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Hands-on with the Canon IXUS 90 IS, plus the 85 IS and 970 IS

A mysterious package has arrived at Crave, and within we find the Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS, a 10-megapixel compact with a large screen and odd buttons. The 85 IS and 870 IS also launched today

Late last night, we were busy working away -- that is, continually tabbing between Facebook and YouTube, Twittering every two minutes -- when we received a mysterious phone call. The voice on the other end of the line made us swear to secrecy, before revealing that Canon was on the brink of a big announcement. We were also told that an ominous-sounding package would be arriving at Crave this very morning. It duly did. What could it contain? We approached with trepidation, to discover... the Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS. The 90 IS joins the IXUS 970 IS and IXUS 85 IS in debuting today.

All three new additions to the ever-popular IXUS range boast optical image stabilisation and face detection. In a technology industry that delights in needlessly confusing naming conventions, Canon leads the field. It's annoyingly rebranding the IXUS 970 IS as the PowerShot SD890 IS in the US. The 10-megapixel 970 IS has a whopping 5x optical zoom and 64mm (2.5-inch) screen. The recommended retail price is £299, which is steep, but we imagine it'll have a chunk carved off the price when it gets to online retailers.

The IXUS 85 IS, aka the SD770 IS if you're a Yank, is similarly specced. Interestingly, it also boasts an optical viewfinder. Recommended retail price is £239.

The IXUS 90 IS is also a 10-megapixel model. Click through the links for more pictures of the 90 before it self-destructs. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS review

We really like the IXUS 90 IS' boxy shape and flush-folding lens. The lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 35mm, with a 3x optical zoom.

The IXUS 90 IS sports a large 76mm (3-inch) screen. Shooting functions can be accessed with this handy sidebar.

When our subeditor suggested this was just another compact, we replied, "But look at the buttons!" and instantly had to have a word with ourselves. What have we become? Still, the buttons are very different: there aren't any. Instead, areas of the frame flex when pressed. It's a strange feeling, but we think we like it.

The 90 IS also boasts a spinny-clicky wheel. It's less nippy than the wheel on some Nikon Coolpix models, but we like wheels as a quick method to switch modes, and access functions such as panorama stitch assist and colour filters.

People of the Americanian persuasion will be calling this the SD790 IS, but it probably won't cost them £259. The IXUS 90 IS will be available in April.