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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It seems that contrast-detection AF has progressed about as far as it can with the technology currently available. Most high-end compact cameras now have a reasonably fast AF system, and it is often how well these systems perform in awkward lighting conditions that helps to distinguish one from another.

The S90’s AF system performs very well. In good light the AF locks onto focus quickly. When given more challenging lighting conditions, the camera has a built-in red AF focus beam that lights a scene to help it find its point of focus.

Another useful feature is Face AiAF, which detects faces and focuses on them. Once it detects a face in a scene, the AF can track it as it moves around the scene.

However, if you aren’t happy with the camera’s autofocus, or you simply wish to be creative, the PowerShot S90 can be manually focused. When in manual focus mode, the centre of the frame is magnified to aid accuracy. Manual focusing on compact cameras can often be a fiddly process, but the control ring of the S90 makes it simple and it goes some way to replicating the feeling of manually focusing an SLR lens.

  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