Saturday, September 05, 2009

Canon PowerShot S90

Introducing one of the two recent/upcoming digital compact cameras that will put the "Legendary Point-&-Shoot" Panasonic Lumix LX-3 to contest. These days, more and more general consumers are cashing into the once professionals-dedicated DSLR market. Paradoxically, professionals are in turn seeking a more powerful compact point-&-shoot camera to complement their heavy equipments. Nevertheless, there are those who will just be contended with 傻瓜相机 (an "idiot-proof" camera) that costs as low as S$100-200. How about an "idiot-proof" camera for the professional photographers? Indeed, Panasonic gave us the Lumix-LX3 that took the photography world by storm. It's incredible success led to subsequent release of compacts camera with the same concept: professional-class compact camera.


Canon announced the release of the Canon PowerShot S90. The name probably does not sound too unique to significantly stand out from the PowerShot library. However, the fact that the S90 has a couple of neat features to stand out from any PowerShot, even the leader-class G-series system compact cameras (e.g. G9, G10 and coming G11).

Canon PowerShot S90 houses a brand new 10.0 Megapixel sensor coupled with Canon DiGiC IV Image Processor chip with an enhanced i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction Technology) capable of capturing a wide dynamic range. All these, part of Canon Dual Anti-Noise System. Is it another fancy terminology? So be it, but this is definitely not the selling factor.
The feature that puts the S90 to contest with the LX3 is definitely the incorporating of a fast lens. An f/2.0 wide angle lens makes all the difference to low-light photography. The lens is capable of allowing twice the amount of light into the sensor, hence allowing the use of faster shutter speed and a more shallow DOF (depth of field). The zoom lens extends from the body for a 3.8x zoom (28mm - 105mm) and retracts completely into the body when not in use. The lens is armed with Canon's Image Stabilizer which is capable of delivering 4-stops advantage. Altogether, these features allow users to shoot steadily in low-light with the need of a tripod or flash. Nevertheless, the lens itself cannot deliver miracles. However, when combined with the low noise level from the Canon Dual Anti-Noise System, you can expect miracles!
Another great feature of the S90 is a Control Ring that sits at the base of the lens. Twisting the selector ring to the left or right allows a more convenient control of several customizable functions: manual zooming (5-steps), shutter speed, aperture, ISO (1/3 stop increment), exposure compensation. To add more fun into using the Control Ring, the ring can be used to access menus quickly and even shoot in various filter modes when in Nostalgic Mode.
Last but not least, the large 3.0" Pure Color II LCD display is definitely a comfort to shoot with in a small 100 x 58 x 31mm chassis weighing at just 175g.

It is not hard to decide which to bring to a nights-out party. It is definitely the Canon PowerShot S90 over the Canon PowerShot G11. The official sample pictures looked fabulous! No wonder renowned reviewer Ken Rockwell calls this the "World's Best Compact Camera".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice comment, but check I'd hardly call Mr. Rockwell a renowned reviewer. If you check his website, he clearly states that he "makes things up" in his disclaimer. He compares his site to "The Onion." He is somewhat purposely misguiding the public as he does not clearly state that his work is based on part fiction and part reality. Just FYI.

WILLIAM TAN said...

Thanks for the heads up!
I always must emphasize that read reviews with a pinch of salt.
Most importantly is consumers must test it out themselves.

But back to the topic,
S90 seems like a potentially good camera.
But if the price exceeds that of the LX3,
then will have to see the pictures coming out of both.

MasterG said...

Canon S90 is Canon S series and focus on leader of slimmer, ligher and perfect of camera for photographer.