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Canon Powershot S90 Indoor Crops

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.VGA Video: 640 x 480 or more but less than 1280 x 720.VGA Video: 640 x 480 or more but less than 1280 x 720.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Indoor Crops

Here are sample crops from an artificially-lit scene at each of the Canon Powershot S90's ISO settings. Next to each of these crops, there is a crop from the Fuji Finepix F200 EXR at the same ISO setting. This is the flagship Fuji ultra-compact which currently produces the best image quality of any fixed lens camera. Both these have manual controls and stabilized wide-angle lenses.

Images below are all unmodified 100% crops from their respective cameras. The ISO sensitivity and white-balance were set on camera, the remaining settings were left on automatic or on their default values.

These crops help determine which ISO settings can be acceptably used on these cameras. As noise increases, most cameras compensate with noise reduction which introduces softness. The result is that, while you can partly reduce noise at the expense of details, the maximum acceptable print size gets smaller as ISO is increased. The point at which a print become unacceptably noisy is a matter of personal taste.

Canon Powershot S90 Fuji Finepix F200 EXR
Canon S90 ISO 80
ISO 80
Canon S90 ISO 100
ISO 100
Fuji F200 ISO 100
ISO 100
Canon S90 ISO 200
ISO 200
Fuji F200 ISO 200
ISO 200
Canon S90 ISO 400
ISO 400
Fuji F200 ISO 400
ISO 400
Canon S90 ISO 800
ISO 800
Fuji F200 ISO 800
ISO 800
Canon S90 ISO 1600
ISO 1600
Fuji F200 ISO 1600
ISO 1600
Canon S90 ISO 3200
ISO 3200
Fuji F200 ISO 3200
ISO 3200

With the Powershot S90 and G11, Canon took a bold step to reduce the resolution of their flagship cameras from 14 to 10 megapixels. This is exactly where it pays off. For the first time, an ultra-compact is getting close in ISO performance to a Fuji F-series camera.

Although the Canon Powershot S90 still appears about one step behind the Fuji Finepix F200EXR, considering the compromise between details retention and noise reduction, the S90's ace is an F2 lens which can shoot up to one stop faster than the Fuji's. This means that in a given situation, the Canon can match the F200EXR's output quality more or less. It is worth noting that the G11 does not feature such a fast lens.

Fuji F200 ISO 6400
ISO 6400

There is more to image quality than image noise, which we can observe from the crops above. These shots are all done using custom white-balance it shows that the Fuji can deliver better color accuracy. When using AWB though, the Canon's system is more reliable though, so when left on their own the S90 will generally have better color accuracy. Detail retention is better on the Fuji as well.

Fuji F200 ISO 12800
ISO 12800
Canon Powershot S90
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By on 2009/11/21
3

Canon S90 Facts

Compact digital camera
10 Megapixels Fixed LensISO 80-3200
3.8X Wide Optical ZoomShutter 1/1600-15s
Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
0.9 FPS Drive, Unlimited ImagesCustom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
640x480 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingSpot-Metering
3" LCD 460K PixelsLithium-Ion Battery
Secure Digital High Capacity
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