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Canon PowerShot D20 Digital Camera Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Canon PowerShot D20
Price: £229.99
Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Canon PowerShot D20 Digital Camera Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Canon PowerShot D20, a rugged digital camera for the photographer who shoots in extreme conditions.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Canon Powershot D20 Front 2

The Canon PowerShot D20, announced in February 2012, is a digital camera designed for extreme outdoor activities. An upgrade to the D10, which has been available for over 3 years, it is water, shock, freeze and dustproof, available in white, blue and yellow for £279.00.

Canon Powershot D20 Front 1

Canon PowerShot D20 Features

The rugged D20 is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 1.5m, freezeproof to -10°C and is dustproof. It has a 12.1 CMOS megapixel sensor and is designed to let you shoot in low light without the flash or a tripod. It also has a 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm, and has Intelligent IS to help take the sharpest pictures possible.

To make picture taking as easy as possible there is Smart Auto, which selects from 32 scenes and changes the camera settings accordingly. When shooting underwater there is Underwater Macro to take sharp close-ups with Quick AF for fast automatic focusing. The GPS tags images with location data so you can keep a track of your journey.

Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD with optical zoom and Intelligent IS to keep footage steady. The D20 can be connected via a HDMI cable to a HDTV for playback. Other movie modes include Movie Digest and Super Slow Motion.

Canon Powershot D20 Top

Key Features

  • 12.1 megapixel sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
  • Intelligent IS (Image Stabilisation)
  • 3 inch PureColor II LCD screen
  • Water, shock, freeze and dustproof
  • GPS
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart auto
  • Available in white, yellow and blue
Canon Powershot D20 Rear

Canon PowerShot D20 Handling

The D20 has a mostly rubber exterior making it extremely easy to grip, which is also aided by its slightly unusual shape. There is also a groove on the front and a raised dotted area on the back. The buttons on the rear are big and chunky, making it easier to press them when wearing gloves. The ones on the top don't stick out as on the rear, but are still quite big. The playback button can be pressed when the camera is off to view your pictures and videos, you can cycle through by tapping either side of the camera. The battery cover has a secure catch, but is tricky to open, although this means it's unlikely you'll accidentally open it in the water.

The 3 inch LCD is a good size and is bright and clear to view. The D20 has a simple to use menu system, which will be familiar if you've used other Canon compact cameras. The battery has a CIPA rating of 280 shots, we managed over 350 during testing. The battery life will be reduced by consistent use of the GPS. The GPS activates within seconds of switching on.

We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.

Shutter Response   0.15 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.45 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.65 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.65 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   2.0 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.5 seconds
Continuous shooting
  2 fps

Continuous shooting records at full 12.1 megapixel resolution.
Canon Powershot D20 Battery And Memory Card | 1/160 sec | f/11.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

Canon PowerShot D20 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Canon PowerShot D20 Sample Photos

Portrait | 1/50 sec | f/4.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 250

Portrait | 1/50 sec | f/4.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 250
High-Res

Landscape | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200

Landscape | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100

Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Pet | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 320

Pet | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 320
High-Res


Sample Photos - Images are really well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye.

Canon PowerShot D20 Lens test images

Wide Angle | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100

Wide Angle | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Full Optical Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/10.0 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100

Full Optical Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/10.0 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Digital Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/10.0 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100

Digital Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/10.0 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Macro | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100

Macro | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Lens Performance - Images have a good level of detail at both ends of the lens, particularly as it is an internal lens, this often leads to a reduction in image quality. In contrasting areas, there is some purple fringing. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, which makes it possible for the camera to get close enough to take a very impressive macro shot.

Canon PowerShot D20 ISO test images

ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res

ISO200 | 1/15 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO200 | 1/15 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res

ISO400 | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO400 | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res

ISO800 | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO800 | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res

ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res

ISO3200 | 1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm

ISO3200 | 1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
High-Res


ISO Noise Performance - A sharp, noise free image is produced at ISO 100, with only a small amount appearing at ISO 200. The small increases in noise continue at ISO 400 and ISO 800. Images become a little soft at ISO 1600 and at the highest setting of ISO 3200 there are some black and white dots, but image quality is still good.

Canon PowerShot D20 White-balance test images

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the AWB preset image has an orange cast, with the incandescent preset taking a good picture. Under the fluorescent lights, both the AWB and fluorescent presets perform really well.

Canon PowerShot D20 Other sample images

Landscape With Building | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 160

Landscape With Building | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 160
High-Res

Sport | 1/320 sec | f/4.5 | 16.2 mm | ISO 200

Sport | 1/320 sec | f/4.5 | 16.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Trees | 1/100 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200

Trees | 1/100 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Underwater | 1/25 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 1600

Underwater | 1/25 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res


Canon PowerShot D20 Low light images

Low Light Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.6 mm | ISO 1600

Low Light Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.6 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

Low Light P Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.5 mm | ISO 1250

Low Light P Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.5 mm | ISO 1250
High-Res


The above images have been taken with our studio lighting on very low, on the left we have used the dedicated low light mode, with the one on the right taken using P mode.

Canon PowerShot D20 Digital filters

Colour Accent | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 18.3 mm | ISO 800

Colour Accent | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 18.3 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Colour Swap | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 18.3 mm | ISO 800

Colour Swap | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 18.3 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Fish Eye Effect | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600

Fish Eye Effect | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

Monochrome | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600

Monochrome | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

Poster Effect | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800

Poster Effect | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Super Vivid | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800

Super Vivid | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Toy Camera Effect | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800

Toy Camera Effect | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

My Colours Black And White | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Black And White | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Neutral | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Neutral | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Off | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Off | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Positive Film | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Positive Film | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Sepia | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Sepia | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Vivid | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Vivid | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Vivid Blue | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Vivid Blue | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Vivid Green | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Vivid Green | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My Colours Vivid Red | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100

My Colours Vivid Red | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Digital Filters - The D20 has a number of creative shooting modes, as well as my colours, with many examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded at full 1080p HD. Optical zoom is available when recording videos, with an example on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page, you can also watch a video shot using the high-speed mode.



Value For Money

The Canon PowerShot D20 is priced at £309.00. If you want the most waterproof and shockproof camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 ticks the box, as does the Olympus Tough TG-1.

Camera
Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Price
Kodak Easyshare Sport C123 3m - - £50.00
Nikon Coolpix S30 3m 0.8m - £79.99
Olympus Tough TG-320 3m 1.5m -10°C £114.00
Fujifilm FinePix XP50 5m 1.5m -10°C £119.95
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 5m 1.5m -10°C £138.00
Pentax Optio WG-1 / (GPS) 10m 1.5m -10°C £164.00 / (199.00)
Fujifilm FinePix XP150 GPS 10m 2m -10°C £174.00
Olympus Tough TG-620 5m 1.5m -10°C £179.00
Canon PowerShot D10 10m 1.2m -10°C £209.00
Fujifilm FinePix XP170 10m 2m -10°C £219.00
Olympus Tough TG-820 10m 2m -10°C £219.00
Nikon Coolpix AW100 10m 1.5m -10°C £219.00
Pentax Optio WG-2 / (GPS) 12m 1.5m -10°C £229.00 / (£269.00)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 12m 2m -10°C £249.00
Canon PowerShot D20 10m 1.5m -10°C £279.00
Sony Cyber-shot TX20 5m 1.5m -10°C £294.00
Olympus Tough TG-1 12m 2m -10°C £309.00
Ricoh G700 5m 2m -10°C £599.00

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon PowerShot D20 Verdict

Many of the rugged, waterproof cameras we have previously reviewed score heavily for their features, but image quality is often lacking. This is where the D20 bucks that trend, it's not quite scored full marks for its features, but image quality is amongst the best of the outdoor cameras. It is also well designed, with a largely rubber exterior and large chunky buttons, great when out shooting in the less than ideal conditions. We were fairly impressed by the D10, since its launch, most of the other manufacturers have released a number of impressive waterproof cameras, but the D20 has certainly been worth the wait!

 
  The Canon Powershot D20 produces some of the best pictures we taken on a rugged, outdoors camera.

Canon PowerShot D20 Pros

Excellent image quality
Full 1080p HD
GPS switches on quickly
Large, chunky buttons
Low noise throughout the ISO range

Canon PowerShot D20 Cons

Continuous shooting isn't particularly quick
Battery cover is tricky to open
One of the more expensive waterproof cameras available

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Canon PowerShot D20 Specifications

ManufacturerCanon
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.9 - f/4.8
35mm equivalent 28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom 5x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4000
Pixels (H) 3000
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 461,000 dots
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest 15sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 1.9fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 24
Stereo Sound No
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L
CIPA Rating 280
Box Contents
Box Contents Battery pack, battery charger, interface cable, wrist strap, strap mount, getting started guide, manual disk, solution disk and warranty system booklet
Dimensions
Weight 228g
Width 112.3mm
Height 70.8mm
Depth 28mm

View Full Product Details





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