The Canon's PowerShot S90 appears to represent exactly the sort of compact we like - a bright lens, good screen and easy access to a selection of manual controls. Then we discovered the control ring around the lens and thought it worth publishing our first impressions. Click here to have a read of our brief hands-on with Canon's latest photographers' compact.
Canon S90 Brief hands-on
by Parinita Salian, August 2009
It was way back in August 2005 that Canon launched the last in the line of its S-Series compact photographers' cameras. After four long years, the company has rebooted the range with the sleek and stylish looking S90. This reinvigoration of a seemingly extinct line prompted us to take a closer look into this long overdue successor of the S80. The S-series has gone under the knife for a cosmetic makeover with the S90 emerging complete with new design elements not seen in previous Canon compacts.
The apparent success of the Panasonic LX3 (or, at least, the near-impossibility of getting hold of one) suggests it tapped into a market for compacts packed with advanced features in a compact body. Canon's own G10 offered a similar feature set but in a significantly chunkier looking body. So it's hard not to see the S90 as Canon's response to the LX3. This impression is enhanced by the S90's impressively bright F2.0-4.9 28-105mm stabilized lens - it's not as ambitious at the Panasonic's lens but it covers a much more useful range.
As with the LX3, Canon has chosen to incorporate a relatively large (1/1.7", 0.43 cm²) sensor which has been designed with high sensitivity, rather than just higher megapixel count in mind, to make the most of the bright lens. This 10 megapixel sensor is then mated with Canon's latest Digic 4 processor to offer what the company describes as a dual anti-noise system.
When we picked up the S90 the first thing we noticed was the control ring built around the lens. It is used to adjust camera settings and can have multiple functions assigned to it. For instance it can act as a zoom ring, with each click jumping between the traditionally popular 28, 35, 50, 85 and 105mm equivalent focal lengths. Other functions can also be assigned to it using it to adjust either the focus, shutter-speed, aperture, exposure compensation, white balance or ISO.
We were particularly impressed with the way the S90 combines photographer-friendly features with its simple and uncomplicated body design and smooth finish.
Canon S90 Key Features
- Lens Control Ring
- 10 million pixels sensor
- RAW shooting
- Fast f/2.0-4.9 maximum aperture range
- Lens covering the classic 28-105mm range
- Dual Anti-Noise System (high sensitivity sensor and Digic 4 noise reduction)
- 3.0 inch PureColor II LCD
- Optical Image Stabilization
- Smarter Scene Detection
- Low Light mode
- DIGIC 4 image processor
- HD output
Side by side
The image below should give a good impression of how the Canon S90 compares size-wise with Panasonic LX3. It's a touch smaller and more IXUS/SD-like than the LX3, its simplistic overall design making it visually appealing in an understated way.
In the hand
It's small, but not too small to actually hold and use it. There is no space for a grip in the minimalist design concept of the S90, but it is comfortable enough to rest your fingers on the side and shoot.
Design elements and Features
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.