Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Thoughts on the S90

The in camera JPEG tends to be a little soft above ISO 400 as opposed to LX3 which has a much aggressive sharpening. As a result the LX3's JEPG is a little more grainy but seems to have retained more details. However, if you look closely, due to higher contrast, some subtle color transitions may be lost in the LX3 images but retained in the S90.

The general consensus is the real power of S90 will only be unleashed when shot in RAW. A properly processed RAW from the S90 can give it a 1 stop improvement. From my observation, when shot in RAW, the S90 can come within 1 stop of the micro fourthirds (out-of-camera JPEG). ISO 400 in raw is definitely usable. At ISO 800, the raw file can be used in the same way as ISO 1600 of MFT, in smaller prints.

When compared to the G11, although the S90 has the same sensor, it loses out when compared to details delivered by the G11. This is probably due to the superior lens of the G11 as the comparison was done with RAW and not out-of-camera JPEG.

Lastly, I think the S90 is a nice 'true compact' camera to carry around. I call it a 'true compact' because of its built in lens cover and minimalist design make it pocketable. Design wise, the S90 is closer to the Fuji F200EXR than the LX3 or the G11 which have hotshoe mounts and bigger profiles. I also find the 28-105mm zoom range to be significantly more useful than the 24-60mm of LX3.

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