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Canon PowerShot S90

alaTest has collected and analyzed 779 reviews from magazines and websites. People are impressed by the usability and performance. The image quality and low light performance also get good feedback. Views about the memory and shutter are mixed. Many are negative about the zoom and viewfinder.

portability, low-light, image quality, performance, usability

value for money, flash, battery, viewfinder, zoom

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon PowerShot S90 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 90/100 = Excellent quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 779 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 309 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 309 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (129)

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90


It's been a while since the launch of the PowerShot S80 – 5 years to be precise. The PowerShot S90 is more than just a redesigned version of its predecessor – the S80. The camera off


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90 Review


The arrival of the 'affordable' digital SLR saw most manufacturers slowly withdrawing from the high end compact camera market, but recently models like the Canon G9/G10/G11 and Panasonic's LX3 have shown that there is still demand for pocketable...

Excellent image quality, particularly at lower ISO settings ; Well optimized JPEGs ; Extensive photographic feature set ; New Function Ring transforms use of manual controls on a small camera ; Usable, fast raw mode with excellent DPP software supplied...

Highlight clipping and channel clipping in bright, contrasty conditions ; Rear dial rotates too freely and cannot be disabled, so accidental settings changes too common ; No noise reduction options, JPEG NR too strong at higher ISO settings ; Video...

The S90 offers an appealing combination of compact styling, photographic functionality and powerful control. Crucially it also offers some of the best image quality we've seen in such a small camera for a long time, sensor limitations aside. It's got a...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90


Canon's PowerShot S90 might be one of the most powerful point-and-shoot cameras that you can slip into your shirt pocket. Much of the S90's appeal comes from its ability to overcome the limitations that often cripple compacts: It performs well in low...

Extremely compact and lightweight ; Excellent user interface ; Outstanding image quality ; RAW format support ; Focus bracketing mode ; Click ring around lens provides excellent control ; Full manual controls

Lackluster battery performance ; No high-definition movie recording ; Control dial can accidentally change settings

The Canon S90 takes great pictures in just about any lighting situation, and it provides easy-to-use, intelligent controls to do so.


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90 Review


Canon's PowerShot S90 is an ultra-compact digicam that is designed for the photo enthusiast who is looking for a pocketable camera to add to their ranks, which still offers a great deal of the exposure control they are accustomed to on their dSLR. This...

Expert review by:

PowerShot S90


The Canon PowerShot S90 is a high-end point & shoot camera that takes great photos and provides great manual controls for serious shooters. The video it captures is not particularly impressive, though.

The Canon PowerShot S90 is rather expensive for a point & shoot camera at $430. But it has the performance to justify it, with the camera achieving excellent scores across most of our tests. Most point & shoot cameras do well in one test but poorly on...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90


Editors' Note: As of May 11, 2010, Canon has announced the release of the PowerShot SD4000 IS , a slightly pared-down version of the S90 reviewed here. The SD4000 IS features the same f2.0, wide-angle lens as the S90 as well as aperture- and...

Excellent control system for manual, semimanual shooting; fantastic wide-angle f2 lens; very good low-light photo quality.

Performance is merely average; no HD movie mode or optical zoom while recording; no optical viewfinder and a couple other design miscues.

As long as you're not expecting dSLR speed in a tiny body, the Canon PowerShot S90 is an excellent compact camera for advanced amateurs.

Expert review by:

Canon's Pro-Grade Point-and-Shoot Aimed at Serious...


What makes the best point-and-shoot cam we've seen all year? Try an extremely fast lens, totalitarian control over your shots, and an innovative control ring.

Awesomely fast lens. Granular control over just about any aspect of your shots that you can think of. Slick control ring. Quick startup and shooting

Slightly bulkier than the smallest pocket cams. Backside controls are a little cramped


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90


Canon recently introduced the PowerShot G11 ($499) and the S90 ($429), two high-end compact digicams generating huge amounts of online buzz. Both have similar, relatively-large 10-megapixel CCDs, but are targeted to very different photographers. Rather...

Terrific low-light shooter; typical high-quality Canon photos; extensive photo adjustments via control dials; excellent LCD screen

Watch your fingers with pop-up flash; button placement takes getting used to; slow frame rate; no HD video; worse-than-average battery life

Patient shutterbugs will love this camera as we did, but the slow speed will try the patience of many others.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90 Review


The arrival of the 'affordable' digital SLR saw most manufacturers slowly withdrawing from the high end compact camera market, but recently models like the Canon G9/G10/G11 and Panasonic's LX3 have ...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot S90


The 10.0 megapixel image capture and movie recording specs, while impressive, are not something that helps the S90 stand out on value when compared with other digital compact cameras on the market. If you own a PictBridge printer you might wish to take...

10.0 MegapixelRAW Capture supportPictBridge CompatiblePC & Mac Compatible

Low value for money

The Canon PowerShot S90 is capable of shooting images up to 10 megapixel...

Product Specifications

The pocketable PowerShot S90 gives powerful everyday shooting. Shoot quickly with a lens control ring and get superior low-light performance with a high-sensitivity 10.0 MP CCD and f/2.0 lens. A high-sensitivity CCD sensor gives outstanding image quality in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Even images taken at high ISOs show exceptionally low noise levels and a wide dynamic range. A bright f/2.0 aperture allows exceptional versatility, capturing low-light images and fast-moving subjects at higher shutter speeds. A wide angle of 28mm lets you put more in the frame, while Canon's optical IS reduces blur caused by camera shake.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Canon NB-6L

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:Compact
Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard / SDHC Memory Card / MultiMediaCardplus

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Snow / Night snapshot / Kids & pets / Beach / Foliage / Indoor / Sunset / Underwater / Night scene / Low light / Fireworks / Stitch assist / Portrait mode / Landscape / Aquarium


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.0-4.9
Max Focal Length:22.5mm
Min Focal Length:6mm
Optical Zoom:3.8
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/1.7 / 1/1.7"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):14.9 mm ( 1/1.7 ) / 14.9 mm ( 1/1.7" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:10Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:H.264
Digital Zoom:4
Face Detection: Yes
ISO (Max):128000
Light Sensitivity:ISO auto / ISO 1250 / ISO 1000 / ISO 3200 / ISO 1600 / ISO 250 / ISO 500 / ISO 80 / ISO 640 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO 2000 / ISO 2500
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Vivid Red / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Color Swap / Color Accent / Custom Effect / Neutral / Sepia / Black & White / Positive Film
Still Image Format:RAW + JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type: None