|Sony S90 - Colour rendition
The images taken in auto mode come out with rather strong detail. Not a problem in itself, but for some subjects just a little overdone. You will get a better result when adjusting the contrast, decreasing it, before actually taking the image. Colour rendition on the other hand is excellent, tendency to a warmer colour balance but in general the colour rendition is true to life. The warmer rendition is found specifically when taking pictures indoors in the evening with incandescent lighting as a light source. The S90 needs some extra assistance like exposure compensation in some circumstances. The exposure is perfect and smooth and shows hardly any 'false' values.
Sony Cybershot S90 - ISO sensitivity
The Sony Cybershot S90 stipulates the sensitivity of the 'digital film' automatically or it is possible to do so manually. The S90 offers sensitivity values from ISO 80 to ISO 400. The annoying digital noise also turns up in this Sony camera, in particular when choosing the ISO 400. Various ISO 200 images, especially nature images with fine detail, feature rough edges, something you would not expect at low ISO values nowadays. The ISO 400 images are of a lesser quality. When studying an image up close, a lot of coloured pixels (noise) shows, but it doesn't belong there. From our ISO test results it demonstrates that Sony hasn't got the digital noise reduction under control just yet. Looking at the Fujifilm Super CCD sensor, we can say that Sony fell into some arrears here.
Cybershot S90 - Close-up images
Naturally the Sony S90 offers macro mode. It can be activated through the Mode Dial. Flash stays standard in the same position, you could fight over this, whether it is functional or not. Considering the possibility that there might be insufficient light for a macro image, it comes in handy if the flash automatically assists the user. On the other hand, an internal flash isn't usually able to exposure the entire image in Macro mode, because the flash usually needs a minimum distance (due to a too large angle of shooting), of 20cm in this case. This results in shaded corners on extreme close-ups due to the lack of light. Both options therefore are not perfect. Macro images show high resolution in combination with remaining detail. Sharpness stays a little behind, particularly towards the frame of the image.
|Cybershot DSC-S90 - Carl Zeiss zoom lens
The 3x optical zoom lens carrying the brand name of Carl Zeiss has an excellent sharpness. In wide angle we find some distortion, but going up to telephoto it decreases the distortion. Images made of subjects with a bright light source in the back prove that the lens suffers of little chromatic aberration, a distortion characterized by purple fringing around the object. In general the lens offers a high quality result. The resolution is high with excellent remaining detail. The performance of the Sony S90 definitely is of a higher standard than the average 4 Megapixel digital camera.
Sony Cybershot DSC S90 - Pre-programmed scenes
The pre-programmed shooting scenes are very useful. Seven scenes in total are available to help the user getting the perfect shot: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Snow, Beach, Landscape, Candle and Soft Snap. The first two mentioned modes seem to have the same settings, but the Twilight Portrait mode also activates the red-eye reduction. These various scene modes are a great help for the beginning photographer and let the camera put emphasis on certain settings so certain subjects are captured in a superior way. The enhanced photographer who likes to operate his camera manually might not completely be satisfied with the Sony S90 while the camera doesn't offer too many thorough manual settings.
Sony DSC S90 - VGA quality Movie recording
Besides taking still images the Sony S90 is also able to record moving images with a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels. The Sony S90 features high quality movie recording (640x480/Fine) suitable for viewing on a full television screen, but that requires a different quality of storage medium. In this case a Memory Stick Pro or SanDisk Extreme III Memory Stick is required at the least. These storage media are able to record at high speed. Besides movie recording another multiple image recording is possible with the Sony S90, namely: Multi Burst function. This function enables the capturing of 16 images with a speed of 7.5 - 30 frames per second to view them on the camera in slow-motion. A nice function when recording moments of action.
Sony S90 - Versatile applicable
The Sony Cybershot DSC-S90 is a digital camera with various setting possibilities, more or less suitable to assist the 'auto pilot'. Various effects are possible, the camera features high quality movie recording, various pre-programmed scene modes are available and a limited number of manual settings belong to the possibilities. A camera perfectly suited for the beginning photographer with an easy entry level.