Customer Review

66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon G11 vs. Canon S90: A Matter of Personal Preference, November 29, 2009
This review is from: Canon PowerShot G11 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Stabilized Zoom and 2.8-inch articulating LCD (Electronics)
Canon G11 vs. Canon S90: A Matter of Personal Preference (I'm posting a very similar review under both the S90 and the G11.)

I've been trying to find a 'carry everywhere' camera to always keep on my person so that I don't miss the amazing things that make up the events of everyday life (like tomorrow when I actually get to get off the R train at Cortland Street in Manhattan, something I haven't been able to do for years due to construction). I wanted something that was (1) Small and (2) Had the ability for full manual controls for shutter speed and aperture. The two cameras that fit this bill very well were Canon's S90 and G11 - Canon's top of the line point and shoots in their respective series (S and G). But which one?

The two major things that the cameras have in common (in addition to the above mentioned manual controls) are:

1. The same image sensor (same size, etc)
2. The same image processor

Anyone who's written a comparison of the cameras will point this out quickly - because normally 'which camera' would come down to these one of these two issues. In addition to these things, there are dozens of other features that both cameras share: this makes it very difficult to decide "which camera?" Having owned both of them (but ultimately deciding to go with the G11 and returning the S90) I would like to make a short list of positive/negatives which I think could be deciding factors when trying to choose between these two excellent cameras. Instead of listing both positive and negative points by each camera, I'll simply point out the positives of each that the other model does not share - I hope that this is helpful in your decision!

G11: Advantages

- Hot shoe: but on a compact? Some people will say "it's pointless to use an external flash on a compact camera - the whole point is to be compact!" That's a valid critique, but at the same time there are times when it's nice to be able to throw a flash on a compact if you really need one. I own the 430EX and the 580EX II (both compatible) but I picked up the newish 270EX with the G11 and it works fantastically with the camera without adding a lot of weight. Both the camera and the flash fit perfectly into the Pelican 1060 case side by side but with enough room to stay padded with the foam insert. And hey - if I want to throw the nearly-twice-as-big-as-the-camera-itself 580EX II on the G11 I can do it! Yet I can also do without it - the camera is versatile this way in a way that the S90 is not.

- Vari-Angle LCD: which at first I found annoying. The screen adds just enough bulk to the camera that it does not fit in smaller cases which it otherwise would. When I first got the camera I was really rather annoyed by it in fact - not only because of the bulk but because it is actually smaller than the LCD on the S90. I had to read another review to realize that it was a much better thing than I realized - because it allows you to hold the camera at all sorts of different levels and angles while still allowing you to see what you're shooting. I really enjoy doing photography with the camera low to the ground (I have an angled viewfinder for my DSLR) and so this works perfectly for what I need. As others have pointed out, the Vari-Angledness of the LCD allows you to flip it while in storage so that it's even more protected.

- Remote Shutter Release: you can use one! I love doing night photography and that the G11 allows me to use a cable release really seals the deal on the S90 vs. G11 for me personally (granted on the S90 you can always use the 2 second self-timer). Good news too if you use a Canon Rebel DSLR - it's the same cable release.

S90: Advantages

- Very compact: quite a bit smaller than the G11, it would easily fit in pockets and cases that the G11 never could. If you're into Pelican cases like I am, you can fit the S90 in the Pelican Micro Case 1010 with room to spare.

- More efficient controls: the ring around the lens is amazing and an excellent idea. Especially when in manual mode, this makes setting aperture and shutter speed a snap (it's more awkward on the G11 - you have to use the small back dial and then toggle between aperture and shutter speed with a separate button which can get to be messy when you're trying to shoot quickly).

- The f2.0 lens: a full stop faster than the G11's 2.8 lens. This is a LOT of light, and especially important when you want to take photos in low-light situations (note though that the lens on the S90 doesn't zoom in far as the G11 if that's important to you - both lenses are the same focal length when zoomed out).

Both the G11 and the S90 are beautiful, well made cameras that will serve any photographer well when you're looking for something that's not DSLR sized.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2012 3:47:18 AM PDT
p.chancey says:
I went with the G11 because of the reputation of Canon's G series. This is my first Canon after many, many years of Nikon (which i will still use, just not all the time now.

i have a question about the cable release. I am currently looking at the shutter release on this camera and see no where for a cable release to attach. Thanks for you input and your great review
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