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Canon PowerShot S90 verdict
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[Image: powershots90-banner.jpg]
Canon’s PowerShot S90 is an ideal choice for enthusiasts who want a pocket camera without compromising on control and features. By essentially squeezing the PowerShot G11’s quality and control into a considerably smaller body with a brighter lens on the front, the S90 becomes one of the most desirable models in Canon’s current range.


Think of it as an IXUS / ELPH for the more demanding customer. The person who fondly gazes at the attractive bodies of models like Canon’s IXUS 100 IS / SD780 IS, but wishes they had wide-angle coverage, manual control, RAW file support and a fast, bright lens. Written down it sounds like a tall order, but one the S90 essentially delivers on.

The appeal of a smaller body cannot be underestimated. Sure the PowerShot G11 may enjoy a number of key advantages including an articulated screen, flash hotshoe and optical viewfinder, but with both on our desk during the test period we found ourselves reaching for the S90 much more often than its bigger brother. Where the G11 requires some thought as to where you’ll put it when you go out, whether it’s a garment with a bigger pocket, a bag or a strap, the S90 will simply slip or squeeze into pretty much whatever you’re wearing without a fuss.

The bright lens is also a joy. The S90 may have an average aperture when zoomed-in, but zoom it out and you can enjoy f2.0, allowing the S90 to shoot at half the sensitivity of the G11 under the same conditions for much better-looking results.

As for its closest rival, Panasonic’s older LX3 still manages to out-feature the S90 and for the same money it’ll be the preferred choice for many. But as discussed above, the big problem is actually finding one for sale, and the simple fact Canon’s popularity with stores and buyers means the S90 will be much easier to try and buy, not to mention more likely to fall in price over time. This coupled with its smaller body and sufficient degree of sophistication for most enthusiasts will see the S90 become one of the favourites in Canon’s range.

For us it’s the sleeper-hit of the current Canon line-up. A model initially overshadowed by the PowerShot G11 at launch but one that’s gradually gained attention and well-deserved affection. Once again it’s not perfect: the absence of HD video, a flash hotshoe or filter mount may be a deal-breaker for some photographers, but for many it delivers a compelling combination of the G11’s power and control in a truly pocketable body. As such it comes Highly Recommended, but please Canon, next time make sure it has HD video.


Good points
Pocketable body with great controls.
3.8x zoom with f2.0 aperture at 28mm.
Great quality 3in / 460k screen.
Full manual contro, RAW files and HDMI.

Bad points
No HD movies or zooming when filming.
Slow burst shooting – below 1fps at full res.
Panasonic LX3 better-featured.
M4/3 better for noise and shallow DOF.



Scores



Build quality:19 / 20
Image quality:18 / 20
Handling:16 / 20
Specification:18 / 20
Value:17 / 20

Overall:88%



Recommended Retail Price: INR 26,995.00
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