PowerShot D20 review posted

Started Jun 18, 2013 | Discussions
Jeff Keller
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PowerShot D20 review posted
Jun 18, 2013

Hi all, we've posted our review of the PowerShot D20:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-powershot-d20/

I'll be writing five more underwater camera reviews and then we'll wrap it all up at the end and pick the best one!

Thanks,
Jeff

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Jeff Keller
Senior Writer, DPReview.com

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Altruisto
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Jeff Keller, Jun 19, 2013

Jeff Keller wrote:

Hi all, we've posted our review of the PowerShot D20:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-powershot-d20/

I'll be writing five more underwater camera reviews and then we'll wrap it all up at the end and pick the best one!

Thanks,
Jeff

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Jeff Keller
Senior Writer, DPReview.com

14 hours since the thread has been posted with no reply!

I can't let you alone Jeff. Actually, I always held on buying a rugged underwater camera, since the optics quality is always compromised. Canon D10 was good enough, but its form factor was weird. This D20 looks to be a good option. Olympus TG-2 is very soft at f2, which kills its superiority in low light. Panasonic FT5 has those dull Panasonic colors that I can't really improve in PP. Fuji hasn't provided an EXR underwater camera. Sony TX series aren't rugged at all.

Each model seems diminished for a reason. Olympus TG-820 seems to have the best balance for the moment. D20 seems nice but I did find the images soft. Nikon AW110 is not cutting the edge but I need to read more about it.

Please Jeff, provide real life comparisons like you did with enthusiast cameras.

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schaki
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Altruisto, Jun 19, 2013

Seems like Dpreview are a little more than one year late with this review. I've already had the D20 but returned it to the shop.My own sample images

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Hossam Saad ElDin Abd Alhalim Farg
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Jeff Keller, Jun 19, 2013
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plantdoc
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to schaki, Jun 19, 2013

Looks much like the Fuji waterproof cameras that also use a folded 5x lens design. The fuji cameras I have tried had significant sharpness issues off center frame. Maybe Canon is better but I am not enthused about folded design and 5x.

greg

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Robert Anderson
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Jeff Keller, Jun 19, 2013

Review is a little late. I have owned the D20 for over a year. Much of what is said in the review is spot on. The images from the D20 are a bit soft straight out of the camera and lack contrast. They do respond very well to post processing. Highlights tend to block up. I-contrast helps.

I find it is not that sharp at full zoom. The shot-to-shot time is too slow. I wish Canon had kept the in-line lens design and not gone to the folded optical system. I did not mind the form factor of the D10. The f/2.8 lens was worth it.

I chose the D20 because it retains more detail in the trees and grass than the competition and has a longer zoom. For most shooting outdoors, the aperture was not a problem. Underwater may be a different story.

I have used the D20 at the beach and for whitewater kayaking trips, not underwater yet. There are several real world shots in my gallery.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/9208018736/albums/d20

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CAcreeks
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Wow, PowerShot D20 is bad!
In reply to Robert Anderson, Jun 20, 2013

Robert, the Nikon AW100 (and probably AW110) has good detail in trees and grass. Its lens also goes to 140mm crop equivalent.

Comparing the two in the studio widget, wow, the D20 is awful. Fortunately Fuji still makes a worse underwater camera!

Robert Anderson wrote:

I chose the D20 because it retains more detail in the trees and grass than the competition and has a longer zoom. For most shooting outdoors, the aperture was not a problem. Underwater may be a different story.
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Robert Anderson
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Re: Wow, PowerShot D20 is bad!
In reply to CAcreeks, Jun 20, 2013

CAcreeks wrote:

Robert, the Nikon AW100 (and probably AW110) has good detail in trees and grass. Its lens also goes to 140mm crop equivalent.

Comparing the two in the studio widget, wow, the D20 is awful. Fortunately Fuji still makes a worse underwater camera!

Those images in the studio do look pretty bad. Please have a look at the images in my D20 album at 100%. They are much sharper than images I have seen from the TG2, TS5 and AW100.

Having said that, I have seen some good results from the AW110 and more recently the W3. Most recently, I have been using the Sony RX100 in an underwater housing.

ISO 100

ISO 800

Details in the leaves and grass

With many of the other waterproof models, the leaves and grass are smeared like a watercolor painting.

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Robert Anderson
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Some from the RX100 to compare
In reply to Robert Anderson, Jun 20, 2013
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CAcreeks
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Re: Wow, PowerShot D20 is bad!
In reply to Robert Anderson, Jun 20, 2013

Robert, you are a good photographer and have the luxury of shooting interesting subject matter.

That said, I think the D20 does have less of a watercolor effect for foliage than other WP models. Also it seems you got a good sample with far less color fringing in the corners at 5mm than other samples.

Here is an image from the AW100, downsampled to match size at 4000x3000, nothing else. On the plus side, the tree branches are preserved against blue sky more than Canon does, but softness is evident in the corners. Conifers are more prone to watercolor effect than deciduous trees (I did not see conifers in your posts.)

The Panasonic TS4 can be extremely watercolor-like at 100%.

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Robert Anderson
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Re: Wow, PowerShot D20 is bad!
In reply to CAcreeks, Jun 21, 2013

The D20 images are a bit low in contrast straight from the camera. I usually have to boost the contrast in post. I often sharpen a bit if needed.

I like that the images have a bit of noise and more detail rather than the smeared noise processing which is typical of other models.

The D20 has been recently ported to CHDK so RAW files are now possible as well as a host of other useful features. I have not tried it yet but hope to soon.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Wow, PowerShot D20 is bad!
In reply to Robert Anderson, Jun 21, 2013

Well Robert, I still say you are good and got lucky with your lens. Take a look at the full size for this one in the DPreview samples gallery.

IMG_0126 of garden bench and trees

The distant landscape is very watercolor like, there is severe color fringing on upper right, and it shows what I hate most about Canon JPEG - discontinuous tree branches near top middle.

Panasonic TS4 has similar watercoloring, usually worse, but almost never omits a section of tree branch.

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Tapani Tarvainen
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Jeff Keller, Jun 22, 2013

It would be nice to have a bit (or actually, a lot) more about underwater performance of cameras supposedly designed for it... at least more underwater samples. (If the ones given are representative, it positively sucks compared to D10, which is already ancient.)

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CAcreeks
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Huh? Plenty of UW shots!
In reply to Tapani Tarvainen, Jun 22, 2013

Tapani Tarvainen wrote:

It would be nice to have a bit (or actually, a lot) more about underwater performance of cameras supposedly designed for it... at least more underwater samples. (If the ones given are representative, it positively sucks compared to D10, which is already ancient.)

About half the pictures in the D20 samples gallery were taken underwater!

Perhaps there is some question of white balance (WB), but I imagine WB changes according to depth. The Panasonic models have a barometer - something like that could be used to change WB as depth increases.

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Re: PowerShot D20 review posted
In reply to Jeff Keller, Jun 26, 2013

Jeff Keller wrote:

Hi all, we've posted our review of the PowerShot D20:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-powershot-d20/

I'll be writing five more underwater camera reviews and then we'll wrap it all up at the end and pick the best one!

Thanks,

Fantastic. A waterproof round-up is what I'm hanging out for!

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