Canon PowerShot S90 can be safely called a high end point and shoot camera – both in terms of its advanced features, photographic capabilities and its slightly high price. Canon is said to have introduced this camera as an answer to an equally acclaimed Panasonic LX3, and by all measures, actually succeeded in making a really great camera in a compact package. For long, PowerShot S90 remained the flagship brand of the highly regarded S series from Canon, and even the later introduction of an advanced version, Canon PowerShot S95 has not diminished the popularity of this model.

Canon PowerShot S90, though a quintessential point and shoot digital camera in a compact package, is not your average point and shoot. It is packed with a lot of features that make it a favorite of advanced users – the highly discerning prosumers and serious amateurs. On the other hand, the operation of the camera is simple enough that even a complete novice can handle it easily.

Are you still hunting for the best point and shoot digital camera – the perfect camera that will fulfill all your photography needs? And is Canon PowerShot S90 the answer to your quest? Lets us proceed on a short journey of discovery, and see for ourselves!

Canon PowerShot S90 Review

Here is a close look at some of the main features of Canon PowerShot S90 -

Geek Speak

10 Megapixels High Sensitivity CCD Image Sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor

3.8 X Optical zoom with OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer), Wide angle, f/2.0 aperture lens

3 Inch PureColor LCD II Screen Image Display at the rear

Equivalent ISO Sensitivity – ISO 80 to ISO 3,200

Image file format – JPEG, RAW

Control Ring at the base of lens barrel for Manual Control

Movie Shooting

Retractable Flash

Plain Speak

Now, let us analyze the camera in plain English -

Canon chose to go again the popular convention, and has provided with only a 10 megapixel sensor with this camera. But don't be misled by this lower count of megapixels – the Sensor is actually much more sensitive and powered by an advanced DIGIC 4 Image Processor – thus actually improving picture quality even with lower resolution! Canon sure knows what it is doing!

Another feature that may surprise those who believe in "bigger is better" is the leans of the camera – which gives a modest 3.8 X Optical zoom. But the wide angle capabilities of the lens, and a f/2.0 aperture make for high quality photographs at low light levels and close quarters.

The most notable feature, and one that will certainly appeal to the advanced and serious amateurs, is the control ring provided at the base of the lens barrel. It helps in the manual control of the camera – focus, zoom and exposure, and gives a nice, professional SLR type touch to the camera. It is a first for the compact category of the point and shoot cameras.

There is another feature that the professional photographers will find attractive – the capability of the camera to store photos in the RAW format, in addition to the usual JPEG format. This is a plus for the creative kind – those who want to have complete creative control over their photographs.

Despite being packed with so many features, the camera weighs a modest 175 grams (6.2 ounces), and is quite handy with dimensions of 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.2 (inches) – quite small to fit your palm!


The smooth construction and sleek profile of the camera gives rise to an important shortcoming – sometimes it becomes difficult to get a good grip – especially when held with just one hand. Perforce, you have to use both the hands to get a good grip.

The retractable flash, and its positioning also are a cause for some problems.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

Canon PowerShot S90 is a kind of camera that will appeal to both ends of the user spectrum – the complete novice, and the most discerning professional photographer. No wonder, the camera is popular with beginners as well as an integral part of the photography arsenal that the professional carry. The ease of operating the camera and the advanced features are a potent combination that will subtly convince you to buy a Canon PowerShot S90 digital point and shoot camera.