Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
Canon's Digital IXUS cameras are known to prioritize design and an easy, straight-forward operation, whilst manual setting options such as aperture and shutter speed priority are not particularly emphasised. Although these are features that a photographer generally appreciates on a handy compact camera, they do not mix all that well with a Digital IXUS camera. Instead, Canon have equipped the PowerShot camera with these features. This doesn't change the fact, however, that the Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti still offers a wide variety of setting options through which the user can influence the end result, even in a more creative way. The camera offers plenty of resolution, which provides the user with sufficient image information to, for instance, make an enlargement of a crop and print it. Although it has only been months since we heard several photo-related manufacturers declare six Megapixels to be the standard for a compact camera, the introduction of -among others- the Canon 900 Ti once again proves the rise of the pixel is yet to come to a halt.
Canon IXUS 900 Ti - WP-DC7 underwater housing
The switch that is found on the camera's back side shows an SCN setting. Upon activating the SCN mode, an assortment of pre-programmed scenes can be accessed. The FUNC button displays a range of pictograms from which the user can take his pick. Canon manage to keep things simple; there are eleven scenes at hand, each offering assistance with exposures that are somewhat tricky to assess. Examples of these scenes are Portrait and Children - but also Underwater and Fireworks. The Underwater scene in particular offers an interesting option, when combined with an underwater housing; in this case the WP-DC7, to capture the underwater world during your holidays. Fans of underwater photography will be pleased to hear we will soon be reviewing several underwater housings, among which the Canon WP-DC7. The variety of scenes offers the novice photographer plenty of tools to explore the more creative side of photography. However, the more experienced photographer too will soon come to appreciate the ease of the intelligent, pre-programmed scenes.
Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti - ISO values
Among these scenes you will also find the option to set a high ISO value. In fact, not just any high value; this setting activates no less than 3200 ISO. Unfortunately, things aren't as easy as they sound. The ten Megapixels are reduced to 2, a rather large sacrifice to make if you want to come out victorious in the battle against the dominant noise. And let's be honest: if we consider actual quality, the use of 3200, and even 1600 ISO is more of a marketing tool than a realistic option to work with. After all, it remains a big concession; taking your photos with a ten Megapixel high quality camera whilst having to settle for a clearly noticeable amount of noise, and even a strong decrease of resolution when working with ISO 3200. The standard answer of manufacturers to the question why cameras are once again being equipped with high ISO values, even though the quality does not benefit from it, remains that 'this is what the market demands'. Personally, I would prefer an investment in the quality of the pixel or the build-up of the image sensor, as Fujifilm have been doing for many years, as opposed to continuously increasing the amount of pixels. The low ISO values up to and including 400 ISO are of excellent quality, and can easily be used to produce enlargements. The high value of ISO 800 requires an accurate exposure, but offers very decent results indeed.
Canon Digital IXUS 900Ti - DIGIC III beeldprocessor
The integration of Canon's latest generation image processor, DIGIC III, greatly contributes to the speed of the image processing. Another feature that benefits from the processor is the Face Detection. It should be said that the majority of consumers aren't likely to immediately grasp the concept of this feature, or perhaps better said; its use might cause a little confusion at first. The Face Detection feature is able to recognize a maximum of nine faces in an image, and take these into the assessment of the focus and the exposure. If there are no faces to detect, the Canon 900 Ti automatically switches to the 9-point AiAF. Face Detection guarantees an increased quality and precision when shooting portraits. Especially now that faces are detected automatically, which proves flawless in practice, the automatic focussing on faces comes in particularly handy. The final user does not need to set or change a single thing; a truly innovative piece of user convenience!
Canon 900 Ti digital compact camera - Grid
Those who like to capture the occasional scenery photo, often find in hindsight, when reviewing their image on a large format screen or paper, that the horizon comes across somewhat slanted, or that the vertical lines suddenly prove far from vertical, and lean towards diagonal instead. The activation of grid lines on the camera's display comes in very handy to prevent these issues. The grid lines can be accessed via the menu, and although they may seem rather irksome and "in the way" upon first glance, you will soon come to recognize the advantages. A truly valuable tool when capturing images in which lines play an important part.
Canon Digital 900 Ti - White balance settings
The Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti features five different white balance settings (daylight, cloudy, fluorescent light and incandescent) in addition to the automatic white balance. Furthermore, the user has the option to set the white balance manually, by pointing the camera at a white or grey surface. The automatic white balance proves to function very well indeed when capturing standard outdoor images, and we do not really see the need to deviate from it. Indoor images, however, require a more accurate approach. Particularly when capturing images in overly present artificial light (incandescent), which is likely to be the case in the average living room. In these situations the images tend to suffer from an orange colour cast that is too warm. Capture the same image with a manual white balance setting, however, and you will see it can indeed be done without colour cast. Although a warm tone doesn't necessarily have to be negative, it can be taken a little over the top. Apart from this, the automatic white balance proves sufficient for most situations, and produces excellent results.
Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti - Colour rendention
The colour rendition is superb, and it are the skin tones in particular that come across very well indeed. The colours seem true to nature, and are generally not exaggerated. The sharpness is excellent, and the combination of colour rendition, contrast, sharpness and an outstanding exposure leads to an exceptional image quality. Those who wish to take things a little further may opt to influence the image creatively through the My Colors mode. A variety of digital effects allows you to embellish the image. Moreover, the option to adjust specific colours gives the Canon Digital IXUS 900 Ti that little extra bit of functionality. Editing the images proves to be a very straight-forward and low entry-level process.
Canon IXUS 900Ti - Multi-segment & Spot metering
Despite the automatic characteristics of the Canon 900 Ti camera, it still offers various interesting setting options. Whereas spot metering used to be a rather rare feature on the analogue cameras, it seems to be more of a rule than an exception on a digital camera. The Canon IXUS 900 Ti too offers the user the option to work with spot metering. Although the standard multi-segment metering is well in control of most situations, it remains useful to have spot metering at hand for those situations that require it. The camera's light metering works accurately, and doesn't show any unexpected results. Naturally, it is also possible to underexpose the image whenever needed.