Canon Powershot vs Olympus XZ-1 in their underwater housings

Which is better for snorkeling photography in underwater housing

Canon Powershot S95 vs Olympus XZ-1 - features

Neither of these models (the XZ-1 or the S95) are the most recent in their respective ranges.

The Olympus XZ-1 has been superceded by the XZ-2.   This is a more expensive camera, largely due to the tilting touch screen.

Why pay more for features that you can't use in the underwater housing?   Of course, you may decide you want the XZ-2 screen for land use.

Canon has added the S100 and S110 to it's Powershot range.   The S110 is more expensive.
Helf-moon triggerfish
The S110 has a touchscreen (irrelevant underwater).   It has the white balance = 'underwater' setting which I so like in the XZ-1.   This preset has been in earlier models but users seem to opt for the 'one click' white balance..

Whatever leads your choice, remember you are likely to stay with the range.

Given the snorkeling airtime deadline, you're likely to stay with the same brand for continuity of menu settings or style, which you come to be able to use virtually with your eyes closed.

Canon Powershot S95
Olympus XZ-1

LCD - both have a large 3" LCD
sensor - both large - similar overall performance
RAW - both capture in RAW as well as jpeg - (not used yet)
underwater housing - both give good access to manual controls
autofocus tracking - both have - (tried but don't like)
scene modes - underwater - Canon = 1, Olympus = 2 - (I prefer shutter prioity)
shutter speeds - Olympus only slightly faster
image stabilisation - both have - Canon might be better?
screen/ LCD clarity - mixed reports
good high ISO performance - mixed reviews
lens quality - mixed reviews
underwater housing - (own manufacturer) - both have
about 4x zoom (more than I need)

S90/ S95 - cheaper
cost (camera with underwater housing)

eBay/ Amazon- Dec 2013   (Olympus PT-050 housing now scarce)

40% smaller & much lighter
size/ weight


very good
housing controls good/ accessible/ visible
might be even slightly better

obtaining correct white balance
works and is convenient

one-click white balance button
white balance = 'underwater'

housing - LCD hood/ shade
better - shade available

enlarged theirs - essential mod

housing - standard threads/ fittings
much better - has 67mm

aperture - wide

f2.0 - 4.9
f1.8 - 2.5

shutter speed (min)
slightly faster

0.61 secs
lag between pressing shoot button and photo being taken
0.52 secs

continuous burst speed
much faster

1.9 fps
- (tried but got better shots when taken singly)
7 fps

battery life

200 shots
320 shots

Which camera for snorkeling
P9 of 11 - Next -
Which is the better snorkelling camera