Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big Sensors, Shrinking Cameras

David Pogue reviews the Canon S90. He likes. From everything I read about it, I do too...

Canon’s S90 doesn’t offer S.L.R.-quality photos, but it comes closer than any pocket camera ever has, because of three advances.

First, it’s got a big sensor: 0.59 inches diagonal, 37 percent larger than most pocket cams. And it’s only 10 megapixels, so each individual light-sensing pixel is much larger, for better light-gathering ability. (In fact, the S90 has the same sensor and electronics as the much bulkier Canon G11.)

Second, the S90 has an eyebrow-raising f/2.0 lens. It lets twice as much light through the glass as most pocket cameras.

Third, the S90 has a big clicky ring around its lens barrel, which lets you make quick photographic adjustments without burrowing into menus. Which adjustment? That’s up to you. With one button press, you can redefine the ring’s function: zoom, manual focus, exposure adjustment, white balance, ISO (light sensitivity), shutter speed or aperture. You can turn the dial, snap, turn some more, snap, and never take your eyes off the screen, learning all the way...

In fact, I’ll come right out and say it: This camera takes better photos than any other pocket camera on the market.

I know what camera is next on my shopping list. Not soon, but eventually...

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