Summary: I bought this camera the week it was released, and at the time it was the absolute best compact camera on the market. Image quality was excellent, controls were intuitive, and I finally had a small camera that was functional in indoor, low light situations. About a year and a half after I bought it, I started noticing little black spots in some of my pictures. Somehow, dust particles had migrated through the lens barrel and onto the sensor.
Summary: Had this camera for well over a year. Reliability is good, and picture quality in ideal conditions of light (i.e., daylight) turn out only a bit less than my Nikon D40 DSLR. If I had known beforehand, I'd probably not have bought this camera due to the little wheel adjustment (default operation is ISO) on the back that spins too freely.
Summary: I purchased this camera from Amazon in August 2010, and for months have been in love with it. BUT very suddenly it would not power on. I recharged the battery hoping it was that. NOpe. Amazon would not complete the conversation because it is "past 30 days". I called the manufacturer, Canon, and we did a "reset power" by holding the power button on for 20 seconds, and then releasing it. Then I suppose it was suppose to power back on, but it would not.
Summary: I am a die-hard Canon fan, having owned 3 Canon DSLRs and 5 point-and-shoots, so I have a good basis for comparison. Canon missed quite a bit with the S90. I bought it after it resurfaced as a P&S that could shoot raw format in addition to JPEG and video when Canon discontinued the S60/S70 line. The problem is too many features and not enough controls as you find on an SLR.
Summary: Camera take amazing pictures, but after a few month, both S90's that I brought (one for my wife as well) developed spots on the LCD, which have gradually gotten worse. Also, my camera has a fault with the optics, when taking pics of nights scenes, I get streaking of any bright spots in the top right corner.
Excerpt: Good. BUT NOT PERFECT !...................................... Very good camera. Really nice results especially in dark. Perfect that Canon add special mode (high ISO at 1/4 resolution) for these purposes which is available on selection rotary wheel. I am sure you will use this feature very often. Okay there is some loose of details but picture at all looks nice. Precise construction with excellent display.
Excerpt: I love this camera. I only use a compact camera and I carry mine with me all the time. I get much better photographs with this camera than with other compacts I have used. The prices was a bit steep, but the photos are worth it. I hope that the number of cameras available in this class increases as seems to be the case. Problems: The problems and weaknesses are the same one's noted in DPreview's in-depth review of the camera.
Pros: The fast lens and the relatively high ISO ability of this camera make it one of the best I have ever seen in a P&S camera that fits in your pocket.
Cons: Pop up flash is a real pain. The camera has no grip on it meaning you wind up holding it with both hands - fingers on the top, thumbs on the bottom. Problem is your finger(s) on the left hand rest on top of the flash. Also, only 3.8 x zoom.