Thursday, August 20, 2009
The new Canon S90. Finally someone decided to put proper, physical, ring controls back on cameras. Now, instead of frantically mashing button combinations as if you're playing a video game, you just turn a dial to control what you want.
When shooting in Manual mode with my Canon 350D, if I want to change Shutter Speed, I turn it's scroll wheel. To change the Aperture, I need to hold down a button and turn the wheel. With the S90, you turn a large ring on the front of the camera to change settings.
Canon have also decided to let their engineers make important decisions for once instead of the marketing team: instead of just pumping up the megapixel count to ridiculous levels to wow naïve customers, they've decided to make the sensor bigger. My simple understanding of physics tells me that a larger sensor means a larger surface for light to fall on. All other things the same, more light would mean a greater signal, which means a clearer picture less noise.
I'd love to have a camera with proper, dedicated, customisable physical controls to be able to control aperture, shutterspeed, ISO and white balance, instead of having to fiddle with buttons. I don't really need 20+ MP, ISO 32'000, Live View or 1920x1080 video recording. What I do need, is to be able to set the core functions easily, quickly, and without having to think about it. You wouldn't replace the steering wheel or pedals in a car with buttons, so why would you do it to a camera?
Hopefully this will start a trend in digital camera design.
All images © 2009 Canon USA.