Canon's PowerShot SD900 squeezes 10-megapixel resolution and a 3X optical zoom into a curvy, titanium body.
This champagne-colored digicam looks stylish and feels solid. At 6.7 ounces and 1.1 inches thick, it easily fit into our pocket. Our only complaint about the appearance is how easily the SD900 smudges. After only a few minutes of handling, the camera was loaded with fingerprints.
The 2.5-inch LCD is bright and fills most of this digicam's rear. Unlike many point-and-shoots we've recently tested, Canon included an optical viewfinder, which is nice if you prefer to shoot more traditionally (and save on battery life in the process). All of the controls are on the right side of the LCD. We found switching modes and tweaking settings to be fairly simple.
The SD900 includes 11 scene modes, ranging from Kids & Pets to Aquarium. We tested several of these and were satisfied with the results. You can adjust the white balance, exposure, and ISO sensitivity, but beginners will be satisfied with the default Auto mode.
On our tests, the SD900 produced decent images with accurate color saturation. Noise wasn't an issue until we tried to shoot in low light and cranked the ISO up to 1600. At this high setting, details began to blur and images became grainy. On the other hand, almost every digicam we've tested develops a fair amount of pixelation above ISO 800.
The startup time and time between shots were fairly speedy. We didn't experience more than a two-second delay when shooting images in rapid succession. Turning on the flash slowed things down by about a second.
The SD900 also captures acceptable 30-fps VGA clips and clear 15-fps XGA movies. You can't zoom while filming in higher-definition, but we had no problem getting closer in Standard mode.
The Canon PowerShot SD900 packs a lot of megapixels into a good-looking design. And while it produced good results, we prefer the 10-MP HP Photosmart R967 and the Casio Exilim EX-Z1000, both of which offer the same or better performance for less money.