Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti
- Sharp pictures, Great colour, Attractive and sturdy design
- Very visible fringing, Noise issues, Slow burst mode
While the IXUS 900 Ti is a fairly good compact camera, it suffers from some fringing and noise issues that mean it isn't quite on par with some of Canon's other units.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The 10 megapixel Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti offers all the usual features we've come to expect, and has a solid and quite attractive design. However, visible fringing and excessive image noise counter good sharpness and colour performance to make this a reasonable but not noteworthy compact camera.
The most disappointing aspect of the 900 Ti was the visible fringing we encountered in our shots. This was most evident towards the edges of our pictures, but was also seen a little closer to the centre. It was best highlighted by areas of high contrast, such as the black and white squares on our test charts. Given what we'd seen in our shots, it came as no surprise that the camera achieved mediocre results in Imatest's chromatic aberration test. It's score of .117% is decent, but not outstanding for a high end, 10 megapixel compact model.
These issues are unfortunate, as the camera performed extremely well in our sharpness test, where Imatest gave it a score of 1607. This is an excellent result, and satisfied our expectations of such a powerful sensor. As you can see in our test shots, in areas where fringing isn't an issue, edges are exceptionally crisp and sharp, with great clarity and definition even in areas of extreme detail.
The 900 Ti's colour performance was also very good, where it scored 6.41 in Imatest. As is most often the case, red was the chief problem colour, showing some very noticeable oversaturation, however the other primary colours were very well rendered. The greyscale spectrum was similarly impressive. The overall colour balance, while not the best we've seen, was very good and will more than satisfy the majority of users.
Unfortunately this camera couldn't continue the strong performance. In our noise test, it achieved a rather high score of .85% at ISO100, which is well above what we normally see from models in this category. In our pictures it was visible, but not as obtrusive as it could have been. The noise took on a fine, white form and made the shots a little grainy, rather than being blotchy and colourful. At slightly higher ISO settings, the noise didn't increase too much, however when moving from ISO 800 to the highest setting of ISO 1600, there was a massive drop in the quality of the image. The noise suddenly became extremely prominent, creating a large colourful haze over the whole picture that made it basically unusable at this level.
The 900 Ti's feature set is fairly standard for an upper tier compact camera. It sports a basic 3x optical zoom, with ISO settings to 1600 (although 3200 can be reached using a special scene mode) and both preset and custom white balance modes. The burst mode was a little short for our liking; it captures shots at three frames per second, but the buffer was full after just four shots, and going over this limit lead to dramatic slow down. We'd much prefer it operated at 2.5 or two frames per second but lasted a little longer. The video mode somewhat made up for this however, as it shoots at an extremely high resolution of 1024x768 pixels. We haven't seen a point and shoot camera that shoots such high quality footage before, with most capping out at 640x480, so for those who enjoy taking the occasional video, this is a big plus. Rounding out the feature set are the 12 scene modes, a number of colour options and three metering modes (evaluative, spot and centre). Overall the feature set is quite reasonable, and is fairly typical for a Canon compact.
The 900 Ti metal and chrome casing with black highlights looks exceptionally good and above all feels rock solid. This camera combines the best elements of style and construction, to create a brilliant looking device that can also take a few bumps. The controls follow the traditional IXUS layout, with a vertical function wheel, a menu key and a five way navigation pad. They are all well positioned and easy to access, and most of the interface is intuitive, meaning even new users should have no issues operating the camera.
The 900Ti is reasonably speedy as well. With a .07 second shutter lag, 1.9 seconds between shots, and a 1.5 second startup time it is one of the faster units we've looked at recently. The only thing we noticed in this regard was that the autofocus was a little slower than normal, but it wasn't a huge issue.
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