Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon Coolpix S6400 Review
Samsung NX300 Review
Panasonic Lumix G6 Review
Olympus XZ-10 Review
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review
Buy a PowerShot SX20 IS 12.1 Megapixel Bridge Camera - Black (6.4 cm 2.5" LCD - 20x Optical Zoom - 4000 x 3000 Image - 1280 x 720 Video - HDMI - HD Movie Mode)
Buy a PowerShot SX20 IS Digital Camera (12.1MP, 20x Opt, SD Card/MMC Card Slot)
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Sports photos is her primary focus however she needs to get basic photography under her belt. Any other cameras you would recommend for this use ?
11:06 pm - Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I want to continue with Canon. After examining all the opinions of the quality of the pictures (the most important thing, after all?) I think I should by the (only) one year old sx10 instead of sx20. Or what? The video is not so important for me but the zoom is.
10:20 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009
First, you’ll find that those who say the SX10 has better image quality are looking at images from the two cameras at the same very high pixel magnification—usually 100%. That is not the appropriate comparison since because the SX20 has 20% more pixels.
What counts is the image quality when the images are displayed at the same final physical size. Thus, it is more appropriate to take similar images with the two cameras (taken under the same conditions, at the same ISO, of the same field of view of the same scene) and then compare them at the same final image size (either on a computer screen or a print). When you do that, you are essentially reducing the SX20 image size by 20% and that makes the apparent sensor noise in the images equivalent.
The technical differences between the SX10 and the SX20 go beyond megapixels and HD video. They are subtle since most of them are hidden internally in the cameras’ software, but the SX20 has a complex system of scene identification in its “Smart Auto” shooting mode. Canon claims that by analyzing the shooting circumstance and choosing a scene mode that is most appropriate, the more advanced software in the SX20 gets you better images in Auto mode over a wider range of scene conditions.
I haven’t been shooting in Auto mode with my SX20 so I cannot confirm that part. I am quite satisfied with the image quality I get from the SX20 compared to images from the SX10. The higher pixel count balances out the slightly higher pixel noise quite nicely.
1:39 am - Thursday, November 12, 2009
Brooks. Instead of buying a whole new DVD player simply buy software that will allow you to convert ANY video format and burn it to a DVD/BluRay Disc.
I use AVS Video Converter (see link below).
It works quite well and will let you convert almost any video format and burn it to a DVD or BluRay! (Yep even BluRay). You can create MARKS, menus plus more. I think it’s only around $30 to register it as well. You just need a PC with a decent CPU, hard drive space, plenty of RAM, and a DVD/BluRay burner.
10:08 pm - Thursday, November 12, 2009
I recently pruchased the canon sx20 and was truly disappointed. My first two uses were in an indoor high school swimming pool setting, in which all of my pictures come out very light in color and pretty much all were blurry when using the zoom at 20X. I did try using the auto setting and also the indoor setting, and there was hardly any difference. Does anyone know what I may be doing wrong? I’m pretty much a point and shoot person, but will to try some other setting if anyone can advise me. The reason I bought this camera was for my daughter’s swim meets, and thus far am very disappointed. Maybe this canon isn’t ideal for the swim pool setting…is there another camera I should look at purchasing?
5:58 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
It is hard to tell what’s going on without knowing the “EXIF” data for the photos say about the lens and shutter settings and other shooting conditions. Instead, I’ll make some guesses based on my swim meet photo experience.
To start with, I’d say that the lighting is often poor for photography at indoor swim venues even when it seems adequate to your eye. With barely adequate lighting, full 20x zoom is going to be very challenging to shoot with. That is partly because of the challenges that always attend hand-holding a long telephoto. Partly it is because the maximum lens opening at full zoom is relatively smaller—giving you less light for the exposure. That, in turn requires a slower shutter speed and a higher ISO setting to get adequate exposure. All of that works against you if you are shooting from back in the stands instead of closer to the pool edge and the scene of the action.
You should read the SX20’s manual sections about Auto Focus (AF) settings and use. The camera does not start focusing until you press the shutter release button down halfway. Just punching the button fully from its rest position is not going to work well. For action, you probably want AF set to “servo” mode to keep it focusing continuously as you prepare to shoot with your shutter pressed halfway down.
You should also read the manual sections about image stabilization and about setting its modes. You are likely to get better stabilization if you set the IS mode to “continuous.”
7:32 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thank you for respondind. Any chance you would be willing to take a look at a couple of my pictures?
8:10 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
should i go fo the panasonic or canon for sports photos ? thanks
8:25 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
For a short time my email address will appear at this URL:
It is an image of text, not text, so you will need to transcribe the text of the address manually.
8:39 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
It may depend on the sport you’re shooting. For most things it may be a coin flip.
If you will need/want to use flash you’ll probably be better off with the SX20 since it has a hot shoe for mounting an external flash with more power than the built-in unit.
If a short rapid burst of images is important then you may find an advantage with the Panasonic, although neither camera really has a burst speed that will take the place of a carefully timed single shot.
8:53 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
Once of the problems with being"all the way out” with the 20X lens is the inability to freeze the frame when it’s hand hald. Panning is an adventure to learn, but it is much better when trying to catch something moving along like what you are shooting. Also, being on Auto you are delayed slightly simply by timing. Try to work a little also with holding the button at the half way mark where it is set and focused at the point where you intend to take the shot. At that point the camera will cycle much faster.
10:03 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
I do press the button halfway when taking pictures…I do have that part down :)
10:07 pm - Sunday, November 15, 2009
My daughters primary use is taking photos of her brothers playing cricket and rugby outside. Therefore do you think the pani will be better ?
7:56 am - Monday, November 16, 2009
I will be taking pics of regular family stuff but I really need a good camera that will do well with indoor cheerleading competitions. I want to eliminate my camcorder too. I’m a basic point and shoot kind of woman. I’d like a camera that I could just turn on and take pictures and videos… but I need zoom. Is the Canon SX20 for me? HELP..so confused on all of the different types.
4:28 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009
Lisa and Rain,
I haven’t used the Panasonic FZ35 (called FZ38 in some markets). If your choice is between the Canon SX20 and Panasonic FZ35 then you might do well to read reviews that compare the two fairly directly (I did before targeting the SX20). There is an SX20 review that does that at the website cameralabs. A little googling should find it.
I can tell you what I worked through while making my choice:
I strongly considered the FZ35 because of its faster lens (wider aperture) at full zoom and the ability to get photos in raw format. It’s somewhat lower weight was an advantage also. That lower weight was partly build and partly the proprietary battery. I found the weight of the Canon quite acceptable compared to my old film SLR. I decided that using lower cost AA batteries instead of the proprietary battery was an advantage in both cost and in electric capacity. I have two sets of AA rechargeables and have yet to run out of power on one set during a day of hundreds of shots.
I chose the SX20 over the FZ35 because the example photos in all the reviews I looked at favored the SX20 to my eye. I liked the Canon colors, particularly the reds, better than the Panasonic’s. While the commentary stated that the Panasonic images had a slight advantage at ISO 400, I found the Canon images equivalent at ISO 400 and sharper at lower ISOs.
Also, the Canon’s hot shoe for an accessory flash and the line of Canon accessory flashes that integrate perfectly with the exposure system was a big plus for me. The rear lcd screen of the SX20 folds out and twists around to all directions—I find that a huge advantage for many of the closeup and macro photos I like to take.
The electronic view finder is not an SLR optical finder but it is really nice and handy. Folks reviewing the Panasonic have been mildly critical of its smaller seeming view. Check them both out in person before deciding.
I think both of you have requirements/interests that might tax either camera and be met better in some ways by one and in other ways by the other. I think you’ll have a lot of fun with either one. I’m really having fun with my SX20. I am not experienced using the camera in Auto mode. I have only shot one photo in Auto mode and the image came out terrific. Mostly I’ve been shooting in Program AE mode, by force of habit, in order to control things a bit more. It is possible that Auto mode would be smarter than I am in choosing exposures although it won’t know when I’ve mounted the camera on a tripod and don’t need a hand-held shutter speed.
I’ve tested video mode to play with the resulting file but not to take a video I intend to keep. It is impressive and probably is also in the Panasonic.
Good luck and whatever camera you pick, be sure to learn how to use it. I’ve been doing photography for over 50 years and digital photography for 7 years and I still found a lot of new and interesting things in the Canon manual. Every outing I found things I had just read that came in handy.
5:51 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009
I posted a while back about the Canon SX20IS and how I wasn’t sure this camera was right for me because I love to just point and shoot. However, I would like to say that I am starting to absolutly LOVE this camera. I still cannot use auto mode because all my photo’s turn out blurry, however, in the P mode I can change all my options for when I’m indoors, outdoors, in an expo hall and so on and my photo’s are turning out stunningly. I am still getting familiar with all the options and I’m really please with the camera overall. I do wish that the auto mode would produce better photo’s but I guess that’s just not going to happen. If you dont mind setting your lighting, and turning on and off the i-contrast to fit your situation you’ll be more than pleased! The colors are spot on and the video’s are amazing! I have an all in one camera/camcorder and it’s wonderful. Thanks to everyone for the help. If you have any suggestions on the Auto mode that I might be missing…. Please let me know! There are times when I need a quick shot and need my auto to work.
6:50 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009
The question “what makes my Auto mode pictures blurry?” is too vague.
I think you’ll be able to figure this out yourself with some sleuthing. I would suggest that you open your disappointing images in Canon’s image viewing application and look at the images’ properties (the EXIF data) to see what settings Auto chose for you.
My guess is that auto will have chosen a slow shutter speed or a high ISO that is causing your issue. The lighting of your scene may require you to use Program mode to get the optimum settings for the images you want.
6:59 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009
Auto mode only seems to work well outdoor on a sunny day. I have yet to try it on a cloudy day. However when using the program mode and making adjustments for the scenery or environment the SX20 can give you great pictures.
I was thinking about returning it as well when I was constantly getting blurry pictures but I rarely have that issue now since I have adjusted the shooting mode.
I don’t consider the SX20 a Point&Shoot; because you do have to work a little to get the good shot but what you get back for that little bit of work has been worth it to me.
8:21 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009
I purchased an earlier version of the SX 20 and was attracted by the many outstanding features. However, after about 2 years the camera’s unreliability began to be a problem. There is apparently a systemic issue with the iris that renders the camera a useless piece of junk. Canon’s approach to solving this issue was to do nothing. At even the lowest price, I would avoid this camera and due to Canon’s failure to provide an acceptable solution to the problem I would never buy another Canon product.
2:51 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009
Lou, the problem with your post is that the SX20 has only been on the market since the end of August and its precursor has only been on the market for a year. I’m surprise you would even read this blog with your assessment of Canon’s products and I’m amazed you would take the time to post to the blog with your flawed information.
3:39 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009
I am in the market for a new camera and the SX20 sounds like what I want. I have used the Sony Mavica series for quite a few years and have been very pleased. I thought I wanted faster fps but it doesn’t look like it with the SX20. Oh well, I like the other features more. With the Sony I can take a picture, view it in the camera, zoom it in and hit the shutter and I have a new picture. Kinda like editing/cropping in the camera. Does the SX20 do that? This is a biggie for me.
9:41 pm - Saturday, November 21, 2009
I have gone through the reviews but still confused between SX1 and SX20,for
1. Pre-settings (Auto, ISO)
2. RAW Images
2:49 pm - Sunday, November 22, 2009
Regarding RAW, maybe this site would be helpful for you:
3:08 pm - Sunday, November 22, 2009
There is no raw on the sx20. There may eventually be a hack to allow it using chdk but there isn’t a version available yet. http://chdk.wikia.com/
11:42 pm - Sunday, November 22, 2009
I have a question about the video. I understand it can only record so much in one segment (about 4GB?). What does it do when the file gets too big. Will it automatically start another file or can you manually start another file if you have a large SDHC card? I was looking at 16GB card wanted to make sure it could use that space.
4:58 am - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I’ve had this camera for almost one month now. I love everything about it except for the fact that alot of my pictures in auto and even the sports mode come out blurry. Is there a way around this? I purchased this camera so that I could start learning how to use a camera manually, is that my problem should I be using it in manual and changing all the settings?
I don’t know where to start if that’s what I need to do any suggestions? What’s the best way to learn about how to use a camera in manual mode?
5:21 am - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thanks SailsElan,Actually we knew that SX20is don’t have feature of RAW images but but for future use we wanred RAW,but the idea is quiet clear…Thanks again.
And About the pre setting I am still confused with others comment like blurry image n Auto mode…Is this cam prob or every time we will have to adjust to ISO n all settings
7:16 am - Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hi is this camera better than Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 ?? I’d hardly use the video option.. Im lookin out only on the photography part.. which one of these do I go for ?? Suggest
3:59 am - Saturday, November 28, 2009
I have recently brought Canon PowerShot SX20 IS, and want to buy memory card. I was looking for “SanDisk 8GB Extreme III - SDHC Class 10 High Performance memory card (SDSDX3-008G-P31- NEW 30MB/s edition)”.
my question is will this support “Canon PowerShot SX20 IS”? please suggest me which would be the best memory card to buy for my camera.
Thanks in advance.
10:15 am - Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sara In Wisconsin
I just bought my Powershot SX20 and have a problem with the movie mode:
I have an 8GB memory card in it and whenever I put it on the movie setting it only allows me to record for up to 13 seconds and then it says ‘busy’ and stops. (I know there is room on the card since all I have on it are a couple of stills) Also if I press the record button again it does the same thing and shuts off after 13 seconds.
I have looked at the info in the manual and nothing addresses this problem. I have followed the instructions word by word and can’t figure out what is wrong.
Does anyone have any ideas?
5:48 am - Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thanks for all the great information about the SX20. I recently bought one and I’m very happy with it. I have a 270EX flash on the way and I was trying to find out how much of the automatic functions of it will work with the SX20. All Canon will say is “some functions are limited.” I guess I’ll find out.
11:32 am - Monday, December 14, 2009
Just wanting to ckech - anyone using the Lensmate SX20, SX10 & SX1 IS Filter Adapter 58mm? Is it functional with the camera? And, lastly, is there a lenscap with it?
Tnanks in advance.
1:40 pm - Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I recently bought this camera.I am not much familier with qualities of this camera.Is it better than sony Digital Cameras of same kind.Before i had sony cybershot worked very good for me.
5:48 pm - Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I’ve been using Powershot S3IS for several years and now I upgraded to SX20. I like to use Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB mode). With the S3IS camera I can see in the viewfinder all 3 shots as they are being taken in AEB mode. The SX20 “closes” the viewfinder until the third shot is taken. Do you see what I see or is there something wrong with my particular SX20? Thanks!
4:42 am - Saturday, December 26, 2009
Keith in Germantown
I have had my SX20 IS for a few weeks and am extremely pleased with it. I have been using a Minolta Maxxum 7 which I still have. The Minolta is a great camera that can do many things better and faster than the Canon. What it can’t do is provide the versatility in such a small package. I have 4 lenses to use with my SLR ranging from a 24mm to a 75-300 zoom. To purchase a lens with the magnification of the Canon’s 20X would cost $800 or more, weigh a considerable amount, and take up a lot of space.
I considered buying a Sony digital SLR to use with my Minolta lenses. The downside is I would still be limited to my lens focal lengths, still be burdened with the weight and bulk, and the cost is much higher than the SX20 IS.
The size and versatility advantages of this camera over an SLR are important when vacationing in a city such as San Francisco where you do a lot of walking. Another disadvantage of carrying a backpack full of SLR equipment is some stores and shops either want you to check your bag or simply will not allow you to enter.
This SX20 IS allows me to have creative control over my photos without the bulk, weight, and inconvenience of the SLR. My final verdict is: The SX20 IS will not equal a digital SLR in speed, image quality, and capability. But it offers a tremendous amount of versatility, good image quality, and portability in a single unit. I am not a professional photographer but enjoy making the best images possible for the enjoyment of myself, friends, and family. With just one small camera, the SX20 IS covers a wider range of possibilities, from macro to extreme telephoto, than I could with my backpack full of SLR equipment. This will make it my go to camera and also get me shooting more often.
2:29 am - Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Hey Everyone! I’m looking for a camera (under $400 or so) that will take good action shots (I have a brother that plays soccer and I would love to get some crisp clear shots) I went to the electronics store today and asked the rep. and he said that this camera has a burst mode that takes like 20 pics a second and so I should at least get my pick of pictures. Does anyone know how well this camera performs on an action level, or do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!
1:06 am - Thursday, December 31, 2009
The rep lied. No where near 20 shots per second. According to the specs on the cannon web site: Continuous Shooting
Normal: approx. 1.0 fps; AF: approx. 0.7 fps; LV: approx. 0.7 fps (Large/Fine)
5:31 pm - Sunday, January 3, 2010
So by reducing the MP on the SX20 down to 10, does the ‘noise’ go away at the higher ISO figures like 400 or 800?
9:29 am - Sunday, January 10, 2010
I received SX20 for Christmas and am still learning. However, the FIRST thing I noticed was the lens cap is a piece of junk. It is impossible to put on and falls apart. I haven’t looked but I hope there is a good after market one as the cap that came with the camera is worthless!
1:57 am - Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Downsampling the 12MP image to 10MP will reduce the noise, not make it go away (the noise is there at some level in the images from all cameras, including the SX10 which is a 10MP version of the SX20). There are better ways of achieving noise reduction that are quite effective and can be applied during normal image editing. They have the advantage of retaining the advantages of the 12MP resolution while reducing the noise.
Which you use will depend on which image editing software you use. I have used The GIMP for a long time and like it a lot. One of its great features is that it is free and so are the huge number of plugins that can be added to it.
8:34 pm - Monday, January 18, 2010
I know very few cameras have them these days, but it is always good to have an explicit statement as to presence/absence of an optical viewfinder. This camera appears to in fact have one, which is another thin that differentiates it in a positive fashion.
11:27 am - Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The SX20 has an electronic view finder. It shows the same view as the LCD. It is quite useful for following moving subjects and in bright light but it is not identical to an SLR’s optical finder. It has a diopter adjustment that allows adjustment to individual visual differences.
4:37 pm - Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I purchased the Canon SX20 about a week ago and I am having memeory card error problems. I have tried taking the card out, the batteries, letting it set for a few days, formatting again and just about everything else. It will act like it is taking a pic, but then nothing is on the card and I get the error message. Any suggestions??? Thanks
6:52 am - Thursday, January 21, 2010
This may be too simple to have been overlooked, but did you unlock the memory card? It should be a little slide that you move from locked to unlocked.
7:01 am - Thursday, January 21, 2010
Yes, I checked that and it was not locked. I really like this camera, (I am a newby) so I would like to continue to use it and learn more, but I have also read online that canon has a lot of problems with this on other models also. = (
7:32 am - Thursday, January 21, 2010
This is my third Canon digital camera, beginning with the Powershot A612, my wife’s Powershot SD1000, and now my SX20IS. The articulating LCD of the A612 was very handy and became a deciding factor for me to buy this model. This was my Christmas present which I took to Disney World for our 37th anniversary. Took a ton of pictures and videos at the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney Hollywood Studio. This camera is rather heavy, but with its features—it’s worth it. After the trip, I did buy a Canon wrist strap since I don’t like using a neck strap. It was a good purchase. In Auto Mode, the colors may not be as vivid as some other cameras, but this is more natural. Using Vivid Blue or Green, depending on the situation, does a very good job. Also, the Scene Modes come in handy. The zoom has two speeds and I suggest using the slow speed when zooming in Movie Mode—it will keep subjects in focus. I prefer a camera that uses AA batteries. My rechargeables, after being recharged, just didn’t hold up and I ended up buying batteries at Disney World—at least it was only $1 more than in a store.
The bottom line is: Would I buy this camera again as compared to its competition—YES!
12:06 am - Sunday, January 24, 2010
Originally had a Canon S1 IS and it developed the dreaded E18 error (lens would not extend). I now have the Canon SX20 IS, what a great camera. Got it for Christmas and I love it. I have put a lot of hours in playing with all the features and tring to get them down pat. More than enough camera for me, just waiting for CHDK to come out with their software to make more use of the SX20. By the way, I did order a lens assembly for my S1 IS from Japan for $40 and installed it myself, now I have two great cameras to play with. Not everything is perfect in the world, just some things are better than others.
Cheers and keep clicking away.
3:01 am - Monday, February 1, 2010
I am having definite issues with auto mode. My last cameras auto function gave me zero issues (Olympus c5050 zoom). This cameras flash NEVER fires. I have even fooled around with it in manual modes and nothing.
Also…is the LCD completely full of noise for everyone else. Again, my older camera was crystal clear… I can’t imagine trying to manual focus with this thing.
This was purchased from Amazon with loose batteries banging around in the box. The lens hood was scratched up a bit. I’m wondering if damage was done to the camera.
I have beautiful outdoor images, but again they are by luck because i have to shoot with the noisy LCD then it flashes a clear picture of what I took. Is this all normal?
1:19 am - Friday, February 5, 2010
Which viewfinder is the clearest and easiest to use? The one in the Canon SX20 IS or the Lumix FZ38?
1:33 am - Friday, February 12, 2010
Trust your instinct. Go with sx20.
You will never look back to competitors in this category and suspicious camera reviews around the Internet.
1:46 pm - Sunday, March 7, 2010
I’m looking for a good ultrazoom camera to use in my studies (I’m studying birds). I’m thinking about purchasing either the Canon SX20 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. I can get the Canon for a really good price, about 150 dollars less than the Panasonic but that isn’t a decisive factor.
Is there anybody here that uses the canon for wildlife photography? I tried it in the store the other day and was a bit disappointed in the burst speed (on sports mode). I would be grateful for some advice…
1:27 am - Saturday, March 13, 2010
Had my SX20IS a few months now. I previously had a Fuji S5600 which took good pictures without too much hassle. I assumed that taking good pictures with the Canon would be just as easy. I am now getting better quality but this camera makes you work for it. Part of the problem for me is that there are so many things that can be tweaked that its a bit confusing always get it right. What I am going to do is learn slowly and experiment less for a while. Also I do find that when using the macro setting that it has great difficulty focussing sometimes. LOVE the rotating screen. All cameras should have one of these.
4:31 am - Friday, March 19, 2010
In the ‘Image Quality’ section of the review under ‘Sharpening’ it talks about sharpening images by changing the camera setting. I have searched the menus, settings and the manual but can find nothing about this feature. Has anyone managed to do this?
6:05 am - Friday, March 26, 2010
I’ve had Fuji’s and have had 3 canon’s including the SX10. I bought the SX20 for it’s HD video upgrade and love it. The pictures are sharp and clear, as good as the SX10. However, I took the first one back and got a second one because the first had focus problems, not sharp at all, maybe it was a Friday camera. If you have one that doesn’t seem up to par exchange it for another I don’t believe all camera’s of the same model are created equal, I ran into the same thing with a Fuji S100fs,second one was great. With my experience with the SX20 so far I can’t believe some of the negative comments I read from some users.
12:54 am - Monday, March 29, 2010
questa non è una fotocamera, ma una spettacolare ” videocamera” sempre in relazione al prezzo…..the quality of photo is very poor….but the video is mouch good….a 28-560 mm on a camcoder, and very stabilized…is a dream… for this price!!! the compression “AVCHD lite in good”....3,3 mb\s, in premiere pro don’t make a problem, and blend very good with hv40 canon video( my first cam )....
10:13 am - Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Regarding your comment on the lens cap,
I read in another review somewhere that you can order an adapter ring at lensmateonline.com
that allows one to use standard 58mm UV, etc. filters.
Hope this helps.
5:34 am - Thursday, April 8, 2010
I bought the camera a few months back, and I’m very happy with it.
I’m not a professional. I wanted to upgrade from a pocket camera, and I decided to buy a better camera than what I was used to.
And I’m far from being disappointed. The image quality is amazing. I know that some people are disappointed for the IQ, but for me it is a total new experience. The images are mostly crisp, and even in low environment light the quality is good.
The HD movies… well, no words. It is a beauty to watch.
The screen is big enough. The lens is great, with a huge optical zoom (no need to use the digital zoom at all).
The UI is very intuitive, and the “hints” are very helpful. Even someone that isn’t a professional can easily play with all the setting, and receive very good results.
The main drawbacks for me are that it is quite heavy, and the there is no way to attach the lens cap to the camera.
I’m extremely happy with this camera, and the image and video quality are more than enough for a non-professional.
9:43 pm - Saturday, April 17, 2010
For the lens cap, go to your local camera store. For a couple of bucks you can pick up a lens cap keeper. It has an elastic band to fit around the barrel of the lens and a string that attaches with a plastic piece with adhesive to the lens. Works great.
11:13 pm - Saturday, April 17, 2010
I picked this camera because of its versatile zoom for almost any travel and hobby situation, the Canon reputation for quality, and because I wanted to step down from the multiple-lens carrying burden connected with SLRs. The articulated rangefinder (which is ideal for macro photography and shooting oneself on occasion) is a deal-maker for me and so is the ability to use garden variety SDHC memory—a feature that swayed me away from the Lumix family, which uses Panasonic’s proprietary memory. Canon has also addressed battery consumption issues better than Panasonic (in my opinion) and makes it the choice when you are out in the field and away from AC current. I like this camera a lot, probably because I don’t get involved in video or RAW.
5:01 pm - Saturday, April 24, 2010
I neglected to say in a previous post: Canon does not require a proprietary battery as does Panasonic—another big advantage if you shoot a lot out in the wild and take a big volume of shots at hi-res and use up all the battery capacity you are carrying quickly (which might happen especially if it’s cold outdoors). You can use generic AA’s in a pinch (not possible with Panasonic).I recommend the Sanyo Eneloop or ProMaster AA nickel metal hydrides. Also, you can get a full printed manual from ManualsForAll on the Web for about $15—competitive with the price you’d pay for having printed-out pages assembled into a spiral-bound book at Kinko’s or Staples.
5:29 pm - Saturday, April 24, 2010
A correction in prior post: Lumix cameras DO support SDHC cards—they don’t have proprietary memory. The chief competitor for the SX20 IS is the Lumix DMC FX35, which many people really like because of the Leica lens it carries. The DMC35 has 40 MB of internal memory; the SX 20 has no internal memory. Sorry for the confusion.
5:57 pm - Saturday, April 24, 2010
Hi Friends (Brian),
Pls guys do help me I am stress. I gave my almost all saving to buy this Camera… :-(((
Thanks to all in Advance..
12:51 pm - Sunday, April 25, 2010
Well guys.. I live in India… at the moment..so things are harder and this camera cost $666 USD. That’s why i bought this camera from the USA with the help of my friend Steve….
12:55 pm - Sunday, April 25, 2010
i have a sx 20 for a while, and i can tell you some thing about the camera based on my experience.
The video is cool, HD and the zoom works perfect, you can manual focus in video too, but is dificult because you have to pressing butons while you record, is almost impossible.
The still pictures:
First, the macro is great, 0 cm macro gives you plenty of tools to play. But the big lenses interfiers with the flash at short distances.
well… i can write many more thing about the camera, i already knows it very much
look at my flickr for pictures, and ask any doubt you have.. (to my flickr)
1:48 am - Thursday, April 29, 2010
The canon sx20 is a great camera, but I have two loud warnings for anyone looking to buy this camera…. There is a very common error on these cameras where the lens sticks and the camera will not turn on. Furthermore Canon after sales support is terrible.
I have this error on my camera and used the on line Canon support centre to register the complaint. After a week and no reply I once again e-mailed and received a very arrogant e-mail back saying that they were sorry bit the they had already replied and therefore implied that I am somehow not technologically proficient enough to check my e-mail account. To add fuel to the fire they will not honour warranty in the UK on this 2 month old camera as it was bought in the USA.
Great camera when it works but don’t think you’ll get a world class back up service when things go wrong.
7:15 pm - Sunday, May 2, 2010
R K Sudan
It is shocking to read that a company like Canon behaved so rudely and refused to service a customer’s request. Moreover, calling someone incompetent doesn’t fall within the purview of accepted practices of business communication; leave aside mention of ethics and etiquettes.
I have been using Canon cameras with satisfaction for last three decades and an issue of this nature never came up. However, today this discourtesy shown to Stuart could well be extended to others who use Canon products. I my opinion all the Canon users ought to lodge protests with the company so that such an eccentric and arrogant behaviour doesn’t become a norm.
I, therefore, will soon be writing to Canon in my country (India) giving the link to this post.
It is good, Stuart, that you raised the issue here.
5:01 am - Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Which is the best of 2. sx20 or fz-35. i am confused
9:31 am - Wednesday, May 5, 2010
R K Sudan
Sunny, When the race is neck and neck it is difficult to make a call. Between these two it all boils down to personal choice. Canon is great in availability and after sales which is difficult for Panasonic to meet. Having researched and studied about both the models I’ll go the FZ35 way. But, as I said, the choice is always personal so you decide for yourself. You can’t go wrong with either.
1:47 pm - Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Pros and cons I see:
The FZ35 is slightly smaller, significantly lighter in weight. The FZ35 exhibits somewhat less purple fringing at high contrast edges although virtually all reviews of the SX20 called its purple fringing well controlled.
Looking at the “cameralabs” review images where the two cameras are compared the sharpness of the Canon at full zoom is apparent to me. Most reviews call it a toss-up.
The FZ35 has faster shot-to-shot times and can produce a faster burst that favors it for action/sports shots.
The Canon has a hotshoe for an auxiliary flash, the Panasonic does not. That’s significant to me.
The Canon’s articulated LCD screen is extremely important to me—it is a terrific tool for many of the photos I take.
Go to a camera store and look at each. I find the view in the FZ35’s electronic viewfinder to be annoyingly “tunnel-like.” I prefer the more open feeling when looking into the viewfinder of the SX20 although I it would be nice if it could have higher resolution.
The Panasonic has a raw shooting mode which is an advantage to those who want to get at the data before the camera has messed with it. The Canon is achieving raw via the CHDK project which for the SX20 is now in “beta” level of porting.
Look at the reviews of the two cameras on this site and look at the test images carefully. Do the same for the cameralabs reviews. I find the colors of the Panasonic to be muted with the reds taking on an orangish cast. Folks who also notice that and try to fix it in post processing often have commented on the annoying difficulty of getting simple setting that satisfies them. I definitely prefer the Canon colors. You may find the differences irrelevant.
Both cameras are terrific. The differences are real and your preferences should guide you.
3:12 pm - Wednesday, May 5, 2010
writing from the uk, firstly…nice pictures Brian, very good and quite frankly has made up my mind about the x20 thanks alot!!! anyone got advice as to what i need to buy to fit filters?
8:53 pm - Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I considered the Fuji, Panasonic and Canon cameras but BEFORE I read these reviews I went to a camera shop and ‘played’ with each. Within minutes I decided the Canon was leagues ahead of the others in terms of feel and quality.
I was disappointed to see the Canon come out bottom of the three but bought it anyway and it is fantastic.
Sometimes specifications don’t tell you the full story. How many budget HiFi systems claim 1000 watts power and sound awful compared to a high quality 50 watt one?
My old photo experience was with 100 and 200 ISO real film. I have tried 800 and 1600 ISO and the pictures are fine unless you boost them up so large that you can no longer see the subject.
Final words, Try the Canon before you go for a lightweight Panasonic or Fuji.
1:46 pm - Friday, May 7, 2010
The comments by Chris were really a good levelheaded review. Almost any camera has some tradeoffs connected with it, but all in all I like the SX20 IS because it is hard getting an articulated rangefinder on any other mega zoom camera. This feature alone makes the camera tons more flexible for things like nature microphotography, shooting pictures of models and diaramas, and getting really close to the ground with young children and pets—which really makes pictures of these subject “tell a story” that won’t happen if you shoot down on them. Biggest peeve: no printed full version of the manual. And stitch mode is no-way well explained, although it should be a potentially useful feature with scenic pics.
1:47 am - Saturday, May 8, 2010
I wanted a versatile bridge camera to replace all my digital slr equipment, and took a long time considering all the options.
I finally chose the canon x20 instead of its rivals for it’s clear viewfinder and hotshoe, both important to me.
Once I got comfortable with all it’s functions the x20 performs excellently and I have been surprised at the quality of the photos considering it is only a bridge.
It is a camera with which you can achieve good results, though I would recommend set the colour to ones own preference as it makes a big difference to the final result.
A warning though! I did a lot of research into fashguns and chose a compatible over the canon versions because of the price.
I was given the assurance that the flashgun I finally chose was completely compatible and bought it on ebay. It was not compatible and because of this I have now lost use of the built in flashgun and the flashgun settings are now no longer functional.
Until I manage to figure how to get this issue resolved (if ever) I am back using my trusty old digital Pentax SLR.
11:32 am - Saturday, May 8, 2010
This is the 5th digital camera that I have bought. I used to be a Fuji fan but their video quality falls on it’s face. I bought the S100FS, took wonderful pictures, but terrible video and very heavy and bulky to carry around so I sold it. Then I bought the Canon SX10 and loved it but thought it awkward to hold so sold it too. Then bought an SX120 and it was the best of them all but no zoom on video and no viewfinder so off it went, I couldn’t work with it. I then went back and bought the SX20, sort of missed the SX10’s features and great video and picture quality. The first SX20 had focusing problems so took it back and got another one. The second one is a lot better, pictures are sharper and focus is right on. I guess there’s such a thing as a monday and friday built camera just like fri and mon built cars so if your camera is somehow not up to par replace it. I had the same kind of problem when I bought a new Pentax K100D, first one had a blemish in the sensor, second one had a problem with auto white balance, third one was right on but picture quality fell off over a period of months and I sold it. So far I love my SX20, it does everything I want, and I speak with some authority, I’ve had a lot of camera’s starting in the 60s.
8:08 am - Friday, May 14, 2010
RE: Panasonic FZ38 vs. Canon SX20 comparison.
I used this website to help me pick out my next camera, but I find some of the ratings not believable.
To compare camera image quality, I always find the best results comparing real-world photos of the same object under the same conditions. I am having a very difficult time believing that the image ratings for the Panasonic are 4.5 vs. 3.5 for the Canon. So I started up 2 sessions of my browser side-by-side on a 24” high resolution monitor.
Using this website, in the sample images section of each camera, I located a sunny-day image and a low light ISO 1600 image taken by both cameras. Try this yourself. Look for the image of the the Denmark House front entryway with lots of carved marble above (It’s in the top row - middle on the Panasonic section.) Use the magnifier function of the cursor. Find the same image in the Canon section. Compare the pores in the stone, check the details in the carved letters. The Canon is at least as good, if not better. (This could be somewhat influenced by the slight additional angle of the shadows on the Canon photo, but try areas that aren’t in the sun also.)
Now try the ISO 1600 image of the water valve against a salmon-colored stucco wall. Check the black metal round “bells” to the right of the red hand valve. Look for the lettering on the face of those bells. You can’t read anything in the Panasonic photo. The Canon one has some lettering visible, with significantly less noise “grains” than the Panasonic. Look at the labels on either side of the white housing. Check the sharpness of the chain. The Canon is the clear winner. For much better results in this scenario, check out the Fujifilm HS10 - the lettering is completely readable. But the Fujifilm photo of the Denmark House is poor. It isn’t even in the same ballpark, although it received an image rating of 4.
The proof is in the photos.
I bought the Canon.
7:00 pm - Friday, May 14, 2010
R K Sudan
I agree with your observation. This Fuji model HS10, given its features, appeared to me very interesting and a promising camera. However, its picture quality is not that high so as to catapult it to the top the Big Zoomer league. When I compared it with Canon SX20 IS shots as given in various sections of this review, my eyes could clearly find the Canon images much sharper and vibrant. I wonder how the Photography Blog editors rated the Fuji model higher on the ‘image quality’ parameter (4 vs 3.5).
In the end, the image quality should be the sole deciding factor for choosing a camera irrespective of what features it commands. Image qualitywise the SX20 beats the HS10 hands down eventhough the HS is feature rich an sports an eye-catching design.
4:49 am - Sunday, May 16, 2010
Hello. i have been doing my research and i am wanting to know what is the best camera out there when it comes to JUST PICTURES. i am not to interested in video (that is what video cameras are for right? hehe) anyways, i am stuck on canon, sony and nikon. i really like the canon, but there are some bad reviews out there about it being not good with video, but i simply do not care much for the video quality. but that is just me, i just want a camera that will take AWSOME picture when my little niece is at her dance recital, GREAT pictures when I am at work and have to take pictures of Kids Playing soccer, Good image resolution when it comes to Landscaping pictures, good color and sharp images. I do not know much about Cameras but i have been reading on some different cameras. I just need help when it comes to this issue. Thanks so much for your time
10:05 pm - Friday, May 28, 2010
Just ordered a Canon SX20 IS for many reasons-to avoid battery replacement problems, tripod not getting in the way of battery/SD Card compartment, hot shoe, fully articulated screen etc. There’s a 14-day return policy for my cam. I’d like to know how to quickly test my cam when it arrives (just in case there are functional defects) before the 14 days elapse. Any tips or resources, please?
8:25 am - Thursday, June 3, 2010
I’m planning to get myself an SX20, but am tempted to wait and see whether Canon will be announcing an update/upgrade for it.
What are the chances of that happening?
Or should I just go ahead and buy the SX20? It seems like a great camera, aside from a few minor imperfections.
12:19 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
@pillai If you wait for ‘the next version’ you will never buy anything. As soon as you buy a PC, get it delivered, they announce one twice as good at half the price.
One of my neighbours has a small tree in their garden. This is my lens test tree ;)
I have photos of it using the SX20, the Fuji S1600 and an EOS 550D (using Canon EF 75-300 and Tamron 18 - 250) and there is no doubt whatsoever that the best photo is from the SX20. I feel totally fed up that my £260 SX20 (with cashback) outperforms my £1000 EOS 550D!
How can Canon produce the amazing zoom on the SX20 where the whole camera is £260 and it outperforms my £350 Tamron lens on its own? I’ve tried several other expensive DSLR lenses as well and none perform as well as the standard SX20 IS.
The review rating for image quality on this camera is way off the mark as far as I’m concerned.
1:51 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
I normally am the sort who if I like something, research it as thoroughly as I can before I buy.
I have been considering:
1. SX20 IS
2. Panasonic FZ-35/38
3. Fujifilm HS-10
4. Nikon P100
My final decision, based largely on my reading of the reviews and user experiences here and elsewhere, is to buy the SX20, as it easily bests the rest of them overall.
I just did not want to buy it and then have Canon release something new and better soon after.
So, off to the store next week.
5:06 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
@pillai Very wise researching beforehand. I visited my local photo store and immediately liked the SX20. The reviews are helpful but they only tell you so much. The Canon feels great in the hand. My family love the colour swapping and the zoom range is incredible. I hope you enjoy the new camera.
6:14 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
Here are some comparisons for you. Have a look at the URL I have provided.
Fuji S1600 v EOS 550D v Powershot SX20
These are all taken at full zoom.
7:45 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sorry, it hasn’t shown.
7:46 pm - Saturday, June 12, 2010
The SX20 is a small step up from the SX10,The 10 had a few features like recording audio but I dont miss that..All in all its a great camera for the money,No Big expensive lenses to carry around,Sorry DSLR snobs!
Its Good,Buy it and also buy a high quality Card if you are recording video.
10:18 pm - Sunday, June 13, 2010
@Randy Haugen : What do you mean by a high quality card? Would SDHC Class 4 as mentioned in the manual be good enough? And what about formatting? Should we use the camera’s formatting function or the SD Card Formatter software provided by Panasonic? I find the latter very useful for my PMP, once I get a new card I always format it first before use in my PMP, it looks like the benefits are faster scanning and boot time & faster database updation by the PMP.
And while on the subject of cards, I’d like to know whether I need to use a card exclusively for the camera, I mean, can I use the one I also use in my PMP. Would there be any performance drawbacks, other than the fact that there might not be enough space on the card due to my PMP files?
And what is the max. capacity of SDHC that the SX20 can take? 32GB OK to use?
5:33 am - Monday, June 14, 2010
R K Sudan
This statement that the SX20 produced better pictures than the EOS 550D appears hard to believe. I haven’t seen the so called better shots by the SX20 at the website cited by you (unfortunately the link didn’t work on my PC) but you must have some solid reasons to believe in that. At times and under good light conditions some high end compacts can produce images comparable with images taken with a dSLR. However, my knowledge of photography tells me that even the best of compacts (including prosumer models) can’t match the image quality of an entry level dSLR, leave aside surpassing it. And the 550D is a top class middle level dSLR. There is no doubt that reputed camera makers like Canon are enriching their compacts with more and more dSLR-like features but it is yet not possible to endow the compacts with the same optics. Then there is a huge variation in sensor size of both these cameras – another vital factor in assessing image quality.
3:21 pm - Monday, June 14, 2010
@R K Sudan Thank you very much for your reply. I have taken several hundred photos comparing the SX20 and EOS 550D. My first thought is that the quality of the EOS should ‘shout out’, but it doesn’t. I have to enlarge to 100% to see the differences. Without boring everyone with pages of details I should say I have tried aperture and shutter priority tests and even used my tripod. My first observation is that the SX has a 20 times zoom whilst my best EOS lens manages about 14 times so enlarging them to the same size relies on the extra pixel count from the EOS so this is a bit unfair on the EOS. Also the SX has image stabilisation which helps when not using a stabilised EF lens. I think my main complaint is that on a compact a £100 lens (assuming 1/3 of the camera cost) outperforms an inferior zoom £400 DSLR lens.
4:10 pm - Monday, June 14, 2010
how does the sx20 compare to hs10 in terms of IQ?
3:58 pm - Saturday, June 19, 2010
@Mark With cards I have found that more expensive does not mean better quality,Go to Newegg.com and read the reviews,I use a 4 Kingston and it suits me fine,This camera is Not a Video recorder really,it is weak in that aspect but a faster card helps.
Now@R K Sudan The S20 at times can equal images of a EOS 550D and others,It just depends on what you are shooting and focal length with zoom shooting. Remember we are talking about a -350 camera vs maybe a grand or more.
9:47 pm - Sunday, June 20, 2010
R K Sudan
Very true, Chris. I managed to access the three shots you earlier mentioned and the SX shot certainly appears better. I also appreciate your efforts at making a comparison by taking, as stated by you, a large number of photographs in different modes. This will surely benefit photography enthusiasts seriously looking for reliable information on this model eventhough many reviews haven’t awarded excellent grades to the SX particularly on the ‘image quality’ parameter. Yes, the SX presents value for money vis a vis a dSLR.
Currently, this latest model from Fuji - the HS10 captures the crowning spot in super-zoom category and Photographyblog.com also ranked it higher than the SX. I wonder if you have done or are planning a shoot-out between the SX20 & HS10.
I agree that ‘at times’ this can very much happen. Even a cheap PS model can sometime produce stunning pictures but that occasional blip is never enough to beat a dSLR. In good light and at certain settings a compact / prosumer model can produce comparable results, and like Chris said in one of his posts above, even better; apparently. Then the SX is a top class camera available at less than half of what one would pay for the 550D.
1:37 am - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
R K Sudan
One particular issue I’d like to discuss here is of low light shooting performance of the SX20 IS. I would like to know if any user posting here has experienced ‘double image’ or ‘ghosting’ problem while taking shots indoors in low light conditions.
I have read it somewhere that this occurs most of the time (you get two blurry images instead of one) and the reason apparently is the lens remaining open longer than the displayed or calculated time. This issue is reportedly a big downer for this camera.
Chris, since you have extensively used the SX20IS, your feedback on this issue is welcome.
9:51 am - Wednesday, June 23, 2010
@R K Sudan I haven’t tried an HS10 but I have done loads more test shots. I returned my Tamron 18-250 (EOS lens) and bought a Tamron 18-270. This is much better. I haven’t uploaded any test shots of this yet.
I have not come across the double image problem and have just taken a test shot and uploaded for you to see. This is taken into a dark airing cupboard. It is hand held, no flash, 0.5 second, f 2.8, ISO 800. I could hardly see with my own eyes so I think the photo has demonstrated how good the camera is in this situation. I hope it helps you (and others).
10:39 am - Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I’ve been very pleased with handheld low light pictures I’ve taken even at ISO 800. I got some good pictures in a gymnasium setting where I’ve never had much luck before. They were not super sharp but with image stabilization on and ISO 800 they were usable shots of graduation. There was some noise but not a tremendous amount and I can clean it up some in software. I had similar experience in a sanctuary where I’ve had the same problem taking pictures. I’ve never had any double images or ghosting
3:09 pm - Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Are there really adapters, filters and additional lens for this camera?
My dealer says there’s no place in the SX20 to attach an additional lens.
I’m wondering whether items like the above are really useful for the SX20 IS.
7:18 am - Thursday, June 24, 2010
I was able to pickup a lens adapter from Lensmate (http://www.lensmateonline.com/). This adapter is a 58mm adapter and allow you to use additional lenses. What lenses are you interested in?
11:57 am - Thursday, June 24, 2010
Well, I just got my cam and I’m relatively new to photography, what I wanted to know was why and when (real life situations, please) these additional adapters, filters, lenses etc. would be required for my SX20 IS and whether they will convert my cam into an SLR or some such.
12:19 pm - Thursday, June 24, 2010
(Disclaimer) I am more of a videographer than photographer (however I have seen the benefits of having my SX20 in various situations) so I’m certain you might be able to get more info from others.
I have purchased my lens adapters so that I can use filters for outdoor shots. The SX20 is amazing in outside lighting but for some shots you want to diffuse or “lessen” the amount of light that comes into the camera and you can use different filters for that.
You can also add different types of lenses such as wide angle or fish eye lenses for different kinds of shots.
However, a lens is not what makes an SLR and SLR. Someone else can speak to the specifics of that. As good as the SX20 is (and it is good) it is not a DSLR. In some regards it is better (less lenses to carry, etc) and in some ways (quality of shots at all focal lengths) it is not better.
When I tried to do all of my shooting on Auto I almost sent the camera back but since I have gotten more familiar with the other settings I wouldn’t trade it. Don’t shoot on Auto unless you are outdoors in great sunlight otherwise you may be disappointed.
1:14 pm - Thursday, June 24, 2010
Thanks for the clarifications. Since you have the adapter, how do you attach that? Is it a thread system of some sort? Do I have to consider lense/filter type, brand before getting an adapter or do all these come in some standard sizes? Do we always have to use Canon brand for all these accessories? Where can I get recommendations for the best accessories for SX20 IS?
You’ve mentioned Auto mode. The beauty of the camera is that it offers auto modes for beginners and also has options for the pros. What about SCN mode? Is it better than Auto mode for us beginners?
1:24 pm - Thursday, June 24, 2010
I do have the adapter from Lensmate (sadly I don’t get any benefits for advertising for them). It attaches to the lens itself but not by threading though it does spin into the lens. It is held fairly securely.
As far as I know (my knowledge does have limitations) there is only one adapter available (58mm) but since the filters and attachments come in many sizes you can get most attachments that you want in 58mm. Go to B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/643179-REG/Canon_3633B001_PowerShot_SX20_IS_Digital.html#48225) but I warn you, that website has been known to drain your wallet!
As far as modes go I would suggest you experiment with them all. Take some time to get familiar with the camera. Otherwise you can get the cheat sheet from B&H.
1:37 pm - Thursday, June 24, 2010
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