The Sony does have a full manual mode, but it is designed to be primarily an automatic camera. On the other hand, the Canon has in addition to its fully automatic modes, manual, program, shutter speed priority, and aperture priority (with a full range of available apertures; the Sony only uses two) modes. If the ability to learn about "the basics" and control is what you want, get the Canon.
Hello, I am a noob when it comes to photography, but I am very interested and excited in learning more about it. I need a camera that would be a good place to start with to learn the basics and still be fairly light on my wallet. I have found two cameras that have stood out and am seeking advice as to which would better suit my needs as a beginner eager to learn more. They are: the Canon PowerShot S95 and Sony HX9v. I am leaning towards the Canon right now, but any advice is appreciated. Thanks for any help!