Canon Powershot S90 Camera and WP-DC35 Underwater Housing

The Canon Powershot G11 was widely anticipated by underwater photographers – but the Canon Powershot S90 is smaller, lighter and seems to do the same job for a cheaper price. Which one to choose?

I recently wrote about the Canon Powershot G11 and its WP-DC34 underwater housing
, describing how it was one of the most anticipated cameras by underwater photographers for some time. Canon’s G series have brought a whole new level of image quality to compact cameras and get a lot of hype as a result. I’m personally in the market for a new compact camera myself too, so I was poised to buy one – until I heard about the Canon Powershot S90.

Canon Powershot S90
Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

The current price for the Canon Powershot S90 is $399 on Amazon and $174 for the Canon WP-DC35 S90 Underwater Housing on Amazon – that’s at least $50 cheaper than the Canon G11. Yet the camera has a full-sized image sensor (sort of), a f2.0 zoom for low light, and shoots RAW format photos. So it basically seems to do everything the Canon G11 can do.

Canon WP-DC35 S90 Underwater Housing
Canon WP-DC35 S90 Underwater Housing

Canon WP-DC35 S90 Underwater Housing

The clincher for me is that the S90 is smaller and lighter – possibly small enough to fit in a BCD pocket. Similarly, on land the S90 can fit in your pocket comfortably whereas the G11 is quite bulky. I am going to wait until I get to play with an S90 — I’m sure there will be someone on my next dive trip – but I am pretty sure this could be the compact camera I will buy next. If you’ve been using an S90 underwater, please let me know your thoughts, good or bad, about it.

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  1. It is good price for this kit, but I think there is big con of this case – you can’t use flash.

  2. The cases for the compact cameras always tend to block the flash to some extent, but it does seem to vary quite a lot – I’d certainly like to see it in the water before I buy it.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Do you have any idea where I can find UW strobes in Bangkok? (I am thinking of the Inon S2000, but it doesn’t matter that much) I’d like to buy the S90 with the DC35 housing, which is quite easy to find, but have been unlucky with the strobes so far. I have notably been to MBK and Pantip and did not find any.

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Hi John
    try Pro Dive Imaging (location on the site) – they are an Inon dealer, but don’t think they keep much in stock – probably need to order for you. Best, Chris

  5. I got the S2000 at Pro Image a few months ago. Chris is right, they don’t often keep much in stock, and the first time I went there way back in August, they said they would call when it got in, but never did. Keep checking back!\n\nMy problem now (I have a G10) is that the strobe puts out too much light, so I will have to block the internal flash and possibly add the fiber optic cable to trigger the external strobe.

  6. I think new Panasonic Lumix DMC FT3 is probably one of the best cameras for amateur underwater photographer without need for additional housing up to 12m.