zoom for Video on the LX5.
- I really like the way the "My mode" works with the LX5.
- Oh - The LX5 is much much faster than the S95. It feels really quick shot to shot and the focus seems faster to me but that was not some sort of scientific test.
- My own casual evaluation of image quality at the ISO's I actually use seemed to suit my taste better.
- I like the little side grip on the LX5 (something the Leica version doesn't have) Hmmm, lets remove the grip, add the red dot and charge $500 more. Bullshit.
- No EVF on the S95
So what does the S95 have going for it? Well to tell you the truth, the only thing that I can see is that the S95 is slightly smaller and has a more "pocket friendly" profile. Honestly as pockets go there are two kinds of pockets that will fit either of these cameras. The first type are pockets that are too small for either. The second kind are pockets that would be comfortable for either - like a big jacket or coat pocket. Who cares - In my reality you can either stick either one in the pockets you have or not. In my jeans neither would be too comfortable. In my shirt? Are you kidding? In my coat - both are fine.