Review of Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Digital Camera

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14 Responses

  1. Donna says:

    Very appropriate comment about the sensitivity of the wheel on the back. I have small hands and I’ve changed a setting on the wheel by mistake when holding it.

  2. Harti says:

    Excellent analysis of pros & cons. I’m really satisfied with my canon SX20is. Your article clarified me about filters because I was recommended to buy UV filter and had no idea on what to buy and size and you gave the hint. Great!

  3. victor says:

    excelent analysis !

  4. DM says:

    Hello, good review. I’ve had the camera since September of 09, just before a trip to Asia. Did have a data problem, but rescued data off SD card and now only use Sansa Extreme III.
    Question; was just in Death Valley, somehow I’ve dented lcd, about an inch and the lcd still works but has clear obvious line in lcd. Any idea how to replace lcd? Cost?

  5. Praveen Pillai says:

    I also own a Canon SX20 IS that I purchased after extensive research. No matter how many camera I looked at, I just kept coming back to the Canon, mainly because of the fact that for all the little and large niggles, the camera performs consistently and predictably, shich allows me to account for its foibles when I shoot.

    One of the complaints I hear most often about the camera is that it does not have a lanyard for the lens cap. I guess that Canon’s reason for not including one is that a user might possibly forget to remove the cap before switching on the camera (I know I’ve done it many times), and risk damaging the lens as it extends.

    However, did you know that there is a little clip on the reverse of the lens cap that allows you to clip it to the shoulder strap? Try it out. It is just as secure as any lanyard, and much safer for the camera (and the long lens).

  6. Bill says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Your blog is great, I like the way you write, and thought the list at the end of stuff for the SX20 was really helpful!

    After many months of searching to replace my old Olympus 740uz, I got the Fuji HS10, but I have sent it back! I found it far too automated and uncontrollable, like one never knew how often the flash was going to flash (it even says so in Owners Manual!); there was no Manual focussing in either of the Macro modes; and so many of the other specifications were also mutually exclusive (but only the Basic Manual has the lists for that, the cross-references are NOT in the bigger manual); etc, etc. Such a shame because the specs sounded great.

    A completely different point: For years I have assumed that for a 35mm reference; 50mm = 1:1, 200mm = 4:1, i.e. 4x magnification, etc, yet while the HS10 (4.2mm – 126mm) is quoted as being 35mm equiv to 24mm to 720mm, i.e. I expected that to be equiv to 14.4 times magnification, but much to my surprise the image on the camera was smaller than that through my 10 times binnoculars. I guess my reasoning is at fault somewhere, but can you readily say where?

    Regards, Bill

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Bill,

      The assumption of 35mm reference = 50mm digital originates at the Crop factor that smaller lenses/sensors on the D-SLR cameras. The APS-C size sensor typically found in consumer D-SLR cameras features crop factor of 1.6x. i.e., at 35mm setting on both cameras (35mm film and D-SLR), the D-SLR’s image will actually be larger and equal to 56mm (35 x 1.6) of film. Corollary, to get an image with framing equal to 35mm Film, your D-SLR needs to be at 22mm zoom (35 / 1.6).

      Fuji’s calculations for their HS10 must be based on the camera’s specific crop-factor.



    Rajib, finally got to read the review in detail and understand. the review is really gr8.

    Is it possible to give a few tips on the basic handling/settings of a DSLR. U know I own a D60. But have hardly time.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Mahender,

      Thanks for the feedback.
      Since I don’t own a D-SLR yet, my hands-on experience in this matter is minimal. Perhaps an actual D-SLR owner like you can contribute ‘Comments’ or a full ‘Article’ on this subject from time-to-time and I will put it up on the blog.


  8. WIGILOCO says:

    Great review here! Greetings from the SX20 IS group!

  9. Dan says:

    Thanks for your review of the Canon SX20IS. I found your comment about no lense filter threads interesting. I never thought of that explaination, but I guess it makes sense. I have an older FujiFilm Finepix S700, and one of the great things about the camera is the 46mm lens thead, which I used with a UV filter to protect the lense. I have not been able to find any other Superzooms with lens threads. It would be nice if the companies would repair the fronts of the lenses for free on cameras that do not have a filter thread 🙂

    I did own the SX20IS for a few weeks, but was put off by the noisy clunking sound when the camera was turned off. I also was not too pleased with the photos that never seemed very sharp for a 12 megapixel camera. I returned it a few days ago.

  10. Steven Daugherty says:

    Hate to hear that you returned your SX20is, I’ve had mine for several months & I’m FINALLY getting to know it well (I have 2 other Canons that have been my main cameras). You NEED to print out the manual & experiment with all of the settings with the SX20; it’s a crazy-good camera but to getting great pics is really beyond the AUTO setting’s capabilities. I’ve taken same shots/multiple settings & have arrived at some settings that work very well.

    The SX20 isn’t a DLSR, but it can produce in credible photos – finding the formulas to produce great photos takes some time & is half the fun. I’m shooting 100s of pics just to test settings, it doesn’t cost anything but recharging the AAs. These newer super-zooms have a longer learning curve than simple point/shoots, but are well worth the trouble, I wouldn’t trade my SX20 (or any of my Canons, for that matter) for any other brand; once you get used to their menus, everything is easily accessible. I give every camera I buy a 6-month trial, no Canon has ever been returned thus far.

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