Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Last update (05 April’10):
– Review by AmateurPhotographer

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS is a 12.1 megapixel superzoom digital camera features 20x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-560mm) with optical image stabilization, 720p HD movie recording with stereo sound, DIGIC IV, and a 2.5-inch Vari-angle LCD enables easy viewing. The camera measures 4.88 x 3.48 x 3.42 in./124.0 x 88.3 x 86.9mm, weighs Approx. 19.8 oz./560g and it runs on AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4).

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Reviews

AmateurPhotographer reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“Although the Canon PowerShot SX20IS is well built and easy to use, with image quality on a par with that of a compact camera, enthusiast photographers won’t be rushing out to buy one. However, for those looking to develop their photography skills and move up from a compact camera, or wanting an extremely large zoom, the SX20IS is a good option. “
Rating: ★★★☆☆

ImagingResource reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“Printed results from the Canon SX20 are good, despite the softness at 100 percent onscreen, producing a good 13×19-inch print at ISO 80 and 100 with good, vibrant color. ISO 200 shots, though, are too soft at that size, looking better at 11×14 inches. ISO 400 shots are usable at 11×14 when viewed at arm’s length, but get better at 8×10 inches. ISO 800 shots still look good at 8×10, though some detail in red areas will be quite soft. “
Rating: N/A

MacWorld reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“This is definitely a case where the laundry list of benefits outweighs the handful of shortcomings. With a powerful zoom lens, superior battery life, best-in-class image quality, and a useful blend of shooting modes, the PowerShot SX20 IS can stand up to almost any challenge. Action photography is a weakness, due to the camera’s slow shot-to-shot times. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

CNET reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“The good: Solid battery life; articulating LCD; comfortable shooting design; can zoom during movie capture; ; hot shoe; exceptionally close macro focus. The bad: Slower than its predecessor overall; no raw support; images soft and noisy as low as ISO 80.The bottom line: The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS is a solid, but not standout, megazoom option for the money.”
Rating: ★★★½☆ reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“This is one of the most fully featured super zoom cameras. Picture quality is up there with the best. You also get the bonus of High Definition movies. The lens offers wide angle as well as the more obviously super telephoto qualities. This is a very good camera.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DPI reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“Image quality was generally quite clean, there isn’t a much difference or increase in noise compared to its predecessor…and image quality still does pretty well up to ISO 800. You could make large prints with ISO 400 photos, or small ones if you want to push ISO to 1600 or 3200. “
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“The SX20 offers almost as much functionality as a consumer-level dSLR, great image quality, good performance, and loads of high-end features, all for about half the price. That said, with a street price of US$399 or less, we feel the SX20 IS offers an outstanding value.”
Rating: N/A

NeutralDay compares the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS to Panasonic DMC-FZ35 and writes;
“I also tend to like the more serious look of the FZ35 over the more rounded SX20, but that’s just me. In the end, the heft and grip of the SX20, along with the flip out LCD would probably win me over, but I’ll reserve judgment till I get some further extended hands on time.”
Rating: N/A

DPInterface reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“Canon PowerShot SX20 IS takes some pretty clean photos at ISO 80. Going up to ISO 100, there’s a wee bit more ‘speckle’ noise and just slightly more at ISO 200. Photos from ISO 80 to 200 should print out just fine, up to large sizes with plenty of details and nicely saturated colors.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraLabs reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“the bottom line is the PowerShot SX20 IS is a great super-zoom camera overall and one which rarely disappoints in use.. the SX20 IS it delivers a compelling array of features for the money and easily comes Highly Recommended.”

Rating: ★★★★½

PCAdvisor reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“It’s easy to not get excited at the prospect of reviewing yet another advanced compact digital camera, but as soon as we switched on the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS, we had a hunch that this digital camera would be fun to use. And we were right!”
Rating: ★★★★½

GoodGearGuide reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“If you want an advanced compact camera that can do just about anything then the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS digital camera is the one to shortlist! It’s great for macros. it takes excellent night time photography, it has a huge zoom and built-in optical stabilisation, and it even does a good job of capturing HD video.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCR reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“The 720p HD video quality is one of the better ones I’ve come across in compact digitals, and you can zoom while shooting. The SX10 IS was/is a good camera – this one’s better.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and writes;
“The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS produced images of above average quality during the review period. The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS’s main drawback in terms of image quality is noise, with ISO 400 showing some noise, blurring of detail and slight colour desaturation. The noise and loss of detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 800 to the fastest 1600 setting.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS User Reviews

The best camera I’ve ever owned | Rating: ★★★★★
“This camera is spectacular! It is so easy to use, takes the absolute best pictures and it’s super fun to use. I’ve read people complaining about the lens cap, it clicks on fine, no problems. The flash works great, if you want more light in low light conditions, buy another flash. The fact that I can record video and then take pictures and zoom in while recording is terrific, I’ve used that a lot. My favorite camera, I LOVE IT!!” – by Eileen

Excellent! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I received this three days ago and have used it ever since! I LOVE IT!!! It is by far excellent quality HD still pictures. It is simple to use and provides professional quality pictures. I am still trying to figure out the video and other features of he camera; but it’s fairly straight forward to use just out of the box! BUY THIS CAMERA, YOU WILL BE PLEASED AT THE RESULTS!!!!” – by Patrick

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ DPI
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ DPInterface
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
– Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos: 123 @ DCR
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
– Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Sample Photos: 123 @ Canon


Canon PowerShot SX20 IS User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Canon PowerShot SX20 IS User Manual (PDF – 4.5MB)


Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Features

Discover the HD difference. With the classically stylish PowerShot SX20 IS, you can produce magnificent HD movies and dazzling photos. Loaded with features, it’s got a high-powered 20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer, 12.1 megapixels, a big 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD, Blink Detection and more.

The PowerShot SX20 IS is equipped with many of the same features as a higher-end camera: an ultra-powerful zoom, eye-popping resolution and advanced picture-improving technology. 12.1 megapixels of resolution gives your photography incomparable depth and ensures that any section of any shot can be enlarged and cropped with no loss in quality when you edit the image even if you choose to print the image. It can create crisp, clear 13 x 19-inch posters.

PowerShot SX20 IS Highlights

20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
The PowerShot SX20 IS is equipped with a 20x Optical Zoom lens with a focal length of 5.0-100mm (35mm equivalent: 28-560mm) that allows you to shoot any scene from wide-angle to telephoto. The camera uses a VCM (Voice Coil Motor) for high-speed, quiet, energy-efficient lens movement with precise control. Focal length is conveniently indicated on the lens barrel.

The lens is optimized to fully exploit its zoom length and wide shooting angle in concert with the camera’s high 12.1 Megapixel resolution. UD glass effectively suppresses chromatic aberration, while enhanced negative refractive power ensures that distortion at the wide-angle is also corrected. Further aberration is controlled with the inclusion of a double-sided aspherical glass-molded lens and ultra-high refraction index lens.

The SX20 IS is equipped with Canon’s acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology that automatically detects and corrects camera shake–one of the leading causes of fuzzy or blurred shots. Even when zoomed in, you can get the steady, crisp, brilliant images you’ll be proud to shoot and share. And Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer Technology is convenient to use. It functions perfectly with or without a flash.

Use the optical zoom while shooting superb 720p HD movies with stereo sound
If you long for the convenience of an advanced still camera that also creates superb movies, the new PowerShot SX20 IS lets you record video in beautiful high definition (1280 x 720 pixels). The camera also makes it easy to enjoy HD movies (and still photos) on your HDTV with a mini-HDMI connector for direct connection to a high-definition monitor. You’ll enjoy the HD experience with no degradation of image or audio in the signal, plus the ability to display up to 130 thumbnails at once.

Improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
Just set the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS to Smart AUTO and you’re ready for maximum enjoyment from your picture taking every time. It’s a relaxing and satisfying way to shoot because you can completely concentrate on your subject knowing that the camera has the technical details covered. Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions. Then it automatically selects an appropriate setting from 22 specially defined settings. So whether you’re photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at the park, you can be confident that you’re getting dramatic, memorable images.

Shooting Modes
Advanced presets for the best possible photos under certain conditions. With 24 Shooting Modes, you’re ready for whatever shot comes your way.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor
Canon’s proprietary DIGIC Image Processors have long set its cameras apart from the competition, and the new DIGIC 4 sets the bar even higher. Faster, more accurate noise reduction delivers better image quality, even at high ISO speeds.

iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of thousands of different photos, iSAPS works with the advanced DIGIC 4 Image Processor to improve focus speed and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance.

Large 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD enables easy viewing
The camera’s 2.5-inch LCD screen gives you the big picture, whether you’re shooting, reviewing or showing off your images. This high-resolution screen offers a crisp, clear picture to make shooting, playback and using the camera’s menu functions especially convenient. Clear and bright, it also features Night Display for easy viewing in low light. It also has an electronic viewfinder that provides sharp images when you shoot close-up with Super Macro shooting mode.

This AA battery powered camera enables you to easily power up

Conveniently, you don’t need to worry about running out of batteries or having to recharging them. Since AA-size batteries can be purchased at any store, simply get new ones locally wherever you go–no special power adapters or chargers are needed.

What’s in the Box

* PowerShot SX20 IS Body
* AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4)
* Neck Strap NS-DC4
* Lens Hood LH-DC50
* Lens Cap
* Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
* USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
* Stereo Video Cable STV-250N

7 Responses to “Canon PowerShot SX20 IS”

  1. ATS Nel says:

    I bought this camera yesterday and i love its features in every aspect of any ultra zoom in the market.I love it,great pictures,hd video.Can take pixtures and zoom while taking video.Buy this camera and you will love it.Nothing to worry bout this camera,excellent pictures even in low light area.Highly recommended ultra zoom digital camera.

  2. ATS Nel says:

    I love this camera!!!excellent images even in low light area.can take pictures and zoom while taking video.super fine micro at 0cm.I have no problem in high iso as well…Easy to used and no problem in shutter lgg even with the used of flash.Buy this camera and you will love it,great ultra zoom cam!!!

  3. Lino Camilleri says:

    Dear Sir
    I was given a Powershot SX20 IS for chistmas and I must say it is working buttifull and it is just what I whanted very good camera even in the dark. Just one itten I need to ask do this Camera take an EXTRA zoon and focues lens that I can fit to it and if it do which to you recommand. thank you for your help
    Lino Camilleri

  4. SRIRAM says:

    Dear All,

    I found this quite handy lets see the pros and cons,

    Cons first,
    150 shots for full charged battery(average). Rare adapters for extra lenses.

    Hot shoe. Flip type LCD. 20 X zoom. good image quality.ISO 1600 and i/3200 shutter speed. 0cm Macro shootig. AA battery easily available. wot else u need.

    Tough competitor :- Pana FZ-35

  5. Bethany says:

    i bought this camera a month or so ago and i ABSOLUTELY love it! best camera i have ever had. i am a junior in highschool and have started my own photography buisness and this camera helped me tremendously.

    the only problems ive had with it is that when at concerts with dim light, and the musicians moving around a lot its VERY hard to get any decent pictures. anyone have any tips?

    this camera has amazing battery life. i use energizer ultimate lithium batteries and 4 of the batteries usually last me about 2 weeks.. thousands of pictures and video. i use my camera every day for hours at a time sometimes and i love the flip screen its very easy for high or low angles when you dont have a ladder or step stool or dont want to be on the ground (if its wet or muddy)

    i recommend this camera to anyone and everyone. its the best camera i have ever seen, that was in my price range. i looked for a new digital camera for a few months and the canon powershot SX20IS stuck in my brain, i couldnt get over how awesome the pictures turn out. and i still cant get over it :p

  6. Guillermo says:

    Compre esta cámara en el extranjero pero se me extravió el cd rom, necesito una copia o saber que información contiene el mismo

  7. Ken says:

    I was looking at the Canon Rebel DSLR and was about to buy one when I picked up this Powershot SX20IS just for kicks. I was blown away by the range and quick focus not to mention the sturdy feeling of the camera. I compared it with the Coolpix and found it much better. Neadless to say I bought the camera and pocketed the difference. For the shots I take this camera is everything I wanted. Still love it even with some small faults. I highly recomend this camera to anyone who is not a pro and wants quality on the cheap…you will love it as much as I do, I believe that!!!

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