Of course all that gorgeousness and indestructibility doesn’t come cheap. The lowest current internet price for the IXUS 900 Ti is £195, but you’re more likely to find it for around £230. Compare this with the price of some other high-end 10-megapixel compacts, such as the Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 (£143), Pentax Optio A30 (£154) or Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N2 (£215) and you’ll see that the Canon is very much a premium camera. It’s even expensive compared to the rest of the notoriously pricey Canon IXUS range. The brilliant IXUS 850 IS is around £214, while the IXUS 75 is around £195. Even the new IXUS 950 IS is only around £220, but as you’ll see next week it’s really worth the money.
So apart from good looks and the Canon name, what does the IXUS 900 Ti offer to justify its hefty price tag? It’s certainly not size and weight, because it measures 91.2 x 59.6 x 28.2mm and despite its high-tech Titanium shell it weighs a chunky 165g without battery or memory card, making it significantly thicker and heavier than any of its immediate competitors. It’s not exactly bursting with fancy features either. The Casio Z1050, Sony N2 and Pentax A30 all feature CCD-shift image stabilisation systems, but the IXUS 900 Ti has no image stabilisation at all. It has no manual exposure options (the Pentax A30 does) and only ten scene modes (the Casio Z1050 has 38). By current standards it looks a bit frugal.
It does have some features of course, but they are common ones found on nearly all Canon cameras. It has an optical viewfinder, which is rare these days, although it is very small and dark. There are wide range of colour adjustment options including settings for different skin tones, as well as manually adjustable contrast, saturation, sharpness and colour balance, and of course the usual metering options of multi-zone, centre-weighted or spot. AF options include Canon’s AiAF system or the now ubiquitous face detection mode. Like all of Canon’s compacts the 900 Ti features a quick-to-use function menu for most common settings, and also has an on-screen display of the operations available via the D-pad, which include ISO setting, continuous shooting and delay mode, and flash options. The external controls are all very well laid out and easy to operate.