Retro Assessment: The 2001 Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS


Launched in 2001, the Pro90 IS was Canon’s flagship PowerShot and shared the same exterior design to the sooner Pro70 from 1998 however drastically boosted its zoom functionality from 2.5x to 10x. It grew to become Canon’s first digital digicam with optical picture stabilization as effectively.

Inside, it inherited a lot of the feature-set from the enthusiast-class G1 launched a yr beforehand in 2000, which all added as much as one of the crucial succesful cameras of the time with a price ticket to match: $1300 USD or 1100 GBP.

The lens might have been the headline characteristic, however its imaging circle wasn’t fairly sufficiently big to completely cowl the 1 /1.8in 3.3 Megapixel sensor which pressured Canon to crop the pictures to an efficient decision of two.6 Megapixels – one thing Sony additionally needed to do with the F505V.

The Pro90 IS supplied three JPEG resolutions, a selection of compression, and even the possibility to alternatively document in RAW, in addition to having the ability to seize QVGA / 320×240 pixel video clips with audio for as much as 30 seconds, albeit with out zooming the lens whereas recording.

With a lot of the G1’s internals, the Pro90 IS inherited the PASM dial and a number of Inventive Preset modes, full handbook management over publicity together with shutter speeds from eight seconds to 1/1000, sensitivity from 50 to a relatively noisy-looking 400 ISO, and even adjustable picture parameters.

It additionally shared the identical fully-articulated side-hinged 1.8-inch display, high data panel, flash sizzling shoe, Compact Flash slot, and BP-511 battery, though the G1’s optical viewfinder was switched to an digital one because of the longer zoom vary.

At the moment the Pro90 IS is notable for the wealth of options that got here from a time when Canon actually packed all the things it might consider right into a digicam, and because of CF media and BP-511 batteries nonetheless being out there at this time, it’s simple to select up and begin taking pictures with even in 2021. That is precisely what I did for my newest Dino Bytes video above, and I discover the Pro90 IS 20 years later!


Concerning the writer: Gordon Laing is the Editor of Cameralabs the place he presents gear evaluations and images tutorials. He lately launched Dino Bytes, a brand new channel to indulge his love of classic tech and retro gaming, with movies about traditional cameras, computer systems, consoles, telephones, and extra! He’s been a journalist for therefore lengthy he really reviewed most of these items the primary time round. Gordon can also be into meals, drink, and journey, and is the writer of “In Camera,” a guide that embraces the artwork of JPEG images with no post-processing.



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