When I’m out and about to do some serious photography, I usually take my Nikon D90 and a set of lenses, but it’s not always practical to do so, when the focus isn’t photography. My search for a carry-everywhere camera eventually led to the Canon S90, which I reviewed in detail last year. The camera combined a compact form factor with great image quality (for the size, of course). However, in an attempt to be minimalistic, Canon made the camera a bit of a handling nightmare. The camera surfaces are quite slick and the natural hand position places the index trigger finger over the mode dial, instead of the shutter release. It’s a bit like holding a bar of soap.
I came across Richard Franiec’s S90 grip over at DPReview, where the comments were enthusiastic. I placed an order and waited.
Richard was on vacation around the time I ordered, so I didn’t get the grip until a short while ago. Using 3M heavy bond adhesive, the grip attaches with great solidity. It feels like it’s welded, not adhered, to the camera.
The grip looks great, feels great, and vastly improves handling. It’s made out of aluminum and is very well machined. It doesn’t quite match the slick exterior of the S90, and is instead more textured to impart additional grip. Aside from making the camera feel steady in a single hand, it also forces the natural hand position over, such that the index finger now lies directly over the shutter release. Bravo!
It simply looks professionally made. Richard has made custom accessories for a host of cameras and this is just another in the line of great additions to already great photographic tools. With Lightroom 3 beta 2 doing spectacular things for image quality (mainly noise reduction), I’m really excited to get out there with this camera. After some post-processing tests with LR3b2, I feel comfortable with up to ISO800 on the S90, but I’ll leave the results of that test for a bit later.