Feeds
75%
Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

DSLR price and pretensions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized 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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.