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Canon announces PowerShot SX20 IS super-zoom

By dpreview staff on Aug 19, 2009 at 13:03 GMT

Pre-IFA 2009: Canon has announced the PowerShot SX20 IS super-zoom digital compact, successor to the the SX10 IS. Featuring the same wide angle 20x (28-560mm equiv.) zoom lens and 2.5 inch vari-angle LCD of its predecessor, the latest model features a 12.1MP sensor and offers 720p HD video recording.

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Press Release:

Canon takes you closer to the detail with the
wide-angle super zoom PowerShot SX20 IS

London, UK 19th August 2009: Canon today announces the new PowerShot SX20 IS – a digital compact camera with a 20x wide-angle super zoom lens – enabling photo enthusiasts to get closer to their chosen subject. 

The Canon PowerShot SX20 IS’s 2.5 inch vari-angle PureColor LCD display coupled with the full manual controls will allow photographers an even greater range of creative options.  The versatile camera, a successor to the SX10 IS, now features HD video (720p) to ensure you capture video in the sharpest detail.
  
The PowerShot SX20 IS has a 20x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom which zooms from 28mm to 560mm giving excellent flexibility with composition.  The lens features both an Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and a Voice Coil Motor (VCM) for fast, silent focus and zooming – making the camera unobtrusive and easy-to-use, whether shooting stills or video footage. Combined with a wide-angle view the camera is ideal for shooting wildlife photography or sports events. 

A 12.1 Megapixel image sensor is capable of capturing each moment in incredible detail, with DIGIC 4 image processing for high image quality, responsive operation and advanced noise reduction. Shots are enhanced by optical Image Stabiliser (IS) technology, which helps reduce camera shake and image blur. This gives users a 4-stop advantage when it comes to shooting in low-light conditions – making the camera easy to use indoors or at night without resorting to flash.

Creative freedom meets high definition video
To help users make the most of these creative possibilities, the PowerShot SX20 IS includes a vari-angle 2.5 inch PureColor VA LCD display, which can be used in a wide variety of shooting situations from macro level to street photography – giving photographers maximum flexibility when framing their shots.

The LCD display is useful when shooting high definition video too. The PowerShot SX20 IS can record HD video at 720p resolution and includes a dedicated movie button for instant access to movies in still mode and instant stills shooting during movie recording.  The inclusion of an HDMI mini port makes it easy to playback footage on compatible TVs. The all-digital HDMI connection offers numerous benefits, including an incredible level of picture detail and reproduction of the PowerShot SX20 IS’s CD-quality stereo sound.

Advanced features, maximum ease of use
More experienced users can also choose to use their own preferred presets or even opt for full manual control, making the PowerShot SX20 IS an excellent all-rounder for all levels of photography experience. 
To make the PowerShot SX20 IS as easy-to-use as possible, it features an enhanced version of Canon’s Smart Auto Mode with Scene Detection Technology. This automatically detects faces, distance, motion, colour and brightness in the frame, with the camera selecting from one of 22 scene variables to optimise settings for the best results.

Face Detection, Face Self-Timer and Auto Red-Eye Correction make shooting even easier. Additionally, the PowerShot SX20 IS combats blur with Motion Detection Technology and Servo AF/AE, which enables users to select a subject in the frame while the camera continually adjusts focus and exposure. Continuous Shooting AF adjusts auto focus between shots – so users can capture action with clarity – ideal for shooting birds in flight, or high-octane sporting action. 

Users will also benefit from helpful Hints & Tips incorporated within the user interface.  Short descriptions of functions simplify the interaction with the camera and encourage the user to explore the features - thereby taking better shots.

In addition, the PowerShot SX20 IS includes an enhanced version of i-Contrast: Canon’s Intelligent Contrast Correction technology, which is ideal for shooting in difficult lighting situations. i-Contrast optimises the dynamic range to prevent highlight blowout, while retaining shadow detail. This makes it ideal for use with outdoor portraits, for example, where extremes of shadow and sun can make creating balanced images difficult.

The PowerShot SX20 IS has a built-in hot shoe that enables it to be used with a range of optional accessories including Speedlite EX flashes (including 270EX, 220EX, 430EX II, 580EX II) as well as the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 and Off-Camera Shoe Cord OC-E3.

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS specifications

Recommended price

• $399
• €409
• £399

Sensor • 1/2.3 " Type CCD
• 12.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 4000 x 3000
• 3840 x 2160
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 320 x 240

Movie clips • 1280 x 720 @ 30fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
File formats

• Still: JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• Movie: MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (monaural / stereo)]

Lens • 28- 560 mm equiv
• 20x Optical zoom
• F2.8 - F5.7 (max)
• 13 elements in 11 groups (1 UD and 1 single-sided UA element)
• Ultra Sonic Motor (USM)
Image stabilization Yes (Lens shift-type)
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • Face Detection AiAF
• 1-point AF (Any position is available, fixed to centre or Face Select and Track)
• Manual focus
• Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE
• Focus bracket
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest 0 cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (centre or linked to Face Detection AF or FlexiZone AF frame)
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 stop increments
Shuttter speed • Auto (1 - 1/3200 sec)
• 15-1/3200 sec
Aperture F2.8-5.7 (max)
Modes • Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Custom
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Sports
• SCN
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
Scene modes

• Indoor
• Sunset
• Night Scene
• Fireworks
• Beach
• Aquarium
• Foliage
• Snow
• ISO 3200
• Color Accent
• Color Swap

White balance • Auto (including Face Detection WB)
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Flash
• Custom
Self timer • 2 or 10 secs
• FaceSelf TImer
Continuous shooting • Approx 0.7 fps until card is full (AF / LiveView)
• Approx 1.0 fps until card is full (LCD monitor off)
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Flash • Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• Slow Sync Speed : Fastest speed 1/500 sec
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment
• Range (Auto ISO):50cm - 6.8m (wide) /1.0m- 3.7m (tele)
External Flash • E-TTL with Canon EX series Speedlites
• Canon's High Power Flash HF-DC1
Viewfinder • EVF (0.44" type)
• 235,000 pixels
LCD monitor

• Vari-angle 2.5" TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• Adjustable Brightness
• 100% Coverage

Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• HDMI mini connector
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliance • PictBridge
Storage • SD / SDHC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus
Power • 4x Size-AA Alkaline or NiMH Batteries(NB4-300) (Alkalines supplied)
• Optional, Power adapter CA-PS700
Weight (no batt) 560 g
Dimensions 124 x 88 x 87 mm

Additional images

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Comments

SamuelPhillipsPhotography
By SamuelPhillipsPhotography (Mar 5, 2012)

Based on reviews and my own preferences for digital cameras, I plan on buying this camera for my next camera. I know there are newer models out there, but one of my preferences is AA batteries, which this uses. Canon should bring back AA battery-powered cameras. Or offer an AA battery grip like some of their older SLRs.

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