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Old Oct 13, 2009, 2:48 PM   #1
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Default Canon S90?

I have been looking at various cameras for a while and have yet to decide what's right for me after a good bit of reading and looking. I know the Canon S90 is just beginning to hit the shelves and there are no professional reviews as of yet other than of production cameras, but it looks pretty promising to me and I am strongly considering it. I guess my question is under what type of use/circumstances would one likely see an improvement in picture quality using something like an S90 or G10/G11 vs. the typical (non-enthusiast) P&S camera, like a Canon SD1200 for instance? Would I likely see benefits in situations other than low light?

I realize a compact camera will always have its limitations vs. a DSLR, but assuming I am willing to learn the ins and outs of the camera, would I likely see fairly significant benefits (this is very subjective, I know)? I am willing to pay more money for better quality as I imagine this will be the camera I will use most of the time (ultimately probably supplemented with something that has more zoom). Additionally, I do think I am interested in learning more about photography and the availability of manual controls should give me the opportunity to do that. However, I have seen some amazing photos taken with fairly inexpensive cameras and wonder sometimes how incremental the differences are between the "consumer" and the "enthusiast" cameras.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 6:13 PM   #2
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jazzer-

I have been following the Canon S-90 in www.dpreview.coms discussion groups and I have seen some pretty amazing photos from the S-90. A good portion of them in the fully automatic mode.

Take few minutes and check out the Canon Discussion group. In my opinion, the Canon S-90 is in a class by itself, and the G-10/G-11 and the Canon 1200 are in no way equipped to provide photos of the caliber I have seen posted from the S-90.

But take a look and you decide.

Have a good day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 6:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: S90

I have been researching for weeks and my local dealer (OneCall's B&M store) of nice cameras said the market is drooling over the S90. As good as it looks; it's zoom is sub 4x which is low in today's market. Otherwise I would buy it tomorrow.

The Panasonic line is not Mac friendly which rules it out for me. My decision is probably going to be the Canon SX200. I like the Samsung HZ15 but the reviews are very mixed.

The most interesting camera and dark horse to me is the new Kodak Z950 since it so inexpensive. For the average user (that would be me) who wants to step out of the low rent district; it may be a sleeper. It has a ton of features and can be had for $200. It lacks wide-angle lens but it is not a deal breaker at that price.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 6:29 PM   #4
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botong-

When people indicate that they are seriously looking at the Canon S-90 camera. It seem logical to assume that their interests are driven by the fast lens on the S-90 and it high ISO capability.

Neither, the Canon SX200 nor the Kodak Z-950 fit into those specifications. So if you are looking for a typical family snapshot camera, the Z-950 is a logical choice, as is the Canon SX-200. But those two cameras are definitely not capable of providing good image quality in low light level conditions and when using numerically high ISO settings.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 8:38 PM   #5
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Thank you, Sarah. Indeed, the pictures I have seen taken with the camera are very impressive and the overwhelming reponse from owners is very positive. That said, I do not have much experience evaluating pictures and while I can clearly spot a "bad quality" picture, I think I may miss some of the nuanced differences between photos simply because I am not attuned to some of the typical problems. Accordingly, I often question my own evaluation.

I do certainly wish the S90 had a longer zoom, but I have lived with a 4X zoom for some time (albeit based on a 35mm rather than a 28mm starting point) and given everything else it seems to have going for it, it seems a reasonable trade off for the other features. I imagine if I go the S90 route I am going to solve the zoom problem by ultimately also purchasing a "superzoom" as a supplement, thereby giving me the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the more research and shopping I have done, the more clear it has become to me that there is not yet a camera that can cover everything I am looking for at the same time. The question is, how to best cover all the bases and, of course, there are countless combinations and possibilities.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 9:29 PM   #6
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jazzer-

That truly is the age old problem. The perfect digital camera does not actually exist. no matter how much we wish it would exist.

The S-90 was designed to compete, head on, the the Panasonic LX-3 camera. That is the reason for the shortened zoom capability. In truth, the S-90, at least to my mind is a tag along camera. Yes, it might be a primary camera for some folks, but more likely the S-90 will share the photo chores with another camera to expand the capabilities.

You really have to do a good analysis of what you like to photograph to accurately determine if the Canon S-90 camera fits your needs. like all S cameras produced over the years by Canon, the S-90 is a specialized camera.

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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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Sarah,

I can understand why you see the S90 being used as a tag along/specialized camera in many cases. I think it would work well as an addition to a DSLR or larger super-zoom/bridge camera. However, I can also see it serving as the primary "take everywhere" camera for many people (which would likely be the case for me should I go that route).

I was looking at the Canon SD line and similar competitor cameras. In many instances those other cameras also had a limited zoom range. Alternative pocket size "superzoom" cameras (like the ZS3) had one or more other issues: were not as good in low light, didn't have manual control versatility, etc.

Anyway, I guess this just goes to the same point that nothing is perfect. For me, I think the S90 would serve as a supplemental camera to something with a larger zoom, but I expect I would wind up using the S90 more regularly because of its size. Would there be a better pocket size alternative? I'm not sure. Everything small has its trade offs. But I do know that I am more likely to delve into the intricacies of aperture and shutter speed if I frequently have a camera with me that has the capability of tweaking those things. Unfortunately, most other pocket cameras don't seem to have that functionality. Add in good low light performance, a very nice 3" LCD screen and a few other nice features and the S90 seems like a pretty nice everyday camera (albeit certainly not the cheapest one on the block).

Just my thoughts of the day (and I reserve the right to change my opinion).

Last edited by Jazzer251; Oct 14, 2009 at 11:30 AM.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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Jazzer-

I think you have answered your own question. The Canon S-90 is a very attractive and very capable camera. The size and the included features certainly add to its appeal. It is a great carry anywhere camera. It could potentially fill more of your overall photo needs is, you adjusted your photo style.

The S-90 might even make a great interim camera, while you decided to go either to a DSLR camera or to a bridge camera. However, in the long run it will be a take everywhere camera that supplements your larger equipment.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 2:23 PM   #9
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Sarah -- I know you recently purchased a Fuji 70EXR. I know it's a completely different camera from the S90, but could you tell me what level of manual control it has, if any?
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 2:50 PM   #10
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jazzer-

Because the F-70 incorporates the EXR system the manual options are numerous.

Sarah Joyce
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