Good news…but not for current Canon PowerShot s90 owners. You’ll have to buy the recently announced s95 to have a rear control dial that works the way it should.
Countless numbers of s90 owners have been frustrated by the much criticized free-wheeling control dial, which can be moved so easily that settings change without realizing it until too late. In a number of calls to Canon tech support, they told me that’s the way the dial was designed and there was nothing they could do to fix it.
One year later, Canon admits the problem by announcing it is fixed in the s95. According to their press release:
“The handling of the Multi-Control Dial has also been redesigned following feedback from owners of the preceding model. The dial now features a more pronounced ‘click’ mechanism, preventing any unintentional changes to settings.”
Thanks Canon. I spent $429 for my s90 plus it has $45 worth of accessories to fix the ergonomic and usability problems.
Current s90 users can still improve their control dial experience by purchasing an inexpensive device from Lensmate. But, in my opinion, we really shouldn’t have to do so. The dial should have worked.
Not going to upgrade
The s95 has some nice improvements but not enough for me to upgrade. However, for those who have been holding off buying the s90, the year-long wait for its successor has arrived.
s95 ergonomic improvements
The s95 has some much needed ergonomic improvements, though there still no grip to improve handling. And for some reason Canon removed the thumb rest on the rear of the camera.
The slip-resistance coating should make it easier to keep the camera from slipping out of your hand. As one photography forum participant put it, the s90 feels like a “slippery eel.” This is one of the reasons many s90 owners purchased a custom grip.
Many will be pleased that the position of the ‘Ring Func’ and ‘On/Off’ buttons have been reversed on the s95.
Notable features and refinements on the s95
- Sensor – Same size as the s90. According to Canon, the s95 has a High Sensitivity System that provides exceptional low light performance even better than that of its predecessor.
- Faster shot-to-shot time – The s95 is far from a speed demon (Approximately 1.9 shots per second vs. 0.9 fps for the s90)
- Auto ISO mode now lets you set the maximum ISO between 400 – 1600. You can also adjust the Rate of Change to Fast, Slow or Standard.
- Hybrid Image Stabilization – refinements to the IS system prevent image blur during macro photography, counteracting angular and shift shake that becomes more pronounced when taking close ups.
- Tracking Auto Focus mode – offers the ability to select objects from the center of the frame and track them if they move, or if the frame is recomposed. If it works as promised, nice.
- High Dynamic Range shooting mode – improves the dynamic range in photos, with smoother transitions between darker and lighter colors. Three shots are taken at different exposures then combined together in-camera. This is similar to a technique used when editing photos. The camera must be mounted on a tripod and, according to the manual, image stabilization should be turned off.
- High Definition video with stereo sound (720p/24 frames per second)
- Correcting White Balance: Change the white balance in-camera after a photo has been taken. This has the same effect as using color temperature or color compensating filters.
Which to buy: s90 or s95?
Early user reports indicate that the image quality of the s90 and s95 are on par with one another, with a few mixed opinions that one is better than the other. If I didn’t own the s90 and were buying today, I’d get the s95 because of the improvements. If you decide to buy the s90 and have problems with the ergonomics, plan on spending another $45 to get the camera into shape.
Will the s90 grip fit on the Canon s95?
No. Here’s more information on the grip for the Canon s95.