With full manual exposure control and the ability to save images as raw files, the Canon PowerShot S90 may be the perfect compact camera for the demanding enthusiast photographer

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Canon PowerShot S90

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Canon PowerShot S90 review


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Canon PowerShot S90 at a glance:

  • 10-million-pixel sensor
  • 28-105mm equivalent zoom lens
  • ISO 80-3200
  • 3in, 461,000-dot screen
  • Street price around £380

Within the current Canon PowerShot range there are two compact cameras that are designed to appeal to the enthusiast photographer. Although the Canon PowerShot S90 is smaller and lighter than its sibling, the PowerShot G11, the two cameras share many of the same features. Most notable of these is the ten-million-pixel 1/1.7 inch CCD sensor.

However, the similarities don’t end there. As with the G11, two of the main selling points of the S90 are its manual exposure control and ability to save images in Canon’s CR2 raw file format. These features, plus its small size, are the S90’s main attractions. This is a compact camera the enthusiast photographer can have full control over, which, on paper at least, makes the S90 ideal for when point-and-shoot images simply won’t suffice.

Although the PowerShot S90 has only a 3.8x optical zoom lens rather than the 5x lens found on the G11, it is a 28-105mm equivalent, which is ideal for both landscapes and portraits. The lens also has a maximum aperture of f/2 and optical image stabilisation which, combined with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, should make it useful in low light.

With aperture and shutter priority exposure modes, as well as an innovative control ring, the S90 looks like an interesting option for the enthusiast on those occasions when a DSLR would simply be overkill.

  1. 1. Canon PowerShot S90 at a glance:
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. White balance and colour
  4. 4. Metering
  5. 5. Autofocus
  6. 6. LCD, live view and video
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. The competition
  9. 9. Our verdict
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  • Keith Tomkins

    I thought about getting the Canon 7D but the vari-angle screen on the Canon 60D did it for me. Being left handed this camera suited me
    Its Solid build and good balance great control positions with a lock button in the centre of picture setting type control knob,which for left handers works brilliantly as you can’t knock it with your hand like I used to do on the Canon 550D I had before upgrading also the NOSE print every time i took a photo! But not on the 60D which also has the view screen top right of camera for AF/drive/ ISO and metering meaning you know your setting with the screen turned inwards.
    Best camera I have ever bought, so I bit the bullet and got the 24-105mm IS USM, 50mm 1.4f USM and the 70-200mm F4 IS USM lenses
    The pictures I took at the London 2012 olympics made it all worth while

    Highly recommended 9.5 out of 10