Canon SD900 Digital ELPH (IXUS 900 Ti) Concise Review
Design and Handling
Aside from the body material (complete with 'TITANIUM' logo) and some minor styling differences the SD900 is externally very similar to the SD550 (IXUS 750) - and bears a strong family resemblance to all the models in the current range. Like its predecessor it is superbly built with an exemplary fit 'n' finish, and - as befits a $450 point and shoot compact - externally it exudes quality. All the ELPH/IXUS cameras are designed on the 'form first, function second' principle, with few concessions to operational or ergonomic concerns - there's little in the way of a grip, no anti-slip surface textures and a fairly minimalistic approach to external controls.
To be fair Canon's finely-tuned user interface (honed over many generations of compacts) is one of the best - the simple, clear FUNC menu and dedicated buttons for ISO, flash, drive and focus mean that - for the average user - all the commonly needed controls can be used quickly and easily. At the end of the day this is an unashamed 'point and shoot' camera, albeit one with a few clever features up its sleeve.
Key body elements
Controls & Menus
Canon has been fine-tuning its user interface for several generations of PowerShot, but the basic operation has remained the same, which is good news, because it works well, and is fast and intuitive. The SD900 features all the nifty new features seen on Canon's other more recent high end models, including an orientation sensor that rotates the display in playback mode if you turn the camera round, slide show transitions and, of course, MyColors and Color Swap options.
|As usual you can change the amount of information shown on-screen. There is also an optional grid overlay (shown here) for those of us who struggle with straight horizons and a 3:2 overlay for getting a better idea how the frame will print. The screenshot here is from 'M' mode (the display in auto mode is less complex).||Half-press the shutter release and the camera will calculate exposure (AE) and focus (AF) indicating focus point(s) chosen in AiAF mode, along with a camera shake warning if necessary. Note that you only see a shutter speed indication if the camera thinks it's low enough to cause camera shake. This is a 'design feature' of SD cameras I'd like to see changed, please!|
|Users of previous PowerShots will be perfectly at home with the record mode FUNC menu, which offers fast access to a range of controls over shooting and image parameters. Note that here we're using 'M' mode (in full auto mode you only have control over image size and quality). Incidentally you can manually set long exposures of up to 15 seconds.||In 'manual' mode you get Canon's full range of color control options, including presets (vivid, sepia etc) and sliders for adjusting contrast, saturation, sharpness, red, green, blue and skintones.|
|If you touch the four-way controller (as opposed to actually pressing the buttons) you get this (optional) animated display, which is actually quite handy for avoiding taking your eye away from the screen when making changes (or in the dark). As with all recent high end PowerShots the SD900 has an external ISO button, which brings up an on-screen menu going from ISO 80 to 1600.||One nice touch is an enhanced post-shot checking system (activated by pressing the SET or DISP button during the quick review after you've taken a picture). Useful for checking fine focus. The enlarged section relates to the chosen focus point (in AiAF or Face Detect mode) and you can switch between multiple focus points, if present. Neat.|
|Record mode menu allows you to customize everything from flash synch to the spot AE point and self-timer delay. It is also here where you'll find the option to swich on AiAF or Face Detection AF focus modes.||The setup menu (accessible from both playback and record modes) is where you find more general camera settings, including sounds, power saving, date and time, LCD brightness, card formatting, language and video output format.|
|One of the three alternative play mode views includes a histogram display and exposure information.||The usual options for viewing thumbnails (3x3) and magnifying (up to 10x) are available, as well as Canon's smart new slideshow options.|
|The SD900 allows you to assign images to categories once they have been taken, or the camera can automatically categorize images - based on the scene mode used (or if not in scene mode, if the face detect function activated). This categorization is then used by the new version of ZoomBrowser EX to help sorting/searching easier.||The SD900 also has Canon's newly enhanced 'JUMP' mode, which allows you to scroll though images based on category or type (as well as jumping 10 or 100 images at a time). This is probably of limited use unless you wait for your 2GB card to fill before transferring images.|
|The play menu offers the usual range of options, including protecting, rotating and deleting images, plus a sound recorder. You can apply 'My Colors' effects to saved images, which is much better than committing to it at the point you take the picture. The SD900 also has Canon's Print menu, which simplifies the direct print process.||Finally the setup menu (accessible from both record and playback modes) - here you'll find general camera settings.|
|New Forest pony by Dutch Newchurch|
from Equines in 2018
|Leader of the pack by Wu Jiaqiu|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Czech Crown by Tobik|
from Coins - Macro only
In Part 1 of his series on photographing Greenland in winter, landscape photographer Erez Marom shares the freezing details of his arrival on the town of Uummannaq where the temperature was -25°C. Still, he went out shooting.
SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr for an undisclosed sum, with CEO Don MacAskill promising to give the neglected photo sharing service 'the resources that it deserves'.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105mm F2.7 is Meyer Optik's latest Kickstarter lens revival, and it promises "natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture" ... whatever that means.
The update also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs that will feature autofocus. This will be the company’s first AF lens.
The World Photo Organization has finally revealed the overall winners for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, including the coveted Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, and Student Photographer of the Year winners.
Venus Optics has unveiled four new lenses that will ship later this year: a wide-angle zoom for Sony FE, a circular fisheye for Micro Four Thirds, a wide-angle lens for the medium format Fujifilm GFX, and a 2x Ultra Macro for multiple full-frame mounts.
The One Backpack is a 5-in-1 modular backpack that can be used as a camera bag, work & gym pack, suit carry backpack, travel pack or tech-backpack.
This highly-specialized lens is perfect for sports, action and wildlife photography. Check out these first sample images for a taste of what it's capable of.
For KFC Hong Kong’s latest ad campaign, New York City-based advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather used Photoshop to magically morph pieces of flaky fried chicken into fire and smoke in various scenes.
The Android and iOS app from Surpuba AR lets you place animated 3D models in real-world environment using augmented reality technology. You can alter poses and location, insert lighting equipment, and more... right from your phone or tablet.
Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop Oppo's smartphone camera roadmap, covering optical zoom, depth mapping and other innovative imaging features that dual cameras allow.
Canon is jumping into the portable printing game with the new IVY Mini Photo Printer: a rechargeable battery-powered printer for creating 2x3 prints and stickers of your smartphone snaps on-the-go.
The program first launched last year, but only as a temporary promotion limited to previous-generation GoPro cameras exchanged for discounts on current-generation models. This time around, GoPro is accepting nearly any digital camera in any condition.
One of the most usable 360° cameras on the market is getting even better. With its latest update, Rylo adds a 180° mode, bluetooth remote capture, and a cinematic motion blur effect for your timelapse shots.
Phase One has released the first major update to its Capture One Pro 11 photo editing program. The update adds support for 8 new cameras and 16 new lenses, and includes several new features and functional improvements that speed up workflow.
We recently got our hands on Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone, the dual camera, variable aperture Galaxy S9+, and took it to mostly sunny Southern California for a long weekend.
It's spring, and that means wedding season is upon us! If you're one of the many photographers planning wedding shoots this year, this is a great time to think about including aerial photography in your plans.
The first firmware update for the Sony a7 III addresses an issue in video mode wherein "blinking pixels" would show up along the base of footage recorded with certain settings.
Researchers with Switzerland's EPFL have developed a soft exoskeleton that enables its wearer to control a drone using their upper body. The human-robot interface is said to offer "natural and intuitive control of drones."
Photokina has released an official list of confirmed exhibitors for the 2018 expo, quieting rumors that major brands like Canon and Profoto might follow in Elinchrom's lead and skip this year's show.
For owners of Sony's a7R III, a9 and the new a7 III, there's now an easy fix for the rare but dreaded 'striping' in backlit shots with lots of flare. Click through to learn more.
The team behind the ubiquitous JPEG format has unveiled an all new image format designed to quickly and efficiently stream content across wired and wireless networks alike. Surprisingly, it actually uses less compression than traditional JPEG.
Canon USA has released a promotional video showcasing its latest CMOS sensor technology. Albeit over daraticized, it’s an interesting overlook at the work it’s continually putting into its camera systems.
The large-format digital LargeSense LS911 is the "world's first 8x10 digital single shot camera for sale." The camera features a 12-megapixel 9x11-inch monochrome CMOS sensor, which translates into massive 75 micron pixels.
Pricing and availability have been announced for Tokina's high-end Fírin 20mm F2 FE AF autofocus lens for Sony E-Mount. If you're curious about this lens, you'll be able to pick up your own starting in June for $950 USD.
It's the copyright lawsuit that refuses to die. In September 2017, PETA finally settled its monkey selfie lawsuit with photographer David Slater, but the request to dismiss the case has since been rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
As part of his ongoing ‘Good Light’ YouTube series, London-based photographer Sean Tucker has created a simple tutorial on how to find good natural light for portraits.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, with the photography awards going to photojournalist Ryan Kelly for image of a car plowing into protesters in Virginia, and the entire Reuters photo staff for a series on Rohinga refugees fleeing persecution.
When it was announced in 2016, the Rokinon AF 14mm F2.8 FE was among the first full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony's a7-series mirrorless cameras. We wanted to see how this affordable wideangle prime performs on Sony's latest a7R III.