Canon Digital Ixus 900 Ti review
The “Ti” in 900 Ti means this Ixus boasts a titanium shell and, despite its elegant looks, it feels almost bulletproof. It’s a regular Canon at heart, though, so if you’ve used a Digital Ixus before you’ll instantly be at home. Newcomers may find it takes a few outings for the controls to become second nature, but once you’ve acclimatised to the system it’s consistent and responsive.
On automatic settings, the 900 Ti produced sharp, well-exposed images across all of our tests. In our outdoor test, it produced a very appealing shot, with balanced lighting and the sort of crisp detail you’d expect with a 10-megapixel CCD. At extreme close-up in Photoshop, we saw some noise and smudgy colouring in areas of low contrast, but don’t be alarmed by this: the high resolution means that even if you blow your prints up to A3, such flaws should be imperceptible from normal viewing distances.
The camera’s macro mode achieved a focal distance of around 5cm – not exceptional, but fine for most uses. Colours were perhaps a little less vibrant than those produced by some other cameras, but more accurately represented the actual lighting conditions.
Our twilight test revealed an excellent dynamic range: although dark areas were predictably underexposed, the camera still captured a remarkable amount of detail, which we were easily able to recover in Photoshop. There’s no anti-shake mode as such, but the camera’s ISO 3,200 setting allowed us to take relatively sharp low-light shots without a tripod. Movies were acceptably clear and smooth at 640 x 480 and, while there’s the first 1,024 x 768 mode we’ve seen, it cuts the frame rate to a jerky 15fps.
If the Ixus 900 Ti has a drawback, it’s the 3x optical zoom, which is really the bare minimum for a modern compact digital camera. The 10-megapixel output gives you plenty of scope to work around this by cropping your pictures before printing them, but it would have been nice not to have to.
Apart from this, the 900 Ti does more or less everything right. It’s small yet tough, so you can carry it everywhere with you, and it uses standard SD cards and a standard mini-USB cable for total convenience. If you want a longer zoom, you might find the Sony DSC-T100 more approachable, but if you value versatility and portability the Ixus 900 Ti is a winner.