Canon S90 IS Review

by Enche Tjin on October 22, 2009


Canon S90 IS is a great choice for photographer who like a lightweight, pocket able compact but doesn’t want to skim on image quality and control. It has very good operational speed and have some great customizable options. I especially like the zoom ring dial on the lens, which has Digital SLR like control. S90 IS is also superior in low light situation. However, Canon S90 Is also has a downside, such as below average build quality (relative to competitors) and limited dynamic range.

Subjective rating compared to other advanced compacts in 2009

  • Image quality 4/5
  • Body handling 4/5
  • Performance 5/5
  • Features 3/5
  • Value 5/5

Recommended read: Best buys advanced compact camera 2009

Image samples:

at ISO 1600, 105mm

at ISO 1600, 105mm

Pensylvania Convention Center - Reading Terminal Market

Pensylvania Convention Center - Reading Terminal Market

For more images visit my Canon S90 IS gallery

Pages: 1 2 3

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ricky October 25, 2009 at 3:34 am

F.Y.I. The body is made out of metal! The top and bottom are made out of plastic. I guess it’s difficult to tell that it’s metal because it’s black, but you can see and feel the difference in material.

admin October 25, 2009 at 9:07 am

Hhi thanks, but it does not feels like metal for me, maybe very thin metal or something.

Pete October 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm

You say:
“Mode dial is harder to change because they have put some resistant to it. It is to prevent accidental switch.”
I’d be interested to know if this is a modification that canon has put to latest ones. I bought one the first day they were available in the UK, and the ring on the back is a dead loss! there’s no resistance at all, and almost every time it’s used, the ( in my case) EV setting gets changed by mistake! I wish mine had a dial that was harder to turn!!

admin October 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm

interesting, you should check it out on the store to see if there is any difference with your current one.

Lars October 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm

I thought admin meant by “mode tial” as the top changer, beetween auto, aperture, shutter etc. Not the one one the back of the camera, which is a weak point in my opinion. Have I misunderstood?

admin October 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm

oh yeah you’re correct! Thanks for clarifying. I agree that the back dial should be better, at least like Canon G series.

Pete October 30, 2009 at 7:13 am

Thanks Lars for clearing up that point, I think the back ring’s going to prove to be a real pain! I reckon a firmware upgrade to allow it to be disabled ( as it is on certain modes) would be a good option!

Richard Franiec November 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Nice review from user standpoint and that is what count the most.

Actually, there is a place for grip.
Check this out:
More info here:

Hope, this is O.K to post the links here.



admin November 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Thanks and yes, it is ok.

Richard Franiec November 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

Thank you much.
In case if you would like to review the grip, please, let me know.



admin November 13, 2009 at 10:51 am

I don’t have the camera anymore. Thanks for your offer. The grip looks good and i bet it improve the handling.

Erwin M January 9, 2010 at 4:27 am

I’ve download the sample image from your site and at ISO 1600 it’s amazing considering the small sensor S90 has. Useful and less of chrominance noise.

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