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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Review, Sample Pictures, & HD Videos
A consumer review of the Canon SX20 IS digital camera with full size sample pictures & 720P High Definition movie clips.

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To view the full size images straight out of the camera, click on the thumbnails below and then click on the "Full Size" links located just below the 800x600 downsized version. The full size images have not been modified and contain the EXIF data.
28MM Wide Angle
Full 20X Zoom 560mm
I visited the local Best Buy store to get a hands on look at the new Canon PowerShot SX20 IS digital camera.

A staff member was kind enough to detach the camera from the security base and insert four fresh AA batteries. I brought along a standard Kingston 2.0 GB SD card to capture some sample photos and a few 720P HD videos.

This brief review will mostly discuss the differences between this camera and the Canon S5 IS that I've been using for the last two years.

At first glance the SX20 IS seemed to be about the same size as the S5 and feels about the same weight as the S5.

The specifications show that the SX20 is slightly larger in every dimension and about an ounce heavier than the S5.

20X Zoom F5.7
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All of these pictures were taken at the highest quality setting. Most were taken on "Auto ISO". The few pictures that I tried to take at ISO 80 were blurry due to insufficient light. I took a few images with ISO set to 1600 and they came out surprisingly clear especially compared to the very noisy ISO 1600 mode on my Canon S5 IS.
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20X Zoom ISO 500
Some of the differences I noticed about the new camera were that the zooming speed seemed slower, the macro button is now on the circular ring on the back of the camera, and there is a small focus assist box that pops up when composing a shot.
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Macro Mode
Super Macro Mode
I only spent about 5 minutes total with the SX20 IS, but it felt like a great replacement for my S5 IS. My only concerns were about the slightly slower speed of the zooming speed and the images seem a tad soft for my liking. I usually have my Canon S5 IS set to "Vivid" in the MyColors menu which adds a bit of in-camera sharpening to the images.


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I didn't test the SX20's onboard flash since I plan on using my Canon 430EX external flash when shooting indoors or in other low light conditions. I'm glad that the flash on the SX20 has to be manually raised and lowered just like on my S5. I really dislike cameras with flashes that pop up automatically in low light.
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1600 ISO F5.7 1/125
Overall, I really like the new Canon SX20 IS and will probably sell my S5 for it. My next big trip is coming up in December. That is plenty of time for some professional reviews to come out and for the price to drop down slightly from the $399 MSRP.
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During my time with the camera, I captured four short 720P HD (1280x720 30 FPS) video clips. The videos are straight out of the camera and are encoded in the Quicktime ".MOV" H.264 format. You'll need either the Quicktime player or VLC Media Player to view the movies. To download the movies to your hard drive, right click on the links below and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As".

Canon SX20 Sample 720P HD Video # 1  -  Canon SX20 IS Sample 720P HD Video # 2

Canon SX20 Sample 720P HD Video # 3  -  Canon SX20 IS Sample 720P HD Video # 4

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For more of my related galleries, visit the following links: Canon S5 IS Review, Canon 430EX Flash Review, Lowepro EX 140 Camera Bag Review, Canon PowerShot CCD Service Notice, and the Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera Review.

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