Canon Powershot S90 Review

One of the coolest things about my job teaching people how to use their cameras, is  that I get to play around with all the latest camera gadgets and gear.   This week I had the pleasure of meeting a new student and she wanted to learn how to use her Canon Powershot S90.  I was so impressed with the camera that I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you guys.

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

Firstly, if you are looking for a camera that’s advanced enough to allow you to shoot in RAW, control your Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, shoot in low light conditions but without the bulk of of a DSLR then the Canon Powershot S90 is the camera for you.

It has a super bright f2.0 lens and a high ISO rating of 3200 which essentially means you can shoot in really low light conditions without having to turn on that nasty flash or worry about motion blur and camera shake.  With such a wide aperture lens you’ll also benefit from a nice shallow depth of field (otherwise known as a blurry background!) in your pictures which is great for stunning portrait shots.

The Canon Powershot s90 is so small and compact it will easily fit into a purse, diaper bag or pocket.   I think that this is a great camera for women as it really does just fit nicely in my hand.  I found it really easy to access all the functions but I could see this as being a problem with bigger man hands though, as the controls are set quite closely together.

It also features a brand new design feature namely the Control Ring on the front of the camera that can be set to control ISO, Focus, exposure or White Balance.  This is something unique to this camera and kinda gives it an old school feel for me.  I like it!

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

One more thing that you can do with the Canon Powershot s90 and that is go diving with it. That’s right  -   the addition of an special underwater casing turns the Powershot S90 into one of the best waterproof digital cameras around allowing you to shoot fantastic shots as you scuba, snorkel or just when your messing about in boats. Because of that bright f2.0 lens it’s a fantastic underwater camera.  That’s one of the main reasons why my student bought it and I can’t wait to see her pictures from her diving trip.

S90 Underwater Casing

S90 Underwater Casing

Overall I was really impressed by the level of features and flexibility packed into the Powershot s90′s compact body.  I would definitely say that this camera is an excellent choice if you want to begin to move out of Auto Mode, without having to make the jump up to a DSLR.  Or if you already have a DSLR and you’re looking for a handy point and shoot camera, you’ll find that the Canon Powershot S90 will not disappoint on features or picture quality.  It’s no wonder that this is the compact camera of choice for many professionals out there.

If you’re on the look out for a new camera you can check out the Canon Powershot S90 here from my friends over at B and H Photo and get free shipping if you are here in the US.  I’m thinking this will be my next buy…

Happy snapping


P.S. If you already own the Powershot S90 or end up buying it, please comment below and let me know what you think of it.

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  1. says

    Ingrid- Great review. I am on the lookout for a smaller, point and shoot type camera and this sounds great. Did you find it took sequential pictures quickly? Do you think if I wanted to use it in auto mode too that it is good for that? Looking forward to your answers.

  2. says

    Hi Onna

    Thanks for your comment! The S90 has a faster response rate than a lot of compact point and shoots that I’ve seen, although to be honest, they are never as fast as a DSLR (or an active 15month old for that matter!) But if it’s a compact you’re after you’ll find it hard to beat this one. For sequential pics this camera’s Sports mode will give you better results than just Auto mode and there is a ton of other modes to choose from for different situations. And for regular shooting Auto is just fine.

    Oh and for any sequential shooting it’s best to shoot outdoors when the camera doesn’t have to recharge the flash, hence slowing down the process.
    Check out this post

    Hope that helps!


  3. Joy says

    Hi Ingrid,
    This is great info. I have the S90 and love it. I’m pretty adept at using the Auto function but want to learn how to use all the other SLR-type functions this camera offers. Any suggestions? Specifically, any resources – such as how to videos, etc?

    I look forward to receiving your insights.

  4. Joy says

    Hi Ingrid,
    Upon a deeper review of your blog, I see you have everything I’m looking for right here. What an amazing resource you’ve put together.

    Thank you!

  5. says

    Thanks Joy!

    Will try to keep up the good work. Lots more informative tutorials to come. And watch this space for news of my upcoming online classes which will be a great place to learn all about the manual functions of your S90.


  6. says

    Wholeheartedly agree, this is a superb little camera. Currently mid way though a Project 365 photo a day challenge, and have pretty much exclusively used the Powersho S90. I amazed at the results from such a small pocket camera!

  7. Anne Montgomery says

    I would LOVE to take an online course on the S90! Do you think it’s too much of a camera for a beginner? My biggest debate has been between the SD940 and the S90.

  8. says

    Hi Anne

    I think the S90 would be excellent for a beginner because you can use it on Auto or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can experiment with some of the manual settings. Keep an eye out here soon – my online classes are almost ready!


  9. Dunia says

    I am so glad I came across your blog. I was debating about the s90. I wasn’t sure if a beginner could handle it, but with your help I am going for it. Thanks! :)

  10. says

    I recently bought this camera and I love it so much it inspired me to start a photo blog! I really enjoy how sensitive it is, and I couldn’t be happier that I bought the underwater case, which lets me take such interesting photos. I especially enjoy using the preset ‘scenes’ for the wrong things (for example instead of beach at the beach I use underwater, which makes for a super warm photo)

  11. says

    Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

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