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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Canon SX20 IS

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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
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Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS features 12.1MP resolution, a 20x wide-angle optical zoom lens (28–560 mm equiv.) with built-in Optical Image Stabilization, and a large 2.5-inch Variangle LCD (230K dots).

The Canon SX20 IS 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.

Smart AUTO makes the Canon SX20 IS easy to use. In addition there are 13 Scene Modes including the ever popular Color Accent, where you choose to retain a single color in your image while other colors turn monochrome. More advanced photographers will appreciate full exposure flexibility with Program, Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority and Manual modes.

A large 2.5-inch Vari-angle LCD (230K dots) allows easy viewing in almost any angle. It features Night Display for easy viewing in low light. For those who like to use one, the SX20 IS also has an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The Canon SX20 IS allows you to record video in high definition (1280 x 720 pixels) @ 30fps for a 4GB clip at one time. An optional mini-HDMI connector allows you to display photos and HD movies from the camera directly to your HDTV.

The Canon SX20 IS uses 4 AA-size batteries which are conveniently available anywhere.

The Canon SX20 IS is a versatile ultra zoom camera that can satisfy the photographic needs of the whole family, from the soccer mom to the birding enthusiast. It can be easy-to-use as well as provide the manual freedom and control more advanced photographers demand.


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Canon SX20 IS
QuickFact™ Sheet
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS US | CAN | UK
Image Sensor 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Lens 28-560mm equiv., 20x optical zoom with optical IS, f/2.8 (W) - f/5.7 (T)
Viewfinder TFT color, EVF
Shutter Speed 15-1/3,200 sec.
Continuous Shooting 1.0 fps
Shooting Modes Auto, P, Av, Tv, M, C, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Fireworks, Aquarium, Night Scene, Indoor, ISO 3200, Color Accent, Color Swap), Super Macro, Night Snapshot, Stitch Assist, Movie
Exposure Metering Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
ISO sensitivity Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600 equivalent
Autofocus TTL Autofocus
White Balance Auto, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash), Custom
LCD Monitor 2.5-in. 230,000-dot, Vari-Angle
Movie 1,280 x 720 30fps
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 124.0 x 88.3 x 86.9 mm / 4.88 x 3.48 x 3.42 in.
Weight (camera body only) Approx. 560g / 19.8 oz
MSRP US $399.99 / CAD $499.99 / UK £399.00 / €459.00 RRP inc. VAT.

Related Links:
- Canon SX20 IS Press Release
- Sample Image 2 3

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Canon SX20 IS

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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Technical Specifications
Canon PowerShot SX20 IS US | CAN | UK
Type of Camera  
Type of Camera Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 20x Optical/4x Digital/80x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer System
Image Sensor  
Type 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Total Pixels Approx. 12.4 Megapixels
Effective Pixels Approx. 12.1 Megapixels
Focal Length 5.0 (W) - 100 (T) mm f/2.8-5.7 (35mm equivalent: 28-560mm)
Optical Zoom 20x; Digital Zoom: 4x
Focusing Range / Macro

Normal: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity (W), 3.3 ft./1m-infinity (T)
Macro: 3.9 in.-1.6 ft./10-50cm (W)
Super macro: 0-3.9 in./0-10cm (W)

Auto Focus

TTL Autofocus

Viewfinder & Monitor



TFT color

LCD Monitor

2.5-inch TFT color Vari-Angle LCD with wide viewing angle

LCD Pixels

Approx. 230,000 pixels

LCD Coverage


Aperture and Shutter


Maximum Aperture

f/2.8 (W) - f/5.7 (T)

Shutter Speed

15-1/3,200 sec. (settable in Tv and M)

Exposure Control  
ISO Sensitivity

Auto*, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600 equivalent
(Standard output sensitivity. Recommended exposure index)
*Camera automatically sets the optical ISO speed according to shooting mode and subject brightness. The ISO speed also varies according to subject movement and camera shake when the shooting mode is set to Auto.

Light Metering Method

Evaluative*, Center-weighted average, Spot**
*Facial brightness is also evaluated in Face Detect.
** Metering frame is fixed to the center/linked to AF frame

Exposure Control Method

Program AE, i-Contrast, Manual; AE Lock, Program Shift, Safety Shift, Auto ISO Shift

Exposure Compensation

+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments

White Balance  
White Balance

Auto*, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash), Custom
* The color of faces is evaluated in Face Detect.



Built-in Flash

Auto, Auto w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash Off; FE lock, Safety FE, Slow Synchro

Flash Range

1.6-22 ft./50cm-6.8m (W), 3.3-12 ft./1.0-3.7m (T) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)

Recycling Time

7 sec. or less (battery voltage=6.0V)

Flash Exposure Compensation

+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments

Shooting Specifications


Shooting Modes

Auto, P, Av, Tv, M, C, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Fireworks, Aquarium, Night Scene, Indoor, ISO 3200, Color Accent, Color Swap), Super Macro, Night Snapshot, Stitch Assist, Movie

Photo Effects

My Colors Off, Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom


Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./10-sec. delay, Face Detection Self-timer, Custom

Wireless Control


Continuous Shooting

Normal: approx. 1.0 fps; AF: approx. 0.7 fps; LV: approx. 0.7 fps (Large/Fine)

Image Storage Media  
Storage Media

SD/SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, HC MMCplus Card

File Format

Design rule for camera file system, DPOF Version 1.1

Image Compression

Normal, Fine

JPEG Compression Mode

Still Image: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movie: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Monaural))

Number of Recording Pixels

Still Image: 4,000 x 3,000 (Large), 3,264 x 2,448 (Medium 1), 2,592 x 1,944 (Medium 2), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3), 640 x 480 (Small), 3,840 x 2,160 (Widescreen)
Movie: 1,280 x 720 (HD, 30 fps available up to 4GB or 29 minutes, 59 sec.), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps) available up to 4GB or 60 minutes

Playback Specifications  
Playback Modes File

Still Image: Single, Magnification (approx. 2x-10x), Jump, Auto Rotate, Rotate, Resume, My Category, Transition Effects, Histogram, Index (4-130 thumbnails), Over Exposure Warning, Slide Show, Red-eye Correction, Trimming, Resize, Image Inspection Tool, i-Contrast;
Movie: Normal Playback, Special Playback, Editing, Auto Rotate, Resume

Erasing Specifications  
Erase Modes

Still Image: single image, all images
Movie: part of movie, all of movie

Computer Interface

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B jack)

Video Out


Audio Out



Memory card slot; direct connection to Canon and SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, PIXMA Photo Printers and PictBridge-compatible printers via camera's USB 2.0 Hi-Speed cable

Power Supply


Power Source

1. AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4)
2. Rechargeable AA-size NB-3AH Battery (x4)
3. Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 (optional)

Shooting Capacity

Still Image: approx. 340 shots (AA-size Alkaline Battery), approx. 600 shots (AA-size NB-3AH Battery)*

Playback Time

Approx. 720 min. (AA-size Alkaline Battery), approx. 840 min. (AA-size NB-3AH Battery)
*LCD screen on. The above figures comply with CIPA testing standards and apply when fully-charged batteries are used.

Included Accessories

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

Dimensions (W x H x D)

124.0 x 88.3 x 86.9mm /
4.88 x 3.48 x 3.42 in.

Weight (Camera body only)

Approx. 560g / 19.8 oz.

All data is based on Canon's standard testing methods.
Subject to change without notice.
Note: 26 display languages provided (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian, Farsi)

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!






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