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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.
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.
- 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
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 100-3200
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- Smart auto
- Available in white, yellow and blue
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 records at full 12.1 megapixel resolution.
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Canon PowerShot D20 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/50 sec | f/4.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 250
Landscape | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200
Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
Pet | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 25.0 mm | ISO 320
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
Full Optical 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
Macro | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
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
ISO200 | 1/15 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
ISO400 | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
ISO800 | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
ISO3200 | 1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 14.4 mm
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
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.9 | 7.5 mm | ISO 100
AWB 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
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
Sport | 1/320 sec | f/4.5 | 16.2 mm | ISO 200
Trees | 1/100 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200
Underwater | 1/25 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 1600
Canon PowerShot D20 Low light images
Low Light Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.6 mm | ISO 1600
Low Light P Mode | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 8.5 mm | ISO 1250
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 Swap | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 18.3 mm | ISO 800
Fish Eye Effect | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600
Monochrome | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 1600
Poster Effect | 1/30 sec | f/4.5 | 19.2 mm | ISO 800
Super Vivid | 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
My Colours Black And White | 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
My Colours Off | 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
My Colours Sepia | 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
My Colours Vivid Blue | 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
My Colours Vivid Red | 1/4 sec | f/5.0 | 20.6 mm | ISO 100
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 MoneyThe 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.
|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|
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.
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 ProsExcellent image quality
Full 1080p HD
GPS switches on quickly
Large, chunky buttons
Low noise throughout the ISO range
Canon PowerShot D20 ConsContinuous shooting isn't particularly quick
Battery cover is tricky to open
One of the more expensive waterproof cameras available
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Canon PowerShot D20 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.9 - f/4.8|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 140mm|
|CCD pixels||12.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||461,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||15sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 3200|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L|
|Box Contents||Battery pack, battery charger, interface cable, wrist strap, strap mount, getting started guide, manual disk, solution disk and warranty system booklet|