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Canon SX20 IS Review @ PhotographyBLOG

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

The move to more megapixels has compromised the overall image quality at higher ISO speeds, limiting this camera’s ability in low-light environments.

PhotographyBLOG has posted their review of the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS [Specs], a compact ultra zoom digital camera that "remains a likeable and easy-to-use camera" with its 12.1MP resolution (1/2.3-in. CCD), 20x wide-angle optical zoom (28-560mm equiv.), optical image stabilization, 2.5-in. LCD (230K dots), PASM modes, Smart AUTO, Scene Modes, and HD movie (1280×720) @ 30fps.


  • I think the Canon SX20is is great on many fronts. The price point is good. The lens, menu and various manual controls are well thought out and easy to access and change. The video quality is very good as well. The biggest drawback is the noise. Even at ISO 100, there is too much noise for a camera with a 12 MP sensor. I’d take a lower mega pixel camera with all these great features, to have less noise. It functions good in many areas such as tress, grass, flowers, etc where there are objects to help hide the noise – and with really good exposure in more or less ideal picture taking conditions. However, compared to my old Olympus C-7070, the image is unacceptable in solid surface areas, with flash of people, photos inside etc. Don’t use higher ISO ratings because the noise will dramatically increase. Canon got so many things right with this camera that the one thing it needs it doesn’t have.

  • The Canon SX20 IS excels at many things: price, perfomance and quality vs other similar-priced cameras. If I had paid $1000 just for the body, I might still not have the ease of use that this camera delivers. The HD video is the jewel on this piece of hardware with excellent fast focus, one-touch focal-lock, zooming while recording, stereo mics with auto-adjust for both very loud and very soft situations, a digital wind filter and good lenses. The still frame pictures this camera takes can be better than most with practice, the extra 2 megapixels is “trim” that usually gets discarded when actually using digital photos for publications, a very good idea to have more megapixels for cropping reasons. I love this camera, and it works better than any I have seen for recording concerts for the price of course. This generation’s version of the fabled “kodachrome” in a digital easy to use device.