Canon S90

Canon PowerShot S90 front
  • 10MP - 1/1.7" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 640 x 480 video
  • 28-105mm (F2.0-4.9) lens
  • 195g - 100 x 58 x 31mm
  • Revealed April 2010
  • Successor is Canon S95
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon S90 overview

Canon S90 is Canon's Small Sensor Compact camera initially launched on April of 2010. The camera has a 10MP, CCD 1/1.7" sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 3648 x 2736.

Canon introduced the updated Canon S95 (Read Full Comparison) to upgrade this camera.

The S90 is positioned #74 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and all round #863 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. You can try out our Advanced camera finder to find camera ratings based on your personal factors.

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Here is a chart of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon S90 family

The Canon S90 comes with a history of related cameras. Down below, you can view all earlier and most recent models as well as main specifications.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-S200 front thumbnailCanon S200
S90 vs S200
Canon-PowerShot-S120 front thumbnailCanon S120
S90 vs S120
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Canon-PowerShot-S110 front thumbnailCanon S110
S90 vs S110
Canon-PowerShot-S100 front thumbnailCanon S100
S90 vs S100
Canon-PowerShot-S95 front thumbnailCanon S95
S90 vs S95
Canon-PowerShot-S90 front thumbnailCanon S9028-105mm
Photography Glossary

Canon S90 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of positives and negatives of the Canon S90 based on things which are typically seen as important in a camera.

built-in flash
built in zoom lens (28-105mm 3.8 x zoom)
comes with HDMI out
exports RAW files
fairly wide (28mm)
flash sync is higher than normal (1/500s)
great max aperture (f2.0)
great min ISO (80)
has image stabilization (Optical)
manual focus
screen is a good size (3 inches)
can't use external flash
cannot switch lens (fixed lens mount)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
has no phase detect autofocus
lack of headphone support
lack of mic support
lack of Time Lapse function
low quality video (640 x 480 pxls)
max frames per second very slow (1.0 frames/s)
max zoom aperture not good (f4.9)
screen has low resolution (461 k dots)
screen is fixed
sensor resolution low (10MP)
small sensor (1/1.7")
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Canon S90 Sensor specifications

The Canon S90 houses the Digic 4 processor. The sensor dimension on the Canon S90 is 7.44mm x 5.58mm (1/1.7"). The 42 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 3648 x 2736 pixels at aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 10MP and has a native ISO range of 80 to 3200. RAW photos are saved therefore the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

The picture underneath displays the S90's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The S90 sensor comes with a crop factor of 4.8 and is outlined in green.

Canon PowerShot S90 sensor size Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon S90 dimensions

Canon S90 weighs around 0.43 lbs (195 grams or 6.88 oz) and the over all size of the camera is 100mm x 58mm x 31mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 1.2"). The weight of general Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 grams and the Canon S90 is weightier compared with its competitors.

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Here is a shot of the Canon S90 beside a soft drink so you're able to have a sense of its scale.

Canon PowerShot S90 dimensions scale

The top view underneath will provide the button arrangement on the S90.

Canon PowerShot S90 topview buttons dials

Canon S90 Lens specifications

The S90 offers a built in lens and a focal range of 28-105mm making it a 3.8 x zoom which is not at all ideal however it will be useful in a few conditions.

At the widest 28mm, it will have an aperture of f2.0 making it amazing in low light situations and capturing a shallow depth of field. It would also let you use a lower ISO to produce better files. At the tele end, 105mm comes at f4.9 which is quite slow and you may need to apply slow shutter speeds.

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Canon S90 Connectivity

The S90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that feature NFC or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You can easily transfer photos and usually adjust camera settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Several applications even stream a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can easily be connected to an external display. Nearly all cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Canon S90 Video specifications

The highest video quality on the Canon S90 is 640 x 480 and it can capture in H.264 format. 480p is low by today's requirements. You should really target at least 1080p quality for video recording. The camera doesn't include a mic or headphone socket which means that you get no control over your audio. It is perhaps a better idea to have a look at a different model in case you want better audio in your video clips.

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Canon S90 Weather Sealing

Canon S90 doesn't include weather sealing so damp conditions could ruin the camera.

Canon S90 Display and Viewfinder

The Canon S90 has a 3" fixed screen boasting a resolution of 461k dots.

Please be aware that the screen offers no touch support.

Canon PowerShot S90 screen and viewfinder Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

The ViewFinder specifications regarding Canon S90 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor conditions which make the camera screens washed out and tough to view, viewfinders will be rather valuable.

Canon S90 Shutter specifications

Canon S90 has the capability to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/1600 sec.

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Canon S90 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon S90 boasts only built in flash without external flash ability. The maximum flash sync is 1/500 sec.

Canon S90 Autofocus specifications

Canon S90 boasts just Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster and exact compared with Contrast Detect focusing.

It has 9 focus points to pick from. Canon S90 comes with manual focus when required during low light situations or you want to have more exact control on focus.

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Canon S90 Battery life

The typical Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has got the highest (470) battery life within this range of cameras.

Following is a number of Small Sensor Compact cameras with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Photography Glossary

Canon S90 for different styles of photography

The following illustration displays a summation of the Canon S90 for different styles of photography. To read more, check out the specific section underneath.

Canon S90 as a Portrait photography camera

The Canon S90 has a points total of 40 which is really bad, meaning that it is not really appropriate for portrait photos. Photographing portraits leans heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support along with the ability to use external flash.

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has manual focus
above average flash sync (1/500s)
exports RAW files
cannot use external flash
sensor resolution low (10 megapixels)
sensor is tiny (1/1.7")

Canon S90 as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a very good rating of 64, the Canon S90 is a good fit to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera comes with a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing
image stabilization (Optical)
delivers RAW formats
fixed screen
sensor size is very small (1/1.7")

Canon S90 Sports photography advice

A really bad sports photography score of 27 suggests the Canon S90 is not really appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera must have fantastic tracking plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
low fps (1.0 frames/s)
low resolution (10MP)
tiny sensor size (1/1.7")
lacks phase detect AF

Canon S90 Travel photography factors

Weight is super crucial when selecting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Canon S90 gets a nice 63 as a travel camera which is a very decent choice to buy for your vacations.

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flash built-in
really wide (28mm)
great max aperture (f2.0)
missing Time Lapse mode
MP count low (10 megapixels)
doesn't posses selfie friendly screen

Canon S90 Landscape photography features

For anybody who is planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most critical factor will be image quality. The Canon S90 with it's decent grade of 52 for a landscape camera is somewhat suitable amongst it's rivals.

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focusing manually
rather wide (28mm)
good maximum aperture (f2.0)
nice screen size (3 inches)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
saves RAW files
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
megapixel count low (10 megapixels)
tiny sensor size (1/1.7")
does not have Time Lapse function

Canon S90 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera really should have a moving display, microphone port and if possible image stabilization. Considering every thing, the Canon S90 is not really appropriate for vlogging as it receives a really bad rating of 31.

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reasonably wide (28mm)
very good maximum aperture (f2.0)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (640 x 480 pixels)
no external microphone port

Canon S90 Alternatives

If you are looking for alternatives to the S90, here is a range of the highest ranked cameras that fall into the category of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart followed below provides you an overview of the S90 versus it's top rated rivals shown previously.

There are more cameras you may regard as alternatives. To go through a detailed comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Canon PowerShot S90
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Digic 4
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
7.44 x 5.58mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW pictures
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-105mm (3.8x)
Highest aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display sizing
3 inches
Display resolution
461k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
15 secs
Highest shutter speed
1/1600 secs
Continuous shooting rate
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
6.50 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
External flash
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/500 secs
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
195 gr (0.43 pounds)
Physical dimensions
100 x 58 x 31mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 1.2")
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus card
Card slots
Retail pricing