A friend of mine bought this for me for a new walk around digital camera. By day,I'm a professional photographer that travels the globe on behalf of my clients. It's been my life since 1978.Sometimes the best photos have nothing to do with money,work,great equipment. You see something cool or that moves you,that's the shot that everyone begs you for a print for,or if your lucky someone want to license it for 'rights managed' photo fees.I received the Canon Powershot SX20 IS Digital camera and immediately loved the size. Currently my walk around camera is the Canon G9 which I really like but wanted something longer on the zoom side of which my friend knew.I had charged up 4-AA NiMh batteries,put in a 4GB card andzipped thru the menu looking for my preferred 'RAW' mode to shoot in. Hmmm.not finding it...I looked on a few camera sites that have lengthy specs as well as googled the camera with 'Raw setting' only to find other disappointed users that found out this setting was missing from the camera.
Ok.That was not good.I then went to my accessory drawer looking for a UV filter that would fit the lens. Hmmm.not seeing any filter threads on the camera...Google again. Other users bummed that they could not use a filter to protect the lens or use a ND(neutral density or polarizer filter) either.So,I put on the lens shade,it fell off,did it again...No real threads or a very good method of keeping that flimsy piece of plastic on the lens.
Halfway into my own disgust mode I walk out to my balcony to capture the gorgeous day. I have miles of lake and park across the street from me.Cars going by,joggers,golf course,it's all here.Like 'Camp Granada in the 1960s right before my eyes.'
Perhaps I didn't use any 'preferred setting' for color but the colors were a bit washed out and not vibrant.I shot at ISO 80 and on 'L' for size varying between aperture preferred/shutter preferred and manual.Not one scene looked exciting color wise.
The zoom of the lens is done with your thumb on a lever on the right side. It's very clumsy. The viewfinder is jumpyand this camera,compared to the many fine point and shoots Canon has come out with thru the years just disappointed me in every which way.
When I finally downloaded the images via USB cord from the camera to my computer I pixel peeped to check the quality at 100%. By the time I reached 70% enlargement,the amount of jpeg compression artifacts wasappalling. Did Quality Control go over these cameras ?I kind of wonder.Unless your someone that really doesn't value quality and you were given this camera as a gift,and all you want are web size images or an occasional 4x6 this might be the camera for you. However,I think you'd be selling yourself short. Just because a camera is 12 megapixels does not mean they are quality megapixels. Camera manufacturers pack too many pixels into small sensors just to market a cameras megapixel feature.A zoom lens that can go out to 560mm shouldn't impress you if the quality is not there.The digital camera market has alot of competiton. For the price range of this camera(my friend paid $369 USD) shop around. You can do better.Much much better in all areas!