Canon SD900 Digital ELPH (IXUS 900 Ti) Concise Review
10 Conclusion & samples
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution, good color
- Clean, detailed results at lower ISO settings - ISO 400 usable, with fairly light-handed noise reduction
- Reliable exposure system
- Fast and accurate focus
- Responsive operation
- Excellent user interface, easy to use
- Face detection AF/AE (it works most of the time but is slower than normal focus and a bit of a novelty)
- Superb build quality, finish and styling
- Decent macro mode
- Decent flash performance
- Large, bright, high resolution screen & optical viewfinder
- High quality movie mode
- External ISO control
- Some useful features such as AE lock, AF lock and Flash exposure lock functions
- Titanium construction does seem very durable
Conclusion - Cons
- AiAF focus a bit unpredictable - turn it off
- Very little manual control
- ISO 800 and 1600 of limited use
- Some smearing of low contrast fine detail at anything over base ISO
- Occasional purple fringing
- Still no exposure information for shutter speeds over 1/60 sec
- Some corner softness and some highlight clipping
Camera manufacturers have been producing expensive special-edition titanium-bodied SLRs for years; the combination of durability, strength and lightness (titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal) offers some real benefits for large, heavy use professional cameras. When it comes to compacts the use of such an exotic material is far less about weight or corrosion-resistance, and far more about luxury and exclusivity. Not that there's anything wrong with that - there will always be a market for over-engineered, premium-priced products and the SD900 does have a certain 'feel' that sets it apart from its numerous steel / plastic / alloy competitors. But beyond such superficial concerns we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the SD900 is more than just a pretty face; it's actually a fairly impressive performer too.
After testing the SD 800 IS recently I didn't have particularly high hopes for the SD900, so I was pleased to see that - as compact high resolution models go - it produces superb, reliable output no matter what you throw at it. This, above all, is the mark of a successful 'point and shoot' camera - that you can rely on it time after time to produce good results no matter how challenging the photographic situation. It's also a beautifully built camera with a superb finish and the unique use of titanium. The latter is surely more of a talking point than of any real practical value unless you regularly expose your camera to corrosives or leave it in the bottom of your bag with your keys (it is more durable than other SD / ELPH models).
Ultimately, however, the SD900 may well be judged on what is is not, more than what it is. It's more expensive than most direct competitors, and it lacks any real 'stand out' features; even the zoom range (37-111mm) is a bit mundane. There are faster, slimmer, more feature-laden, less expensive cameras on the market, and even the SD 800 IS - which costs roughly the same but offers a true wideangle zoom and image stabilization - offers a more compelling feature mix.
The SD900's biggest selling-point for us is simple; it offers some of the best (perhaps the best) image quality in this category, but if we're being honest we're not talking quantum leaps here, and the typical user of this type of camera, producing small prints, is unlikely to really see a significant advantage. If you like a touch of luxury (which the build and finish definitely give you) and want a 'point and shoot' camera that offers reliably high quality output suitable for decent enlargements, the SD900 is certainly a worthy competitor. We just feel that in this, the most competitive and fastest-moving sector of the market, the SD900 will, for many users, have priced itself out of the running.
The SD900 comes as close as possible to a 'Highly Recommended' (and if exclusivity and pixel level image quality is more important to you than features or price it probably deserves one), but for us it misses by a whisker.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
There are 30 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.
Canon SD900 Review Samples
|Global Reach by cjf2|
|Maligne Lake by Pete of Oz|
from - Mountain Lake - (Full Colours only + A Border)
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.