Canon PowerShot S90 Review

Canon S90 on Deck of Cards

In my recent Macworld Magazine review of the Canon S90, I say that it: "might be one of the most powerful point-and-shoot cameras that you can slip into your shirt pocket." After using this compact for months now, I feel stronger than ever about that statement. This is a great camera.

What really impresses me about the S90 is how much image quality it pulls out of its 10 Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor, which has only a fraction of the surface area compared to a four-thirds or APS-C sensor. Yet, in most lighting conditions, the Raw files, as well as the Jpegs, look terrific. When I'm traveling, I always keep the S90 on the front seat next to me so I can grab it in a hurry if something interesting appears. And thanks to its compact size, I have captured many shots that I would have missed in the past.

Things got even better when Aperture 3 was released, which can process S90 Raw files. Including Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, and Canon's own DPP software, we now have many options for working with these Raw files.

For more information about the S90, please read my Macworld review where I gave the Canon S90 4.5 mice, highlighting these pros and cons:


Extremely compact and lightweight; outstanding image quality; Raw format support; excellent user interface.


Lackluster battery performance; control dial on back can accidentally change settings; no HD movie mode.

More Articles About the Canon S90

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Did Canon Really Improve Image Noise with the PowerShot S90?

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Is the Canon S90 the New G11?


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Thanks for the review: I've been looking for a new p&s.

Any favorites on the "rugged" p&s front? It seems like everyone's coming out with one now and I thought it might be a good option for my teenager.


p.s. Anticipating a new "Stephanie" installment!

Do you have a favorite case for this camera? I am considering purchasing an S90, but I want to find a good case, too. Ideally I would like to be able to carry the camera, in the case, in my pocket.


I'm using the Lowepro D-Wrap. I like it because I don't have to remove the case while shooting, it just hangs down. It does add a little thickness to the camera, however.

I had a play with this in my local shop this weekend, lovely camera, I plan to buy it in the next few days.

My main concern is the lack of a viewfinder, I cannot take a photo without holding the camera up to my eye, I have tried and it seems impossible for me, I shall have to pretend that there IS a viewfinder and hope that nobody notices.

Also whilst the description "you can slip into your shirt pocket" is true you might look a bit of a pratt walking around with your right hand shirt pocket pulled down by the weight of this beast, and your shirt collar pulled round your neck.

Viewfinder , or the lack of , is the biggest issue with the S90. And of course the darn thing is very heavy for the size, really does drag you down.

I own the S90 with the D-wrap, but I can say it's a bit too bulky and I'll be getting the panasonic instead.

Bonnie Smith
COO/Director FXP