Ok, let’s get one thing out in the open. The Canon S90 is expensive -- MSRP is $430. But what we’re sure of is that this is currently the best “pocketable” digital camera on the market, bar none.
The megapixel race: An unfortunate history
For years, digital camera manufacturers have realized that “megapixels” sell. When the average consumer is faced with a choice between “Model A” at 10 megapixels and “Model B” at 15 megapixels, all else equal, guess which gets chosen? Camera manufacturers have long known that megapixels are the single most important “spec” for uninformed buyers, so they play the game. Today, point-and-shoots with megapixel counts in the mid-teens are commonplace. But the question is, does image quality rise with the increase in pixel count, as the typical buyer assumes?