on November 15, 2006
The SD900 is my 6th digital camera, replacing a well-used Canon S400 workhorse. I wanted more pixels (10MP vs 4MP), a larger LCD screen (~3x larger than S400), faster powerup (>2x as fast), wider ISO range (ISO 3200 max vs ISO 400 max), faster shot-to-shot times, better user interface, scratch-resistant case material (titanium), same or smaller size/weight and SD memory cards (new laptop has an SD reader). The top-of-the-line Canon SD900 titanium-clad wundercam delivers the goods; but not without a few caveats. The titanium case is gorgeous and virtually scratch-proof; but it's quite slippery and provides no discernable perch for fingers. (I've gotten used to it.) On the first few powerups, it sounded like the lens gears were grinding and jumping teeth or something: The usual "whir" sound was very loud, with strange clicking sounds. I almost returned the camera; but it appears to work fine.
JPEG compression artifacts are quite visible, especially at the "Fine" quality setting (~2-3 MB file size). The huge 10.0 megapixel CCD produces oceans of detail; but it is very noisy at high ISO settings. At lowest aperature (f2.8), some lens softness and purple fringing is visible in certain scenes. At higher aperatures and longer focal lengths, images are razor-sharp. The SD900 has no image stabilization; but I was able to take handheld shots in extremely low light conditions with no problem. This camera is small enought to carry with you at all times, in the pocket, the purse, the briefcase, the glovebox, always at the ready when that perfect photo opportunity presents itself. It doesn't matter now great your camera is if you don't have it with you to capture those priceless photos. If you can only have one camera, get this one
on February 20, 2007
I consider myself a photography enthusiast and a bit of an electronics geek. I love looking at the latest and greatest gadgets and often end up telling myself that I HAVE to have them especially when it comes to digital cameras. I've owned 3 sony digital cameras all of which were pretty popular models (p10, t7, n1). Although my sony cameras were always very sleek and stylish, they always fell short when it came to taking pictures of my cats and of the children I work with. If you know cats and kids, then you know they NEVER stay still. My pics often came out blurry and the settings always had to be adjusted to take a decent picture. A forced flash always had to be on in order to catch a decent pose and the color of the picture would never look natural. I also thought the newer sony models would solve these problems but after my 3rd sony, I only saw minimal improvement. I was a bit hesitant to switch brands but after fiddling with a couple of canon's from friends, I decided it was time to switch.
After having this camera for about a month and a half, I don't think I can ever go back to a sony. To say the SD900 is awesome would be an understatement. It is by far the most versatile camera I've ever used. It takes beautiful pictures in low light, indoor, and outdoor settings, but what sets this camera apart is that it takes great pictures of constantly moving objects like cats and kids in these backdrops as well! The colors are rich and natural, not washed out by the flash like my sony cameras. The images are crisp in detail and even in light distribution. With the high ISO setting on the camera, you can take beautiful indoor shots without a flash that no other camera can handle. The battery life is good and the lag between pushing the button and actually having the photo take isn't bad. There are faster cameras out there that are quicker in response time but the quality pictures I keep getting from this camera is more than enough to overlook this.
My sony n1 took great video but often had a hard time keeping focus on the subject matter. It would constantly go in and out of focus and make it difficult to watch sometimes. The SD900 totally blows the n1 out of the water when it comes to taking quality videos. The videos are crystal clear even when cats or kids are running around wild which is something I never experienced with a sony camera.
I still prefer the sony interface and screen layout. Maybe that's just because I'm so used to it. The canon doesn't have the battery indicator that tracks battery life down to the minute nor does it have the storage gauge to let you know how full the memory card is at all times like the sonys. It's a bit annoying at times to not have these features but its no deal breaker.
Overall, it's a great camera. It's a little bit on the expensive side because its canon's top of the line model. If you want something cheaper but don't want to give up the stellar performance, you should go with the SD630. I had that camera and after playing with it for a few weeks, I was thoroughly convinced that it was time to be a canon believer. I now see the light. If you want to see some of the awesome things the sd900 can do, view customer images and you'll see pictures of my cat that i took way up close. Keep in mind that these photos were not cropped or altered in any way by photo software. If you try to take a picture this close up with a sony, all you'll get is a blurry image. I hope this review was helpful and that you'll join me and all the other converts to the canon promise land.
on January 1, 2007
I am a life-long camera buff (for that history see my Amazon review on the Nikon P-1 Coolpix). Recently, I upgraded from the P-1 (purchased in January of 2006) to the new Canon SD-900 Power Shot "Digital Elph". What a change!
My wife has been shooting a Canon SD-550 for two years and her happy experience helped me to choose Canon's latest pocket digital. This "Elph's" 10.0 mega pixel, 3X zoom lens is dramatically different from the various cameras I have used!
Although there are many items to be praised with this newest Power Shot a few are particularly noteworthy. Thankfully, Canon has retained the Power Shot's titanium housing. Scratched camera is only a memory. The "AF-assistance Beam" is very accurate. With 100s of photos taken so far, there are no "blurry shots". It is a delight to stretch its ISO to 3200 (we're ready for those lava tubes)! The brilliant customize self-timer option creates a new versatility (four shots over 15 seconds considerably reduces the probability of subjects' closed eyes).
This Power Shot's 10 mega pixels print out in vivid accuracy and bold portrayal. Our photos are stunning! The SD-900 also features Canon's signature one-piece (without a chord) battery charger. The large display sees everything photographed. This Elph takes less time to record the photo to the disk (the Coolpix is a dinosaur in comparison). And although both cameras weigh about the same, the SD-900 is slightly smaller than the P-1 (and fits better into pockets, back packs, and suit cases).
The Canon SD-900 Power Shot is a great camera and an excellent gift candidate. It is recommended to the camera pros and novices.
Happy New Year!!
on November 3, 2006
Well, I just got this camera and have only taken about 200 pics so far but am very impressed. I won't go over all the stuff that's already been talked about but I will say that it's a huge improvement. The 10 megapixels may at first seem like overkill but when you see the results you'll understand the potential of this tiny camera. It's great actually being able to take really nice photos with a digital zoom for once, not to mention how beautiful the regular 3X zoom is. Great optics and great color over the sd700 IS, which I'm upgrading from. Also much improved menus and useability. The digic III is awesome, it's fast and the facial recognition is really cool. There is'nt a whole lot of drawbacks, Image stabilization would be nice, but I never want those crummy sd700 is optics again. Flash is a little weak, but it always has been on these. Other than that I'm totally satisfied with this camera. It's one that I plan to hold on to for quite a while Which makes my wife happy, and me very happy!
on December 7, 2006
I recently went to Best Buy and got an HP 10 megapixel camera for around $307 and it was an ok camera but after the weekend of taking pictures I took it back because it wasn't any better than my Kodak 6 mp. Then I ordered the Canon PowerShot 10 MP and wow the difference is outstanding. It takes crisp clear pictures and is easy to use and is night and day better than my Kodak. My husband and I got this camera for ourselves for Christmas and we love it...now we can take pictures through the holidays of our kids and grandkids. It was definitely worth the $100 more for this camera and since we're not professional photo hounds we think that this is heaven.
on September 6, 2007
... I don't recommend getting it.
First the good: This is the fifth digital camera I have owned and it is the one I liked best: It looks good, is small enough to carry around, and takes great pictures and movies. I did not have a problem with the fact that it does not have an image stabilizer, it still takes better pictures in almost all situations than my Panasonic Lumix DMC (which has one). The LCD display is good in all light conditions I experienced and seems robust enough in spite of its size. I've also found the camera easy to use.
Now the bad: 7 months after I purchased the camera, the lens stopped retracting and the screen displayed "Lens Error". I checked on the internet and found that thousands of other people had this problem (also known as the E18 error) with the Canon Powershot cameras. I called the Canon repair center and they immediately recognized the problem and told me to send the camera in for repair. Several days later I received a repair estimate for $157 even though the camera was still covered by a 1 year guarantee. When calling the repair center I was told that the camera had scratches on the exterior and they would not honor the warranty. That's consistent with what I read on the internet: Canon is very reluctant to deal with the error.
To me it seemed that the scratches on the exterior were entirely unrelated to the lens error. The camera has been handled with regular care and I've never had a similar problem with other cameras.
on October 4, 2006
10 megapixels, digital macro, telephoto, high ISO, higher definition video, less noise even at higher ISO settings. A nice little package that is worth the upgrade from the SD700 series, and coupled with a 4GB Sandisk SDHC, you got yourself a semi-proffesional, portable photography platform...
But (alas,) the experience is marred by a extremely noisy shutter, with very distracting gear noises generated every-time you try to focus in on a subject or object (you can feel the gears vibrations while holding the case.)
9.2 out 10
on March 8, 2007
"I LOVE THIS CAMERA," stated by one of my friends who purchased his Canon SD900 last week ago.
Last weekend ago, I remember playing with my best friend Canon SD900 digital camera. I was amaze by the fit-n-finish of this product...meaning, the quality of how this camera came about. This camera simply had it all - 10mp, awesome photos, amazing features, etc!! But what was wrong with the Canon SD900?
One thing that I was quite disappointed was how the camera only had a 3x the optical zoom level. I own a Canon SD800 camera, and my camera actually has a 3.8x the optical zoom level. This means that I could zoom in far more closer into a specific object or action with the Canon SD800 than the Canon SD900.
The second thing was that the Canon SD800 had the image-stabilized wide zoom. This means that when I zoom into an object or thing, I could rotate my lens of my camera to make the picture focus more on one specific object than just one whole picture in itself. Like the SD800, the SD900 does NOT have that feature. This means that for the SD900, not only do you have fewer optical zoom level than the SD800, but you also can't adjust the quality of the picture/object while taking photos on your SD900.
Lastly, I took a couple of photos in the SD800 and SD900. When comparing the quality of each pictures, I found quite surprisingly that the 7mp photo and the 10mp pictures were VERY similar. There wasn't much change in the picture quality of these two cameras. YES, the SD900 do have more mega-pixels than the SD800, but I found out that there wasn't much of a difference between those two cameras in terms of quality photos.
In simple words, there is NOTHING wrong with the SD900. I just think that if you are debating between whether to buy the SD800 or the SD900, I believe the SD800 would be a better choice than the SD900. A 10mp camera doesn't have much difference from a 7mp camera. I believe that the SD800 simply lets the individual have more control on how they want there photos to come out to be than the SD900.
But to not make any judgments here, I believe that the SD800, in MY opinion, is better than the SD900.
on February 25, 2007
I just bought this great little camera yesterday. I always enjoy reading all the opinions of others and certainly felt comfortable buying this after reading all the excellent comments. Of course there will always be some who can find something wrong with anything and I truly feel that is perfectly OK, however, most of the negative comments I have read pertain to things I feel any buyer should investigate "BEFORE" the purchase is made and not afterward. For example, this really is a small camera. My hands have a tough time getting around all the little controls and staying out of the way of the lens, sensors and controls, however, the more I used it, the more comfortable I felt with it. Some had said it is too large! Go figure!
A few have referred to having another, more expensive camera with options to change lens, etc. I also fall into this category. I have a great Canon 20 D camera which I absolutely love, however, our smaller first generation Kodak was beginning to fade a bit so we decided to get this one as an alternative to packing in the serious and more bulky 20 D. Now my wife is claiming she will keep the new SD900 in her purse so she is taking my promise to make this "her camera" a little too seriously. I hope she will grow tired of it and I will occasionally get the chance to use it a bit more.
Now, getting down to the actually purpose of this review, I have only spent a few hours last evening and this morning "fiddling" with the camera. I am very impressed with both the software and hardware elements of the camera. The pictures have been great. I have really about run out of things to take pictures of around the house, however, I have some wonderful pictures of the dogs, flowers and patio. I have snapped away at some rather lame subjects just to test this thing out and I have come away with some truly excellent quality shots. I love the "macro" mode. You can start at two inches from the flower (or whatever) and get lots of great detail. My Canon 20 D will not do this without a special "macro" lens.
One of the most outstanding things I love about the 20 D is the ability to take pictures at plays or concerts without using the flash. Of course most places will run you off if you use flash, even the grade school crowd will frown at you firing off your flash every few minutes and it usually is nothing more than a waste of effort in the first place as most flashes are really not much good beyond a few feet. So, point being, I have always defaulted to 1600 ASA or, perhaps even 3200 ASA and not had to use flash at all. Yes, some might say the shot will be a little grainy (noisy) at the higher speeds and I have not yet tried out the new SD900 in low light situations, however, I expect that it will offer us many more options by having the same ability to move up to the higher 1600 and 3200 ASA settings as I have used with my more expensive Canon. I have printed many shots at 13 X 19 inches and have had very few issues with grain or noise. I think having this as an option on the SD900 is one of the most attractive options. You can do a lot of shooting in limited light situations without flash if your camera has the higher ASA options.
This camera, like many of the newer cameras on the market today, has lots of other options which I have not yet explored. I certainly do not have great expectations when it comes to a lot of latitude when shooting in "manual" modes but this is really not what this camera is about. Yes, you can shoot manual but I am not actually planning on doing much with this camera in this mode; maybe we will but it seems to be doing such a great job in the several "auto modes" that I figure will we be doing lots quick shooting and not take the time to use the manual modes....of course this is just my initial review after having the camera a grand total of one day so I am a far cry from speaking with absolute conviction and knowledge. Hopefully we will know much more after a trip or two and having more than the neighborhood flowers and dogs as subjects!
Bottom line, great little camera. It seems to me that we have a bit of a learning curve before understanding what all the different warning lights, etc. mean, however, if we just keep it set up in to "auto mode" we will likely never need to know all of that in the first place. It's certainly not a cheap camera and seems to be rather solid so I expect to try out everything it has to offer in the next few months.
One more thing. The "movie option" seems to work fine. I currently have a two gig card in the camera and can see it will be needed if we shoot a lot of video movies, however, shooting the highest "JPG" quality still shots will give us more than 500 pictures per card so I suspect we will be very pleased with this 2 gig card. Not to end on a negative, however, including a 32 meg memory card with this fine little camera is really not much of a perk! Save it for an emergency backup and buy a decent memory card.
on November 28, 2006
After taking the plunge and purchasing this here on Amazon at the weekend i'm happy to tell you that I love this little SD900.
I'm by no means a pro but own 3 Sony digital cameras all bought within the past 2 years and have been so unhappy - so much so i even decided to go back to an old film camera to achieve good pics.
Haven't really had time to play around with all the features but a great shot on AUTO mode as soon as you take it out of the box makes me a very happy snapper. Agree with the above about the noise - never heard anything quite like it, but have no plans to be snapping wildlife for a long while so think i'll learn to live with it!