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Canon Powershot S20 Review

January 2000 | By Phil Askey

Canon Powershot S20 (click for larger image)

Officially Casio beat Canon to the 3.34 megapixel announcement (well at least to the general public anyway), howeve rumours of the S20 had been popping up in various cyber-spaces for a couple of months now. Just last week Canon announced the S20, a 3.34 megapixel (3.14 megapixels effective - 2048 x 1536) version of its successful, recent, but popular S10. Features wise the S20 is identical to the S10, body size, operation, menus and software are all the same. The case is champagne rather than silver and the only other difference is the "3.3" and "S20" on the front. Just makes me wonder how happy recent purchasers of the S10 are...

The camera for this review is an "MT sample" (which basically means pre-release), the original unit supplied was replaced by an MT2 sample which though still pre-release is deemed very close to final production (thus reviewable).

Because the S20 is so similar to the S10 I've re-used some of my S10 review (mostly in operation and handling) for those readers who haven't read it or just come for the S20 review. All camera shots, timings, sampels and comparisons are new.

From what I've seen so far the news is good, the S20 takes the solid foundation of the S10 and adds an amazingly detailed CCD, better white balance, better colour balance and overall sharper images.. There's a little more noise visible and because of the extra pixels we're starting to see evidence of chromatic abberations but other than that the S20 is an amazing little camera which produces the goods... Canon S20 lens close-up (click for larger image)

If you're new to digital photography you may want to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms I use).

Photographs of the camera were taken with Nikon Coolpix 950 and Nikon D1, images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (normally 800 x 600 or smaller if cropped) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

This review is copyright 1999 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author: Phil Askey. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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