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 control layout might appear slightly compromised or clunky at first you soon learn to live with its foibles. However, it can’t be denied that inability to capture any stills file format other than JPEG will be a major turn off for a chunk of its potential ownership.
Ultimately the Canon PowerShot S5 IS is something of a jack-of-all-trades - perhaps even a Swiss Army knife of a camera (though it doesn’t play MP3s), and there’s certainly more of a focus on shooting movies than many enthusiast cameras, with stereo sound (Wave format) offered, a long play option, and a nicely smooth and quiet zoom action thanks to that Ultrasonic Motor (USM).
Despite the fact that 12x is looking a little weedy against the likes of the Olympus SP-560UZ or Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, you do get a lot of zoom for your money compared to what it would cost to equip a DSLR with a similar rage, and yet its stills performance - although perfectly acceptable - is no star turn.