Summary: The Canon Powershot S90 is a unique ultra-compact to feature a full-range of manual controls including manual focusing, a bright stabilized wide-angle F2 lens and two control wheels for efficient controls. One control wheel is mounted around the 4-way control and the other is found around the lens. The behavior of the lens ring is highly customizable and can make the S90 the most efficient ultra-compact ever produced.
Pros: Better image noise than most ultra-compacts, Fast F2 wide-angle lens, Effective stabilization, Generally good lens sharpness, Low optical distortion at telephoto, Good automatic white-balance, Good color accuracy, Very efficient interface, Highly customizable interface, Good LCD details and visibility
Cons: Slightly below average speed of operation, Tendency to overexpose, Auto-focus not so fast, Focus misses more frequent than average, Slight edge softness and more corner softness, Noticeable distortion at wide-angle, Limited dynamic range, Short battery life, Difficult to hold securely and to use with gloves, Low-contrast display, prone to fingerprints
Excerpt: It’s been a while since the launch of the PowerShot S80 – 5 years to be precise. The PowerShot S90 is more than just a redesigned version of its predecessor – the S80. The camera offers functionality and usability that hasn’t quite been implemented in any other S-series camera. Read on to find out as to what makes the PowerShot S90 so different. The PowerShot S90 looks like any other compact camcorder but comes with a few minor but helpful changes.
Canon Reintroduces The S Series, Photogs Shed A Tear
20 August 2010
Excerpt: Canon has resurrected (wisely) the PowerShot S Series with the new S90. Wising up to the fact that there are consumers who want a pocket-sized camera that takes quality photos, not the point-and-shoot garbage we’ve been relegated to. Think: bleach white faces due to overblown flash, blurry evening scenes, and generally shitty party photos. Thankfully, the S90 gives aspiring photographers an everyday camera that fits in your pocket but still shoots serious photographs.
Summary: The S90 offers an appealing combination of compact styling, photographic functionality and powerful control. Crucially it also offers some of the best image quality we've seen in such a small camera for a long time, sensor limitations aside. It's got a great lens and great features and is only let down slightly by the inevitable handling issues that come with such a small camera.
Pros: Excellent image quality, particularly at lower ISO settings, Well optimized JPEGs, Extensive photographic feature set, New Function Ring transforms use of manual controls on a small camera, Usable, fast raw mode with excellent DPP software supplied, Highly customizable, Fast, sharp zoom with useful 28-105mm range and F2.0 aperture (though only at the wide end), Reliable metering, focus and white balance, Fast face detection / tracking, Very compact, well built, Nice s...
Cons: Highlight clipping and channel clipping in bright, contrasty conditions, Rear dial rotates too freely and cannot be disabled, so accidental settings changes too common, No noise reduction options, JPEG NR too strong at higher ISO settings, Video limited to VGA resolution, Lack of grip and smooth, featureless body don't help handling one bit (although third party solutions are available), Focus in low light and at long end of zoom could be faster, Flash underpowered, f...
Conclusion: There is no doubt that this is one expensive compact camera, but it’s fair to say that the Canon Powershot S90 is of exceptional quality. Not only does the end product excel, but it also gives you so many features that it will take a long time to tire of it and will offer so much in terms of creativity.
Summary: The Canon S90 is a photographer’s compact camera. If you owned any of the recent Canon G-series cameras, you will appreciate the S90 as more of a compact version of that series. The S90 delivers control and flexibility that has been taken away from the user in so many other compact camera models today.
Excerpt: As some of you may have noticed, I bought a Canon S90 a couple of months ago and have been putting it through its paces during this time. While the reviews showed photos taken mostly for the purposes of testing the camera, the fact is I bought the S90 to take real photographs with.