Canon SX20 IS
- 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
- 2.5" Fully Articulated Screen
- ISO 80 - 1600
- Optical Image Stabilization
- 1280 x 720 video
- 28-560mm (F2.8-5.7) lens
- 600g - 128 x 88 x 87mm
- Released July 2010
- Succeeded the Canon SX10 IS
- Replacement is Canon SX30 IS
- Read full specs
- Size Comparison
Canon SX20 IS summary
Canon SX20 IS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera initially introduced on July of 2010. The camera has a 12MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a max resolution of 4000 x 3000.
Canon brought out this model in an effort to update the previous Canon SX10 IS (Read Full Comparison) & afterwards brought out the newer Canon SX30 IS (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to replace this model.
The SX20 IS stands at #197 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & over-all #865 out of 1459 for digital cameras in our collection. You should check our Advanced camera search to see camera results based on your customized requirements.
Here is a diagram of various factors used in the rating system.
Canon SX20 IS history
The Canon SX20 IS is part of a family of cameras. You can read the full list underneath.
SX20 IS vs SX70 HS21-1365mm
SX20 IS vs SX740 HS24-960mm
SX20 IS vs SX730 HS24-960mm
SX20 IS vs SX620 HS25-625mm
SX20 IS vs SX720 HS24-960mm
SX20 IS vs SX540 HS24-1200mm
SX20 IS vs SX420 IS24-1008mm
SX20 IS vs SX410 IS24-960mm
SX20 IS vs SX610 HS25-450mm
SX20 IS vs SX530 HS24-1200mm
SX20 IS vs SX710 HS25-750mm
SX20 IS vs SX60 HS21-1365mm
SX20 IS vs SX400 IS24-720mm
SX20 IS vs SX520 HS24-1008mm
SX20 IS vs SX700 HS25-750mm
SX20 IS vs SX600 HS25-450mm
SX20 IS vs SX510 HS24-720mm
SX20 IS vs SX170 IS28-448mm
SX20 IS vs SX160 IS28-448mm
SX20 IS vs SX280 HS25-500mm
SX20 IS vs SX270 HS25-500mm
SX20 IS vs SX50 HS24-1200mm
SX20 IS vs SX500 IS24-720mm
SX20 IS vs SX260 HS25-500mm
SX20 IS vs SX150 IS28-336mm
SX20 IS vs SX240 HS25-500mm
SX20 IS vs SX40 HS24-840mm
SX20 IS vs SX230 HS28-392mm
SX20 IS vs SX220 HS28-392mm
SX20 IS vs SX30 IS24-840mm
SX20 IS vs SX130 IS28-336mm
SX20 IS vs SX210 IS28-392mm
SX20 IS vs SX200 IS28-336mm
SX20 IS vs SX1 IS28-560mm
SX20 IS vs SX10 IS28-560mm
Canon SX20 IS Gallery
You can look at the SX20 IS from different angles in the gallery here.
Canon SX20 IS Pros and Cons
Here is a collection of good and bad points of the Canon SX20 IS based on criterias which are often considered necessary in a digital camera.
Canon SX20 IS Sensor specs
The Canon SX20 IS features the Digic 4 processor. The specification of the sensor in the Canon SX20 IS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is superior than digital stabilization as the latter might lead to cropping.World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
The CCD sensor has 12 megapixels and has a standard ISO range of 80 - 1600. Unfortunately, RAW format is not supported therefore the user has less room to maneuver in post.
The graphic underneath displays the SX20 IS's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The SX20 IS sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.
Canon SX20 IS dimensions
Canon SX20 IS weighs in at 1.32 lb (600 gr / 21.16 ounces) & the physical size of the camera is 128mm x 88mm x 87mm (5.0" x 3.5" x 3.4"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr so the Canon SX20 IS is heavier as compared with its rivals.Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Here is a picture of the Canon SX20 IS besides a softdrink so you're able to get a sense of its size.
The top view just below will highlight the button layout on the SX20 IS.
Canon SX20 IS Lens details
The SX20 IS features a built in lens having a focal range of 28-560mm giving it a 20.0 x zoom which is huge and will allow you to zoom all the way in.
At it's widest 28mm, the lens has an aperture of f2.8 and that's really sluggish and not very good for low light situations and you might struggle to get a shallow depth of field. You might also need to boost your ISO producing noisy images. With the long end, 560mm is excellent zoom and comes to f5.7 which is fairly slow and you would have to choose slower shutter speeds.
Canon SX20 IS Connectivity
The SX20 IS has the following connectivity:
- USB Yes
- HDMI Yes
Digital cameras that contain NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can transfer files and at times change settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.
Certain apps also allow a Liveview and hit the shutter in case you are not near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it can be hooked up to an external monitor. Many cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.
Canon SX20 IS Video details
The max video quality in the Canon SX20 IS is 1280 x 720 and you can record in H.264 file format. 720p is awful for today's standards. You should really aim for a minimum 1080p quality for decent video. The body does not have a microphone or headphone socket which means that you have absolutely no control over the audio. It is perhaps best to order another model if you want decent audio for your videos.
Canon SX20 IS Weather Sealing
There is no environment sealing in the Canon SX20 IS so you have to be careful in wet or dusty conditions.
Canon SX20 IS Screen and Viewfinder
The Canon SX20 IS has a 2.5 inch fully articulated display having a resolution of 230 thousand dots.
The screen is selfie friendly for self portraits and even group shots when required. Unfortunately the display isn't a touch screen.Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
The ViewFinder details for Canon SX20 IS are the following:
- ViewFinder Electronic
Viewfinders can be rather helpful during sunny outdoor conditions which can make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.
Canon SX20 IS Shutter details
Canon SX20 IS has the capability to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/3200s.
Canon SX20 IS Flash and Hot shoe details
Canon SX20 IS has both in-built flash together with external flash support. The maximum flash sync is 1/500s.
Canon SX20 IS Autofocusing details
Canon SX20 IS has only Contrast Detect Autofocus & does not have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more faster & precise as compared with Contrast Detect focusing.
It has 9 focus points to pick from. Canon SX20 IS features manual focus if needed during low light situations or you need to have more exact focus control.
Canon SX20 IS Battery life
The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR comes with the maximum (600) battery life within this range of cameras.
Following is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the strongest battery life:
SX20 IS vs Fujifilm HS35EXR600 yesnono
SX20 IS vs B500600 nonoyes
SX20 IS vs L840590 noyesno
SX20 IS vs FZ200540 yesnono
SX20 IS vs V-Lux 4540 yesnono
Canon SX20 IS for various styles of photography
The following chart displays a summary of the Canon SX20 IS for various styles of photography. To view more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.
Canon SX20 IS Portrait photography advice
The Canon SX20 IS receives a rating of 37 which is low, and means the camera is simply not acceptable for portrait photography. Shooting portrait images favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support in addition to the ability to work with external flash.
Canon SX20 IS Street photography factors
With a moderate rating of 49, the Canon SX20 IS is somewhat suited for street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.
Canon SX20 IS Sports photography features
A low sports photography points tally of 34 means the Canon SX20 IS is simply not acceptable for shooting sports. A camera must have good autofocus plus shutter speeds for sports photography.
Travel photography with Canon SX20 IS
Portability is super crucial in buying a travel camera. Over-all, the Canon SX20 IS gets a moderate 53 for a travelling camera which makes it fairly appropriate to buy for your vacations.
Canon SX20 IS Landscape photography features
For anybody looking to buy a camera for landscape photographs, the most important aspect is going to be image quality. The Canon SX20 IS with it's low rating of 35 as a landscape camera is simply not acceptable within the current market.
Canon SX20 IS Vlogging information
A camera for vlogging preferably should come with a moving screen, mic port and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Canon SX20 IS is reasonably adequate for vlogging as it comes to a moderate rating of 50.
Canon SX20 IS Alternatives
If you are shopping for alternatives to the SX20 IS, here is a range of the top rated cameras which fall under the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.
The graph down below shows you an overview of the SX20 IS versus it's highest ranked competitors suggested previously.
Here are a handful of other cameras you might view as alternate options. To check out a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.