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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

alaTest has collected and analyzed 1148 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the performance and value for money. The portability and usability also get good feedback. Some have doubts about the features and shutter. Reviews about the contrast and storage are mixed.

image quality, usability, portability, value for money, performance

shutter, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 89/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 1148 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 245 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 245 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (302)

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS ($400 as of 12/14/09) has an impressive trio of headline features: a massive 20X optical zoom, a 12.1-megapixel sensor, and HD-quality video recording. If you're shopping for a bridge camera--a megazoom model that marries...

Superb battery life ; Color Accent mode and super macro setting ; 20X-optical-zoom lens (28mm to 560mm) ; 720p HD video recording

Slow burst mode (almost a second between shots)

The SX20 IS's image quality, powerful lens, battery life, and versatile features should satisfy most advanced photographers--except fast-action shooters.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS wasn't a great megazoom, but it was one of the better ones. So it's kind of sad to see its replacement, the SX20 IS, take a couple of steps backward, delivering overall poorer performance and photo quality as trade-off for...

Solid battery life; articulating LCD; comfortable shooting design; can zoom during movie capture; hot shoe; exceptionally close macro focus

Slower than its predecessor overall; no raw support; images soft and noisy as low as ISO 80

The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS is a solid, but not standout, megazoom option for the money.

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Review


Canon has upgraded the popular SX10 IS from last year with the all new SX20 IS. This powerful digicam offers the latest in Canon technologies, like a 12-megapixel image sensor, DIGIC 4 processor, lens-shift optical image stabilization, SmartAuto...


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


The sensors in these cameras are considerably smaller than you will find in a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens model. One of the advantages of a smaller sensor is that, compared to an SLR, you need a physically much smaller lens. As you can see...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


If you have a craving for something with more power than your compact point and shoot digital camera, the SX20 IS makes a very good choice. It has most of the features you'll find on an entry-level SLR, yet is priced considerably less. Image quality...

20X (28-560mm 35mm equivalent range)Optical image stabilizationFull manual control of most settings12.1MP resolution

Smallish, low-resolution (2.5 in. 230,000 dot) LCD display

The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS digital camera is Canon's latest entry into...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Review


Canon PowerShot SX20 IS reviewed by ConsumerSearch, which notes pros and cons, along with reviews and ratings for the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS and comparisons to other Digital Cameras (Ultra-Zoom)

Captures 720p HD video; Wide-angle lens; Tilting LCD; 20x optical zoom

Relatively heavy; Falters in low-light situations

Expert review by:

Review: Canon PowerShot SX20 IS digital camera


The PowerShot SX20 IS's image quality, powerful lens, battery life, and versatile features should satisfy most advanced photographers (except fast-action shooters).

The SX20 IS has a compact, SLR-like grip and a collection of buttons that fall more or less naturally under your fingers. I appreciated the fact that the body was small enough that my pinkie automatically curled underneath for a steadier hold, but a...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS


Most obviously (and inevitably) Canon has increased the resolution from 10.0 to 12.1 Megapixels. Much more importantly, the movie mode now boasts a 720p HD option, and there's also an HDMI port so you can watch both video and stills in high quality on...

Massive 20x range with 28mm wide angle ; Fully articulated 2.5in screen ; 720p HD video with decent sound ; Flash hotshoe and HDMI port

Fringing around high contrast subjects ; No RAW recording ; Slow continuous shooting – just 1fps ; Handy sound recorder of SX10 has gone

Canon’s earlier PowerShot SX10 IS was one of the best super-zooms around, so while the enhancements on the new model aren’t radical, they’ve made a great camera even better. Two out of three requests we made last year have been addressed here, with the...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Review


At first glance, the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS doesn't seem to bring much more to the table than its predecessor, the PowerShot SX10 IS.

Good image quality ; Low shutter lag; fast AF ; Manual shooting controls

Slow lens at telephoto ; Smaller LCD ; Less zoom than others

AF acquisition time is faster, shutter lag is shorter. Flash range is increased and recycle times are lower. Macro focus range is closer. ISO noise performance is almost too close to call versus the SX10 IS, but the SX20 IS has an additional 2...

Expert review by:

Canon Powershot SX20 Review


Now get this straight: the camera is a bit on the bulky side, barely fits into a coat pocket and weighs nearly 600 grams, so it’s not heavy. But it's sure got lots of …

Product Specifications

With a 20x wide-angle zoom, the 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SX20 IS offers intelligent, versatile shooting power. Switch to Smart Auto mode for effortlessly great results, or shoot stunning HD movies.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Standard form factor
Supported Battery Form Factor:AA

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:Prosumer
Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard / SDHC Memory Card / MultiMediaCardplus

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:High sensitivity / Snow / Night snapshot / Kids & pets / Beach / Foliage / Indoor / Sunset / Night scene / Fireworks / Stitch assist / Portrait mode / Landscape / Aquarium


Model:SX20 IS
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-5.7
Max Focal Length:100mm
Min Focal Length:5mm
Optical Zoom:20
Type:Zoom lens



Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.3 / 1/2.3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):11 mm ( 1/2.3 ) / 11 mm ( 1/2.3" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:12.1Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:H.264
Digital Zoom:4
Face Detection: Yes
ISO (Max):3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO auto / ISO 1600 / ISO 80 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO 100 / ISO 3200 (2Mpix)
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Vivid Red / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Color Swap / Color Accent / Custom Effect / Neutral / Sepia / Black & White / Positive Film
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic