Canon SX20is a lot of camera for not a lot of price

Dec 1, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:great features for the price
good results in good light

Cons:poor low light performance
build quality is not great

The Bottom Line: I took a lot of pictures with my SX20 before it died and got some really nice results.  Don't expect the camera to last forever though. 


The Canon SX20is will always have a special place in my heart, it is the camera who made me fall in love with photography. Be warned though it is a gateway camera to bigger more expensive things. 

I bought the Canon SX20is a few years ago because I didn't quite want to take the leap all the way to DSLR no knowing if I'd really enjoy photography, thanks to this camera I did.  It was a great learning tool for me as you can adjust aperature, shutter speed, and iso all seperate and the camera has a variety of modes from full auto to full manual.  This was great because it allowed me to develop an understanding of how all of those things effected a picture and how to adjust them in relation to each other. 

The SX20 has a simple but adequate button lay out that was easy to learn.  It's menu system was nice to use and the swivel LCD screen was great.  All of this led to a great experience and nice results. 

The SX20 does fall short in a few areas though.  Mainly low light and indoor performance.  At anything above iso 400 the picture gets noisy in a hurry.  Stay below 400 though and you will love the results. 

The build quality of the SX20 is also so so.  The camera feels cheap and fragile to me and the build in zoom lense has to be taken care of or you can start to get lens errors.  I thought I babied my camera and could avoid those issues but alas I started getting the dreaded lens error which would happen and the camera would shut itself off.  This was unfortunate because it spoiled an other wise nice camera.

I wouldn't tell anyone not to buy the SX20 though.  It was a nice camera and got pretty good results for me.  More importantly it got me started in what will likely be a lifelong hobby.   


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