Canon SD900: First Impressions

23:58 Wed 04 Apr 2007
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I started playing with my new Canon SD900 today. I was quite surprised by how small it is. I think it would fit inside a cigarette pack. I know that cameras this small aren’t exactly new, but I wasn’t expecting a 10 megapixel camera to be that tiny.

The LCD screen seems very high quality. Screens have clearly come along since I got my PowerShot G2 almost five years ago. One thing I’ll definitely miss from the G2 is the flip-out screen that can be rotated, that was a very useful feature.

This is the first shot I took:
My desk at work right after I unpacked the SD900

It’s okay in low-light conditions so far. I haven’t quite figured out what the best settings are, experimenting with high ISOs but suffering a little from camera shake on those. I knew in advance that it wasn’t the best camera for poorly-lit environments (although it’s not bad, and I think it was the best choice for a compact overall), but I think I’ll be able to learn with it and do better than these:

The view from the tabletop

A typical table between games

MTG-related miscelanny on a table

I think the noise at the high ISO setting really comes out in this shot (which has been edited to appear brighter than the original shot):

Final Sheet with Akroma, Angel of Wrath

The art on the main card is noisy and not that crisp. The writing is legible, but the area off the table in the bottom right is really noisy too.

Its software suite sucks so far: not only did it insist on a Windows reboot after installation (which I can’t stand), but it silently fails when I ask it to read the images from the camera. Instead I have to take off as if it were a standard storage device (which isn’t terrible, but overall it’s annoying.

Incidentally, I wish that it hadn’t come with a 32MB SD card. I can see why they include that, but such a small card is almost useless with a 10 megapixel camera, and as I got a 2GB SD card with my order, I will probably never use it.

I’m very happy with the camera, even with these low-light and software issues. It’s a good size and weight, and definitely fills the role of the camera I’ll carry everywhere. I hope to take a lot of photos with it.

2 Responses to “Canon SD900: First Impressions”

  1. Blake Barrett Says:

    A fine camera with an excellent pedigree.
    Since the SD900 has a Digic III firmware you can install the CHDK on it; that might even be an adequate fate for the 32Mb card that’s undoubtedly collecting dust.


  2. Tadhg Says:

    Blake: thanks for the link to CHDK–I hadn’t heard of it before, and it looks like it could be rather useful!

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