Canon S90 review

Canon revives its S series compacts with this likeable SLR backup

TODO alt text

canon powershot s90

Let's talk more about the lens. It's really fast and bright, as you can open the aperture as wide as f/2.

So it's ideal for blurring the background in close-up portraits, and being able to whack the aperture right open is obviously very handy in low light.

The lens itself is of outstanding quality and we found there to be minimal distortion – a great performance for the money.

The zoom is a bit limited at 3.8x, but you quickly get used to it, and there's optical image stabilisation to keep things nice and sharp at the telephoto end. The other advantage of a limited zoom is that it gets you into the good habit of getting closer to your subject, rather than relying on telephoto trickery and suffering the inevitable distortion you get on cheaper compacts.

Camera performance

The PowerShot S90 is a very discrete camera, so it's great for candid street photography, where you don't always want your subject to know they are being photographed. As mentioned, it's very easy to compose shots on the generous, well-lit rear LCD.

When it comes to speed and performance, it's a mixed bag. The PowerShot S90 takes about three seconds to save RAW images, which is quite good for a compact, so we're not quite sure why it still takes a second or two to work through much smaller JPEG files.

The camera can only manage 0.9fps in continuous shooting mode, too, which limits its appeal for action and sports photography.

On a related note, it's advisable to hold the camera quite firmly when you take the shot, as it's so light, we sometimes found ourselves moving away before it had actually finished processing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution10 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot S
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, MultiMediaCard (MMC), MMCplus, HC MMCplus
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)175 g
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height30.9 mm
Width100 mm
Depth58.4 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length6 mm to 22.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelS90
Product NamePowerShot S90 Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberS90
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

At a mere 175 grams, the Canon PowerShot S90, is packed full of features. With a 10.0 megapixels High-Sensitivity CCD sensor offering amazing low light capability, a bright 2.0 lens and complete creative control you're only one click away from the perfect shot.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot S90 Compact Camera
  • Battery Pack NB-6L
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
  • AV cable AVCDC400
  • Wrist Strap WS-DC9
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year