Compact With Advanced Controls

The Canon PowerShot S90 is built for enthusiasts who want advanced photography controls in a very compact camera. It has an understated but purposeful design, and is well-built and comfortable to use. A new interesting feature is the large control ring in the front of the camera. To quote the manual: 'You can change the function assigned to the control ring. By performing operations with the control ring, you can enjoy the feeling of using a fully manual camera.' The function that we like to assign the control ring to is Step Zoom, which drives the lens to preset classic 35mm focal lengths: 28, 35, 50, 85, and 105mm. Like all other Canon compacts, the S90 uses a guide mask on the LCD for the 3:2 35mm format, we have to crop the image later manually. It'd be better to have a true 3:2 capture mode.
Image quality is very good. A good 10 megapixels sensor, a fast 2.0 aperture lens - at the 28mm wide end - and effective image stabilization make the S90 a very good existing light and street camera. The LCD display is fantastic and has vibrant colors, pictures look better on it than on our desktop's LCD.
Video is not a priority for the S90, and not for us either, its features are only basic. While the S90 is not as fast as we expect, it's an excellent photographer's camera - one that is neatly pocketable. We enjoy taking pictures with it as much as any other camera and it's certainly one of our favorites.


>> luang prabang photo gallery

  • easy to use
  • very good image quality
  • good in low-light without flash

  • full photographic controls
  • very compact, solidly-built
  • excellent, fast 28-105mm zoom lens
  • effective optical image stabilization
  • raw, raw + jpeg modes
  • excellent 3.0" LCD
  • front control ring
  • HDMI output



  • basic video features
  • can be a little faster

  • excellent photographer's camera
  • deluxe compact camera
  • price when tested: $399
  • 3.2010 street price: $399
  • image stabilized zoom lens 28-105mm
  • multi-format: 4:3, 16:9, 3:2 guide
  • 3.0" LCD
  • VGA video
  • SD/SDHC memory card
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 10 megapixels
  • dimension: 3.95 x 2.30 x 1.22"
  • weight: 6.3 oz
  • PowerShot S90 info @