Feeds
75%
Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

DSLR price and pretensions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The S90 delivers absolutely flawless photo quality with impressive noise characteristics, even at high ISO speeds. Apart from some mild luminance noise and softening of detail at the highest end, the level of noise favourably compares to some of the best entry-level DSLRs and is far above any other point-and-shoot or compact cameras. Colour quality was pretty accurate too, if a little bit on the cool side. Also, exposure and white balance were, in line with Canon’s tradition, generally first-class from the S90.

Canon Powershot S90

Excellent images, but at a price

With this backdrop of image quality excellence, it was rather disappointing that camera handling was not matched by a similar performance. The S90 is a slow shooter with one frame per second in continuous shooting and a significant shutter lag delay, half a second to focus and shoot in normal light conditions. This could be a real disadvantage, as it makes an otherwise brilliant and versatile camera totally unsuitable for fast moving subjects.

Another disappointment was battery life. The already diminutive 220 shots turned out to be far less during testing, to a level that is not quite acceptable considering that most compact cameras have double the battery life span of the S90. Finally some users might be put off by the Movie mode with its maximum VGA-quality, and at a time when HD video recording starts to make an appearance on mobile phones.

Verdict

Using the S90, the combination of user-friendly technology, small size and sheer DSLR power is quite addictive. With this new S-series model Canon has raised the bar on compact camera technology, but there's more to a camera than circuitry and some handling issues need to be addressed. Yet, despite some design flaws and slow performance, you can't help but love this camera. ®

Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.

More Camers Reviews...


Olympus
PEN E-P1

Nikon
D3000

Sony
Cybershot
DSC-HX1

Ricoh GR
Digital III

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

75%
Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

Pocket-friendly and powerful, but inadequate battery life, VGA-only video and slow performance take the edge off its shine.
Price: £449 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.