Canon PowerShot S90: The Photographer's P&S

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Jeremy Z, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My S90 just arrived yesterday. I spent a couple hours going through all the capabilities, and here are the main points that led me to make the claim in this thread's title:

    - 10 MP: enough for enlargements, but not so big as to be super noisy at higher ISO sensitivity settings.

    - 28-105 equiv. zoom: A proper wide angle, and a short but useful telephoto

    - Full manual control capability with two programmable dials: It isn't always necessary to dig in menus

    - Lens is f/2.0 max. aperture at 28mm, and 4.9 at 105mm. It is optically stabilized. There is very little reason to use flash indoors. Hand-holding shots at 1/6 sec. shutter speeds is fine.

    - Shoots in RAW

    - For the Mac users, the RAW format is supported by iPhoto. I installed the Canon software, but haven't tried it yet.

    Here's the top deck. The middle button opens a quick button to program the function assigned to the dial around the lens. I leave it on exposure compensation:
    [​IMG]


    Here's the front view. The flash pops up from the left top side. Some folks will have to get used to not using the pinch hold if they're going to let the flash pop up automatically. You can also see the click-stopped control ring around the lens:
    [​IMG]


    Here's the rear view. The LCD is beautiful and is 3" diagonally. No optical viewfinder, but I don't miss it on a point & shoot. If you look closely, you can see the control ring around the main set of function buttons. This one rotates smoothly instead of having click stops. It can also be pushed down directionally. I have this ring programmed to change ISO sensitivity. There isn't a huge area in which to put my thumb, but it goes under the mode wheel easily enough, and I didn't find myself accidentally changing settings.
    [​IMG]


    Lastly, here's a sample shot of our dining room lamp. This was shot at ISO 400, 1/10 sec., f/4.9 (maximum) at full 105mm zoom. The lamp is not very bright, hehehe. I didn't even see the spider web until I took this pic.
    [​IMG]


    Yesterday night, I just ordered a Lowepro Apex 20 AW case for it from amazon.
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000L45DRA/ref=oss_product]Amazon.com: Lowepro Apex 20 AW (Black): Camera & Photo[/ame]

    I also ordered two Lenmar brand spare batteries.

    Video fans will lament the lack of HD video capabilities, but that is a limitation of this camera's sensor. (the same sensor used by the Canon G11) The sensor is larger than the typical point & shoot's sensor, for less noise.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm taking this to Europe next month instead of my SLR. I think it is going to work out very well.

    I'll add more to this as I go and use the camera more.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Congrats. It will work out well... Enjoy Europe!! (I'm jealous)

    I'd seriously consider bringing along a flash (optical slave) which should add to the enjoyment with little extra space/weight.

    My LX3 sees daily use.... simply because if its size (well.. and having to lug around stuff for my 3 year old. lol).
     
  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Haha, traded the camera bag for a diaper bag. My time will come.

    I thought hard about the LX3. The 24mm Leica lens was very tempting, but 60mm on the other end and the larger size was what did it for me. Some compromises have to be made for that optical quality in a compact lens.

    Well, if you're ever coming to my neck of the woods, drop me a line. We'll go downtown Chicago and maybe do some street shooting. We'll swap cameras for a bit. (Same holds true for anyone else in or passing through Chicagoland)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting, thanks for the review.

    So how does this compare to the G11, besides having the same sensor? I notice that it doesn't have a hot shoe, which is fine if you know you won't need it.
     
  5. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Good stuff, ive always been impressed with Canon P&S's
     
  6. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It has all the same capabilities, its just that with the G11, there's more direct-access dials instead of menus. The G11 has a 28-140 lens, which, at 140 is the same maximum aperture as the S90s at 105.

    You're right, no hot shoe. But this camera is not really about flash. It is about not needing a flash.

    Around here, it seems like folks carry their SLRs everywhere. Maybe it's just because I'm honeymooning, but I know I will carry this a lot more often than my SLR.

    I thought about the G11 too, as it was only $50 more than this one. But then I figured if I'm going to carry a camera as big as a G11, I may as well just carry the SLR. As soon as I take some more pix worth posting, I will.
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Took the S90 with me while I was walking the dog yesterday and took a few shots. I love the image stabilizer; don't know how I went so long without it.

    1.
    [​IMG]


    2.
    [​IMG]


    3.
    [​IMG]


    4.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's not a camera i could use,no veiw finder, if i want to travel light i use my Leica 111
     
  9. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    I've honestly never used a viewfinder in a P&S. Despite not showing live updated data on exposure, it's not an accurate representation of what you're framing. But I rarely use my P&S anyway.
     
  10. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    A viewfinder in a P&S is honestly pathetic anyway...

    I would say the G11 probably claims this, being 10MP (now reduced from G10's 12) as well, and with the hotshoe and simply awesome wheels, but... for portability's sake - the point of a point-and-shoot - the S90.
     
  11. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. whoopingchow

    whoopingchow TPF Noob!

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    Beautiful photos!

    I know you were deciding between the LX3 and the S90, and you went with the S90. Did you ever use the 3.8x zoom on your S90, or did you ever find yourself wishing you had the 24mm lenses?
     

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